We are concerned about the modern Canadian male. A few play hockey and some even ski, bike or run.
The keen ones hang out in the gym and are part of that weightlifting “thing.” But mostly they sit, alone, and get big (and soft).
Women, on the other hand, are much more active and social. They do yoga, they do the Zumba, they do weights and much more, most often in groups. They are motivated and energized. Importantly, they do those things by design, because they make a point to be aware of what is good for them, and to do something about it – much more, it seems, than men. Men either can’t be bothered, or worse, do not know how.
This is not true of all women or men, of course, but, looking at the grand scale, it seems to generally be the case.
Women also exercise their minds to a greater extent – again to a purpose. This happens in social settings. They appear to want to be sharp and appreciate life more, so they grow. They love their books and gather in groups to discuss them (and enjoy one another). They strive to be discerning, sharing insight and critical thinking over tea and treats at monthly gatherings. Meetings of female minds happen on bridge night, over craft and gardening pursuits, or in daycares and other child-rearing sessions. They pool ideas, share expertise, help one another and nurture. It is their way. Again, we are generalizing, speaking of large scale trends that seem to be the case.
Young men, on the other hand, are often masters of computer games, glued to the screen with intensity, hunched, grasping the controller, backs bowed, innards scrunched – the epitome of mental and physical unhealthiness. A few may glean from this the foundational skills to fly high tech fighter jets, but not that many. What of the investment of all that time and mental energy by the rest? After years of mindless and purposeless exercises in wonton, evil, electronic mayhem and destruction, they take time out for child-rearing, dutifully helping their newfound life-mates, who provide them with food, clean clothes and all-important security. They then graduate to the TV remote and toil away with that magical tool in middle age, like a master tradesman, happily shaping the sofa to permanently mimic their languishing body shape – and accomplish little else, outside of “work.”
We are not suggesting women are plotting en masse, secretly, subtly, repositioning themselves as they patiently await the day the male-dominated world, which has lasted centuries, is finally toppled. That may indeed happen (and the world would undoubtedly be a better place). However that works out, if those trends continue, men will be more than secondary – they will be a problem. Unhealthy, unhappy and short-lived, males will be a costly, cumbersome burden to the system.
Women have only started to gain status as equals to males in the last 60 years, a process that is still ongoing. In fact, in some parts of the developing world, that process has still not even commenced. This modern phenomenon of the emancipation of human females directly correlates with economic advances – the industrial revolution, mass production and office work, in particular.
The digital revolution that we are now immersed in will further that process. More and more work is being done using keyboards rather than manual labour. For example, three dimensional printers are now being applied to create parts used in the manufacture of guns. The digital age is truly upon us.
Many companies allow employees the flexibility to work out of their homes. Some people thrive in that arrangement and it has become the new “normal.”
The advent of cloud computing – yet another paradigm shift impacting us as the digital world permeates all that we do – will dramatically alter how offices function. As the concept of office evolves, employees will gain more and more freedom to put in hours where and when it suits them. Combine that with new functionality like software that digitally translates voice into commands and data (is the keyboard on the verge of being replaced?), and a person’s ability to multitask increases dramatically.
The last great barrier to many women’s full functionality and participation in the workplace – the need and desire to be at home while having babies and during childrearing – is being removed as the digital world evolves around us. Work will be able to be tailored to happen simultaneously with motherhood, in the home, at convenience.
The emancipation of women may have a way to go, but their evolution to a new, more potent economic role has only just begun.
The whole man versus woman, Mars-Venus thing is bandied in jest with the two on separate but relatively equal footing. In the future, that will likely change. It is not hard to predict by the way things are going that by the 22nd century, the human male will have lost its dominant position. Perhaps it is time those “superior” males got off their behinds, learned from the “opposition” and got things going, before they get left in the dust.