Hanna Rosin: “Men are the new ball and chain”

December 7, 2010 at 4:37 pm 4 comments

Hanna Rosin knows how to court controversy.  She is most (in)famous for her article in the Atlantic Monthly entitled “The End of Men.”  In her TED Talk, she pointed out that women are getting college degrees and Ph.D.s at a faster rate than men, that across America young women are outearning young men, and that the female college students in she interviewed in Kansas envisioned their own future roles as breadwinners with stay-at-home husbands (the source of the “ball-and-chain” comment).  In a nutshell, she says, “the global economy is shifting to make women more successful.”  And, she notes, changes this profound “don’t happen without pain.”

Hanna challenged the crowd to envision not a “glass ceiling” to be shattered but a “high bridge” – scary, but a place where we can all go together.  Men and women.  Doesn’t seem so controversial after all.

More on Hanna Rosin: http://www.doublex.com/users/hanna-rosin

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. reneeeblack  |  December 8, 2010 at 3:50 am

    I thought Hanna’s commentary was a poor choice for setting the tone of the conference, and I personally wouldn’t have included her at all. She ignores all kinds of crucial facts (highlighted later very clearly by Sheryl Sanderberg) that women remain a minority in decision-making positions in government and the private sector (not to mention international organizations such as the UN and peace negotiations), that women tend to self-select out of opportunities that men would take, that they often undervalue their contributions, and that the same comment made by a man is more respected than if it were made by a woman.

    Hanna’s presentation wasn’t quite offensive, but it was incomplete and probably counter-productive. I don’t know how we are move forward together if the conversation remains so “us” and “them” or “other” as was used by another presenter. It is not just about men or just about women, it is about the shifting dynamics between the sexes, embracing and changing our notions of value of the different contributions, and seeing the different solutions that come about when diversity is at the table.

    • 2. Impower You  |  March 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      I agree. Nobody is going to be happy if it is always us against them. It doesn’t make it better for women to be in control of men just because we have been oppressed. There certainly is a balance we can find.

  • 3. Owen Marcus  |  December 20, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Hanna Rosen speaks articulately about what we all are feeling – the shift in our roles as men and women. As she points out, this shift originates not in the personal or political. It is economic.

    The ‘white men’ culture is what is dying a slow death. As a man I am happy to see it die. As a man who runs men’s groups I see the effect of this shift on men and their families. It is tough. As men we have had more privilege than we realized or deserved. Some of us used it for our own gains, many of us did the best we could to provide and protect for our families. We are not able to do that in the same way we have in the past.

    The deserved celebration of this old model death is countered with the grief and fear from men for what is next. I agree it is not a he or she, but an us. The stress comes from that we all are redefining the new us and we don’t have it down it.

  • […] I first met Hanna Rosin, she had just finished telling the TEDWomen audience that “Men are the new ball and chain.”  My post about that talk (and her famous article in the Atlantic Monthly entitled “The […]


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