Far too often, twenty-something women shed an unnecessary amount of tears over undeserving men. Heartbroken young females spend years dating mediocre guys who womanize and don’t want to be tied down, and this kind of resistance begs the question: Why do so many males in their early twenties run for the hills at the idea of commitment? This wasn’t such a pervasive phenomenon in the 50s, 60s, and even 70s, yet it now thrives at an unprecedented level.
Kay S. Hymowitz addresses this puzzling occurrence in her recent Wall Street Journal piece, “Where Have the Good Men Gone?” which is a preview into her non-fiction book, “Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys.” Hymowitz claims that most men in their 20s and 30s live in a “pre-adulthood” world free of wives, girlfriends, and the desire to settle down.
Hymowitz included a quote from comedian Julie Klausner who said, “We are sick of hooking up with guys. Guys talk about ‘Star Wars’ like it’s not a movie made for people half their age; a guy’s idea of a perfect night is a hang around the PlayStation with his bandmates, or a trip to Vegas with his college friends…. They are more like the kids we babysat than the dads who drove us home.”
American writer and author of “Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write,” Erica Jong told The Daily Caller that twenty-something aged women face similar identity crisis issues as their male counterparts.
“In our society, the twenties are often an extension of adolescence–especially for men,” Jong told TheDC. “Women too search for their true identities during their twenties and get real at 29 or 30.”
Jong referenced what she described as the “most famous” of all her books, “Fear of Flying” as an example of a woman experiencing doubts about marriage. The heroine is pushing 30 and realizes she doesn’t love her husband enough to have kids with him. Jong says this character escapes her “starter marriage” and eventually has the child she always wanted.
Jong pointed out that menstruation could explain why women are often more eager to start families than men.
“Because women are reminded of their fertility once a month, we yearn to fertilize that egg. Men don’t have the constant blood-marker of emptiness,” Jong told TheDC. “It takes most guys a while to grow up.When and if they do–they can be splendid partners!”
iPad Daily columnist and feminist, Jessica Valenti told TheDC that the Journal article is “much ado about nothing” and that its conveyed image of men as losers is highly offensive.
“Yes, men and women are getting married later than in years past – but so what? Couples who get married when they’re over 25 years old are less likely to get divorced and more likely to be economically stable,” Valenti told TheDC. “And I think the portrayal of young men as aimless doofs is incredibly insulting – and untrue. When the media was obsessed with women and casual sex, trend writers brought up ‘Sex in the City’; now that it’s about prolonged adolescence in men, everything is about Judd Apatow movies. But these aren’t real people and they aren’t statistics. A couple of anecdotes about dudes playing video games does not mean a nation of men are slackers.”
Dating consultant Brandon Aki, who was featured in Marie Claire magazine last year, told TheDC that plenty of young men lose interest in going the extra mile and getting into relationships because their efforts frequently go ignored or unappreciated.
“The nice guys are finishing last and aren’t having a chance to be respected and appreciated,” Aki told TheDC, adding that women typically shrug off simple gentlemanly gestures like holding the door open and pulling out chairs. “People tend to live up to society’s expectations, and I think that is what [Hymowitz] is talking about in her article, men being conditioned to be this way.”
Aki said that most two-timing men realize that kindness will rarely get them anywhere, noting that guys don’t aspire to be gentlemen and family men because such lifestyles aren’t rewarded in our culture. Young men also don’t get serious with women because playing the field can be more fun and “nice guys finish last.”
“Players aren’t born, they’re made,” Aki told TheDC. “When a guy says ‘Hi, how are you?’ lots of women don’t care because he doesn’t have something creative to say. Men have two choices. They can keep getting the door slammed in their faces, and the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, or they can adapt and become someone with bells and whistles going off and a little aloof.”
Aki, who became a relationship expert and ended his womanizing ways after getting into a life-changing accident that ended his aviation career, says that playboys can be tamed and settle down and the “fraternity boy mentality” which Hymowitz mentions can dissolve.
“Just because someone is a player now doesn’t mean he doesn’t want someone long term,” Aki told TheDC. “There is somebody for everybody and a woman who can tame a player.”