It’s Not The End of Man, It’s The Rising of Human

Enough! Today I am angry, sad, exasperated and even FURIOUSLY sick of Cassandra messages forecasting the End of Men.

Let me give you three examples to illustrate my “ire” (like Martin Shovel would call my exasperation…)

  • TEDWomen & Hanna Rosin
  • The New York Times
  • “Nouvelles Clès”, French magazine’s Cover page with “La Fin de l’Homme au siècle des Femmes”

It’s the end of the year, we’re into a major global, cosmic crisis, but it’s not the end of men!

I love TED. I consider myself a feminist. Of course TEDWomen attracted my curiosity and I watched a few excellent talks.

Except Han Roslin’s. I found it disturbing and even offensive for both men and women.

Who is Hanna Rosin? She’s a journalist for the Washington Post and The Atlantic. She wrote an article in the Atlantic which created a shock wave “The End of Men”. You can read it here. In this TED talk, she goes too far. She’s “pushy” and confrontational.

Read these comments about her presentation (mostly by men):

“Ms. Rosin’s apparent joy in “The Rise of Women” is in itself a challenge for me. Her statistics and my current economic situation are a definite arrow aimed at my ego.”

Don’t be fooled! This ethnocentric talk was about the success of masculine women.   Competition, business, politics, “battles” and even caring about the like are “uber” masculine domains. – I said masculine not male!  Femininity and masculinity are attributes inclusive to both men and women. What should be equal is the opportunity and encouragement for men and women to be as masculine or feminine as they want to be in our society without fear or discrimination along with new measures and meanings of success.”
“There is no new order. Business as usual. The game hasn’t changed. We need both masculine and feminine people for a balanced society. It matters not what gender fills those roles only that they be filled. The only thing that is eroded is the myth that femininity is exclusively of females and masculinity of males. Respectful masculinity will be met with yielding femininity. Disrespectful and domineering masculinity is met with righteous masculinity as evident in this talk and comments. The more respectful masculine women there are the more yeilding feminine men there needs to be. I suspect that men may need to embrace and uphold both the ideal feminine and masculine archetype.”

“Focusing on the differences between men and women is a huge mistake in light of solving economic problems. These differences between men and women may exist but they are not innately tied to being a male, or a female. It is only because we raise boys and girls differently that they have different skills. There is no reason for gender pride and that’s all this is doing.

If we care about both genders the goal shouldn’t be to ease the pain as we shift the power over to women but to educate everyone equally on what it takes to rise up.”

I could go on for ever, the comments are not equally as benevolent or uplifting as these, but I must say I couldn’t help identifying more with men than with Mrs Rosin.It’s a shame, since she’s also a brilliant and intelligent writer.

The Declining Demand for Men. December 13th, 2010, in the New York Times, another “Cassandra” article’s headline .

  • Third Example: A Woman’s Red Stiletto Smashing a Widget Superman. Finally, France is following the Atlantic trend with a magazine cover picturing “the end of man in a century of women…”. The content of the article was excellent and I found brilliant ideas and writers, precious references and links and a desire to facilitate the rebirthing of Man for the sake of humanity. What was it really necessary to start with a picture of a woman’s (red) stiletto impaling a ridiculouly tiny Superman?

Immediate reactions:

  • How would I feel, if I saw a big MadMen’s Shoe Smashing a tiny WonderWoman?

I’d go MAD! I’d see RED! I would get prepared to do battle. Is this what we want?

  • How would I feel if I heard a man rejoicing about the fall of women? Angry. Humiliated. Misunderstood. Depressed.

I suggest instead that we speak to the rising up of humanity- all of us.

As Vincent Cespedès (remember this name, he’s a French Philosopher, writes about masculinity in a creative and provocative way! ) would say, we need to surf the Charm Wave instead of the Shock Wave. John Hagel latest blog post in The Big Shift: Challenge and Opportunity for Women. Another male’s perspective, this time American.

“The future of business belongs to the feminine archetype.  The future belongs to those of us, female or male, who can adopt and embrace the feminine archetype.

So what does this has to do with power and women?

