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Saturday, August 20. 2011
Why aren't guys growing up these days? Or did guys ever really want go grow up? I don't know. A sociologist named Michael Kimmel has a book out reporting on his new study. For example, meet Jason:
That's from the review of the book at MSNBC.
Here's an interview with Kimmel at Inside Higher Ed
Here's an interview with Kimmel on hooking-up.
What's your view on all this?
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Don't understand wtf the point is here. Jason graduated from Dartmouth (is that an immature thing?) and works in finance. OK, so he's not an engineer or a doctor. He's 26 and playing the field, is that why he's not "grown up"? Or is it because he's not interested in immediately settling down with some whining worthless American woman who's only interested in his money? I think Jason is quite wise in being very careful before walking into a minefield called marriage that is supposed to be a lifelong commitment. Get real.
Hmm...did I say I was addressing you? I was addressing who/whatever was making the point.
As for Brian's comment, what difference does it make if Jason's youthful experience means anything to anyone but Jason? He's proven, to some degree, to be a capable captain of his own fate. He supports himself with a good job and pays his taxes (we presume). Maybe he is a part of something else but even if he isn't what business is it of anyone else? He has plenty of time to make greater contributions to society when he's damn well ready to do so. This is just busybody nonsense.
KRW, You say, "whining worthless American woman", and "the minefield that is marriage..." I'm sorry for you, because most women aren't rotten despite what you've apparently experienced! I'm sorry that you've never known a good woman.
In defense of KRW and in my own experience, a 'good' woman is hard to find. No sense in settling down just for the sake of settling down if you haven't found a woman you want to spend the rest of your life with.
dates lots of different women — all in their early twenties.
There is your reason why guys don't want to grow up - easy availability of sex. Why buy the cow when milk is free.
The fellow block-quoted is grown up, in a sense. He's got a job, he's sustaining himself.
But growing up used to mean starting a family and settling down. What is Jason doing that means anything? What is he a part of that is bigger than himself?
Shew! What an insult to guys and gals. The young adults of the baby boomers have learned from their parents and their parents friends. They're more mature than we were in knowing there is a lot to living than getting married and settling down.....for the next SEVENTY years. Good for them, I say.
SEVENTY YEARS! I can't imagine living that long, let alone being married to a person that long.
WIFE, what have you done with Buddy? He has not posted in a long time. I think those cowboy boots, stilettos, and hayloft tryst has done the man in. You big Kathie Lee Gifford wanna be. : )
Jappy, my personal secretary with the mostest,
President Buddy is building a nuke in the shape of a horse. He has ADD and is very focused so I don't bother him except to take him an Adderall EX and some grits and taters.
You will live way past 70. Our kids will live maybe to a 100. Can you imagine being married for, like, 84 years?
I think I'll build a My Little Pony nuke and ride off into space, thank you.
"there's a lot more to living than settling down..."
Maybe, but I can't imagine what is more gratifying and rewarding than having children. I've raised a whole houseful of wonderful kids, and they continually enrich my life. My mother tells me about her friends who are now in their later years who never had children and now have no visitors to their quiet homes. I just want to put in a plug for good old fashioned family life, it may not be for everyone but I can't imagine what could be better, or more fun.
I've heard it said that American youths extend their childhoods longer than the youth of any other country. Perhaps it's true. Certainly, according to KRW above, they don't seem to spend any "quality time" with anyone other than "whining worthless American women who are only interested in money." That's a pretty bitter opinion for young, healthy privileged persons such as are described in the Kimmel book.
As most Maggies Farm readers know, you get out of relationships pretty much what you put into them. What's the computer programmers' expression? Garbage in, garbage out.
Take an old woman's advice, KRW. Look for kindness first. Then beauty. The kindness, the loyalty, lasts a lifetime. The beauty -- not so much.
Madam M, don't misunderstand. Sure there are pearls out there, but you gotta open a lot of oysters to find one. Jason may well be on the road, but even if he isn't, there's nothing unusual about his approach. Many fine, quality men throughout history took their time finding the right one. Visiting my old hometown this week, I have been reflecting on the many wonderful women of your generation who were a part of my life. Not that they don't make them like that anymore, but they seem fewer and fewer these days. I have several friends who are good, honest, faithful, hard working engineers who make good money and the crap they have to put up with from their wives (and sometimes even their daughters) is pathetic. Our society panders to the soap Oprah crowd. As a society, we reap what we sow.
