This summer, I excoriated David Brooks for his column lamenting boys’ underperformance in school relative to their female peers. I was particularly unimpressed by his claim that little boys could reasonably conclude – based on playground safety rules and classroom behavioral requirements – that “the official school culture is for wimps and softies.”
But in his most recent column, Brooks tackles the same phenomenon in a much more sensible way, citing Hanna Rosen’s new book The End of Men and research to posit that maybe women are outperforming men because we’re more nimble and open to changes in our environment. He also hits the nail on the head when he mentions that women are more flexible precisely because we are marginalized:
When there’s big social change, the people who were on top of the old order are bound to cling to the old ways. The people who were on the bottom are bound to experience a burst of energy. They’re going to explore their new surroundings more enthusiastically.
Maybe Brooks has finally figured out that patriarchy hurts men too.