Mad househusbands
By: Joshua Glenn | Categories: Popular, Read-outs

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women will likely overtake men in the American workforce some time this month or next. In August, women held 49.9 percent of the nation’s 132 million nonfarm jobs. Why? Because 80 percent of the 5.1 million people who have lost their jobs in this recession are men; and women are gaining the vast majority of jobs in the few sectors of the economy that are growing.

Doesn’t having, then raising children keep many women out of the workforce? Not so much. A chart posted yesterday to the NY Times’ Economix blog notes that women across the board have entered the labor market in higher numbers over the last three decades, but the biggest increases have been among mothers with young children:

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What does this mean for men, you ask? John Broome, author of “It’s a Woman’s World,” a science fiction story that appeared in the DC comic book Mystery in Space (#8), asked the same thing way back in July 1952. As the panels shown here demonstrate, Broome predicted that women would one day cruelly discriminate against men — force them to work in the home, while women ran businesses and fought wars.

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That actually sounds pretty good, to me. Broome, apparently, wasn’t so sanguine about the prospect of being a househusband. Check out his story’s happy ending:

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READ MORE essays by Joshua Glenn, originally published in: THE BAFFLER | BOSTON GLOBE IDEAS | BRAINIAC | CABINET | FEED | HERMENAUT | HILOBROW | HILOBROW: GENERATIONS | HILOBROW: RADIUM AGE SCIENCE FICTION | HILOBROW: SHOCKING BLOCKING | THE IDLER | IO9 | N+1 | NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW | SEMIONAUT | SLATE

Joshua Glenn’s books include UNBORED: THE ESSENTIAL FIELD GUIDE TO SERIOUS FUN (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen); and SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS: 100 EXTRAORDINARY STORIES ABOUT ORDINARY THINGS (with Rob Walker).

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Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based semiotic culture and brand analyst. He is editor/publisher of HILOBROW and the Radium Age science fiction imprint HILOBOOKS. In addition, Josh is co-author of several books, including (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY, the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY and (with Rob Walker) SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS, and (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen) the family activities guides UNBORED, UNBORED GAMES, and the forthcoming UNBORED ADVENTURE. In the ’00s, Josh was an editor and columnist for the BOSTON GLOBE's IDEAS section; in the ’90s, he published the high-lowbrow zine/journal HERMENAUT.