ABC's super-lame new sitcom “Work It” — basically the “White Chicks” of family television, in which guys dress up as girls to find jobs — has been criticized by everyone from LGBT advocates to entertainment critics for its drag costumes and artistic merits, respectively.
But a less likely group of naysayers has also jumped on the hater train: economists.
“ABC's contribution to Bad TV may whip up resentment among men who believe women are taking their jobs,” wrote a she-blogger from U.S. News last month. “It would only be divisive and offensive if it were true, but it's factually inaccurate.”
She embedded a recent study by the Pew Research Center for backup. It shows that although men initially lost more jobs when the economy tanked circa 2008, they've also won them back faster — making “the sluggish recovery from the Great Recession … better for men than for women.”
Now, with the help of an economist from California's Employment Development Department, popular conservative-ish blog Fox & Hounds has compiled a few charts and graphs showing similar trends in California.
Here's the deal:
In a nutshell — men had more jobs to begin with, they lost more jobs during the recession because construction and manufacturing took a big hit, and now they're heading straight back to the top of the job market for an expected “hecovery.” (Har har.)
Fox & Hound contributor Michael Bernick ultimately argues, unlike the rest of the Internet, that “Work It” is an awesome show because “it illustrates and helps us think about a part of the current employment zeitgeist, a fear that the post industrial economy has little place for many men.”
That's a little infuriating from a feminist standpoint. Just because men are scared women are taking their jobs doesn't mean ABC should perpetuate their sexist fears in the name of more realistically capturing human error.
But we'll move on, because panty-twisting is a waste of time. What's most fascinating about the California numbers are the industries in which the most workers have been hired over the last year.
We can safely assume that men are being hired more quickly than women in the industries at the top of the list, such as “transportation and utilities” and “public administration”:
The Pew Research Center likewise found that men are gaining jobs “in the utilities sector and state governments.” (Strangely, though, local governments are taking on more women. Fancy that!)
We've contacted some experts on what this means for the battle of the sexes, the future of humanity, etc. Only thing we know for sure: “Work It” is still wrong. And still sucks.