(Slate) -- American men entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers as they returned from World War II, and employers welcomed these men as a matter of patriotic duty. Many men proved to be diligent, competent professionals over the ensuing decades. Sadly, however, many did not. The cascade of recent revelations of male workers abusing co-workers, threatening subordinates, and masturbating into potted plants leaves only one conclusion: The long experiment of having men in the workplace has failed.
Let’s start by asking an important question: Is it even natural for men to be in the workplace in the first place? It is well known, for example, that men are not good with money. Companies run by female CEOs perform better in the stock market, and women are better at both saving and investing. It feels uncomfortable to assume that male irresponsibility with money is a biological trait. But with their higher salaries and disproportionate representation in business schools and and boardrooms, men have been given every opportunity to succeed in the corporate world by now. Many industries have essentially operated decadeslong affirmative action programs for men.
Yet even after all these advantages, men have not only failed to live up to their potential but have also been responsible for the subprime mortgage crisis, defrauding investors, destroying hardworking people’s retirement funds, and triggering worldwide economic crashes. Instead of learning from their mistakes and misdeeds, they have often rewarded themselves with bonuses and lobbied to remove regulations that prevent them from hurting people again. We must ask ourselves, do men really have judgment and intellectual abilities to be entrusted with our most important resources?
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