"you get out of relationships pretty much what you put into them"
I wish I could agree with you, but I don't. I think people, male and female, fall into two categories: Givers and Takers. That is a huge generalization made very simple, but I want to keep it simple. If a giver marries a taker, it will take him/her some time to realize they are putting into the relationship far more than they are getting out of it. The takers don't care. Obviously, if two givers marry, it works. Maybe a marriage of two takers would work, as well. But I cannot go along with the cliche - you get out of something what you put into it.
For too many years, I didn't know what beauty was. Now, as an old man, I've discovered that I have been surrounded by it all my life.
Through the prism of virtue: truth, beauty, courage, loyalty and love are the same. they are all essential for eudaimonia.
I like you, Marianne. It is a pleasure to share the planet with you.
Are we suppose to think Jason is acting like a child by not almost immediately getting married? Kimmel sounds like an elitist jerk to me. He probably needs some good sex.
Exactly. The only real men who might have an issue with Jason's choices might be those out there sacrificing their lives to protect his partying ass. I don't see where any other man would have an issue with Jason's lifestyle except the ones who use these elitist attitudes to score brownie points with women just to get into their pants...the John Edwards types.
Getting married later if very common among certain professional classes, particularly if grad school is in the picture. Having dated lots of people and enjoyed 'chasing' women in my twenties, I thought this guy may have something in common with me. Reading his interview about hooking up, though, he comes off as a jerk.
I think what is really going on is that there is more flexibility, particularly for high earners to have more time in their twenties to develop their social life and establish themselves (i.e. make some money) before they get married and have children. It's exciting to meet new women in your twenties, even for non-sexual reasons. I miss that part most about being single. Eventually (hopefully) that gets old and you meet someone that you can't move on from because they mean so much to you. It should be said that plenty of women enjoy their twenties the same way.
I resembled that: lived in a house with four fraternity brothers for many years after graduation (in Boston, even).
It is undeniably fun to live in a house with your close friends; and don't forget going from flat broke students to having a household income in the hundreds of thousands with few responsibilities makes many things possible. Now, a decade after graduation, almost all the guys are married.
Here's a more interesting trend: the three day bachelor party. With everyone scattered up and down the East Coast and a couple fled West a mini-vacation makes sense. Activities are a mix of fishing, golfing, shooting, and of course drinking, ahem dancers, and gambling. Being older than the median for bachelors makes these weekends easier financially. The girls do something similar (sometimes at the same location) but with a different mix of activities (I think, I've never asked).
I've watched plenty of new hires out of college in the last 10 years, as well as my now teenage sons, interact with other guys AND with young ladies.
The "hook up" has changed dramatically over the years. When I was 29 and bought (yes, bought) my first condo, I played volleyball with a girl who I liked. We went out (with a group) several times, and once I even asked if she wanted to go out. Her reply was "I'd go out with you, but we see alot of each other and it would get weird. I usually only like to do hook ups." I was stunned, and didn't reply - I'd have easily said "fine, let's handle it that way", but my immediate silence signaled to her that this was not (and it wasn't) my standard approach.
This kind of mentality remains common among young ladies. Virtually all the women who have worked with me (under the age of 30 in the last 10 years) have boyfriends OR a "friend with benefits". If they have a boyfriend, they will usually have one night a week "with the girls" where they "hook up". This is NOT uncommon. I will admit they are shy about this, and don't like to talk about it alot. In fact, I'm willing to bet if interviewed, they'd deny it happens.
But it's true, I have seen it in action - the walk of shame the next morning as they come in after a Wednesday ("hump night") or Thursday night of going out. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are for families or boyfriends.
As a much older person who is in a position of authority, over time most of these women viewed me as a "father" or "uncle" figure who they could come clean to. The stories sometimes made my hair curl....but it wasn't just to me.
I was once in an after hours "meeting", all of us staying late to implement a new system. We sat around eating pizza and having soda as the data uploaded. The boys began discussing sex. The girls joined right in and were just as outgoing and raucous about the topics.
Executives and managers today are in a difficult spot. Stay, listen or even take part in a discussion like this, and you face the potential for dismissal if anything untoward happens. Leave and just let it happen, and you are viewed with suspicion by your team, even perhaps losing their trust.
