Rise Of The Manchild

Budyzir

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Nov 12, 2004
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OK, I'm putting this in OFF TOPIC because it's not really earth shattering news, just amusing.

So, what do you think? One woman's opinion.

RISE OF THE MANCHILD
By KAY S. HYMOWITZ

January 27, 2008 -- It's 1965 and you're a 26-year-old white guy. You have a factory job, or maybe you work for an insurance broker. Either way, you're married, probably have been for a few years now; you met your wife in high school, where she was in your sister's class. You've already got one kid, with another on the way. For now, you're renting an apartment in your parents' two-family house, but you're saving up for a three-bedroom ranch house in the next town. Yup, you're an adult!

Now meet the twenty-first-century you, also 26. You've finished college and work in a cubicle in a large Chicago financial-services firm. You live in an apartment with a few single guy friends. In your spare time, you play basketball with your buddies, download the latest indie songs from iTunes, have some fun with the Xbox 360 - and then it's off to bars and parties, where you meet, and often bed, girls of widely varied hues and sizes. Wife? Kids? House? Are you kidding?

Not so long ago, the average mid-twentysomething had achieved most of adulthood's milestones - high school degree, financial independence, marriage, and children. These days, he lingers - happily - in a new hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. Decades in unfolding, this limbo may not seem like news to many, but in fact it is to the early twenty-first century what adolescence was to the early twentieth: a momentous sociological development of profound economic and cultural import. Some call this new period "emerging adulthood," others "extended adolescence"; David Brooks recently took a stab with the "Odyssey Years," a "decade of wandering."

But while we grapple with the name, it's time to state what is now obvious to legions of frustrated young women: the limbo doesn't bring out the best in young men. With women, you could argue that adulthood is in fact emergent. Single women in their twenties and early thirties are joining an international New Girl Order, hyperachieving in both school and an increasingly female-friendly workplace, while packing leisure hours with shopping, traveling, and dining with friends. Single Young Males, or SYMs, by contrast, often seem to hang out in a playground of drinking, hooking up, playing Halo 3, and, in many cases, underachieving. With them, adulthood looks as though it's receding.

That sound you hear is women not laughing. Oh, some women get a kick out of child-men and their frat/fart jokes; about 20 percent of Maxim readers are female, for instance, and presumably not all are doing research for the dating scene. But for many of the fairer sex, the child-man is either an irritating mystery or a source of heartbreak. In Internet chat rooms, in advice columns, at female water-cooler confabs, and in the pages of chick lit, the words "immature" and "men" seem united in perpetuity. Women complain about the "Mr. Not Readys," and the "Mr. Maybes."

Naturally, women wonder: How did this perverse creature come to be? The most prevalent theory comes from feminist-influenced academics and cultural critics, who view dude media as symptoms of backlash, a masculinity crisis. Men feel threatened by female empowerment, these thinkers argue, and in their anxiety, they cling to outdated roles.

But history suggests an uncomfortable fact about the new SYM: he's immature because he can be. We can argue endlessly about whether "masculinity" is natural or constructed - whether men are innately promiscuous, restless, and slobby, or socialized to be that way - but there's no denying the lesson of today's media marketplace: give young men a choice between serious drama on the one hand, and Victoria's Secret models, battling cyborgs and the NFL on the other, and it's the models, cyborgs and football by a mile.

For whatever reason, adolescence appears to be the young man's default state, proving what anthropologists have discovered in cultures everywhere: it is marriage and children that turn boys into men. Now that the SYM can put off family into the hazily distant future, he can - and will - try to stay a child-man.

Now, you could argue that the motley crew of Maxim, Comedy Central and Halo 3 aren't much to worry about, and that extended adolescence is what the word implies: a temporary stage. Most guys have lots of other things going on will eventually settle down. Men know the difference between entertainment and real life. At any rate, like gravity, growing up happens; nature has rules.

