Friday, October 9, 2009

The Current Recession

There's been a lot of talk that this recession has been harder on men with jobs than women with jobs, meaning men have lost more jobs. Lisa Belkin recently wrote that men losing high powered jobs in finance and the like does not mean advancement for women. Advancement would mean women losing jobs at the same rate as men (as they're doing in high levels of finance). But, apparently, in all recent recessions men have lost more jobs than women because they hold more of the manufacturing jobs. Here's the link with the proof (via Sullivan). I'm not sure why this is relevant -- which gender is losing more jobs. If you've lost a job, if your partner loses a job, things are hard, if you're a man or a woman, they're hard. I suspect all this talk about men losing jobs has something to do with a general sense of disenfranchisement after the long binge of the last decade. Like, men are sobering up, this is going to be harder for men, women will be fine because women always take low-paying jobs and muddle through and marry but men lose all their sense of manliness if they lose their jobs. I'm not going to poo-poo the lost sense of manliness that I imagine accompanies a lots job, not at all. The gendered expectations of this culture run too deep. I just wonder if all this talk of a man-cession is laying the groundwork for another round of cultural hand-wringing on the demise of men in general, and white men in particular. I hope not. I'm really not up for it.

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