Men at Work

by Obsidian on June 3, 2010

Several of my esteemed readers have been, online and off, sent me a spate of articles and have been asking me about all the scuttlebutt surrounding the arrival of the New Grrl Order-the fact that we have now crossed the labor market rubicon, where Women now makeup a simple majority of the American workforce. After giving a bit of thought to this, I’ve decided to respond in this way.

First off, we have to keep in mind that the Chattering Classes are wholly divorced from the rest of the country, no matter how hard they may try to act differently. Simply put, they live and die, in a completely different world than the rest of us plebes. Most of these folks live in the richest areas of the country, and their salaries are counted in the millions of dollars a year if not more. It is very difficult to live that kind of life and have any real understanding of what day to day living is like for the rest of us.

So, the notion that the Mancession has hit mostly married, more well to do couples, is at best a polite contrivance. To be sure, it can happen there, but we all know, as the recent announcement of the Gores going splitsville demonstrates, that fewer Americans are getting married to begin with, and sticking it out when they do. So in a very real sense, such points as raised by the MSM is, at best, moot. If not an out and out diversion.

Where the rubber really hits the road for me, is what I like to call the Acid Test of Equality-for more than three decades, we all have been told that Women have been working against a stacked deck, and in many ways, they were right. But that was then, and this is now. Not only are Women more employed in the workforce, but they often outearn many Men and have more formal educations, to boot. Whatever the gripes of the past may have been, and again, I fully and freely admit they may have been legit, Women can’t say that such things obtain any longer, not with the wholesale carnage the Mancession has left in its wake.

So, for me, this period of time will be a perfect one in which Women will demonstrate what they will do when in the Big Chair at last. I for one, can’t wait to see what will happen.

Will Women be willing to support Men who no longer work at all? For decades in this country, and centuries worldwide, Men did this for Women. Yes, you may say, but Women bore the babies and took care of home and hearth. Fair enough, but it’s been proven that guys can care for babies just as well as Women can, and who said that busting suds or making your bed was a “Woman’s thing”? Rubbish.

We know, for a fact, that Men, for all their faults and foibles, did the toughest, dirtiest and most dangerous jobs, often without fanfare or complaint. And they did it to support their families, where, more often than not, their wife wasn’t working outside the home. Millions of Men would return home on a Friday and hand over the check to the wife. It remains to be seen if Women will return the favor now that they’re the breadwinners.

We also know, that it was very common for Men to literally fall down dead at work. Its been said that more people (read: Men) have heart attacks on the morning drive/commute to work on Mondays than any other week, and I’ve personally seen that theory borne out in real life-one of my uncles died while having a massive heart attack drving to work one Monday morning; by the time his car crashed into a tree, he was already as dead as a door nail. And one of my best friends of nearly three decades’ father died on the way in to work on a Monday morning. In his case, he made it to the job-then collapsed on the shop floor, DOA.

In my own life, a week before I started on my job, a Man died, in the same spot I would be working. Several more have died since my tenure began. Quite a few others would receive career ending injuries. And as we all saw back in April of this year, not a Woman was to be found among those lost in the Upper Big Branch mine or British Petroleum oil rig disasters; the dead were all, to a Man, Men.

So, it remains to be seen if and what kind of stresses White Collar, largely services-oriented workers experience. Something tells me that it won’t quite parallel what I’ve noted above.

Personally, I think this is an excellent time for Men. Why? Because for the first time in a long time, if not ever, we don’t have to do what our dads and grand dads did. Make no mistake, they often did jobs they hate, and there wasn’t a Chattering Class or Oprah with which they could cry into their beer to. Many Men, stoic as all get out, simply did the damned thing, day in, and day out, handing over the paycheck/wallet to the Missus every Friday like clockwork. Like Tiger said, that’s one heck of a transfer payment when you think about it.

But anyway, yea, we guys now have options-real options. We can go back to school-or drop out from a life chained to a desk. We can travel, if even only within the country itself, and see new things. We can remake ourselves anew, try new things, meet new people. And most of all, we can define ourselves away from what society says we should be, which is what we do and have much we make doing it. In this respect, the Mancession was a blessing in disguise.

It’s also a blessing in disguise because, when it comes to the ladies, we now know what they truly are all about. Let’s face it, money has always been the buffer that kept the wolves of a relationship at bay. With that no longer a factor in the mix, we now get to see what Women, as a group now, are truly made of. What do they really value in a Man? It was one thing to talk a mean game of Keith Sweat stuff back when they didn’t have any pull, but that day has long past and they are now in the driver’s seat. So I say it’s a good thing that you may not have as much moolah as you once did, fellas. Now you get to see what the Women in your life are truly made of.

Somehow, because I have a bit of understanding about human nature that includes Women, I have a hard time believing and seeing Women simply taking on the roles that Men once did, even as it is highly unlikely that so many of them would meet the same fates. Its hard to see Women openly and without complaint, paying for dates outright; or paying the rent/mortage outright; or, gasp!-handing over her paycheck to her significant other to handle the household expenses. To be sure, there are individual cases of Women who don’t play to this kind of type; I consider myself blessed to be a Man who has known of this kind of Woman firsthand. But the exceptions don’t kill the rule, they only strengthen it.

Of course, I could be totally wrong.

The Ladies will decide…

The Obsidian

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