Industrialization’s doubla standard
Industrialization pulled men away from the farm and family and into the factory, alienating millions of men from their source of love. Industrialization allowed women to be connected with the family and, as we discussed above, increasingly surrounded with fewer children and more conveniences to handle those children, more control over whether or not to have children, less likelihood of dying in childbirth, and less likelihood of dying from almost all diseases. It was this combination that led to women living almost SO percent longer in 1990 than in 1920.15 What we have come to call male power, then, actually produced female power. It literally gave women life. It was an almost all-female club that took the first bus from the industrial revolution to the fulfillment revolution.
Men s new role – performing away from home – is enough to lead either sex to drugs, suicide, and accidents. The result is reflected in the. song title ‘Only the Good Die Young." What two things do those who died young have in common? Think of Jim Morrison, Jim Croce, Jimi Hendrix, John Belushi, Janis Joplin, Buddy Holly, Charlie ftirker, PaLsy Cline, Elvis Presley. Martin Luther King, and the Kennedys They were all good performers, and they all spent most of their lives away from home – disconnected from their center, from their source of love. And in one way or another, it killed them.
Industrialization made performing away from home the male role. The fact that members of both sexes who performed away from home were vulnerable gives us a clue as to the impact of role over biology.
Don’t women today perform away from home? Yes, but when the first child comes, tuo thirds of working women do not return to the workforce for at least a year.14 Husbands suddenly support three people rather than one. Overall, women are forty-three times more likely than men to leave the workforce for six months or longer for family reasons.1S It is the options that allow a woman to tailor her role to her personality, whereas the male mandate – to work full time – does not allow him flexibility to suit his personality. If he expects to provide well, he expects to wear a suit, not to wear what suits him.
Why has the gap between women’s and men’s life span been reduced slightly (from eight to seven years) between 1975 and 1990? In part because men’s health habits are becoming more constructive, women’s more destructive. Thus women are dying more from what the Chinese call "the disease of affluence" – breast cancer. But women are also working more away from home and suffering the stress-related diseases that go with the territory.
On the other hand, why has the gap not decreased even more? Because the husband of even the fulltime working woman still works nine hours more per week outside the home and commutes yet another two hours more per week.16 Her equal work burden still provides more balance between work and home. If her husband is reasonably successful, she can tailor this balance not only to her personality but also to her stage in life. Her greater options, greater balance, and greater connection to the family still keep her alive seven years longer.
Industrialization, then, has broadened women’s options and deepened men’s mold. Her juggling act allows her connection to everything; his intensifying act creates disconnection from love. Both are better off than they were, but her connection creates life, his disconnection creates death.
Making a killing on Will Street thus became the updated version of the killer-protector he still gets killed, she still gets protected. Or, more accurately, he protects both of them better, but protects her much better than he protects himself.