That women are now the majority of the workforce is not a terrible thing. So how come, with every new achievement of women, there is a corresponding outcry about the “end of men!”? When did anyone ever cry “The end of women!” throughout all the previous centuries during which men were the majority of the workforce?
I know men aren’t thriving right now, for a host of reasons beginning with the economy and including a dramatic sea change in social structure. But when coverlines (and here I mean like the Atlantic’s) undermines one gender’s success by linking it to the other’s failure, they’re playing an old power game that women have no interest in: The If–you’re- not- one- up, you’re-one-down idea of power. For one thing, women are not at the top of their game just yet: It’s worth remembering how very few women are really at the top (for more about this, see Facebook C.O.O. Sheryl Sandberg’s wonderful TED talk on YouTube). And while women may be outnumbering men in the workforce, they aren’t being paid the same salaries as men. As it stands, women will reach the age of sixty and have accumulated a million dollars less than men of sixty who have had exactly the same job.