By Lloyd Graff
When I wrote the blog a couple of weeks ago about Meg Whitman using her eBay wealth to win the Governorship of California while Rod Blagojevich defends his mastery of payoff culture in a Chicago courtroom, I was unconsciously touching a bigger theme—the rise of women in American life.
Hanna Rosin’s cover story in the current Atlantic—“The End of Men: How American Women are Taking Control of Everything”—brilliantly tells the story of the decline of men in 2010. Economically, this trend is related to the decline of manufacturing and construction. Current unemployment is heavily weighted toward males but the long range trends are even stronger than recession related layoffs.
Testosterone, physical strength and a gambling spirit, the traits that tamed the Old West, are not as highly valued in today’s world. Women are earning 60 percent of the college degrees now. Statistically men struggle more in school, and school is the gateway to advancement.
I think that the shift towards female dominance is less apparent in the machining world we inhabit, but I find women taking more of the purchasing agent roles. Men may still be making most of the stuff, but women are often signing the checks.
When Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, realized the business was getting too complicated for him to manage, his venture capital investors found Meg Whitman in Boston biding time as a consultant and brought her to San Jose to grow the business by harnessing the entrepreneurial fervor of mom and pop companies everywhere.
Meanwhile, Rod Blagojevich, who still can’t use a computer (see video below), was wheeling and dealing in the backroom of Chicago politics. His first big move was marrying a powerbroker’s daughter. He then joined the law firm of Eddie Vrdolyak, a famous fixer and Chicago dealmaker. He used his smile and big hair to charm the voters all the way to the top of the State. Very competitive, very male, very Chicago, very corrupt—our Rod.
Meg goes to Sacramento if she beats the old liberal pol—Jerry Brown, former governor of California from 1975-1983. Rod goes to prison if the wiretaps stick.
It’s getting tough to be a good ole boy.
Click to go to the Atlantic article
Question: Are women taking control of everything?