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Power Woman, Meet the New Masculinity
In our last post, Meet The New “Power Woman," we discussed the emergence of the Power Woman as a positive archetype in popular culture and we also pointed to the changing roles of men vis-a-vis the Power Woman.
As we suggested then, the conversation around changing male roles is gaining steam in popular consciousness.
Slate's Hanna Rosin has been making the talk show rounds discussing her book, The End of Men: And the Rise of Women. Rosin posits that women are better suited to the challenges of power in this new era when influence, collaboration, nuance and so-called "soft skills" are more important to getting things done than the old school masculinity that defined the power players of previous generations. Whereas estrogen was once seen as making women unfit for powerful roles because it made them indecisive and soft, testosterone is now perceived as the hormone with negative implications, making men rash and prone to poor decision-making.
Despite the provocative title of her book, Rosin believes that men will adapt and develop these more feminine skills and traits in the future. In fact, a survey of pop culture reflects these adaptations are underway right now.
If Tina Fey ushered in an era of women embracing their power -- or at least struggling with the dual roles of power and femininity in all its awkward complexity -- through her role as executive producer of 30 Rock, then Jimmy Fallon is signaling the mainstreaming of the New Masculinity in his role as executive producer of the new NBC sitcom Guys with Kids. In the series, which premiered last week, stay-at-home dads fumble through life and parenting as they embody a new kind of masculine identity in which a man is as likely to be a nurturer as a breadwinner.
This week we'll see Scott Baio for the first time in a very long time, premiering his new sitcom See Dad Run, which features him as a stay-at-home dad after swapping roles with his wife, whose career is now taking a front seat. Both shows reflect a new reality: the number of men who have left the work force entirely to raise children has more than doubled in the past ten years, according to recent United States census data.
Another prominent fictional manifestation of the New Masculinity is Peeta from The Hunger Games, the kind, nurturing young baker who is the yin to Power Woman archetype Katniss's yang.
And it's not just men's relationships with women and children that are shifting. The New Masculinity is as much about redefining men's relationships with other men and with themselves. The New York Times recently reported on a group of four 40-year-old male friends who have lived together as housemates for over 18 years in an untraditional non-family unit. This communal living situation is an outgrowth of sociological and demographic shifts. According to the 2010 U.S. census, over 40% of Americans prefer not to live alone. And with men putting off marriage until later in life, situations that foster bonds not based on blood ties or marriage are becoming ever more prevalent. The popularity of Judd Apatow's buddy films and the emergence of the term "bromance" in recent years further reflects a growing focus on male friendships.
This new man, confident in his masculinity, is embracing his feminine qualities both inside and out. Women's Wear Daily says: "A new sophistication, driven by the explosion of online information on trends and brands, as well as a new savvy, powered by the reach and diversity offered by e-commerce, has created a wide swath of men embracing fashion with a fresh confidence. At the same time, economic issues have placed a premium on looking sharp in the workplace, while social and economic forces have given guys a new permission to take charge of their appearance." (WWD: The Confidence Man, 6/18/12)
Ten years ago, men who were interested in their looks were derided as "metrosexual." But today, manicures and facials are acceptable components of the male grooming regimen and the prevalence of drugstore brands like L'Oreal Men Expert and Dove Men reinforce the acceptability of men caring about their appearance.
As culture continues to reflect the new reality of men's lives -- stay-at home dads and dads who are more engaged with their children than those of previous generations; men who confidently spend time and money to look their best; or men who embrace their male friendships -- the warm, nurturing male figure will become a new norm.
And watch out, because when a New Masculinity dad partners up with a Power Woman mom, conversations about family leave and career on-ramping and off-ramping will begin shaping social and economic policies. At the same time, businesses will capitalize on the trend by introducing new innovations to serve families in ways not yet seen in the U.S. and beyond.
Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.
Richard Feynman once asked a silly question. Two MIT students just answered it.
Here's a fun experiment to try. Go to your pantry and see if you have a box of spaghetti. If you do, take out a noodle. Grab both ends of it and bend it until it breaks in half. How many pieces did it break into? If you got two large pieces and at least one small piece you're not alone.
But science loves a good challenge<p>The mystery remained unsolved until 2005, when French scientists <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/~audoly/" target="_blank">Basile Audoly</a> and <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/~neukirch/" target="_blank">Sebastien Neukirch </a>won an <a href="https://www.improbable.com/ig/" target="_blank">Ig Nobel Prize</a>, an award given to scientists for real work which is of a less serious nature than the discoveries that win Nobel prizes, for finally determining why this happens. <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/spaghetti/audoly_neukirch_fragmentation.pdf" target="_blank">Their paper describing the effect is wonderfully funny to read</a>, as it takes such a banal issue so seriously. </p><p>They demonstrated that when a rod is bent past a certain point, such as when spaghetti is snapped in half by bending it at the ends, a "snapback effect" is created. This causes energy to reverberate from the initial break to other parts of the rod, often leading to a second break elsewhere.</p><p>While this settled the issue of <em>why </em>spaghetti noodles break into three or more pieces, it didn't establish if they always had to break this way. The question of if the snapback could be regulated remained unsettled.</p>
Physicists, being themselves, immediately wanted to try and break pasta into two pieces using this info<p><a href="https://roheiss.wordpress.com/fun/" target="_blank">Ronald Heisser</a> and <a href="https://math.mit.edu/directory/profile.php?pid=1787" target="_blank">Vishal Patil</a>, two graduate students currently at Cornell and MIT respectively, read about Feynman's night of noodle snapping in class and were inspired to try and find what could be done to make sure the pasta always broke in two.</p><p><a href="http://news.mit.edu/2018/mit-mathematicians-solve-age-old-spaghetti-mystery-0813" target="_blank">By placing the noodles in a special machine</a> built for the task and recording the bending with a high-powered camera, the young scientists were able to observe in extreme detail exactly what each change in their snapping method did to the pasta. After breaking more than 500 noodles, they found the solution.</p>
The apparatus the MIT researchers built specifically for the task of snapping hundreds of spaghetti sticks.