Young people today have entered a very strange place, sexually. I believe (but am not sure) that my sons handle themselves with honor around women, because I do. Are they "guys" too? Sure - I almost insist that we do "guy" things - and encourage them to do these things. I share my "guy" stories from college with them (to a limit, of course). But I also make sure they know that while it's OK to be a "guy" around women, you treat them with respect and honor their wishes (no means no, etc.).
I can look back on my many occasions with young ladies and even had an old (girl) friend say to me "you know, when we were together and I said no, I really wanted you to". I said "but to me, no means no and that's it"
She replied "that's why I respect your opinion over that of other people. I was disappointed back then, but over time, it's only grown on me."
Sure, I missed out on a number of these "opportunities", and there are times I kick myself when I think back. But at least I know I did the right thing, and I try to teach my boys the right thing.
I guess your old girlfriend learned from that experience with you that she has a choice: let someone else call the shots without considering your wishes, or take responsibility for your own desires. I'll bet she'd have been happier if she'd learned it before she lost her shot with you.
I don't know. It's not like she was a floozy or anything like that. In college, I only know of 2 fellows she was with (in any sense of the term) aside from me, and one was my roommate. After college, we lost touch for many years, and I know she was married and divorced. Today she is very successful and in a happy marriage.
So I can't really say that she's kicking herself over anything (though maybe that I was so upright, just as I am kicking myself over that particular episode LOL).
There are girls who never learned, though. But I know all of them have had good things to say about me over the years, so maybe those instances where "no meant no" actually meant something to THEM....even if they didn't learn anything from it.
What astounds me, though, is the ease with which girls today just fall into bed. On the one hand, I wish "why couldn't I be in college again?" On the other I think, "EW".
Being a man often puts one at cross-purposes, I think.
I don't envy young people today with their lackadaisical attitudes toward sex. Sometimes when something is TOO easy, it's boring and not worth doing. You know, part of the thing about going out, in college, was the thrill of the chase.......most times you came home empty handed and didn't feel all that bad about it.
Rick, you sound kinda like Dudley Moore in "10". For Bo Derek's character, sex meant nothing, and Dud couldn't deal with that.
Kimmel on hooking -up:
"And when you are angry and resentful that women's changed roles in society make your life feel harder and less secure â€” because, for example, they are competing for the same places in the work force â€” then you may see them as "better than" you, and you may resent them.
Me: I'm much too old to understand or to share the pain of today's young men, but maybe the resentment some of them feel reflects their perception that the odds in society are too often stacked in favor of women, sometimes with the force of law. Whether the odds really are stacked, or merely appear to be that way according to the guys, isn't this something that people should be worried about? Affirmative action has had a very corrosive effect on society. Shouldn't we be way past that by now?
Kimmel again: "Ironically, survey after survey shows that married men are happier and healthier than unmarried men."
Me: So that's why half of all marriages end up in divorce? Doesn't compute, unless Kimmel is referring just to the small minority of marriages that actually manage to survive the test of time.
The point about "married men are happier" has little to do with 50% of marriages wind up in divorce (though from what I've heard this is 50% of ALL marriages, and once you've been divorced there is a high likelihood of having another, so the statistic is skewed - I've never seen the stats on FIRST marriages. All I know is that a psychologist friend told me 1st marriages have a higher rate of success - otherwise, why would people bother getting married?).
The point is that, while married, men are usually happier. I think we (both men and women) sometimes misread short term difficulties and give up easily. We try not to work through differences.
I see this at work, when men and women work together, reach and impasse and can't push through. I've actually said to women I've worked with "you're just like my wife". To which they've replied "But I'm not, so get over it". Usually that results in laughter and we find a place to dig in and push forward.
As far as resentment is concerned - I don't resent women in the workplace. My current position is a team of all women, I'm the only man, and I'm the junior position. But it's not an issue, we all get along great. I love it.
However, I have had previous positions where women got their positions either through force of management dictate ("we have to fill a quota"), or some other "thing" (we've all heard the stories....and usually they are true) that gave them an advantage. These women are usually unprepared and difficult to work with, because they know how and why they got to where they are and thus feel the need to compensate.
In addition, law plays a major problem (as I pointed out above). I've known several people who lost a position because of the mere allegation of impropriety. Companies unwilling to do legwork, or who do it but can't prove anything, have to opt for the "word of the woman" over that of the man. To the point - my parents had dinner with a judge who is now a very high ranking judge. A woman. She heard them telling a story about a situation like this, and she replied "unfortunately, the sexual discrimination laws in this country were designed to help right wrongs in the workplace but have been misused and abused by many who seek to benefit from them."
