Sunday, May 29, 2011

Man Up? When Did Men Supposedly Man Up?

Jack Donovan revisits Kay Hymowitz's Where Have All The Good Men Gone and gets me to wondering when men supposedly "Manned Up" as she asks.

I think about how my father "manned-up".  Sure he got married and worked a rather tedious job to put four kids through university - earning the reputation as a stand-up, hard-working guy.  But, he had hunting trips that were non-negotiable at certain times and hunted and fished on a whim at other times as seasons, time and conditions permitted.  He laughed the year I told him I was missing our annual bass fishing trip because my wife was due within two weeks (the high-alert zone).  When he wanted to go, he "just went" he told me. He played sports year round taking much of his week-nights.  I think that these activities were as much his entertainment as today's young generations play X-box or Playstation.

If Kay and the others expect young men to put their game controllers away in the closet once they enter a serious relationship, she's going to have to re-think things.  That's like asking a woman to give up shopping, decorating, romance novels/movies, baking, pedicures, facials or any other of the typically womanly hobbies or activities that she loves.  Our activities define us.  By paroting the feminist shaming and denegration of male activities as purile and juvenile, she's justifying the notion common among women that men who partake in them are not worthy of their attention and if they do, they must drop these activities entirely and focus on their new "serious" relationship.  Meanwhile, woman's pursuits are somehow vaunted, intellectual and meaningful?  I'm at a loss seeing why perfecting red velvet cupcakes is somehow more meaningful than playing a video game with someone on the other side of the world.

Kay is completely oblivious to the motivations that drive men to their pursuits.  She tries to argue that hunting and fishing were just hobbies created because "They balked at the stuffy propriety of the bourgeois parlor, as they did later at the banal activities of the suburban living room."  I'm sorry, but that is just silly.  My father learned to hunt during the depression when a gun cost $15 and a box of shells cost 50 cents and a bad weekend of hunting meant a week with very little meat on the table.  He doesn't hunt to get out of the house, he hunts because it is a part of who he is.

With the current state of Marriage 2.0, there is very little incentive for a young male to sacrifice even a portion of their pursuits until they are good and ready and their mate is understanding.  Kay says that single men "continue to be more troubled and less successful than men who deliberately choose to become husbands and fathers."  This fact simple says that The higher earning men find women willing to let them golf, fish, hunt and play video games while the middle of the pack simple bide their time until the right deal comes along.  Why should they compromise themselves because some self-absorbed woman feels that his pursuits are disgusting and purile.

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