First Steamboat Seminars presentation tackles shifting gender roles

Liz Forster

The Steamboat Seminar series kicks off at 5 p.m. Monday at Strings Music Pavilion, challenging gender norms with Hanna Rosin’s presentation “The Shifting Dynamics Between Men and Women” about her book, “The End of Men and the Rise of Women.”

Rosin, who is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and the founder of Slate’s women’s website, DoubleX, wrote the book after piecing together bits of news that led to the trend that founded her thesis: Women are taking over the economy and workplace in a once male-dominated era.

“I was getting piece-meal bits of news that were adding up to something different than we had ever seen before,” Rosin said. “In certain parts of the country, in certain social classes, the dynamics between men and women have changed so radically.”

Rosin’s presentation will serve as a reevaluation of her thesis and the book’s statistics and predictions now that the book has been on shelves for almost three years.

“This is a good opportunity for me to update the book and share those updates with others,” said Rosin who received the Washington Post’s Most Notable Nonfiction Book of 2012. “It’s a bit of a reflection on where the book is in pop culture.”

Rosin began her investigation into this trend by writing an article for The Atlantic called “The End of Men.” In it, she revealed why women are excelling in this particular economy, the growing statistics of women’s success during and after college and how the relationship between men and women is changing.

“I think this whole issue Hanna tackles of what’s happening to relationships between men and women is really important for how our society evolves,” said Belle Sawhill, one of the board of directors for Steamboat Seminars who recommended to the board that Rosin speak. “It’s a time of transition in which women are certainly are not equal to men but are gaining ground on them rapidly.”

Her book delves deeper into these issues, following particular people in places with an outstanding statistical anomaly regarding women in the economy. For example, one of the chapters looks at Alabama, where the income disparity between men and women is larger than most other places across the country.

“I was trying to get a sense of not just the theoretical shift, but how it is actually impacting intimate relationships, children, education and all kinds of things that we actually care about,” Rosin said.

To her surprise, men in the working and commuter class, which she described as the largest gender reversal, praised the book for its accuracy. Rosin attributed this reaction to the opening of a space for men to talk about these issues.

“Women have a lot of spaces to talk about this sort of stuff,” said Rosin. “Men don’t have those spaces, so they’re talking about it. I’ve even gotten letters from men describing the situation they’re in that mirrors what I talk about in the book.”

For more information on Rosin’s presentation and other Steamboat Seminars, visit the Steamboat Seminars website.

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