Women are poised to become America's biggest breadwinner
The tipping point is a generation away, assuming women's economic power keeps rising as expected. But already, the trend is stunning enough that TIME made it the subject of its current cover.
“近40%的在职女性挣得比他们的丈夫还多，”《更富有的性别》（The Richer Sex）的作者莉莎•芒迪在《时代》和《财富》杂志（Fortune）共同组织的纽约早餐会上说。《更富有的性别》既是《时代》本期的封面故事，也是芒迪新近出版的一本书。
"Almost 40% of working wives out-earn
their husbands," noted Liza Mundy, author of "The Richer Sex"--both the cover story and a new book that goes by the same title--at a breakfast in New York City, hosted by TIME and Fortune.
The audience was Fortune's Most Powerful Women: female Masters of the Universe who have seven-figure salaries and househusbands. Mundy's research shows that women are out-earning men all around. In most U.S. metro
areas, for instance, single childless women in their 20s have higher median incomes than their male peers. In Dallas and Atlanta, the average young woman earns $1.18 and $1.14, respectively, for every dollar earned by a male.
Why such rapid advancement? The Pill, Mundy said, helped spark the trend 50 years ago: Newly able to delay marriage and childbearing, women began focusing on their careers. America's shift to a service economy also favors college grads, who increasingly tend to be female. Today, women make up 60% of U.S. college classes and earn more masters and doctorate degrees than men.
美国超过一半的家庭中，女性将赚得比男性还多。有什么能够阻止这个趋势吗？“我看不到有什么能阻止这一趋势，”为《华盛顿邮报》（Washington Post）撰写文章的芒迪在早餐会上告诉 《时代》杂志执行编辑南希•吉布斯说。她说，有些行业，像兽医，从业者中的女性太多了，以至于现在鲜有男性进入。她将这一现象称为“性别污染”。未来25年，法律、医学等行业也很可能被女性占据主导地位。
What can stop women from out-earning men in more than 50% of U.S. households? "Nothing that I can see," Mundy, who writes for the Washington Post (WPO), told TIME Executive Editor Nancy Gibbs at the breakfast. Some industries, such as veterinary
medicine, are so populated with women that few men are now entering them, she said. She calls the phenomenon "gender pollution." In 25 years, law and medicine may well be female-dominated.
And there's the fact that 41% of babies in the U.S. today are born to single mothers. While Mundy found no reliable data on how many of these unmarried moms are cohabiting vs. living alone, "what we do know from the census is that currently about 25% of children under 18 live with a mother and not a father."
This got me and the powerful women at my breakfast table asking: Can men, bred to be providers, live happily in a world where women may not need them for support? An optimist, Mundy believes that many men will cede control as breadwinners.(One bit of evidence: Marriage rates for high-income women are rising, as overall marriage rates decline.) Moreover, society will adapt by "broadening the definition of masculinity," she contends. Masculinity will include cooking as well as hunting, and child care as well as golf.
"We are always too quick to think masculinity
is finished," Mundy writes in her TIME cover story. If the evolution plays out as she hopes, both men and women will become richer in their own ways.