Preparing for the woman as head of household

"I need your advice," my neighbor Babble said to me.

Here I am as always, your own personal Dr. Phil, I replied. What's up?

"I'm trying to remember those old commercials: What took the waxy yellow buildup off your floor? Also, what prevented ring around the collar in your laundry?"

What do you want to know that for?

"To improve my housekeeping skills, so I'll be ready for the big switch. You know, like it says in that book."

What book?

"The book about how women are going to be running things from now on, instead of men."

Ah, you must mean "The End of Men," by Hanna Rosin, the book that's being talked about by all the people who talk about such things. It says that while men have been the leaders and money-earners and decision-makers for thousands of years, that's coming to an end. Women in America and other places are now getting most of the college degrees and most of the good new jobs, and are steadily taking more positions of leadership, and she's got the statistics to back it up.

"That's it. Men were top dogs for so long because they were stronger. But in this push-button age, muscles don't count for much. Boy, all the money I wasted on that gym membership."

How do you feel about that, Babble?

"I look on the bright side. If women will be calling the shots from now on, let 'em. It'll be a load off us men. Say, do you have any good recipes for leftover chicken?"

It's good that you have such a positive attitude. According to the book, a lot of men have trouble dealing with losing their traditional roles. While women can adapt to new roles, men feel like failures if they're no longer the top breadwinner.

"I've never understood that word, 'breadwinner.' What's that supposed to mean? Sounds like you bought a raffle ticket to win a year's supply of Wonder Bread."

You know what I mean. Their image of the ideal man is John Wayne. The man who said, "A man's got to do what a man's got to do."

"And what was it that a man's got to do?"

Well it's … what he's got to do, you know. Fight the wars, for one thing.

"Don't we have women doing that now? Besides, looks like in the future we'll be fighting our wars with drones and gadgets like that. "

John Wayne always thought it was his manly duty to protect the womenfolk.

"I think more women now rely on the can of pepper spray in their purses. Heck, they might even have a Glock in there."

Well, this won't happen overnight. Most of the political leaders and corporate CEOs are still men.





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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