Work Life Balance

Hanna Rosin Tells Mommyish Why ‘See-Saw Marriages’ Are More Flexible

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Do you think it’s as simplistic as our boys don’t have the same ambition as our daughters? If so, what would account for that gender disparity so young?

Obviously we are not talking about all girls and all boys. But I do think girls still have some of that underdog mentality where they feel they need to prove something, so they charge ahead. A lot of the women I interview in the book remind me of my immigrant parents, where they seem to be very hungry to establish themselves.

When exploring the multitude of scholastic accomplishments by girls in recent years, you make a dismissive claim regarding self-esteem studies. Do you find them irrelevant to your general thesis?

I generally resist narratives that run only in one direction. So I think with teenage girls, the reality is mixed. Obviously there is evidence that girls have a drop in confidence when they reach puberty. But they also have so many more opportunities for leadership these days, and that probably explains why recent surveys show a boost in self confidence.

Your research on the uptick in female violence, especially regarding young girls, is very disturbing. Do you think girls are also internalizing the rise in violent imagery –particularly sexualized violence  — in our culture?

I think girls have always internalized violent imagery. The difference now is that girls feel more free to act out whatever violent impulses they have. In the book you will see that some of the girls I interview have internalized the macho code of aggression, so they actually feel proud when they win a physical fight. Like a lot of what I describe in the book, this is not really a positive development.

Where do same-sex parents fit into the End Of Men thesis, if at all? Did you encounter any patterns or tensions with them that perhaps mimic heterosexual dynamics?

That’s a great question! I was thinking so much about the changing relationship between men and women that I did not think about gay couples! That can be my next project.


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