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ilovepaydays
10-04-2011, 08:49 PM
CNN opinion- Why men are in trouble (http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/04/opinion/bennett-men-in-trouble/index.html?hpt=hp_c1)

I agree with some of this opinion. I have noticed that when I turned 30, the dating scene changed in that there is no gray area or middle ground. The guys are either great and responsible or just losers. Which make it easy to weed them out and not waste my time. But it has also been my luck that the great guys usually have a significant other. Sigh.

But I don't believe that getting married and having a family means you are automatically grown up. I disagree that this article implies that this is what men need to do in order to "be mature". You need to be mature and a healthy person by yourself before you bring in a spouse and children.

I also disagree with the "religion" part of what is "manhood". And I say this as someone whose faith is important to them. I have been at many churches and a lot of marriages I see (especially the Evangelicals) make me want to vomit - for a lot of reasons. But that is for another thread.

I will also say that while you may find some great singles in churches, you also find some of the worst dysfunction there as well. I would much rather be in a relationship with someone who is upfront about his beliefs than one who is "super into church" and then as a person had all kinds of issues - whether it is maturity, had a completely different worldview, or was just boring to be around.

Thoughts?

aliceanne
10-04-2011, 09:01 PM
Eh. I've read articles like this before, but I don't agree. I see men out grocery shopping and picking kids up from after school activities all of the time. That would have never happened in my father's generation. My male co-workers are married with children/grandchildren for the most part.

Being unemployed or in a dead-end situation certainly affects your attitude towards responsibility, but this is true for women as well.

snoopy
10-04-2011, 09:03 PM
I suspect that men in this age are no different in terms of taking on responsibility than men in any other age. The difference is that men not inclined to take on family responsibilities now have the social acceptability needed to avoid it. My long-term SO falls in this camp. His brain chemistry would not be any different if he was born 100 years ago, but he would probably have been married because it was expected. But that marriage would not have been anywhere near ideal – and it wouldn’t be out of the question to think he would have abandoned the family at some point. The advantage to me, now, is that I can be with the guy I love and still financially take care of myself – without worrying he will abandon me and our 3 kids while I have no means to support myself. (And FWIW, I do not in any way financially support my SO. But he does not financially support me either. This is not my ideal of how things should be but then I wasn’t born with Vivien Leigh’s looks or Paris Hilton’s bank account either.)

The one case-type I can see being different (in a past age) is the guys and girls I see waiting for the “perfect one”. But that is a different issue than Bennett’s responsibility argument.

PDilemma
10-04-2011, 09:15 PM
I'm not sure what Bennett's data proves. Church attendance does not automatically make you mature. A college degree does not make you mature. And the wage data is questionable. He cites a range of 1970 to 2007 and points to women's wages going up significantly. There are any number of reasons for that rise that are not related to anyone's maturity.

First of all, is the data he is citing an average of all women's wages for the intervening years? If so, it is notable that there were fewer women in the workforce in 1970, so of course average wages went up. About 43% of women were employed 30 hours or more in 1970, about 59% were in 2002--according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Even if Bennett's data is not average earnings for all women, there are other explanations for wages rising more for women than men being immature. The stats he cites himself about more women earning college degrees would be a factor. Women have a stronger presence outside of traditionally female careers which pay more. And there has been increasing legislation and public pressure for equal pay. All of those things would be a factor.

maatTheViking
10-04-2011, 09:23 PM
ugh, as a game industry proffessional, I hate the 'men who play video games don't grow up' argument. Most of my male co-workers play video games, have college degrees, have kids, play sports, go to church if religious and so forth.

When do people understand that video games is not a child-like thing, that a lot of modern games are about content not aimed at kids, and it is a form of entertainment like reading a book, or going to the opera? (And adult, family men has always enjoyed entertainment) :soapbox:

besides that, the whole idea that men are not part of families are strange to me. I see more men taking an active part in family life instead of going to work and then 'retreating to the study' as in my grandfathers time.

And since when was religion a 'founding value'?

while it is troubling that less percentage of men get college degrees, I think the rest of the article is wrong about what men are 'in trouble' for.
Isn't it too easy to blame rap, movies and video games? And implicitly women for 'taking their jobs'?

In my mind there need to be a cultural shift where men can be proud and acknowledged for other things that being the main bread winner for the family, just like there has been a shift from women only being acknowledged for having babies and cooking perfect dinners and cleaning the house.

I really think than since women could (and still is) breaking through the glass ceiling, men can find their role too, we just need as a society, as parents, as educators, to reward men for doing a multitude of things, and for not feel unfortable if the women can make more money than them or take care of themselves.

snoopy
10-04-2011, 09:44 PM
besides that, the whole idea that men are not part of families are strange to me. I see more men taking an active part in family life instead of going to work and then 'retreating to the study' as in my grandfathers time.

Yeah. I think this is partly because now the men who really want to be married with kids get married and have kids while those who are prone to “retreat to the study” don’t get married as much anymore.

I am somewhat surprised by the single religious people here who comment that “the grass isn’t any greener”. If only because I would think that guys who want to be in marriages would also be attracted to religion. Being “traditionally minded” so to speak. But then many of the religious couple I know weren’t very religious when they hooked up (even if it was just a religious hiatus) and got more church oriented after they got married. So maybe marriage brings on church versus church bringing on marriage!

maatTheViking
10-04-2011, 09:51 PM
Yeah. I think this is partly because now the men who really want to be married with kids get married and have kids while those who are prone to “retreat to the study” don’t get married as much anymore.


And I would say that is a good thing! Not being forced into a bad marriage because of society's expectations!


I think the church - marriage thing is an American thing. Very few people in Denmark are religious more than 'in name' (aka don't go to church, still members, maybe believing), and none of my friends have gotten more religious by getting married (or having children).

