By Rosin, Hanna; Moran, Caitlin; Paglia, Camille; Dowd, Maureen; Griffiths, Rudyard
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Extra info for Are men obsolete? : Rosin and Dowd vs. Moran and Paglia : the Munk debate on gender
The shops sell lumberjack shirts, flasks, and Playboys. CAITLIN MORAN: Thank you for telling us about these stores because Christmas is coming up and I do need to buy gifts. Where are these places located exactly? HANNA ROSIN: Playboys from 1962, yours for the asking. RUDYARD GRIFFITHS: Perfect segue. Let’s go to our first video commentator clip. Let’s internationalize this debate a bit. We’ve been talking about North America, but there’s an entire world out there. We caught up with Naomi Wolf, third-wave feminist and author of the bestselling book The Beauty Myth, among others.
The job of combatting Maureen Dowd’s wooing of the audience through humour and style fell to Caitlin Moran. No slouch herself when it comes to pithy one-liners, Caitlin contended that men would never be obsolete because women would not let them slouch off into the dustbin of history. She believes men and women are moving forward to create gender identities that are not only more fluid, but also more co-operative than in the past. Women can and will have equality with men, and both sexes will benefit from a rebalancing of the power relationship as the stereotypes about what is “male” and what is “female” behaviour fall by the wayside, creating more individual choice for everyone: “Do women gain anything from men becoming obsolete?
Do you think the very structure of modern professional life is often antithetical to a lot of the things that women want to do and how they want to live? HANNA ROSIN: We’re actually the worst: we don’t have any maternity leave that is paid at all, and we’re maybe one of three countries that doesn’t, which is actually very pathetic. The American workplace doesn’t recognize the person as a whole human being who might have other needs. But if I had my druthers, I wouldn’t choose the Swedish system, which allows mothers to have a year of maternity leave, because that puts all sorts of pressures on women to behave in a certain way.