If any course syllabus promises to include "critical thinking," that means criticizing men and the patriarchy.
81% of jobs lost were held by men
In This Recession, Men Drop Out
But social costs or not, men are now doing the same thing. "What's striking about this recession is that the number of men who drop out of the labor force is about the same as for women. That's just not normal," says Boushey, who has written extensively on family and labor issues.
To be sure, the accelerating male drop-out rate may be due to men believing there is no work left in certain fields, rather than a burning desire to change diapers. Still, these numbers will likely have all kinds of ramifications over the long term, from transforming who does what in the family to remaking federal labor law. For now I'll just note that the recession seems to be kicking our seismic long-term shift in gender roles into high gear.
Women step up as men lose jobs
Some observers say the recession could benefit women's march toward social equality.
"How interesting that four months of a terrible economy could in a way prove to have more impact than four decades of feminism," says Amy Keroes, founder of mommytrackd.com, a networking site for working mothers.