Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article entitled Where Have the Good Men Gone?, written by Kay S. Hymowitz, has prompted a surprising amount of ridicule. In her three-page spread, Hymowitz addresses how everything ranging from college graduation rates to Adam Sandler movies has contributed to the modern “pre-adult” male.
The “pre-adult” male has a college education, a decent-to-exceptional job, and an apartment littered with Star Wars paraphernalia and crushed beer bottles. He isn’t married and he doesn’t want to be.
He is immature, irresponsible, and generally offensive. Women, on the other hand, have somehow managed to reverse the sexual hierarchy:
Among pre-adults, women are the first sex. They graduate from college in greater numbers (among Americans ages 25 to 34, 34% of women now have a bachelor’s degree but just 27% of men), and they have higher GPAs. As most professors tell it, they also have more confidence and drive. These strengths carry women through their 20s, when they are more likely than men to be in grad school and making strides in the workplace. In a number of cities, they are even out-earning their brothers and boyfriends.
These women are apparently “fed up,” with today’s barbarians (aka men).
They want to get married, but they have to deal with all of these pre-adult males who can’t seem to get it together.
Gawker – apparently only having read the last two paragraphs of the article – portrays Hymowitz as a narrow-minded, Star Wars-hating, man-bashing elitist, which is absolutely not true. Hymowitz’s analysis of today’s “pre-adult” syndrome is spot on insofar as men and women are generally more concerned with building a career than building a family. Unsurprisingly, these career-driven, independent young adults – unburdened by relationships or familial obligations – have prolonged the youthful, carefree, somewhat irresponsible lifestyle. Getting married before 25 is not only uncommon, but generally looked down upon by both men and women. But that’s just it… it is both men and women.
You can’t blame Gawker’s Adrian Chen – or any man for that matter – for getting a bit defensive after reading this article. Hymowitz seems to be operating under the misconception that “guys” (who are “[neither] boys [nor] men but something in between”), are the only ones who have helped create this allegedly undesirable, destructive, pre-adult status quo.
According to author Julie Klausner, who is quoted in the article, “We [women] are sick of hooking up with guys.” So … WHY ARE WOMEN STILL HOOKING UP WITH GUYS?! Both Klausner and Hymowitz overlook the all-too-important fact that women play an integral part in perpetuating this “pre-adult” hookup culture they presumably find so unappealing… after all, these beer-guzzling, Star Wars-loving 20-somethings aren’t hooking up with themselves. In fact, if anyone is to be exclusively blamed for today’s hookup norm, it is women.
This past weekend, in a bar in Washington, D.C., I found myself at the watering hole of these so-called “pre-adults”: single men and women in their 20s and 30s, drinking, and quite obviously hoping not to be going home alone (or at least, not to be going home without a phone number). While most of the men could be found drinking a beer or scotch, dressed in a button-down and jeans, most of the women were sporting tight jeans, high heels, and plunging necklines.
By 2am, it is almost always the girls who are the ones downing shots, screaming along to Miley Cyrus at the top of their lungs, and dancing wildly in the middle of the dance floor – praying to catch the eye of some guy. Ladies, if that’s your thing, go right ahead and keep partying in the USA… but when you wake up the next morning with a vicious hangover in some guy’s bed, don’t label him as an immature, selfish bastard when he doesn’t call you the next day.
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