Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I prefer 'Man-Child,' Thank You

This article just drips with self-important hyperbole. Mid-twenty young men are the epitome of irresponsibility, living as perpetual teenagers because they can, avoiding all those nasty things like marriage and children, yada yada yada.

As a mid-twenties male, this ruffles my feathers just a bit. I could cite examples from my own life to explain why her generalizations are pure rubbish, but I think one point will do it nicely.

She laments the number of young men who aren't married and makes it out to be a problem with the men.

News flash, Kay: This means that there is an equally large number of mid-twenty women out there who are not married.

In large part, the move away from marriage is due to my generation's antipathy towards it; most will simply cohabitate and call it a day. Still, the women will have some similar reasons to men for not being married aside from a lack of desire to do so. Many would rather focus on their careers, or perhaps have found themselves so picky that there really isn't a suitable man out there.

Whatever their reasons are, if the young men aren't getting married, Kay, then neither are the young women, and they have to take credit for their own prolonged adolescence as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hal, a pop-sociology article like this shouldn't ruffle your feathers just because it doesn't apply to all men in their 20s, or all single men in their 20s. It's talking about general trends, not anything universal.

I think she's dead-on about single men in their 20s in general. Of course, there will be countless exceptions. But, where I agree with you, and think she's way off, is her assessment of single women in their 20s. The men are castigated for "hooking up" but it takes two to tango. The "New Girl Order" is "packing leisure hours with shopping, traveling and dining with friends" - in other words, a prolonged adolescence as well. But, just because this author is very wrong about the women doesn't mean that by default she's wrong about the men.

One more point, I think you a distinction can be made between "prolonged adolescence" with is chosen and therefore "culpable," and "prolonged adolescence" which isn't.

As you mentioned, it seems like the author is saying for men the "prolonged adolescence" is chosen and culpable. I think she's generally right, but I wish she'd at some point acknowledge the possibility of that this could be an unchosen & nonculpable state for some men. She seems to implicitly grant women that their state is unchosen & nonculpable, which is sometimes true and sometimes very false. -Ryan.