2011: Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve Predictions - The EN-GEN (End of Gender) Revolution Begins: En-Gen Era is Neither Female nor Male. Just Human.

Dec 21, 2010, 12:11 ET from Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve

NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- As America continues to fight about politics and culture, there is one zone of combat that has become - and will remain - stunningly peaceful.

And that's the Gender Wars.

In fact, we are predicting for 2011, and for the decades to come, that we will enter an unprecedented period marked by the end of our traditional gender divide.

Or - as we call it, EN-GEN.

Consider:  We have a president who cares about community and consensus; who is nutrition-obsessed and body-conscious.  And we have a former governor of Alaska who's sexy, but who hunts and fishes and welcomes polarization and division.

There's tectonic coming-together.  Women are becoming more influential, powerful and in control of the Culture.  And, men are becoming more sensitive, collaborative and connected.  

As Mars becomes more Venus like - and Venus-versa - we're far less combat ready.  Indeed, we have other enemies to fight beside each other:  Greedy and corrupt politicians and corporate executives, ethics-free polluters and a litany of moral offenders.

The En-Gen generation by the numbers.

  • 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
  • The number of women earning six figure salaries has increased 14% in the last two years

Women are even assuming the health burdens of their male counterparts:

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, including by-pass operations.

AND…

  • The emergence of the stay-at-home-dad, which according to the most recent US Census (2008), had increased by 62% from 2003
  • 40% increase in male time devoted to household chores
  • A three-fold increase in average male time devoted to cooking

Although the sad state of male employment is well-known, what hasn't been analyzed are the gender impacts of this "forced feminization."  Economic pressures are acting as an accelerator to the En-Gendering of America.

What's more, EN-GEN isn't just cultural.  It's biological.

Endocrine disrupters like BPA - banned in Canada and increasingly under the gun here - are linked to reduced testosterone and sperm counts in men.  

Meanwhile, an aging female population, loaded with free testosterone, doesn't have to be nice and polite anymore.

All of this means that the voice of the future rings loud and clear to the ears tuned to listen.

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.  Or they will end up, according to one economist "surly, lonely, and hard-drinking -- or worse, historically obsolete."

It's the EN-GEN Era.  Gender-free, hence more free.

En-Gen Era is neither female nor male.  Just Human.

Here are the gender turning points to watch:

1. The Merger of Artistry and Technology

Remember when products for women were pink and products for guys grunted with a macho-four wheel drive aesthetic?  The new norm is Apple – simple, elegant, En-Gen design that pays attention to every single detail, that's brilliantly modest.  Nespresso is another example.  And that's just the beginning as other categories will eschew the conventional male/female design divide.

2. Beyond the Bento Box

Traditionally, men and women have kept the genders as separate as the way food is served in a walled-off Bento box.  But in an En-Gen world men and women will be liberated to experiment with interests and ideas normally associated with the opposite sex.  In Japan – where many Trends originate – men are starting to arrange flowers, a classically female activity – to reduce stress (http://bit.ly/eXwvZ1).  We'll be seeing a burst of this – women finally entering the male worlds of math and engineering in big numbers; men take on more caregiver roles, the Mitch Albom Effect.

3. Electric Shock

The electric vehicle is an En-Gen car because it combines the more female values of environmentalism and concern for the world, with male love of technology and innovation.  For that reason, its 2011 sales will surprise even the most optimistic forecasters.

4. Recession Lift

The liberating forces of En-Gen, combined with the brutal economy that makes it difficult for older men – even 45+ men to compete – will come together and trigger a 2011 boom in male plastic surgery.

5. Veganomics

As En-Gen creates more sensitivity to the sources of our food and the consumer products we buy, expect a dramatic growth in vegan values – and not just in food.  Vegan-friendly retailing, including fashion and home furnishings, will emerge.  MooShoes, a store in New York's Lower East Side is selling "cruelty free, animal friendly" vegan shoes and accessories.  Sudu, a store with a similar product range is opening in Boston soon.

On the flip side, STK, in New York's trendy Meatpacking District intends to "break down the barriers of a normal steakhouse by losing the overly masculine vibe that has long been the trademark of its genre."  And, there's Julie Powell, of "Julie and Julia" fame, discussing her recent book "Cleaving" in a Slate Magazine interview, saying:  "Butchery is definitely a man's world—it's part of what attracted me to it.  I've always aspired to being one of the guys, to shed my femininity for a while and be valued for, say, my ability to wield a knife or tell a dirty joke."

6. Robot Frenzy

Robots, of course, are the ultimate genderless technology.  Long promised, 2011 will be the year of robotic breakthrough in medicine, manufacturing, prosthetic devices, the military, and more.  Research is already being done on technology that will turn battlefield decisions over to robot troops (http://bit.ly/fzaYaw).

SOURCE Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve