Martin's remedy: shush! More precisely: she concedes that lately more men have lost jobs than women. But we shouldn't talk about it. "[T]his sort of polarized punditry." she pundicizes,
is exactly what keeps both men and women from making true progress. The truth is our fates are inextricably tied together, not running on two parallel tracks. When men lose their jobs -- and, indeed, they have at a higher rate than women recently -- American families all suffer ... Newsflash: Men aren't from Mars and women aren't from Venus; we're all struggling to make healthy, meaningful lives on the same damn planet -- and it's time we started acting like it.Coming from a quarter that has spent the last 40 years or so telling us that men and women really are different--and that specifically women's experience has been suppressed, buried, hidden, minimized, devalorized, whatever--this is pretty rich. Calling for a new ethic of cooperation between men and women will require, at the least, a good deal of reprogramming, and a good deal of forgetting what we have been told for a long time.
I should be careful not to let myself be misundestood here--I think her lot were mostly right the first time. Men and women are different ("deal with it!" the bumper sticker says), and through most of human history those differences have been at best misunderstood, often rendered invisible, and at worst demonized. To free ourselves--however incompletely--from these barriers of misapprehension has been a major achievement; the protagonists of this change (mostly women) can be justly proud.
But there is no obscuring the fact that men in our time are falling apart. Once again, let there be no misunderstanding here: there is no just basis for special pleading on this one, and certainly no grounds for pity. It is, of course, a social problem of considerable magnitude, insofar as a loose agglomoration of underutilized, testosterone-poisoned males is always a social problem, and is bound to be moreso as the horde gets bigger. But it's just one of those things that happen in life, and if there is a way to right the vessel of manhood, then somebody--which is to say, mostly menb--will have to figure out how to do it.
I haven't the slightest notion how this will all sort out. My own best guess is that we--society, the world--will end up just breeding them out, although that is likely to take another couple of generations and I won't be around to see it. But we gain little or nothing from glib or facile preachments about how we shoud all just get along.
Footnote: if Martin thinks I'm cranky, should take a look this update from Christine Hoff Summers, who think that the he-session was all part of the plan.