I have been following with great interest the huge debate in western societies regarding what is dubbed “The great male crisis”. The underlying argument is simple:Men are rapidly falling behind women. Within societies that promote gender equality and free education, women are becoming better educated than men and are earning more. Girls are faring better than boys in school and college education, and this is getting reflected in the job market as well.
The great recession in the US and Europe is generally not helping, with the 8m jobs lost in the past five years are predominantly jobs for men, which means that women are becoming the new providers for their families instead of the men. Thus the pressure to live up to a ‘gold standard’ of masculinity (providing for the family) is turning personal troubles such as losing a job into a crisis for men in a way that it might not for women. Hence the question: What if that era has now come to an end? More to the point, what if the economics of the new era are better suited to women?
Well, in western countries, the numbers are supporting this argument in a very clear way. For example: the number of unmarried women purchasing homes in America is double that of unmarried men. Of the modern family’s primary breadwinners, 40% are now women as well.
Women dominate today’s colleges: for every two men who will receive a BA this year, three women will do the same (in demark the ratio of college educated females to males is 4-1). Even in future employment women are dominating: out of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the US, all but two are already professions dominated by women. And before you sneer and say that this is a western phenomenon only, well, I am sorry to disappoint, but the trend is worldwide.
In war-torn African countries, women are stepping up to in leadership roles to resolve decades of conflict started by men. Liberia has a woman president, and Rwanda has the first parliament in the world with a female majority. In India, women are learning English faster than men to meet the demands of new global call centres.
In China, more than 40% of private businesses are owned and run by women. Change in the social order of the world is taking place now that women are finally competing, which is immediately affecting men and their role globally. And this is happening despite the “gendercide” that has been taking place against them for centuries, where men have consistently terrorised and killed women. And before you object, ask yourself this: How many honour killings have happened to men? How many men were denied education or married against their will? There has been a global war on women but in spite of it women are succeeding, even in our great country of Egypt, where the crisis is more real than ever.
Take the top 10 students in high school, and more than half are girls. Do the same in universities, and you will find the same result. In the job market, all over the social classes, women are working and providing for their families. During the revolution, women were on the front lines, created successful movements and organisations and stood in line for hours to vote.
Families in lower social classes depend for their survival on women working, sometimes entirely. In upper classes, you are more likely to find more unemployed men than women, and even there the notion of the man being the sole bread-winner has eroded, and the women are noticing. Highly successful women in Egyptian society are openly talking and lamenting the disappearance of “the golden standard male”. Many are now supporting their husbands and those are the ones who have found husbands to marry. Talk to the single ones and you will hear lamentations to no end.
It’s happening, and some will tell you that it has been the case for years. And the men refuse to acknowledge the situation, insisting on being the decision-makers despite not being the providers, with their authority now entirely founded and dependent on spirituality and religion. In actuality, violence and religion have become their only weapon left.
Hence the sexual assaults taking place on the street, where men are trying to assert their dominance and strength. Hence the constitution, where Islamists insist that women obey them in the household. Hence the Salafi preachers who are promoting younger female marriages all the time, just so that they can get the girls out of school and out of competition.
And in reality, those are all acts of desperation, of a gender that is losing its dominance globally and is unable to cope with it without violence or oppression that they use religion to excuse. In western countries, men just get depressed.
Dear men, women are taking over. Either step up your game in education and work or get out of their way. You have led this world and this country since forever, and look around you: It’s all falling apart. It’s time to give someone else a chance.