Good or bad, you can't argue that there was a massive shift in the role of men in society - and I would argue that it extends to all races, not just whites as Updike contends. And don't get me wrong - I don't think we should revert back to the 'good ol' days' when women were secondary citizens and men held court in every business place and homestead in the country without exception.
However, it has resulted in a male species that does not quite understand itself - their identity is kind of in limbo. Updike, during the last few years of his life (around the publication of the sequel to The Witches of Eastwick), posed the question of whether men were even necessary at all anymore. All the things that required a male are basically gone: we don't hunt for food anymore, and heavy lifting - jobs that require physical strength - are vanishing or rendered obsolete by machinery.
As far as office jobs go, it certainly doesn't need to be a man. In fact, many would argue that women are more suited for the modern day office job, since it's been shown they are better, as a general rule, at task managing, organizing and attention to detail.
As far as sex is concerned - the continuation of the species is in no jeopardy without the male. Sperm keep nicely in freezers.
It's a pessimistic outlook, I know. But an interesting thought, nonetheless. One is reminded of those species in the animal kingdom where the male has become nothing more than a midget sperm donor.
This quote from The Male Dilemma: How to Survive the Sexual Revolution (1974) attempts to explain the shifting gender dynamics:
Whenever there is a major revolution or change in the power structure of some aspect of society, the outs, the insurgents, the underdogs always become the center of attention and receive the major share of publicity. Thus, in the United States, the activities of racial minorities and youthful rebels are given center stage, while their adversaries, the white, middle class, middle age establishment, sink into the shadows. In the sexual revolution, the male has been cast as the adversary, the “enemy.”
Hmmm. It's certainly something to think about.