20080131

Rant: Adolt

My sister linked an interesting article on the state of single graduate men, a subject that has been on my mind a fair amount.

I don't particularly like the article actually. It sounds too much like another bemoaning of the lack of marriageable bachelors with only small lip service to any causes or solutions thereof. Besides, there are plenty of marriageable young men, we just don't hang out in bars.

If I had to cite a cause for the "adolt" condition, I'll have to callously point to the systems in which our youth are raised. Both the formalized public school system and the society of teenagers within it encourage young men to be unmarriageable. To a large extent this carries over into college and thereafter.

Basically, the school system encourages students to avoid setting goals, and it is the exception rather than the rule which strives for excellence. At the same time the school's student culture favors beefy, physically mature guys over sensitivity and respect.

I could go into more detail, but it gets a little too personal and blame heavy for me to comfortably rant on the subject. Suffice it to say that these kinds of articles are extremely frustrating and even infuriating for marriageable bachelors.

4 comments:

jocelyn said...

In my estimation, the woman's article is accurate in describing a particular phenomenon (the statistics on the general decline in marriage, for instance), but not in describing its causes. You're right--it's far too heavy-handed on males, and uses descriptors too broadly.

I thought that dad made an excellent point when he was talking about how the Boomer generation didn't give their children all that much to live up to in some ways. It's tough to know what makes an "adult" if you don't see it in your own life.

IMO, both of my brothers and a number of my single male friends are fine, upstanding examples of eligible bachelors, and it's a crying shame that the society (and perhaps the women) around them don't make it easier for them to tie the knot. It's almost as though there's a general crowd panic when it comes to the word "marriage."

Oh, and you really ought to expand on your school system point, BTW. I'm curious to hear more about your thoughts on that.

Matoushin said...

Ask and you shall receive, though I'll keep it simple.

Effectively, the administrative branch of the public school system creates really bad examples for young men. We go into school and see laziness rewarded, good teachers beat down by bad policies, and a blind eye turned toward incompetence. This doesn't instill any strong desire to excel.

At the same time, student culture asks guys to adhere to the media image of the masculine male. We're supposed to be mindless jocks scoring cheerleaders, and as an alternative to slaving away for abstract and intangible rewards it's quite tempting.

So what we have is a system that shows clearly negative results for being a nice guy, and clearly positive results for throwing away common decency and respect.

There isn't one person, one factor, or one institution at fault. However, articles like this one always feel as though they're trying to absolve one actor of blame while placing it on another. I may be biased, but I feel that too often the guys take the blame for a problem for which both genders are mutually responsible.

For every question or article of this nature there's an equal and opposite opinionated guy view. I.e. Women are so adolescent, they cling to jock figures even after college because they can't be bothered to figure out the complicated "nice guy" even though they keep complaining about the simple oafishness of their partners. Stop the hypocrisy. There's a truth to that view, but it's still unhelpful and offensive.

So there's a "brief and simple" expansion of my thoughts. I could write whole articles for each paragraph, but I'll spare you the treatise.

jocelyn said...

Thanks for clarifying. I think I agree with you; that there's a social system that rewards particular kinds of behavior for boys. That same system does have ill effects on girls as well... it's a distortion of what really should be happening

RAGE said...

So did you just successfully explain why women seem to like assholes?

Albeit, as a general rule "nice guys" tend to lack initiative. To their credit the concept that the man must take initiative in forming a relationship is a hold-over from the time when rape equaled marriage engagement.