Ten Questions with ‘Manning Up’ author Kay S. Hymowitz

Kay S. Hymowitz is the author of “Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys,” which hit bookshelves Tuesday.

A contributing editor to City Journal and William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Hymowitz writes primarily about social issues. An article excerpt of “Manning Up” titled “Where Have the Good Men Gone?” was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal and explores the idea that men experience a “pre-adulthood” stage in their twenties and early thirties and take longer to settle down, marry, and get into serious relationships. The book and excerpt also speculate that the professional and academic success of women has contributed to the delay of male maturity. Hymowitz told The Daily Caller that her work on this topic has earned her the reputation of being both a man and woman hater, and she says these attributions are inaccurate.

“That piece is an excerpt and it gives a more anti-male feeling than I think the book as a whole communicates,” Hymowitz told TheDC. “It’s an excerpt. If you’re going to be that excitable, then you’ve got to read the thing. Everyone is willing to give this opinion based on an excerpt…I’ve gotten ‘man hater’ and ‘woman hater’ [accusations from online article readers.] They say I’m blaming women because of the subtitle [of the book], but I want to make it clear I’m not blaming anybody. These are big momentous cultural and economic shifts. It’s a little like asking whether we should blame the Chileans for an earthquake.”

Hymowitz agreed to answer 10 questions from TheDC about her new book.

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  • bmmg39

    I’ve grown tired of these gender stereotypes and hurtful generalizations.

    It seems as though Hymowitz et al paint all unmarried males with a broad brush, as if to suggest that any man/guy/male (choose your term) older than 30 who is still unmarried simply MUST be out “playing the field” or “sowing his oats” or whatever other sickening phrase is used. She seems to think we’re all like the character portrayed on television by [sigh] Charlie Sheen, moving from one “hot babe” to another, free of commitment or marriage and family aspirations. It does not seem to occur to any of you that some of us have just been alone (romance-wise) throughout our lives.

    Many of us have never found a romantic partner, let alone a spouse. I myself have always wanted a very G-rated, non-sexual romantic relationship with someone, but it just hasn’t happened, though I’m now well into my 30s. (I’m not looking for sex of any kind.)

    I hate my birthday and cannot watch films or plays with romantic themes without feeling miserable. I have difficulty sleeping at night. And now, on top of the loneliness and despair, I have people like Hymowitz suggesting, without ever having met me, that I must be some frat-boy lothario or Good-Time Charlie. Such words are hurtful — insult upon injury.

  • amarikidd

    How women have infantilized men:
    1. Accepted and promoted premarital sex and living together without the contract of marriage
    2. Promoted and used various abortificants including The Pill.
    3. Financially backed, expanded and volunteered for Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood, a child-killing organization that originally, specifically and continues killing Black children through abortion at a rate of 3 times the rite abortion average (see Dr. Alveda King/The Black Genocide/Etc..).
    4. Promoting a culture where a women much be superwomen and have it all or not have children
    5. Not understanding how girls’ and womens’ bodies work through natural (no drugs/fertility or otherwise) means such as the various NFP methods
    6. Accepting that a marriage between a man and a women is the basis for healthy societies: That concept is not religious but falls under Natural Law
    7. understanding that being Open to Life does not mean a women must have 10 kids. It may mean a childless family.
    8. Supporting girls and women to be courageous-helping them escape brutality/abuse and poverty. Helping girl reach goals of continuing their education whether they have had a child at 16 or none.

    ie.. We infantilized men by not making them live up to any expectations–it’s our own fault.

  • kemo sabe

    i love how this woman feels the need to define what a man is based exclusively on what role she expects of him.

    if you’re not married, you’re not a man.

    if you’re not a woman’s emotional crutch, you’re not a man.

    if you’re not forsaking your interests for the ‘honey do’ list, you’re not a man.

    i used to think that the fairer sex was a tad infantile because they spent every disposable dollar primping themselves up with cosmetics and plastic surgery in a vain attempt to remain forever young.

    but now i’m convinced they’re so self-absorbed that men are considered little more than ‘ken’ dolls they can dress up, name and manipulate for their amusement.

    call me an immature boy, ms. hymowitz, but i ain’t playing that game.

  • blatantplayer

    All generalities, there are always exceptions.

    Seems to me, that with the oh so OK cultural shift to everyday sex, friends with benefits, and no shortage of available partners, men know they do not have to marry to ‘have a good time’. Also, since women are in the work force in greater and greater numbers and are as likely (maybe more so in the 20 – 30 yr old ages) as men to have money, men do not need cash to ‘have a good time’. Why get married and focus on your job (ie grow up) when you can (and do) have a good time without all that pesky hard work. Old adage: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free. New adage: Why buy the cow when the cow will pay for you to drink the milk.

    Interesting theory: the pursuit (men) and the control (women) of sex is (was) the foundation of our cultural. It is instinct for sex that provided men the impetus and drive to work and succeed. It is the desire for a stable man as a father and partner that lead women to think twice before deciding on sex.

    Absent fathers may be a chicken and the egg argument now.

  • JoeJ

    They (young men) are given the message that it’s very, very nice to have fathers around but it’s not necessary and they are optional and I think that changes the approach to life.

    This is very wrong for maintaining a culture — single parent families degrade culture.

    Children need fathers – both boys and girls. They are being cheated if they do not have a father.

    Just look at our black culture – there are few resident fathers and the culture is a mess. This has nothing do do with shin color – it is all about missing fathers.

  • Jon_Dysii

    And don’t leave the seat down, unless you want to get wet!

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  • jonavark

    And DON’T burn the toast this time.

    When are you going to shave?

  • Rumblefish

    Hey Kay –

    Rise from the bed of your oppressor and…GO MAKE BREAKFAST!