Steve Watters has recently given a nod to an article on "child-men," a piece that highlights the supposed arrested development of young single men today. There's just one problem. Steve has fallen for a ruse.
The author of the piece in question fits a notorious demographic--female journalists who live in metropolitan areas and who write on fashion and culture. Her name is Kay S. Hymowitz and she lives in New York. This disclosure is sufficient warning for any red-state male that might hazard to read beyond her byline. Yes, I engaged in overgeneralization. So be it. How long should we continue to hang on every word of the East Coast literati? The conventional wisdom these people have to offer on social issues (especially on gender matters) is just that--conventional wisdom.
Ms. Hymowitz's piece contains the usual hallmarks of that peculiar literary style propagated by the skirt-wearing, Manolo pumping, nail polish crowd of Upper East Side ...
1. Use of banal neologisms to pigeonhole men (e.g., "child-man" which can be compared to "metrosexual," "retrosexual," and "ubersexual")
2. An obsession with fictional characters (usually in chick media) to illustrate a negligible point (such as the tiresome references to "Sex in the City"). In Hymowitz's piece, we are force-fed a shovel load of allusions to negligible pop tripe that reveals nothing but the level of vapidity found in mainstream media.
3. Mindless, kneejerk gynocentrism that is more predictable than a Fisher-Price See-N-Say toy.
It is on this last point that I wish to make some additional observations. Other astute commentators have already pointed out what annoys me about Hymowitz. First, there is the tendency to categorize male pastimes as "immature" while giving a pass to female pastimes of equally dubious merit--chief among them being shopping for overpriced shoes, clothing, and dust-collecting knick-knacks. Second, there is the amazing ability by Hymowitz and her spin sisters to screen out any unconformable truths about today's young women. I've said it before; I'll say it again. Many women have an entitlement mentality that demands equality workplace (including career opportunities in traditionally male occupations) but inequality in dating, romance, and the family budget (asking the man to pay for for the dates and bring home the larger paycheck). These women are blind to the cumulative effects of a race to the top for the eligible male. Many women are also caught up in their own pursuit of pleasure throughout their youth and ignore the call of matrimony up until the point the ovum count starts to go south. Many women have been siren-songed by a cadre of "relationship experts" promoting the Sisterhood of Victims and they cannot fathom the notion that women might "need some work" in the relationship department themselves. And then there is the matter of divorce--we need not rehash any elementary truths about who often cashes in on who.
Steve Watters later followed up with a comment on his post: "I get the sense that many of you were offended by something you found in the excerpt without reading through the actual article. I'd be curious how many of you would defend the lifestyles Hymowitz describes over the course of the article." My response is: "Nothing to look at here, ladies and gentlemen. Move right along." We can't have the passing drivers rubber-necking too closely at Hymowitz's wrecked Winnebago.