December 9, 2008, - 4:13 pm

The New “Gender Gap”: You Know Who’s Really Hardest Hit . . .

By Debbie Schlussel
. . . by the tough economy? Men. 12,000 more women are working than were at this time, last year. Yet, 1,069,000 fewer men are working than a year ago.
And while this article doesn’t say so, I think one of the reasons is affirmative action. Companies can’t let minorities and women go, or they’ll suffer lawsuits, so they sacrifice the most expendable first, and that’s the White Male. Another problem is the loss of American manufacturing jobs, which were an excellent domain for blue collar males without a college degree.

The careers of Neal Boyle and Scott Hacker couldn’t be more different. Boyle, whose education ended with high school, worked 20 years crushing rocks at the US Gypsum plant in Charlestown. Hacker, who holds an MBA, changed firms several times as he moved up the management ranks in New England’s financial services industry.
But today they find themselves in the same place: laid off and looking for work. And together they represent the face of the current recession, one that is overwhelmingly male.


Recession?: Only for Men; Women Gain in Tough Economy

Men are losing jobs at far greater rates than women as the industries they dominate, such as manufacturing, construction, and investment services, are hardest hit by the downturn. Some 1.1 million fewer men are working in the United States than there were a year ago, according to the Labor Department. By contrast, 12,000 more women are working.
This gender gap is the product of both the nature of the current recession and the long-term shift in the US economy from making goods, traditionally the province of men, to providing services, in which women play much larger roles, economists said. For example, men account for 70 percent of workers in manufacturing, which shed more than 500,000 jobs over the past year. Healthcare, in which nearly 80 percent of the workers are women, added more than 400,000 jobs.
“As the recession broadens, the gap between men and women is going to close somewhat,” said Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. “But right now, the sectors that are really getting pounded are intensely male.”
The divide is far starker than it was in last recession, when the technology crash battered professional and technical sectors in which women now hold more than 40 percent of jobs. From the beginning of 2001 to the beginning of 2002, the number of employed men declined by about 900,000, while the population of women with jobs fell by about 700,000. The male-dominated construction industry held up much better then, too, as falling interest rates began to fuel the housing boom. . . .
Construction firms, in which 90 percent of workers are men, have cut more than 500,000 jobs, or nearly 7 percent of employment, over the past year. Men account for more than 60 percent of employment in investment firms, which through October had cut 1 percent, or 9,000 jobs. . . .
Finding jobs to replace the high-paying, blue-collar work that traditionally sustained men like Boyle and their families is among the greatest challenges facing the US economy, said the Center for Labor Market Studies’ Sum. The erosion of these jobs has undermined both family income and family structure, he said. . . .
“We lost a lot of jobs that used to be an opportunity for these young guys,” Sum said. “But we haven’t figured out how to create good-paying, blue-collar jobs for men who don’t have a college degree.”

So, when are White males gonna get their affirmative action, since they’re clearly now the disadvantaged group in America? Don’t hold your breath.
Despite this single story in the Boston Globe, the rest of the liberal mainstream media is still singing the same old tune about how women and minorities are hardest hit in these economically depressed (or is that “recessed”?) times. Today’s Wall Street Journal has stories about how more women are selling their eggs for money in these tough times, and about how the Small Business Administration loan caps allegedly hurt women and minorities.
Get out the (pink) violin.
Maybe we should call ours the “Title IX” economy, because, after all, “equality” here means dumping on the men.

10 Responses

Classic joke, Deb:
Q: What’s the difference between recession and depression?
A: A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when *you* lose your job.

ObamaSlammaJamma on December 9, 2008 at 5:14 pm

[So, when are White males gonna get their affirmative action, since they’re clearly now the disadvantaged group in America? Don’t hold your breath.]
If White men hadn’t enslaved black people and killed 6 million Jews, we wouldn’t need these affirmative action programs in the first place.
[Get out the (pink) violin.]
They can’t, you keep playing it for White men. Stop making us look like victims. Do you want another war like WWII on your hands?

Norman Blitzer on December 9, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Unfortunately there is a bipartisan consensus supporting affirmative action — basically only a few lower-rung Republican politicians are against it. With all the state referenda about affirmative action, the Republican establishment in these states routinely supports affirmative action, as basically have all major Republican candidates in the last few decades.
Obviously this results in the promotion of mediocrity. As you have discussed before, who wants an affirmative action doctor? Who wants to drive over a bridge constructed by an affirmative action firm? Putting white males out of work on an affirmative action basis just further lowers American productive and intellectual capabilities.

c f on December 9, 2008 at 6:57 pm

I do think this an aberration. Once jobs come back it will be in construction and manufacturing. Yes jobs will come back temporarily in the next 4 years. Only because BUSH along with COBRAMA has approved of crazy infusion of 8 Trillion Dollars. I mean a blind, deaf and dumb mute could have jobs created by just printing and borrowing 8 Trillion Dollars. Hand the money out like candy and see how they spend. Now COBRAMA wants to tack on 1 or 2 more Trillion dollars. Hate to see inflation as it spirals out of control. No problem, that is why COBRAMA brought in the “choker” Paul Volcker. He will convince Fed to choke inflation by raising interest rates to sky high levels. Look how he did it in 1980-2 as Fed Chair. The family farm didn’t do so well with those interest rates.
You can write a book about all the reason why women are now taking over the workplace. I think in the long run it has more to do with Free Trade policies and open borders. It made manufacturing and construction workers more disposable. Thank You, Bill Clinton and George Bush and Free Traders.

