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This Essay focuses on gender and sexuality to analyze Hannah Rosin's thesis in the The End of Men. It relies in large part on feminist and masculinities theories to consider how men and women may both suffer gendered disadvantage. It looks specifically at Las Vegas, a market that is sexualized, in order to complicate Rosin's narrative, and to create a better understanding of what is happening in the U.S. workforce. While the Las Vegas market is not representative of markets across the country, it is economically and socially significant and, with the expansion of the casino and gaming industries to a number of states other than Nevada and to locations outside the United States, such as Macau and the Philippines, casino gaming is becoming increasingly common. And along with casino gaming come sexuality and gender performance. This Essay posits that the "sexy" casino market demonstrates that although men may have lost some ground to women in highly sexualized jobs, and may be unwilling to compete for those jobs as sexual objects, men retain perhaps the greater power as consumers and directors of sexual performance and appetites. Moreover, although Rosin does not come to the same conclusion, her interviews of college women suggest that young women are still subject to their male colleagues' erotic preferences.

Part I discusses the social construct of gender and employs masculinities theory to explain why some men and women react in the ways that Rosin describes. Part II analyzes the sexualized market of casino bartenders and cocktail servers to consider how gender affects this market. It describes the ever-increasing role that young women play as bartenders and the failure of men to move into the traditionally female cocktail server jobs. It considers men's diminishing power as employees in sexualized labor markets, but also power exercised by men as consumers of sexualized markets and the effects that these power deficits and surpluses have on the workplace. It also discusses the hookup culture on college campuses addressed in Rosin's book to demonstrate that male college students also retain considerable sexual and social power over their female counterparts. The Essay concludes that if Rosin's prediction is true that men are losing ground to women in the labor market, the law should not reify gender and masculinity in order to exacerbate these differences. Nonetheless, it also observes that because of masculinity prescriptions, men will likely continue to control erotic tastes and behavior.

Publication Citation

93 B.U. L. Rev. 795