Saturday, September 3, 2011

Are Men Under Attack?

I've noticed that men are getting a lot of bad publicity in the media sphere over the last few weeks/years. When I returned home from Connecticut, my mother left an article on my bed from the Wall Street Journal, with the harsh title, "Where Have All the Good Guys Gone?" It featured an excerpt from a book released this past March titled, Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys, by Kay Hymowitz. She analyzes how pop culture has created the infamous "man-boy", a.k.a Seth Rogan before he meets Katherine Heigel in Knocked Up. One immediate issue I have with this book is the fact that women are being blamed for the rise of "man-boys." Why must women be punished for their power and strength? Female power poses a threat to men who are now losing their masculinity and never growing up. This is a troubling connection to me.

I was then sent to an amusing video from The Onion titled, "Obama Releases 500,000 Men from U.S. Strategic Bachelor Reserve." While I think the video's hilarious, there were certain parts that made me a bit uncomfortable. For example, the ideal man, according to The Onion, notices a woman's new haircut and learns to grow a vegetable garden. Is that all women desire in a life partner?

My main question is: Are The Onion, Knocked Up, and Kay Hymowitz onto something? Is this generation of men, less mature, and more boyish? I'm certainly not an authority on the male population, and I've had my fair share of awkward experiences with immature men (for evidence of this, you can refer to this previous post). Yet, I do have an opinion on this "man-boy" phenomena. I think films such as Knocked Up have glorified the "man-boy" archetype and made it more socially acceptable for men to sit around in their pajamas and play video games all day. Why grow up when your favorite celebrity stays a child forever in your favorite television program or movie? I think it gives men "the easy way out" and an excuse to avoid responsibilities in their lives, so let's get rid of the "man-boy" term. Also, it's an exaggeration to say that all men are like this. I'd like to keep the hope alive that there are "good" men out there, escaping the "man-boy" label.

"Man-boys" in action.

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