Panel 1:100 Years of the "End of Men": Historical Perspectives

Evaluating Claims about "the End of Men": Legal and Other Perspectives
Friday, October 12 & [...]Saturday, October 13, 2012
Boston University School of Law

Panel 1: One Hundred Years of the "End of Men": Historical Perspectives
Kristin Collins, Boston University School of Law (introductions)
Lynda Dodd, City College of New York, CUNY, Political Science
Martin Summers, Boston College, History Deptartment
Serena Mayeri, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Stephanie Coontz, The Evergreen State College, History & Family Studies

Panel 1 examined historical end-of-men concerns 1) within the women’s anti-suffrage movement, 2) during the reversal of Reconstruction gains, and 3) following the Moynihan Report. In the first case, women of Boston Brahmin families argued that empowered women would take men’s jobs. Elite women of the time did not want their political power as leaders of charitable groups to be watered down by lower class women’s votes. In the second case, Black men asserted masculinity in church governance to counteract their “feminization” by discrimination and racial violence. In the third case, Black feminists spurred victories in gender equality cases of the 1970s by questioning whether “a male breadwinner female homemaker model was the gold standard for family structure generally and for racial progress in particular.” End-of-men concerns may arise from economic pressure on traditional gender roles, but the solution is not women as “one half of the 1%”—an egalitarian elite.

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: workplace, law, gender equality

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