As Marcia Reynolds reminds us in The Best-Kept Secret, Women love power , don’t need to be “empowered”, yet they hate to admit it.

Why?

Because power, as we know it, is confused with domination upon, with arrogance, selfishness and showing off. It is the old masculine archetype on which corporations are built. Power can be fun, joyful, playful, innocent and full of purpose. Just like Kah Walla type of power, I described in a previous post.

Power- to be present for the others, to achieve sustainable improvements in the life of others, to ignite a sparkle of light and desire, to create big shifts in the world.

The bottom line

We need to rethink power, NOW, Not Only for Women, but for men too, so that power embraces both masculine and feminine archetypes.

Power with, not  Power over.

Power to connect.

Power to weave knowledge and trusted relationships in generous and exponential waves.

“We must find ways to more effectively integrate the masculine and feminine archetypes to draw on the strengths of each.  But, at the end of the day, the pendulum must swing much more in the direction of the feminine archetype if we are realize the potential that the Big Shift represents for all of us.”

John Hagel in The Big Shift: Challenge and Opportunity for Women.

19 thoughts

  1. Marion – I too am offended by this seeming celebration or thinly veiled vengeance regarding men. For twenty years I have actively pushed for the advancement of women into decision making roles at the top of the house of business. But it has never been about women. It is about the need to access all the talent. For any woman (or man) to suggest that we can advance humanity without full participation of both genders is a grave mistake and reflects a gross misunderstanding of the value of diversity. Most of us are clear that we need to Nelson Mandela this opportunity such that as women rise up we do so with men by our side.

    1. Thank you Anne for your clear support and transparent position about the need to access all the talent.
      We have both discussed many times the need to be both assertive and respectful, always awre of the impact of our actions and of our words for the benefit of all, not only women.
      I love your creative use of Nelson Mandela into an action verb!
      Let’s Nelson Mandelize the Rising of Human!

  2. I agree with you that power should be with, not over. Shared. And that any domination is wrong. I will go back and listen to Hanna’s TEDWomen talk. She did preface it with the fact that she herself did not title her article, The End Of Men. This is perhaps typical of media (even The Atlantic ), who try to create controversy when it does not have to be there. Her talk was full of statistics, and I did spend some time talking with her. She is the mother of two boys, and has a husband…not that that makes a difference in how one views power. But I found her an interesting and open minded person. But as I say, I will go back and listen to her talk again.

    1. I am very happy that you stopped by and commented on my blog, especially that one, Liza.
      First I find your cartoons irresistible and hilarious. They capture so brilliantly what takes us ages to express into words… I can only recommend everyone to go and read your blog! Here: http://whendotheyservethewine.wordpress.com/

      Secondly, I very much appreciate that you share your impression of Hanna’s talk, since you have met her and heard her in New York.
      It’s good to hear that she’s an open minded person and I already stressed how informative and interesting her Atlantic article was.
      I guess what you say about media trying to create controversy is very true. It seems that the tittle “The End of Men” in The Atlantic, was not chosen by her either.
      Just like the picture on the French magazine (and honestly, I must admit it attracted my attention and made me buy it!).
      We both know the power of images and I wish more illustrators would depict workplace reality with as much humour and finesse as you!
      Thank you for manifesting such generous open mindednesss too, it offers a new perspective of who Hanna Rosin is, as a person, and I’m very grateful you did.
      This is showing us how cautious we need to be in the way we communicate, so that women rising doesn’t mean men falling.”Diversity is not a zero-sum game – just because we increase diversity and women, doesn’t mean that others will suffer.” Tweeted by @Catalystinc today…

  3. Thanks for this Marion – I find it incredibly sad that after many years we are still reading anti-man nonsense. It is the kind of vengeful approach that when between nations or ethnic groups creates wars! We need the whole rainbow spectrum of masculine to feminine in the home, the workplace and the world. Not only does it make the place more colourful – it leads to a sense of wholeness and balance!

    1. I agree with you, Wendy, beautifully said “The Whole Rainbow” approach.
      As Avivah Wittenberg-Cox tweeted recently “Who said Opposites? Just different, and delightfully so…”
      Colourful, whole, balanced and delighful!
      What a programme for the holiday season and for the future!

  4. The rhetoric you have shared gives me shivers of fear. I feel for men so deeply – they have been asked to jump through hoops by women, and they’ve done it. We’re now asking them to make more changes to accommodate the feminine, and yet retain their masculine energies.

    I see a lot of support for women, helping them to balance and integrate the different energies and so far have seen very little for men. So much so that I’m launching a new product at the beginning of the year focussing on this very dilemma.

    Thank you for highlighting how important it is to create balance.

    1. Thank you Jackie!
      Tonight I’ve been watching a second TEDWomen video. It’s from Sheryl Sandberg http://bit.ly/hIvSq5. The tone is different than Hanna Rosin’s talk. Two key messages 1 Women need to believe in themselves and ” sit at the table”
      2 Women need to support one another
      Sheryl Sandberg is clear, articulate calm and powerful.
      However, if you read the comments, men also feel hate and threat. There is a lot of fear and denial, anger and even rage.
      This change is there to stay.
      It’s an irresistible shift. We need to make sure the facts are checked, transparent and share solid information, statistics.(Hanna Rosin’s talk and Sheryl Sandberg have been perceived as contradictory, although they were just different statistics enhanced…) At the same time, we need to put ourselves in men’s shoes as well, hold both views in our mind and be ready to deal with anger and fear.
      Not only from men, by the way…
      Clear vision of what we want to achieve, with active collaboration between men and women!
      I’d be very curious to know more about the new product you are launching, Jackie! Keep us posted and thanks again for your support.

  5. Marion, Thank you for your kind words. IT is so typical of the media to want to pit us against each other, it makes for “great” copy and for sales. I never really thought about it in this light before, but some of my cartoons poke fun at women who hate–or at least have kind of ‘had it’ –with men. Not to compare myself with Dorothy Parker, in many of her stories, she did the same thing. She poked at women who behave badly. I like to create humor that makes us look at ourselves and laugh, and maybe change our ways. Thanks for this great dialogue, and I will link to your blog!

    1. Wonderful news to be linked to your blog!
      And you make me hungry for more cartoons and also revisiting Dorothy Parker’s books.
      Merci Liza, always available for such a conversation…and to change the world too!

  6. Hello love,
    Jimmy Durante continues to say it best for me:

    “Moonlight and love songs,
    never out of date,
    Hearts full of passion,
    jealousy and hate,
    Woman needs man,
    and man must have his mate,
    that no one can deny.

    It’s still the same old story,
    a fight for love and glory,
    A case of do or die,
    The world will always welcome lovers,
    as time goes by.”

    Thanks for the opportunity to input my $0.02 *:-)

    1. You always surprise me, Lee!
      What a great idea to post a poem, indeed!
      Against hate and fear, what do we have?
      Knowledge, Art and Love!
      Thanks for Moonlight’s love song, on the winter solstice night…

  7. Marion,
    Great post! Equal opportunity for women should never come at the cost of emasculating men. That is not the goal. I write about the differences between men and women, not to suggest that one gender is better than the other, but to encourage women to allow their beauty and strength to shine. Women making advances in business is not about trying to become more like men. The fact that they are women should never enter into their business decisions.

    I absolutely agree with your final statements regarding the word “power.” The meaning and intention of words get skewed constantly. “Powerful woman” should not be seen as an oxymoron any more than “sensitive man.” Rather than pigeon-holing men or women with stereotypes and traditional roles, we need to embrace the strengths of the individual, regardless of gender.

  8. There has been the misuse of power for so long. Unfortunately, and whether they like it or not, most men and women help perpetuate the patriarchy that hold most imprisoned.
    Great article Marion. Let’s not shy away from a healthy and sacred expression of power.

    1. Merci marjorie- or should I call you Eve? I loved your post on the new Eve that you were embracing and what an awesome picture your mother took for your birthday! Sacred Flow…you sure are not shying away from the sacred expression of power!

      Merci and so blessed to connect with you, Julie and a growing number of brilliants minds integrating poetry and visual art in their writings and research.

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