Doubts about dudes

I commented very briefly on Kay Hymowitz’s not-so-pleasing account of the “new girl order“—the Way Young Women Are Now. Now she’s come out with an even less flattering account of today’s single young men. Guys will be guyz it seems. The positive part of the KH essay is that “How to make your girlfriend think her cat died naturally” actually is a good title for a slightly shocking fake-advice-mag humor piece. The less positive part is that you can’t base your life on an endless diet of that kind of thing. And you certainly can’t base it on an hours-a-day videogame habit or calling female insecurity “the gift that keeps on giving.”

So what’s happened? And how real are the pop culture depictions on which Hymowitz bases much of her piece? Life goes on, and image isn’t reality, but trends even in magazine sales must relate to something that exists to some extent. Also, she does refer to a few statistics on what young men actually do. My basic impression is that the official abolition of sex roles has had samewhat the same effect the abolition of legal order would have. Everything’s up for grabs, which means nothing can be relied on, so you avoid entanglements, follow impulse, go for what you can get, give as little as possible, and engage in a lot of mindless assertiveness. You also reject with contempt the attempt of those who have abolished traditional standards in favor of equal freedom to limit your freedom to do what you feel like doing in favor of their own preferred scale of values. Or such is the tendency.

2 thoughts on “Doubts about dudes”

  1. Hilarious
    I find it hilarious that she somehow thinks that “packing leisure hours with shopping, traveling, and dining with friends” is somehow superior to “drinking, hooking up, (and) playing Halo 3.” I daresay it’s probably all for the best that they don’t breed. A guy shouldn’t start a family until he’s 35 or 40 anyway.

  2. Would you like some cheese with your whine, modern women?
    There was a similar rant recently by Laura Nolan in the London Times; a response to it was given in the Age, by Sam de Brito.

    Sam de Brito’s analysis is spot-on; the only thing that keeps him from completely embracing the social conservative critique, is his own “progressivism” and loathing of social conservatism and traditional Christian perspectives on various matters. Yet, being a rational male, he certainly can’t fully deny the truth in such, and is forced to concede that there is much of value in such views. He knows that men won’t buy the cow if they get the milk for free.

    Ms. Nolan, of course, strenously denies that fulfilment of professional ambitions plays a big part. (“I am often told that our problem boils down to bad timing. In our early twenties (the age at which our parents tended to meet and marry), we, arguably the first generation of properly educated and professionally ambitious women, were not ready to settle down and start having babies.” Ah yes, women weren’t properly educated, or professionally ambitious before Ms. Nolan and peers came along, right. Sorry, but the problem does boil down to “bad timing” as she puts it; I say “misplaced priorities”.

    But that’s not all; I think it goes further than that. Quite frankly, many modern women really don’t feel they need a man until biology sneaks up and hits them in the face; they feel, at least initially, complete in and of themselves, with their careers, and education, and accumulated possessions and worldly goods; and so with their socio-economic clout, they can well afford to hold off on marrying until they meet the ideal man, who is their peer or superior in terms of education and affluence and earning ability, and who meets all their other criteria as regards their personal taste. In other words, before, women needed men, and had to take what was on offer, and so weren’t so picky; now, they don’t need men (so they think, till later), and can afford to be more picky, and hold out for Mr. Ideal. Alas! He doesn’t exist.


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