As you probably know, The Atlantic’s Hanna Rosin is out with a new book, called “The End of Men: And the Rise of Women.”
Rosin and I recently chatted about the book, and we, of course, discussed all the usual topics (including how a “war on women” can be plausible when they are clearly winning the future).
But toward the end of our conversation, talk turned to sex.Never have I been more grateful to learn that this was merely a journalistic convention. But not for long! Rosin tells Lewis about this unemployed guy with a well-employed wife who got into rough sex with the missus because "he needed to work out some of his lost dominance... he used to feel entitled to certain things at home because he was the breadwinner. And the truth was, [now] he wasn’t."
Lewis turns thoughtful, or at least looks offscreen, dreamy-eyed, as the shot turns hazy:
Could it be that two recent and successful literary trends — the amazingly popular S&M-themed “50 Shades” series — and the plethora of new books on the rise of women (see my recent interview with “Manning Up” author Kay Hymowitz) — are the product of a similar development?Whatever gratitude I had for the earlier sex joke was totally dispelled by the conflation of kinky sex and Kay Hymowitz.
I swear to God he ends with this:
Could synergy be at work here? Just as History’s “American Pickers” arguably helps create more of A&E’s “Hoarders” (there is a fine line between a “collector” and a hoarder!), isn’t it possible the same phenomenon that Rosin and Hymowitz are chronicling might also be feeding sales of the “50 Shades of Grey” series?This reminds me of a scene from the magnificent D.A. Pennebaker doc Town Bloody Hall chronicling Norman Mailer's disastrous feminism debate in that New York venue in 1971. At one point Anatole Broyard hectors Germaine Greer, asking what women want. "Listen," says Greer, "you may as well relax because whatever they're asking for, honey, it isn't you."