Lunch Address (Evaluating Claims about "the End of Men" Conference)

Lunch Address
Joan C. Williams, University of California-Hastings College of Law

Professor Joan [...]C. Williams of the University of California-Hastings College of Law later shifted the focus from gender to class by quoting Rosin—“What dried up was a path to the middle class and all the familiar landmarks that went with it.” Williams said that the Great Recession “eviscerated” the middle class who already struggled to pay their bills on a single middle class salary. Rosin’s book “documents the absolute humiliation” of today’s working class men because one in five cannot find work. Meanwhile, only 15% of partners at law firms are women, and their annual salaries average $237,000 less than men in the same positions. Elite professional men appear to be breadwinning as usual.

About the Conference:
Friday, October 12 & Saturday, October 13, 2012
Boston University School of Law

"The end of men," a phrase coined by journalist HannaRosin, 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 their implications.

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 empirical assertions about men's and women's comparative status in concrete domains, such as education, the workplace and the family. It 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 offered comparative and international perspectives on the "end of men" thesis, testing it in a variety of contexts in Europe and the Middle East. Papers and proceedings will be published in the Boston University Law Review.


Tags: law, gender equality, discrimination

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