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THE LEN LESSER REPORT  

THE LEN LESSER REPORT

 

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THE END OF MEN

For the past 100 years, the persona of what defines a man has been largely unchanged. What defines a man has been unchanged. They are supposed to be resilient, brave and loyal. He has traditionally been the provider and protector of his family.

Most men have had a certainty that they could fulfill these roles. They could be confident about who and what they were supposed to be. With the economic crisis in the world that began in 2008 and continues to-day the role of men has certainly changed. Between December 2007 and March of 2010 the United States lost 8.2 million jobs, 80% of these jobs belonged to men. In 2008 the share of men in the United States with a full time position fell to 69% which was the lowest point ever.

We do not have to go far afield to see that the cities of St Thomas, London has seen their unemployment rates for men who worked in the manufacturing industry disappear in scary numbers. Ford Talbotville, Electro-Motive Diesel, Nortel have left South Western Ontario.

Those men who were most fortunate to be married to an employed spouse had to rely on her to try and make up the slack in his lost wages to try and support the family.

Dadís position as the man of the house has been replaced with domestic chores that he has not been taught/ expected to fulfil. Home Economic courses in high school have the vast majority of female students with few to no males taking the courses. Cooking/ cleaning and child care has never been acceptable choices for male students.

Used to be that young men could leave high school without a diploma to find work in factory jobs that didnít require a high school education. The vast majority of students who quit school are males. For many of them school and academics are not their thing. No one waves good bye when they quit school.

Most of the line work is/was boring/repetitious physical shift work where you did your time and were well paid well with lots of overtime work. To help pay for my university education I worked on Direct Feed at Labattís Brewery in London. You threw 1,500 cases of cases of empty bottles of beer on the line every hour to be cleaned and refilled. To-day the manual work has been replaced by mechanical feeders and the jobs have disappeared.

Females are more inclined to graduate from high school and attend College/University. Check out the numbers and the majority of post secondary students are female.

Medical/Dental schools used to be mostly male but now have a majority are females. Teacherís College students including elementary and secondary are mostly female.

Manufacturing has moved from Canada to South East Asia. To-day, September 9th, 2012 Prime Minister Harper signed a trade agreement with China. He reminded the Chinese minister of trade of the huge imbalance of trade; forty-eight billion dollars of Canadian imports from China vs Canadaís twelve billion of exports to China. Hard to compete with factory workers in China, Vietnam, Thailand and Vietnam who earn a fraction of Canadian labour minimum wage rates. Economists believe that most of manufacturing jobs are gone for good.

Males are not intellectually inferior to females and can compete if they change their ways. To be successful we will have to encourage our boys to be hard working with a sense of purpose and lots of willpower and then they can do well.

To be able to change the role of men our parents/teachers have to be able to be able to encourage male children to read and see the school curriculum as a necessary component to their future success.

Take a moment to check out the local arena in your area to see the amount of time and funds that are wasted by the parents on the pursuit of a hockey career by our teenage males. In my column on hockey that I wrote for the London Free Press I found that less then one-quarter of one per-cent of Junior Hockey players in Canada went on to play professional hockey. The players are like unto indentured servants who can be traded/cut by the team coaches. Hard to get a good education when you are on the road trip to Sudbury.

We need to change the proportion of male teachers in front of the classroom to act as positive role models that our youngsters can emulate. To-day the vast majority of teachers in the elementary/secondary panel are made up of women. Too often the only male employee from the Board of Education that works in the school are custodians. Many young men have told me that they had but one male teacher in elementary school.

The curriculum has to change to reflect the diverse needs of all students. Most young men do not read for fun. They have been turned off by Shakespeareís King Lear. Change the book choices to J. K. Rawling, the Harry Potter series of books and we can have our young men enjoy reading again.

Sadly, we have lost a decade of young men who have been cast-a-drift. It is time for change if we are going to stop the end of men in Canadian society.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com