"Why men are in trouble" - CNN opinion

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by ilovepaydays, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. ilovepaydays

    ilovepaydays Well-Known Member

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    CNN opinion- Why men are in trouble

    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?
     
  2. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  3. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    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.
     
  4. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  5. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Now ubering Machida's hair

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    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.
     
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  6. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    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!
     
  7. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Now ubering Machida's hair

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    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.
     
  8. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    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:
     
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  9. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. Cupid

    Cupid Well-Known Member

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

    modern_muslimah Thinking of witty user title and coming up blank

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    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.
     
  12. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    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!
     
  13. Veronika

    Veronika gold dust woman

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    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...
     
  14. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    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.
     
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  15. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    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:
     
  16. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Yaz - I think there is a lot of focus on sexy young girls too, I think we’ve talked about it before and some posters say “yawn”. But I’m with you, I think it is just silly and going to end up problematic. But now that I am turning into an old thing, I am caring less if people want to act a fool, but I do think they and in some cases their parents are fools.
     
  17. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    There always has been a lot of focus on sexy young girls, even before fashion magazines and the media were invented.

    Yazmeen, I think that guys had always been discussing various female body parts. That has never stopped. The difference is that now they feel comfortable enough to do it in front of another woman.
     
  18. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    We've really "come a long way, baby," haven't we? :(
     
  19. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the social circle, I think. If you're hearing these comments around you, it must be pretty bad since men are usually on their best behavior around a woman! :lol: I actually never hear guys talking about other women in that way, and I'm the kind of girl that guys feel totally comfortable telling dirty jokes around. I don't doubt that it happens though. I just hang out with the kind of guys where T&A isn't the be-all-end-all, and I hang out with the kind of women were being sexually attractive isn't the be-all-end-all. But it certainly seems that way if you look at the mainstream consumer culture.

    And as for ogling, it really isn't a big deal as long as it isn't a hard continuous stare, where it gets into creepster territory. All guys get distracted by an attractive woman, or a woman who's dressed to get attention. Doesn't mean he actually wants to go and bang her.
     
  20. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    So, Joubert has a great butt, doesn't he?
     
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  21. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Exactly. Men are viewed as sexual objects all the time.
     
  22. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Ah but see, if they aren't viewed as sexual objects, they still have something going for them. ;)

    When men talk about women as sexual objects, it's usually implied that women would have nothing going for them if they weren't sexually attractive.
     
  23. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    Good point Anita18. I think Max and Tony from DWTS are hot as hell, but if I had the chance to spend time with them I'd like to talk dance or better yet, get a dancing lesson, not just drool over them, LOL! :p:lol:

    I guess I just can't imagine myself sitting at a table with some of my male friends and seeing a Max or a Tony and telling the boys how great their dancer asses are and how I'd like to pinch said butt. Of course, if I did so, I'd probably offend them; not by what I was saying, but because I was suggesting these guys are hotter than they are!!!

    I think many of these guys will learn as they get older and have what I call the "Eric Clapton" moment; before his current marriage, Clapton commented that he was in his 50's and jamming in a club with some friends and he spotted a very attractive girl in her early 20s and was essentially ogling her. She looked over and he saw this "look of revulsion on her face" that said "you're old enough to be my father" and made him realize he was getting too old to do this anymore. Of course, we won't mention that his current wife is 36 to his 66...
     
  24. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    This is nonsense. Women still earn 70 cents on the male dollar and much less in some nations. In others, they aren't even allowed to work. Yes, some women are attaining positions of power and status, but this has just shifted the hierarchy around a bit. A few women are on the top rungs, more are in the middle, but women are hugely over-represented at the bottom in all societies.

    And sure, more women are pursuing higher education - because they can. But that doesn't mean they will surpass men in the job market.

    The New York Times published a doozy of an article on the subject of women outdoing men in school a few years ago. Like this article, it bemoaned the impact of women's academic achievements on men. It comes down to nothing more than sexism.

     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  25. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    I don't find that to be the case but that's anecdotal.

    Japanfan, again, anecdotally, when I was doing research, the team of three surgeons were all female, including a head of a major medical center.

    The disparity that I did see was in urology. It's traditionally a male dominated profession but finally there was a female urology resident and it was a big deal. I see lots of females in other surgical professions, including plastic surgery, one of the most lucrative specialties. Dermatology is another.

    Pediatrics is the lowest paid specialty IIRC. I find this ironic, but that's for another thread. A lot of pediatricians whom I've asked abou their choice of specialty had said that with kids most of the time when they get sick, they get well. So it's a relatively happy specialty. Hours are never mentioned. Pediatrics are usually female-dominated and the hours aren't great what with call, admissions and everything.

    We can ask our in house pediatrician Lara for details.
     
  26. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    This may be true....but I think to women it may feel that way for a not very good reason. Which needs some context....I find that women are less likely than men to develop themselves in ways other than attractiveness and niceness. So sometimes there is no "there" there with women underneath the surface of their appearance and soft voices.

    Men are more likely to make themselves funny, or atheletic, or smart if they aren't good looking as a way to fit in and be liked. Women sometimes do these things too but not as often as men. I bet most people here know more funny men than women. And funny can be developed 'cause I know guys that have consciously worked on it.
     
  27. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    What drives me :mad: is the perception that a woman should not be attractive to be taken seriously or to be promoted to executive positions. Same in politics, good looks are a hindrance.

    Basically, the more a woman looks like a man (no heels, shapeless suits), the more chances there are for promotion to a leadership position.
     
  28. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

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    I can't speak for all faiths and denominations but at my church it is predominatly female attendance. My pastor mentions frequently to the young men(boys) in the church that they have place there and talks about maturity, responsibity and being involved in your family's life.
    College does and should teach discipline with is needed for maturity.
     
  29. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

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    Oh the "dumb" down the looks to exceed issue. :rolleyes:

    I agree
     
  30. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    I think you guys are stuck in the 80's. Attractive women have an advantagw in the work place. Granted, not hoocie mamie types but fit healthy looking women get ahead.