Faith Popcorn is a futurist. And, yes, "Faith Popcorn" is her name and she is, indeed, very real.
Popcorn's latest predictions spells trouble for we men--especially we of the middle-aged variety. For Popcorn, on her Brain Reserve website, suggests that 2011 will usher in an "unprecedented period marked by the end of our traditional gender divide," i.e., En-Gen. She writes that women are becoming more powerful and influential while men are becoming more "sensitive, collaborative and connected."
Consider the numbers which Popcorn cites:
- Women hold 51% of managerial and professional jobs.
- Four in ten mothers are primary breadwinners; working wives are coming close to bringing in half of household income.
- Single, childless women under 30 earn 8% more than their male peers.
And, women are even taking on health burdens, as a result:
- The American Heart Association reports that women in jobs with strict deadlines and little time to relax increase the chance of a heart attack by 88%. Further, high-pressured women were 43% more likely to have heart surgery.
- The stay-at-home Dad is becoming more prevalent--the U.S. Census in 2008 indicates a 62% increase since 2003.
- And, there's been a 40% increase in male time devoted to household chores, and a 3x increase in average male time spent cooking.
What's this all mean? It means that traditional roles are rapidly changing. Popcorn writes, "Male-dominated fields like construction and manufacturing will shrivel, and predominantly female sectors--education, healthcare, social services--will expand. Men, confused, unemployed and undereducated, will be forced to adapt to this woman-friendly world."
Popcorn lists the following "gender turning points" to watch:
1. The merger of artistry and technology. The new norm is Apple--simple, elegant, En-Gen design that pays attention to every detail, yet is modest.
2. Beyond the Bento box. Men and women will be liberated to experiment with interests and ideas normally associated with the opposite sex. As an example, in Japan, more and more men are arranging flowers--a classically female activity.
3. Electric shock. The electric vehicle combines the female's concern for the world with the male's love of technology.
4. Recession lift. Men who are 45+ years old will be more prone to seek out plastic surgery.
5. Veganomics. Vegan (or "green") values will emerge--food, fashion, home furnishings.
6. Robot frenzy. This genderless technology will become more prevalent.
To find out more about this upcoming gender bender year, visit www.faithpopcorn.com.