californiascreaming on December 9, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Maybe the real reason why women are beating men in the workplace. Just saw this piece.
Todd Palin jealous over wife’s sex symbol status?

californiascreaming on December 9, 2008 at 10:43 pm

The No Nonsense Man has a great article about this topic. Great read with, great links. Also talks about the psyche of the male Obama voter.

californiascreaming on December 10, 2008 at 12:26 am

“psyche of the male Obama voter” I think we all understand that guy … we just don’t wanna be em. I honestly worry about my grandsons future … there is no doubt in my mind that they will become the minority.
Jimmy Lewis
SCS, Michigan

Jimmy on December 10, 2008 at 9:40 am

No one in the western world cares about men, especially white men. But they don’t care much about black men, either. Otherwise, they wouldn’t seem to not care that much that almost half of them are locked up in prison or jail. Not enough to try to figure out the real reason for this and try to do something about it. (I’m not advocating a soft on crime or more welfare stance here)
When you watch TV, if you pay attention, you will notice that anytime anyone is portrayed as being stupid, lazy, fat, unattractive, undesirable, foolish, evil, dishonest or any other negative trait, it is almost always a white man, usually a middle aged white man. The middle class and lower white man has the least political clout of any other group in the western world, and no one currently cares much about what happens to us.
If things really start to unravel, maybe they will start to care, though.

rtaylor174 on December 11, 2008 at 9:52 pm

I feel this problem will continue to increase for men, while women will begin to take over more white collar positions. The problem is a mixture of the myth of genetics in abilities and also the differential and very outdated treatment of Male and Female children, later adults over time that is leaving Males poorly trained for the information age and Females given much training from an early age.
Since society’s belief, Males should be strong allows much aggression toward Males from day one, Males are operating with much higher average stress that makes learning information age skills much more difficult. In addition, Males are not given positive mental, emotional, social, and academic support, knowledge and skills (unless by accident). Society in its ignorance considers such attention and support as coddling the Male child. Society still holds that Males should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. As a result Males are not given the tools to develop vital mental, emotional, social, and academic areas. This greatly cuts down on their motivation to develop those skills. The combined effect of society only rewarding strength and power to face aggression; neglect in many social and academic areas; not rewarding but acting with more aggression toward Males who attempt to develop mildness, kindness, goodness, and care for others are hurting many Males. Over a period of years, this is leaving many Males grossly unable to compete in the information age.
The increased aggression Males receive from day one, creates four bad things for Males academically, mentally, emotionally, and socially: 1. It creates higher average layers of mental frictions (redefined from higher average stress) which inhibit thinking, learning, and motivation in mental areas. 2. These higher layers of mental frictions also create improper pace and intensity in approaching mental work (apply too much effort when approaching new material) and higher tension that hurts motivation to learn. 3. The aggression Males receive and less positive (nurturing) attention also create the higher average stress, which then creates the nervous energy or over activity. 4. This extra aggression Males receive creates the Male ego or defensive cushion that the Male develops from an early age to protect them from the aggressions they receive from society. This Male ego or defensive cushion has the negative consequences of further alienating the Male from Ôø?anyÔø? various mental, emotional, social, and academic supports they Ôø?might justÔø? receive from society. When Males hear firm or hard words from others like teachers or others their minds are thinking defense and not thinking about learning and enjoying the learning process.
The combination of high layers of mental frictions and defensive cushion are working to create an impediment to learning that accumulates in harm over time for men.
For women, due to the nineteenth century belief women should be protected and still in effect today, this has created much overprotection for many women. It is creating very low layers of mental frictions collectively for women. This makes thinking, learning, and motivation in mental areas much easier. Since girls are not required to strong, this protection and continuous attention from day one also create a high speed expressway of continuous, mental, emotional, social and academic support and accumulated advancement in many areas over time (years). These two continual supports from society over time provide nearly everything a person needs today to succeed in the information age. Since women are given through overprotection, the benefits of love, honor, respect, and continual support, all of the benefits of self-worth from an early age without qualification (simply for being girls), they are working with much more continual support and interaction to accumulate more continual mental, emotional, social, and academic knowledge and skills that can be transformed easily into money, power, status, and image. Even after this, societyÔø?s protection, continued support and views of beauty and charm helps women in the information age.

mayfieldga on January 6, 2009 at 2:30 pm

I think decisions about layoffs are motivated by affirmative action you are grossly overstating that as a harm and missing the true effect of affirmative action on this problem. The real harm of affirmative action comes in the from access to education. Poor white males have almost no safety net when it comes to getting into college, there best bet is to join the military, otherwise they are on their own. Our economy is trending toward a greater dependence on service related jobs rather than construction and manufacturing jobs which are typically dominated by men. Women have fared better in the economy because they tend to take service related jobs. However, according to : 13% of African Americans and 20% of teens are also unemployed, these groups tend to dominate the lower end of the service job spectrum in jobs that require manual labor or food service. So while gender does play a big role,class and education are also signifiant factors. So lower class white males are effectively punished by the affirmative action system in the realm of education. Affirmative action should be class based.
I take issue with this whole “I don’t want an affirmative action dr/engineer, etc” it’s just white washed racism that people feel like they can get away with.

Actual on March 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm

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