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I believe it is true that having more women in the workplace (as well as laws) have upended the behavior exhibited on Mad Men. Also, it has become clearer and clearer that men do not have a god-given right to lead (as if they ever did). However, to idolize a society in which men become more and more like women seems wrong-headed. Shouldn’t we have a society where women and men can work together using their individual (and quite possibly different) skills? Meyers talks about the current differences in educational achievement among men and women. He says that 65% of students working on graduate degrees are female. Now, not too long ago about 98% of graduate students were male. That was the result of sexism and it was a symptom of something going wrong in our society. Isn’t the fact that now 65% of graduate students are female a symptom of something going wrong? It is certainly not sexism or discrimination, but it seems to me that we, as a society, must be doing something wrong if we are discouraging men from going on in school or failing to prepare men for the rigor of that type of work. Let’s talk about that if we are talking about the future of men.
Another thread running through the book is that males are inferior because they possess a Y-chromosome that is degenerating whereas the X-chromosome is strengthening. Women possess two X-chromosomes whereas men possess one X and one Y chromosome. This original theory comes from Bryan Sykes who is a real live respected geneticist. It is evidently true that the Y-chromosome is deteriorating since it doesn’t have the same self-correcting evolutionary mechanism that the X-chromosome has. However, this devolution, according to Wikipedia takes place over millions of years. Myers takes this idea and blames much of men’s poor behavior on their lousy chromosome. I am not a scientist, but this sounds like complete bunk to me. On the last page of the book he says, “We can, it seems, rely on the genetic stability of women to guide us into the future collaboratively and cooperatively with men, to achieve a more stable and healthier gender balance.” Now I like the collaborative sentiment and the heathier gender balance sentiment, but if you parse the sentence, Meyer evidently believes that women are superior (better genetic stability) and that they will lead men into the future. . .collaboratively.
Overall, I am very disappointed in a book about men which attempts to grab tabloid type headlines but fails to realistically address how men and women can change the type of men’s behavior that promotes sexism and harms women.