The American Enterprise Institute recently released the following chart showing the startling increase of men ages 25-54 who are not in the workforce. In the last 20 years alone, the number of men neither in the workforce nor in school has nearly doubled.
The chart was released in conjunction with a new book by Nicholas Eberstadt, which seems to hint that the welfare state may have influenced this growing trend.
While such could easily be the case, I wonder if there are other factors at play, particularly the dominance of women on college campuses. According to The College Fix, “women have earned a majority of college degrees every year since 1981,” a trend that is expected to continue and expand in the next 10 years.
But as The College Fix goes on to say:
“‘Young women at our elite colleges are among the safest, most privileged and most empowered of any group on the planet. Yet, from the moment they get to campus – and now, even earlier – an endless stream of propaganda tells them otherwise,’ explains feminist scholar Christina Hoff Sommers. ‘They are offered safe spaces and healing circles to help them cope with the ravages of a phantom patriarchy.’
Indeed, in the absence of salient oppression, women are forced to ascribe their problems to the ‘phantom patriarchy.’ Thus, men come under attack in women’s attempt to fight it.”
Is it possible that the decline of men in the labor force could be fallout from this mutual fear of the phantom patriarchy? And in their attempt to eradicate it, have women backed men into a corner, unable to speak their mind or act in a normal, gentlemanly way for fear of being accused of being patriarchal or sexist in nature?
If such is the case, is it possible that we will see more men throw in the towel on work and career, preferring to live a quiet life at home instead of fight the attacks which this phantom patriarchy brings?
Image Credit: Nick Kenrick (cropped) bit.ly/1iowB8m
Annie Holmquist is editor of Intellectual Takeout, an online magazine and sister publication of Chronicles.