SNP’s word of the day: Mancession

Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Mancession

Definition: “An economic instance in which the unemployment rate is substantially higher among men than it is among women. The term was coined during the financial crisis of 2008–2009, during which men bore the brunt of the job losses in the United States, at rates close to 50 percent higher than those of women.” — Investopedia (this is a thing that exists! Money is funny)

Usage: “If you haven’t heard, we’re in the middle of a mancession everyone, and so here’s a very of-the-moment show about a pair of neanderthals in pumps and the idiots who think they’re women. Set your DVRs! You thought your job’s a drag!” — Gawker

You should know it because: Work It, a new ABC sitcom already heralded by Gawker as “the worst television show in history,” is based around the very (stupid) idea that the economy hurt men worse than it did women. Did it? Sort of, but only because a) some male-dominated industries (construction, manufacturing) were hit hardest and b) higher-paying white-collar jobs (held by men) were cut first, while lesser-paying jobs (held by, duh, women) were safe. If there hadn’t been a wage gap, there’d never have been a “mancession.” Besides, that quickly turned into a “he-covery”: since 2009, the nadir of the recent recession, men have added 768,000 jobs while women have lost 218,00 (this is according to a Pew study; I can’t do math!).

ABC isn’t much interested in any numbers that aren’t Nielsen ratings, though, so they’ve decided that the a-factual “mancession” is really gonna sell a sitcom to all the apparently un-man-ployed mandal-and-manpri-wearing man-men sitting on their manchairs watching manvision. Plus! It’s a great excuse to turn its two man-stars into the ugliest women since Mrs. Doubtfire. (Nothing’s funnier than an ugly woman, right?) The plot goes: two laid-off, laidback dudes dress up as ladies to get jobs as pharmaceutical sales reps. As a woman, I have to say: really? All that hosiery and Cover Girl just to be a bloody pill-pusher? You don’t want a nice fancy lady-job like investment firm secretary or Washington hooker? Give us some respect!