My Take

Have men indeed become obsolete?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 January, 2014, 5:33am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 January, 2014, 5:34am

With Janet Yellen as the US Federal Reserve chief and Christine Lagarde as IMF boss, the banking world will hopefully become more genteel. The confirmation of Yellen to the post of Fed chair has also brought hope to some that the glass ceiling for women will be truly broken in the financial world.

But others have gone beyond that and have wondered for a while if men have become obsolete. A recent blog on Time magazine's website by Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, argues that men are indeed outdated.

Rosin points out several factors to argue her point, from men who are not really shining examples of anything to the trend of girls doing better than boys in education.

The take-home pay in many households is not just getting equal, women are earning more than men in many cases. That prompted Rosin to predict the creation of a "virtual matriarchy in the parts of the [United States] that used to be bastions of good old macho country music style values".

But thankfully she admits that becoming obsolete doesn't mean worthless, just outmoded. Whew, we still have hope, then!

One person who seems ahead of the curve here is Germany's vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel- not just because he lets a woman be his boss, but because he has decided that he wants time off every week to play the dad role and share the burden at home.

As a man in charge of things like nuclear energy, one would think he would be excused if he got tied up with his work a little bit.

Apparently not. Yet as soon as Gabriel announced his decision, grumblings began about the "part-time ministers" who are not showing sufficient commitment. So if you thought you would get off the hook by changing a few nappies, think again.

The elevation of women to high positions is a welcome one and there is no need for men to panic yet. It will all be fine if both sexes claim their rightful share and enjoy it.

The trouble will start only if the dream of these obsolete campers comes true and women take over completely. Then they will have no men to bash up and will turn on each other. And that's not a pretty picture.

Just look at the "Battling begums" in Bangladesh.