Evaluating Claims About the “End of Men”: Legal and Other Perspectives

“The end of men,” a phrase coined by journalist Hanna Rosin, captures the proposition that women have made such remarkable progress in all domains—and men have suffered such declines and reversals—that women are effectively surpassing men and becoming the dominant sex. This interdisciplinary conference evaluated claims about “the end of men” and consider implications for law and policy. It examined empirical assertions about men’s and women’s comparative status in concrete domains, such as education, the workplace, and the family. Feminist diagnoses of sex discrimination have fueled changes in law and policy, as well as in cultural norms. Should recent claims about the status of men likewise prompt redress? The conference examined how the data supporting claims about the end of men— and progress of women—look once differentiated by class, race, region and other categories. It provided historical perspectives on current anxieties about imbalances between men’s and women’s power, opportunities and status. The conference also put “end of men” claims in comparative and international perspective, asking whether they are distinctive to the United States.

The live conference took place on Friday, October 12 & Saturday, October 13, 2012.  Detailed information on the content of the live conference is available here.

Papers and proceedings were published in the Boston University Law Review in the May 2013 issue.

Keynote Address

  • Hanna Rosin
  • Commentators on Address
    • Ralph Richard Banks - Stanford Law School
    • Michael Kimmel – SUNY at Stony Brook, Dept. of Sociology

    Panel 1: One Hundred Years of “The End of Men”: Historical Perspectives

    • Kristin Collins – Boston University School of Law
    • Stephanie Coontz – The Evergreen State College, History and Family Studies
    • Lynda Dodd – City College of NY, CUNY, Political Science
    • Serena Mayeri – University of Pennsylvania Law School
    • Martin Summers – Boston College, History Department

    Luncheon Speaker

    • Joan Williams – University of California- Hastings College of the Law

    Panel 2: Employment

    • Michael Harper - Boston University School of Law
    • Kingsley R. Browne – Wayne State University Law School
    • Ann C. McGinley – University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law)
    • William M. Rodgers III – Rutgers University, Heldrich Center for Workforce Development

    Panel 3: Family

    • Linda C. McClain - Boston University School of Law
    • Ralph Richard Banks – Stanford Law School
    • Naomi Cahn – George Washington University School of Law
    • June Carbone - University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
    • Kathryn Edin – Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
    • Daniel L. Hatcher – University of Baltimore School of Law

    Panel 4: Education

    • Katharine Silbaugh - Boston University School of Law
    • Dr. Anthony Rao – Behavioral Solutions
    • Caryl Rivers - Boston University, College of Communication
    • Rosemary Salomone – St. John’s University School of Law

    Panel 5: Comparative and International Perspectives on the “End of Men”

    • Pnina Lahav - Boston University School of Law
    • Mary Anne Case – University of Chicago Law School
    • Shahla Haeri – Boston University, Dept. of Anthropology
    • Fionnuala Ni Aolain – University of Minnesota Law School
    • Julie C. Suk – Yeshiva University, Cardozo School of Law

    Panel 6: Could These Both Be True? Reconciling the “End of Men”  with Women’s Continuing Inequality

    • Khiara M. Bridges - Boston University School of Law
    • Philip N. Cohen - University of Maryland, Dept. of Sociology
    • Frank Rudy Cooper – Suffolk University School of Law
    • Nancy Dowd – University of Florida Levin College of Law