My darlin’ friend Carrie sent me this link – though I am not sure if it gives me hope that as least my employment prospects aren’t feeling so bleak due to sexism, or if it merely makes me feel like an underachiever for my sex. Meh.

The Future is Female, Job Figures Show:

“Employers realise that women are more suited to the modern workplace, where the emphasis is on the qualities of team-work, leadership skills, communication and emotional intelligence in which they excel – rather than the intellectual ability or physical strength on which men have relied. Already employers, such as law firms, are struggling to find good male candidates for vacancies because women are not only getting better academic qualifications, they have a better range of skills.”

Dr Batey, a lecturer in organisational psychology, warned that urgent measures had to be put in place to encourage boys to engage with education and raise their career ambitions if they are to avoid falling further behind their female contemporaries.

“Ministers must take note of these figures and do more to support boys at school to stop them falling off the ladder. On the positive side I think we will see a re-alignment of gender roles, with men taking greater responsibility for child care and running the home,” he said.

Well, now I don’t know if I’d go so far as to worry about men falling behind quite yet, but I do think the falling behind in education is interesting, and important to pay attention to. In his book “Why We Hate Us” (about American culture, while the above article is British, btw) author Dick Meyer talks about the “moronization of boys” as comparable to the sexualization of girls in limiting their potential.

From an interview with the Nation:

The sexualization of girls in marketing has been discussed quite a lot, as well as the use of the beauty myth to target women’s insecurities and get them to buy more product. But you bring up something less discussed in modern marketing critiques–the “moronization” of boys. What is this phenomenon and how is it getting young males to spend more money and at the same time disconnect from their true natures?

There’s a new kind of character that you see everywhere in commercial media and in pop culture, he’s in TV commercials, in movies and in sitcoms. It’s the young man as oaf–as a beer-swilling, TV-obssessed, Gameboy-addicted, mannerless lummox. Beer ads absolutely glorify this character. There’s this one sequence, I think it’s Ted Ferguson, Beer Daredevil, and he does these amazingly moronic things. For instance, he tries to skip football and beer on a Sunday to go shopping with his girlfriend but it turns out to be an act of heroism that he can’t actually accomplish.

Or you have a series of movies by Judd Apatow like 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Pineapple Express, where the male characters basically haven’t left boyhood. These are men who have reached their 20s or their 30s but they’re literally like virgins, or children. This is the way males are being portrayed and marketed to, and it’s every bit as destructive as the sexploitation of females in marketing. It’s a little harder to tie it to this chain of consumerist behavior, but it’s easy to tie it to what you might call a kind of sluggishness in the performance of young men. College admissions now are 57-58 percent female, which doesn’t reflect the population. For some reason the allure of certain kinds of technology, of video games, TV, Gameboys and handheld gadget toys is higher for males. I don’t know whether that fact is a result of marketing and is commercially created. But I do know that it is a real vulnerability and I think it’s a social cost we’re not paying enough attention to.

I haven’t read the book (it’s on the amazon.co.uk wishlist with a billion other things I will never have money or time to read) but it seems a valid point. Especially in the U.S. with our “nice guy to have a beer with” President, where are the smart sophisticated male role models? Oh, Obama! But wait, he’s a secret muslim terrorist, d’oh! sigh.

(Update: This is cool, but then you get women climbing the ladder in the places like the Daily Sport, salacious British booby-mag that just named it’s first female editor. Yay? Of her readership she says “Our readers are blokes that like a beer and a laugh, and fancy Cheryl Cole. They like to talk about sex and enjoy looking at pictures of women with big boobs. They don’t really care about politics unless it directly affects them.” Point for Dick Meyer.)

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