I doubt you'll ever see THAT in an opinion, though.
Here's the salient factor: This was researched and written by a sociologist.
Translation: This is almost certainly based on BS, with BS conclusions. If you believe sociology is a science, you are probably making a career of it.
Sounds pretty similar to my life. Graduated college in mid '80's, moved to a big city with active young single social life. Moved in with a couple of old buddies, roomed with a college buddy for almost 10 years, played lots of sports, traveled, finished grad school, dated lots of woman and finally got married at 34 and 1st kid at 38. I'm kind of envious of friends our age who started family earlier, but really wouldn't trade my initial 10 years out of college.
It's funny when old men try to pontificate on the sex lives of young people. Especially young women like myself. Well, I consider myself 'young-ish'. "Young". to me is more if you fall into the teens. After 18, we're all legal adults and so what we do in our personal lives is as adults.
I do think guys in my generation are pretty bitter and are acting out, but trying to blame the sexual freedom of my gender is a total cop-out.
I have three older brothers. My father told them a few times, probably accidentally in front of me, "If you get yourself in trouble; if you do something bad; DO NOT DARE try to blame your testicles around me."
But I'd also see my peers dads who were more like trying to push their sons to be total whores and even act as if they were more their brothers or buddies than their fathers. Which embarasses most 'young' men. A couple of their dads even hit on or flirted with me which was so GROSS and if I'd have ever told my dad he would've gone ape-crazy and beat the crap out of them.
There sure are alot of books coming out about the sexual interests of my generation and I think it's kind of perverse and voyeuristic, if not futile.
Women like sex. We have sex drives. They kick in A LOT earlier than your TV stereotypes tell you. If we practice safe sex and don't ruin our lives with babies, what difference is it to you?
What I don't like about my parents and grandparents generations is that you all were all,"sex, drugs, and rock n roll' but when you got old, you got all uptight. Now you're telling MY generation,"Don't smoke, don't drink, don't do drugs, don't have sex." I mean, WTF?! Your hypocrisy and rationalizations for indulging in it KNOW NO BOUNDS.
This artificial 'Jason' guy isn't the norm this book would have you believe. I WISH there were so many guys with money ( not the roommates, unless they're hot I guess ), but there aren't any jobs anymore. But we ( meaning the secret society of young women - gasp! - having sex when they want to instead of when we're told to ) would call 'Jason' a 'rotten peter' or 'wank willy' behind his back, which essentialy means he's easily had, probably fun, but not anything seriously considerable as marriage material. Why marry a man all your girlfriends have already sex with? Duh.
I think their heads are more screwed up by their dads and the dumb messages they get in the media about being 'guys' ( basically any adult man who calls himself a 'guy' is already marking himself as kiind of stupid and immature anyway ), but also how to be grownups. They're constantly told that choosing marriage and family is a virtual crime. Especially by old guys in their 50's and 60's who screwed up their own families and marriages. So they're told to be self-indulgent, self-centered, and sexual objects. OK then, if we treat like you are that way, then why whine about a future of being old, ugly, fat, bald and ALONE? It's like old dudes that go to strip clubs just send the message they're desperate and probably loaded with STD's? Then have the the lack of self-awareness to actually complain about how young women, or women in general, that they date take their money whle they have a real boyfriend their own age on the side? Really? Really really? LOL!!
Old people infatuate by the sex lives of young people. Maybe if you hadn't screwed up your own lives and families youd' have, duh, LIVES and actual grown up interests.
Right now, mine is my career first then my finances. In my free time is hobbies and interests and the guys that float around in them. Marriage is not a big deal to my generation like it was to yours. I don't care if my male peers feel that way too. They're available for fun.
Young women now don't see marriage as the only important thing in Life. A couple of my friends got married too young imho but they like it and that's fine for them but I wouldn't say they adore their choice either. My parents have never, ever pressured me or my brothers about marriage and they've been married over 20 years now,though one brother did get married and likes being married too. My dad and brothers did not and do not mock him, they didn't take him out on some three day drunk full of strippers either. In my parents mind,that's disrespect to his future wife and the entire idea of taking an oath.
A lot of young women don't want to take the oath yet because that's giving your word. We DO know it's serious, so stop saying we don't. Or that we don't think it's valuable. We just have sex in the meantime and some of you older people try to posture like that's some sort of 'new' thing. Maybe it is to you, but it's not to us.