I think in the US, many family related activities centers around church or school, so it is a way to connect to people. in Denmark, most clubs and associations are not connected to either.

to me, as a non-American, religion has nothing to with desiring marriage, and marriage has nothing to do with being traditional or conservative.

vesperholly
10-04-2011, 09:55 PM
I'm not sure what Bennett's data proves. Church attendance does not automatically make you mature. A college degree does not make you mature.

And neither does getting married and raising a family. I'm so sick of people being judged as "less than" because they're not married. :blah:

PDilemma
10-04-2011, 10:01 PM
And neither does getting married and raising a family. I'm so sick of people being judged as "less than" because they're not married. :blah:

Agreed. Completely. I was single well into my 30s and hated that. But it doesn't end with marriage. Once you are married, you are judged as "less than" if you don't have children.

Cupid
10-05-2011, 12:55 AM
Agreed. Completely. I was single well into my 30s and hated that. But it doesn't end with marriage. Once you are married, you are judged as "less than" if you don't have children.

And then you are judged as "less than" when your marriage ends 25 years later.

modern_muslimah
10-05-2011, 01:47 PM
Agreed. Completely. I was single well into my 30s and hated that. But it doesn't end with marriage. Once you are married, you are judged as "less than" if you don't have children.


And then you are judged as "less than" when your marriage ends 25 years later.

You just can't win can you?

All I will say is that married men aren't necessarily more mature than unmarried men, especially the men who marry because their social/religious groups says "You must get married" and the men who get married because they're "lonely". In Islam, there's actually a saying from Prophet Muhammad that marriage is half of the faith. So we have a ridiculous amount of pressure to marry but a lot of us aren't ready to marry but do so anyway. There are some Muslim women who can't handle marriage but I have seen way too many Muslim men who have extremely antiquated notions of what Muslim wives should be like. She should be just like his mother (i.e. cook, clean the house, care for the children) but also have a full time job and be ready to have sex whenever he wants it. She should also readily accept things he wants such as him wanting a second wife. :scream:

I've also seen a lot of Muslim marriages that make me want to puke. We don't value singles. Also, we put a stupid amount of pressure on married couples to have babies soon after they're married.

PDilemma
10-05-2011, 03:37 PM
Some branches of Christianity are very much like that, in terms of pressure to marry. The major difference is that they are never going to want second wives.

When I attended Evangelical churches and worked in a school that was "interdenominational" Christian, but basically a (very tense) mix of Fundamentalist, Evangelical and Charismatic, there was enormous pressure on even high school kids to marry very young (it was often looked on as the best prevention for premarital sex). There was almost always one student (usually a girl) marrying shortly after graduation and junior girls would sometimes begin to panic if they had no marriage prospects by that spring. They had a text book from a Christian publisher in the family consumer science classes that talked about the risk of single people "becoming depraved".

As a single woman teaching there, I got loads of pity following my 25th birthday because I was obviously a lost cause for marriage at that point. Many years later, a student I had been particularly close to got engaged at 26 and shared with me that her mother was being very difficult about wedding planning because she felt that the wedding should be low key since the girl was "a much older bride". The woman would have died had I been her daughter!

Veronika
10-05-2011, 04:16 PM
Many years later, a student I had been particularly close to got engaged at 26 and shared with me that her mother was being very difficult about wedding planning because she felt that the wedding should be low key since the girl was "a much older bride". The woman would have died had I been her daughter!

Oh good lord (no pun intended)--I got engaged at 26, and I was one of the first of my group of friends to get married. But most of my friends are not religious...

IceAlisa
10-05-2011, 04:30 PM
A few years ago I saw a number saying that the majority of graduating class in med schools are women and that medicine is becoming a woman's profession.

We know two families where the woman is the bread winner, an Ivy League professional school grad while the dad stays home, cooks, cleans, etc. Both of the dads are exceptional cooks, btw. Aside from these two, all the men I know socially are working professionals. I know at least 4 wives who are home makers.

OTOH, I see so many dads in parks, swimming lessons and other kids' activities being involved with their children. But that could just be the microcosm of San Francisco. I don't know.

Not sure why religion is important though and how it is indicative of anything.

Yazmeen
10-05-2011, 05:24 PM
Re: younger men's views on women: I'm a 53 year old baby boomer, and I've noticed a change in younger men's attitudes that I often find annoying and uncomfortable. When I'd hang with male colleagues my own age in the past in "one of the boys situations" (happened a lot in my medical specialty), they might note a woman was pretty or say she really looked good, etc. but that was about it. I've noticed with younger male colleagues up to their early forties that the comments now are all who's "hot," has "great boobs, butt, legs," ad nauseum and whether or not they'd like to "do her." I've been in situations where I've nearly kicked a couple of them under the table because they are so blatanly ogling a good looking woman, even when said female is obviously with another guy. And yes, most of the guys who do this are married...

And it seems to be fueled by changes in women's focus; everything aimed at younger women seems to focus on their looks, their hotness. As an example, do they have Halloween costumes for women anymore (that you don't have to make yourself) that aren't "naughty this," "sexy that?" A young friend who recently got married had a focus that seemed to turn her engagement and wedding in a gigantic modeling photo shoot of herself. We've now moved to the hot "trash the dress" photos... She's a sweetheart, and maybe this was partially her photog friend's idea, but even my husband commented "she's a beautiful lady, but how long is this going to go on? The wedding was months ago!!!!" I'm no prude, I like to look hot at times myself, but my focus is on what I do, and how I live, not so much how I look, now or before. I'm not suggesting all younger men and women are shallow, but I see the author's point on a shift in men's perspective in how they view women and how also how women contribute to it.

Maybe I'm just getting old...:confused: