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Margaret Wente is always writing this kind of stuff, particularly her "end of civilization" slant.
In Canada, we regard this as just another example of how Toronto thinks that Ontario is the centre of the universe -- they lose a few thousand auto manufacturing jobs and its not just a tragedy for the families involved, all of a sudden we're all doomed, I tell you, doomed!
They could move west -- we have plenty of jobs here, still, and a lot of them are "man's work" too -- but mentioning that would undermine her column so she doesn't.

M. Bouffant

The Taliban & the socio-cultural right have the same view of men: We're not much more than a pile of raging testosterone, & therefore it's a woman's fault if she's raped, & also if she doesn't use her feminine wiles or whatever to keep us in check.


Wente and Matthew Crawford ought to have drinks together. He's got an article in today's NYT Magazine making the case for working in the trades (plumbing, mechanics, etc.). Lance could referee.

Erin Scott

Margaret Wente is generally a silly writer. She's the token right leaning writer for the left leaning Globe and Mail. She (very) occasionally gets it right but usually misses the mark by a wide margin. The polite thing to do is to nod, smile, and ignore her opinions.


Men may have worked a lot longer as shopkeepers than as factory workers, but until last century the great majority were farm laborers. These cultural attitudes and stereotypes are much older than assembly lines. Think of the original, literal meaning of 'redneck.'


Florida's post is good, but what's with the Atlantic's unwillingness to use names? This is the second time in about a week I've seen its bloggers refer to others as "a blogger" rather than "X over at his/her place Y."


"It may be that Wente has the problem backwards. It's not that men aren't capable of working in the service economy. It may be that bosses and customers have gotten used to thinking of the people who provide the service as servants."

Exactly. There's nothing inherently degrading or de-humanizing about service work. It's the corporatization of nearly everything and the "greed-is-good/inequality is natural" mindset that wants to turn workers into subservient smiley-face robots. It isn't really about gender at all except that, as noted, women have stereotypically been expected to be more deferential in general.


Does this not strike you as the textbook example of "begging the question," Lance?

"It must be true because we observe its truth all around us."

Kathleen Maher

I know some people think some emotions are feminine and others masculine. Bravery and innocence; long suffering and short...
In the old fashioned list of seven deadly vices and their redeeming virtues,
patience is the answer to wrath. Patience keeps the mind safe from despair. It prevents one person from murdering another. Patience stops war in its tracks. It leads to pure loving-kindness. That's how age-old Christian theologians presented it.
And for once, I can imagine real merit in their presentation. So I do what I can to cultivate patience, even though I remain among the most impatient people I know. If I don't like what's happening, I can not imagine anything will ever change. I am absurdly impatient.
But somehow not especially angry. Frustrated and unhappy, yes. Frothing with hatred and craving destruction, no, never; no matter how impatient I feel.
So does anyone think the logic might hold up if I were an impatient man instead of an impatient woman?

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