A week ago, Kay S. Hymowitz had a piece featured in the The Wall Street Journal entitled "Where Have All The Good Men Gone?" The column argues that women in their 20s and early 30s are having trouble finding suitable mates because men of the same age group are living a sort of "extended adolescence," as she puts it. Now, I usually stick to technology or health related issues, but this time I decided to make an exception. Someone has to speak for the opposition.
Being in the age group in question myself and also being single, I am in a unique position to provide a counterpoint to the claims made by Hymowitz. I have been on a number of dates in the past year, and have been doing so for a significant amount of time now. Why? Well, because I desire the same things Hymowitz claims that most men lack: to find a partner who loves me as much as I love them, and eventually start a family. Shocked? We'll you shouldn't be. There are many of us "men" out here who are not just looking for the next warm bed.
I know this can be hard to accept, considering that everywhere you look, men are being maligned and degraded. Take TV commercials for example. In any given commercial break, there is at least one ad spot where the responsible wife rolls her eyes at the doofus husband and his ridiculous bid to fix the leak in the plumbing with a piece of chewing gum. "Huh-huh! You means we can't fixer da pipes with gum! Gorsh!" My question for you: Why would an intelligent, obviously resourceful woman marry such a puerile mindless Neanderthal in the first place? Well, she just might, if there were no other suitable males left to marry. Thus you have one of the sources of the "no good men left" theory that runs rampant currently. When ideas such as this are hammered into the psyche of every woman out there on a regular basis, some start to believe it without even realizing.
In addition, almost all of the popular situation comedies on network television have at least one male character whose idiocy is a constant source of entertainment. It frequently goes like this: As he puts down his Xbox 360 control pad, his sister says, "Oh, you silly man, you can't take a girl on a first date to the Star Trek convention!" Of course, the male in question takes his date to the worst possible spot nonetheless, and everyone gets a hearty laugh at how dumb he really is. Here's the important part, though. The woman thinks it's so cute that she agrees to a second date with the dolt, reinforcing the fact that women have to accept a mate of lesser intelligence because, really, it might be the best they will come across. Not convinced this archetype has completely and totally permeated our modern culture? There was a sitcom on Australian television simply called "Stupid, Stupid Man." Between "Stupid, Stupid Man" and Joey on "Friends," men don't have a prayer.
Because of the preponderance of the "male is dumb" attitude, there are many of us who find we must engage in activities we would normally simply call "suicide." Skydiving? Cool! Let me just make sure my medical insurance is up to date. Mountain Biking? Yes! I've been waiting for you to ask! B.A.S.E. jumping you say? Awesome! Let me just witness my last will and testament. You'd be surprised by how many times I've had to utter statements similar to those. Not only that, but the fact that women today expect an eclectically diverse resume from every potential suitor has driven us to play down pastimes that we now recognize as "embarrassing." Guess what women? I know just as many of you out there played "Super Mario Brothers," as did my male friends, so don't act as if I told you I had the plague when I mention my Xbox.
Being single, I have experienced all of this first hand. Most first dates I go on become the final conclusive occasion with that particular woman. I don't think I'm that bad looking, at least not bad enough to live in a bell tower or anything. I'm intelligent enough not to drool in my own soup, and I know what most of the forks on the table are used for. So, what's my Achilles heel? Well, it seems my activity level is not up to snuff. Granted, I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis, but even if I were perfectly illness-free, I wouldn't ever consider a ten-mile run a "leisure activity." Humans should run only if being chased -- preferably by rabid dogs. Unfortunately, that's the coup de grace for many a first encounter. I am not opposed to activity; I enjoy a brisk walk as much as the next (intelligent) man. I simply do not have a locker reserved at the local gymnasium.
Yes, it is true that many males out there do drink beer, play video games and go out with "the guys" a bit too often. Can you blame us? Look at the pressures and stereotypes we have to contend with. At every turn, another bit of social media pounds the point home that we are just going to end up drinking orange juice out of the container in our underwear anyway, so why try? Women, answer me this: If all the men you knew acted completely sensible towards women at all times, would you really still enjoy their company? Hymowitz cites a statistic that the mean age of marriage has risen since 1970. Hymowitz claims this is because of the "pre-adult adolescence" that men are suffering from. I say it is because it takes longer to find a mate willing to give you more than a cursory glance. That's a statistic that can't be quantified. The fact of the matter is that men are guilty until proven innocent, and that's a heavy burden to overcome. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a skydiving BMX snowboarding triathlon to train for, and I forgot to turn off my Xbox.
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