Mike Kueber's Blog

August 26, 2012

Sunday Book Review #82 – The Richer Sex by Lisa Mundy

Filed under: Book reviews — Mike Kueber @ 6:24 pm
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After reading the first chapter of The Richer Sex by Liza Mundy, I noted the following in a previous posting to my blog:   

  • Coincidentally, the book that I am currently reading is titled The Richer Sex.  Although I am only one chapter deep in the book, its author Liza Mundy has already suggested that women are destined to lead most American households in the future.  She says this so-called “Big Flip” is almost inevitable because women will be better economic achievers in the new world that depends more on brains than brawn.  I will try to be open-minded in reading The Richer Sex, but Mundy seems to be overloaded with hubris.  Her Big Flip statement reminds me of Newt Gingrich crowing after one of his few electoral successes that his presidential nomination was almost inevitable.  Ironically, he never won again and soon dropped out of the race.  I suggest that women should quit declaring that every victory is due to merit while every defeat is due to unfair discrimination.  And before women start asking for a concession speech from men, they should quit asking for men to spot them some points before starting the game.

The Richer Sex is subtitled, “How the new majority of female breadwinners is transforming sex, love, and family.”  As suggested by this sub-title, the book is focused not primarily on whether women will become the dominant breadwinner in most families (the author assumes they will), but rather on how families will be affected by having a female as the dominant breadwinner. 

Even for those of us who reject the author’s assumption that females will be better economic achievers than males in the future, we recognize that this situation (a) will occur in an increasing number of families, and (b) will cause stress in the male’s traditional leadership role.  The Richer Sex does a good job of exploring those stresses, including not only homemaking, but also sex and societal stigma.  Unfortunately, some men deal poorly with their new status and either withdraw or give up.

One of the fundamental issues discussed by Mundy is whether men are “hard-wired” to be providers and women to be provided for.  This is critical because, if so, it suggests that a couple will never be happy with the woman being the dominant economic force in a relationship.  Fortunately, Mundy concludes that individuals are not hard-wired in this way, and that the traditional man-woman relationship developed because men were better suited to be providers, and thus when, in the future, women are better suited to be providers, relationships will shift to having the woman play many roles previously played by the man, and vica versa.  Furthermore, as the dominant female becomes more common, there will be less negative stigma attached to that relationship.

Something that Mundy doesn’t explain is why she thinks the current trend toward female ascendancy will continue.  According to her, the trend is based primarily on the cultural inclination of women to pursue higher education, which will pay huge dividends to them in the future.  But as the Army general, Rajin’ Cajun Russel Honore, said in New Orleans a few weeks after Katrina, “We aren’t stuck on stupid.”  My money says that guys will eventually realize success depends on brains, not brawn, and that we will have the intellectual candlepower, plus the testosterone, to at least keep up with the gals. 

I agree, however, that the traditional man-woman roles are a thing of the past.  Each couple will decide what works best for them.






  1. […] few days ago, I posted in my blog about a book titled The Richer Sex by Lisa Mundy.  The book explains why women will become the […]

    Pingback by Who wears the pants in modern America? « Mike Kueber's Blog — August 31, 2012 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

  2. […] couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a book called The Richer Sex.  The book explains why women will become the dominant […]

    Pingback by Why men fail? « Mike Kueber's Blog — September 13, 2012 @ 5:12 pm | Reply

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