The linked questions are also available as part of the online discussion — feel free to click and add your comments.

  • In “Hearts of Steel,” Rosin depicts an extreme version of hook-up culture at an Ivy League business school. How did youfeel about the women she depicts? Did you find them admirable? Off-putting? Do you view them as outliers or as trailblazers?
  • Rosin seems to agree with research showing that the hook up culture is necessary for women’s advancement. Do you? Or do you think women are getting a bad deal in their early romantic relationships?
  • If you had a daughter, what advice would you give her when she entered college?
  • If you are married, would you describe yourself as having a see-saw marriage, in which each partner gets the chance to be the main breadwinner at some point? Would you want such a marriage? What are the advantages and disadvantages for women? For men?
  • How did you feel about David Godsall, the young man in ”The See-Saw Marriage” who is resentful that his girlfriend is making more money? Do you think young men are adjusting to playing a more traditionally feminine role these days?
  • What did you think of Steven Andrews, the stay-at-home dad at the end of ”The See-Saw Marriage” chapter? Is he pulling his weight in the family?
  • In “The New American Matriarchy,” Rosin depicts the changes wrought by the decline of American manufacturing in Alexander City, Alabama. How does the image of manhood in such a place conflict with the reality? How are men and women responding to the changes? What is the effect on the younger generation coming of age in this new reality? What is lost and what is gained?
  • What did you make of the young women in ”Pharm Girls”? Do you admire the way they forge ahead? Do you think of them as feminists, even though they don’t think of themselves that way?
  • Do you think it’s true that women have more advantages in this economy than men?
  • Were you surprised that colleges were using affirmative action for white men? Do you think that such a step is warranted?
  • Why do you think women are more successful at school than men? Do you think that schools discriminate against boys?
  • The research Rosin cites in “A More Perfect Poison” suggests that the nature of female violence is changing, although the numbers of female offenders are still minuscule compared to men. Do you think women are potentially as violent as men? Why or why not?
  • In “The Top,” Rosin depicts new patterns of work in Silicon Valley, inspired to a great extent by the need to retain highly skilled women in the workforce. Do you think these patterns offer productive templates for companies everywhere? What are the advantages and disadvantages for companies? For workers?
  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg comments that women in high places have a duty to stay there, so that they can create better policies for other women? Do you agree?
  • What do you think of the idea Rosin presents in the conclusion, that men may become more flexible as on the world around them continues to change? Have you noticed any signs of change in the culture around you? What is the next step for “Plastic Woman”?

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© 2012 Hanna Rosin