When the topic of relationships comes up, some people ask: “Are men obsolete in the 21st century?” At least that’s what I began thinking after I read a recent commentary in TIME magazine. Damn. I thought, as a man, I thought I had a few more good years left at the top of the food chain. I don’t feel obsolete. But apparently, I was (in typical male fashion) completely wrong.
How do we know that men are obsolete—in relationships or in any other way? Well, according to TIME, 57% of all bachelor’s degrees were earned by women in 2013. Women also received 60% of all master’s degrees and 52% of all doctorate degrees. I don’t know about how men are doing in the world of relationships, but women are kicking butt in the world of higher educational.
But does that prove that men are obsolete? Of course not. At the very worst, those statistics indicate that we men are somewhere between 52% and 60% obsolete. By this one measurement, we’re slightly over half obsolete.
TIME magazine further tells us that women’s participation in the labor force increased 6.2% from 1980 to 2012, while men’s participation in the labor force decreased 7.2% over the same period. Well, that one is easy to explain without saying that men are obsolete. From 1980 to 2012 video games got WAY cooler, and they now require men to sit on the couch for longer periods of time than they used to. This is especially true when you remember that decades ago the only video game was Pong, and now you can be immersed in a game world full of epic battles and fantasies come to life. If you’re going to sit on your butt playing awesome video games, you can’t spend as much time doing boring things like working.
But are men becoming obsolete in relationships? Well, you know who started all of this talk about men being obsolete, don’t you? Over-educated working feminist women, that’s who. They got their college degrees and their impressive jobs. Then they got their own apartments and their multiple cats, and then these educated fully employed feminist women started hanging out with each other at Starbucks over the weekend. Pretty soon their conversations about “why aren’t there any good single men out there?” turned into “who needs a relationship with a man—we don’t need men because men are obsolete.”
But surely there’s another way to look at this.
For another opinion on this topic, I asked my wife (a fully employed, educated woman) if men have become obsolete. According to my lovely wife, men are NOT obsolete. “You’re not obsolete. Who else is going to feed the cat, take the trash out, clean out the gutters, pick up the dog poop in the yard, go to the post office to pick up the package that the stupid mailman wouldn’t leave at the door, or make made passionate love to me when I’m horny at 5 a.m.?,” she asked.
Who indeed? Me. A man.
It seems that we men aren’t completely obsolete after all. In fact, millions of relationships depend upon men. As long as there are cats to feed, errands to run, dog poop to be scooped, and no batteries for the vibrator, we men still have a purpose in relationships, and in society.
So cheer up, men! And if you’re headed into the bathroom, take this plunger with you and see if you can unstop the toilet.
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Chad Stone is the author of the critically acclaimed The Love Magnet Rules," which contains 101 tips for meeting, dating and keeping a new love. He shares his own personal brand of dating and relationship advice on his website at www.chadstone.us. In addition to writing and speaking on love, dating, and relationships, Chad Stone owns a successful marketing and public relations business. He lives with his wife in Santa Fe, New Mexico.