Annalee Newitz:

Jobs we think of as "pink collar" are going to become blue collar. Men will be working as nurses and housekeepers. This could be the moment when gender stereotypes really start to break down in the West. We've already seen images of professional women enter pop culture (and real life). Now we're going to see images of men heroically supporting their families by working in child care. Nothing like turning child care into a source of cash to make it honorable and manly...

Bizarrely, a futuristic world of working women could take us back in time. We may return to arrangements that look a lot like what people had over a century ago, when servants and nannies took care of middle-class homes while the middle- and upper-classes ran countries and businesses. Except this time around, women's incomes will be what allows a household to afford its servants. (Remember, the wealthiest families are dual-income.)

This could spell the end of feminism as we know it in the West. Though the women's movement has always been riven by class and race differences, the overarching issue of women's inequality has brought disparate factions together. In a future where women workers report to women bosses, fewer and fewer women are going to feel that they share a common social status with their sisters. In fact, female nurses might feel like they have more in common with male nurses than they do with the female hospital administrators who treat them like crap and cut their hours.

Women's equality with men may spell an end to women's solidarity with each other. But women will forge new alliances - ones that have nothing to do with gender. And maybe that isn't so much the end of feminism, but the beginning of a world that no longer needs it.

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