(Courtesy of the researchers)
What possible application could this have?<p>The snapback effect is not limited to uncooked pasta noodles and can be applied to rods of all sorts. The discovery of how to cleanly break them in two could be applied to future engineering projects.</p><p>Likewise, knowing how things fragment and fail is always handy to know when you're trying to build things. Carbon Nanotubes, <a href="https://bigthink.com/ideafeed/carbon-nanotube-space-elevator" target="_self">super strong cylinders often hailed as the building material of the future</a>, are also rods which can be better understood thanks to this odd experiment.</p><p>Sometimes big discoveries can be inspired by silly questions. If it hadn't been for Richard Feynman bending noodles seventy years ago, we wouldn't know what we know now about how energy is dispersed through rods and how to control their fracturing. While not all silly questions will lead to such a significant discovery, they can all help us learn.</p>
Join Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and best-selling author Charles Duhigg as he interviews Victoria Montgomery Brown, co-founder and CEO of Big Think.
Women today are founding more businesses than ever. In 2018, they made up 40% of new entrepreneurs, yet in that same year, they received just 2.2% of all venture capital investment. The playing field is off-balance. So what can women do?
In a recent study, researchers examined how Christian nationalism is affecting the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A new study used survey data to examine the interplay between Christian nationalism and incautious behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The researchers defined Christian nationalism as "an ideology that idealizes and advocates a fusion of American civic life with a particular type of Christian identity and culture."
- The results showed that Christian nationalism was the leading predictor that Americans engaged in incautious behavior.
A pastor at the chapel of the St. Josef Hospital on April 1, 2020 in Bochum, German
Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images<p>Christian nationalists, in general, believe the U.S. and God's will are tied together, and they want the government to embody conservative Christian values and symbols. As such, they also believe the nation's fate depends on how closely it adheres to Christianity.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unsurprisingly then, in the midst of the COVID‐19 pandemic, conservative pastors prophesied God's protection over the nation, citing America's righteous support for President Trump and the prolife agenda," the researchers write.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Correspondingly, the link between Christian nationalism and God's influence on how COVID‐19 impacts America can be seen in proclamations about God's divine judgment for its immorality―with the logic being that God is using the pandemic to draw wayward America <em>back </em>to himself, which assumes the two belong together."</p><p>The logical conclusion to this kind of thinking: America can save itself not through cautionary measures, like mask-wearing, but through devotion to God. What's more, it stands to reason that Christian nationalists are less likely to trust the media and scientists, given that these sources are generally not concerned with promoting a conservative, religious view of the world.</p><p>(The researchers note that they're unaware of any research directly linking Christian nationalism to distrust of media sources, but that they're almost certain the two are connected.)</p>
Predicted values of Americans' frequency of incautious behaviors during the COVID‐19 pandemic across values of Christian nationalism
Perry et al.<p>In the new study, the researchers examined three waves of results from the Public and Discourse Ethics Survey. One wave of the survey was issued in May, and it asked respondents to rate how often they engaged in both incautious and precautionary behaviors.</p><p>Incautious behaviors included things like "ate inside a restaurant" and "went shopping for nonessential items," while precautionary behaviors included "washed my hands more often than typical" and "wore a mask in public."</p><p>To measure Christian nationalism, the researchers asked respondents to rate how strongly they agree with statements like "the federal government should advocate Christian values" and "the success of the United States is part of God's plan."</p><p>The results suggest that, compared to other groups, Christian nationalists are far less likely to wear masks, socially distance and take other precautionary measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Christian nationalism was the leading predictor that Americans engaged in incautious behavior during the pandemic, and the second leading predictor that Americans avoided taking precautionary measures."</p><p>But that's not to say that religious beliefs are causing Americans to reject mask-wearing or social distancing. In fact, when the study accounted for Christian nationalist beliefs, the results showed that Americans with high levels of religiosity were likely to take precautionary measures for COVID-19.</p>
Limitations<p>Still, the researchers note that they're theorizing about the connections between Christian nationalism and COVID-19 behaviors, not documenting them directly. What's more, they suggest that certain experiences — such as having a family member that contracts COVID-19 — might change a Christian nationalist's behaviors during the pandemic.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Limitations notwithstanding, the implications of this study are important for understanding Americans' curious inability to quickly implement informed and reasonable strategies to overcome the threat of COVID‐19, an inability that has likely cost thousands of lives," they write.</p>
Parental anxieties stem from the complex relationship between technology, child development, and the internet's trove of unseemly content.