Are men finished?

NPR’s Intelligence Squared series recently considered this question: Are men finished?

Are women in the process of replacing men in a male-dominated society? Or are women catching up to men?

“In 2010, women became the majority of the workforce. As recently as the 1980, the working woman was such a novelty that she became the subject of several sitcoms. Last year, women became 54% of all American managers. One in five men are out of work; that’s the highest percentage that’s ever existed.” Hanna Rosin, a journalist for Slate and The Atlantic, said.

“It’s not that women are smarter,” she said. “Women have something — some sociologists call it grit — it’s some special formula that’s required for success these days and women have it in abundance.”

“It’s true that minimally educated men are in serious trouble,” countered Christina Hoff Sommers, a former philosophy professor. “Instead of declaring men finished because of their educational deficits, we should be looking for ways to make classrooms more friendly to boys and men. We are living in an era you could call W.A.W. — women are wonderful. It used to be fashionable to celebrate men superiority over women. Today a new kind of reverse chauvinism is in ascendancy – female chauvinism.

“If women do something better than men, that’s evidence of their superiority. If men outperform women, that’s proof of discrimination and the continuing male culture,” she said.

The audience didn’t buy it. Before the debate, 20 percent of those in the audience in New York agreed with “men are finished,” 54 percent against, with 26 percent undecided. After the debate, 66 percent supported the motion and 29 percent opposed it and said men are toast.

Here’s the full debate.

Here’s a transcript.