For a while now, I’ve wanted a friend (and a male in particular) to moonlight on my blog. Someone was finally game! Here’s what he has to say*:
Ariela and I were talking about having me write a guest post on her blog. Originally I was going to write some of my economics-influenced musings on sex & love, but I saw this article today and it got me thinking. I feel like I’ve seen some similar articles lately, and they were really annoying me. So I started writing.
Awesome. Yet another woman who, without a hint of irony, considers herself an expert on men and has a theory on how they are bringing women down. She yearns back for the make-believe days of old when, we are told, men were MEN, straight out of some Disney movie or a trashy romance novel. The article has a handful of figures about differing educational outcomes (no disagreement, I’ll discuss more about that later,) but the meat of her argument is based on vague generalizations and various movies she’s seen. She sounds more like a recently dumped high school girl than a real author. Good job, WSJ, you’re looking more like the Huffington Post every day.
I guess this stuff rakes in viewers and ad revenue, because the editors of otherwise serious newspapers seem to print one of these about once every week or two. I will be thoroughly amused if they ever post an article written by a single male about how his generation of men is fed up with their female peers and are demanding that they start acting like true women… you know, like the hotties we see in Entourage and James Bond films. What’s taking you so long, girls?
Ms. Hymowitz (lol funny name) feels entitled to condemn men’s entertainment as juvenile and indicative of some great flaw in modern masculinity. This might shock you, but men find women’s entertainment to be just as ridiculously juvenile and shallow. Have you ever watched Sex and the City with a critical eye? While there are some shows/movies that are very popular among men and are about as vapid as Sex and the City, I’ve never met a man who will defend them as anything more than a distraction. I don’t expect women to change their preferences to fit mine, I just expect a little humility. It’s sort of like if I told women to stop organizing girls’ nights with chick flicks and fruity drinks, and to get back to cooking and raising kids. I would rightfully be called arrogant and bigoted.
As an aside, these sorts of articles often note how women are earning HS and college degrees at much higher rates than men. They tend to make two conclusions: that there are demographic implications for women who want to marry a college-educated man (I agree,) and that is indicative of modern masculinity (maybe.) While I’m sure personalities, temperaments, and learning styles are a factor, there’s one element that never seems to be discussed: men have decent job opportunities that don’t require a BA. Construction, trucking, and the energy industries (among others) all have blue collar jobs that tend to pay decently and are well-suited to men. A woman who wants to make a middle-class salary without a higher education has fewer options than a man does. This is far from the whole story, but different opportunities and incentive definitely play a role in educational outcomes… you can’t simplify it to just slackers vs. go-getters. As for the college-educated slackers, I think I know just as many college-educated under-achieveing women as men… but of course, that’s anecdotal.
In case any women actually think like this, I have a theory for why they might have trouble dating: because no man with any self-esteem will stay in a relationship with a woman who looks down on them for having their own interests… like enjoying science fiction movies, playing video games with friends, going to sports bars, etc. The author isn’t singling out extreme cases, like guys who spend 30+ hours/week play World of Warcraft or are blowing their rent money on sports betting and strippers. Ms. Hymowitz seems to have her own, very limited beliefs about what masculinity entails, and leaves very little room for the things that most men find to be fun. I’m an optimist, and believe that the women of my generation do not think like her.
*Unfortunately, I agree with him, which kinda defeats the purpose of having a guest writer.