That's certainly a hope driving the sharpest of recent child-man entertainments, Judd Apatow's hit movie "Knocked Up." The potheaded 23-year-old Ben Stone accidentally impregnates Alison, a gorgeous stranger he was lucky enough to score at a bar. He is clueless about what to do when she decides to have the baby, not because he's a "badass" - actually, he has a big heart - but because he dwells among social retards. In the end, though, Ben understands that he needs to grow up. He gets a job and an apartment, and learns to love Alison and the baby.

It is also a fairy tale for guys. You wouldn't know how to become an adult even if you wanted to? Maybe a beautiful princess will come along and show you.

But the important question that Apatow's comedy deals with only obliquely is what extended living as a child-man does to a guy - and to the women he collides with along the way. The film features a subplot involving Alison's miserably married sister Debbie and her husband, Pete, the father of her two little girls. Pete, who frequently disappears to play fantasy baseball or get high in Las Vegas, chronically wields irony to distance himself from his family. "Care more!" his wife yells at him. "You're cool because you don't give a s - - -."

And that "coolness" points to what may be the deepest existential problem with the child-man - a tendency to avoid not just marriage but any deep attachments. This is British writer Nick Hornby's central insight in his novel "About a Boy." The book's antihero, Will, is an SYM whose life is as empty of passion as of responsibility. He has no self apart from pop-culture effluvia. Hornby shows how the media-saturated limbo of contemporary guyhood makes it easy to fill your days without actually doing anything. "Sixty years ago, all the things Will relied on to get him through the day simply didn't exist," Hornby writes. "There was no daytime TV, there were no videos, there were no glossy magazines. . . . Now, though, it was easy [to do nothing]. There was almost too much to do."

The superficiality, indolence, and passionlessness evoked in Hornby's novel haven't triggered any kind of cultural transformation. Sales of "lad lit," as some call books with SYM heroes, can't hold a candle to those of its chick-lit counterpart. The SYM doesn't read much, remember, and he certainly doesn't read anything prescribing personal transformation. The child-man may be into self-mockery; self-reflection is something else entirely.

That's too bad. Young men especially need a culture that can help them define worthy aspirations. Adults don't emerge. They're made.

Link: http://www.nypost.com/seven/01272008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/rise_of_the_manchild_350360.htm
Based on some common stereotypes of WB or O&A fans, this made me laugh.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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The whore who wrote that needs a manchild to fuck her silly, and see what she thinks about that.

She seems to forget that in 1966, she wouldn't have been encouraged to have a career of her own, and when hubby comes home and beats the shit out of her nothing would have happened.
 
Feb 20, 2006
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She's behind the times. The latest thing is live with mommy and daddy throughout your 20s. Fuck her and the useless asses (I refuse to use "Manchild") that won't get a life.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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If a 23 year old could get a job that paid enough to pay a $1500 a month mortgage maybe they'd live by themselves and settle down. Time have changed, people live longer, and it costs too much to live alone. Most people don't "settle down" until their late 20's now, thats just how it is. It has nothing to do with changing attitudes, it's all about economics.
 

NotSoFast

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Apr 23, 2006
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#5
If a 23 year old could get a job that paid enough to pay a $1500 a month mortgage maybe they'd live by themselves and settle down. Time have changed, people live longer, and it costs too much to live alone. Most people don't "settle down" until their late 20's now, thats just how it is. It has nothing to do with changing attitudes, it's all about economics.
Live outside the big city areas and you could have 2 nice homes for $1500 a month.
 

Budyzir

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Nov 12, 2004
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Live outside the big city areas and you could have 2 nice homes for $1500 a month.
True, but where else than a big city can you make more? I guess it's kind of relative, lower cost of living, lower wages and visa versa.

Shit, $1500 a month, I couldn't live here on 3x that a month. $375 a week, is that even possible???? I'm not trying to put anyone down but, $18,000 a year? I might call that retirement country! :)
 

Kris_LTRMa

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Nov 17, 2006
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#7
bitch got dumped and now she's on the all men are immature assholes kick. She's a bitter cunt - end of story

omg - did I just say that? :icon_eek:
 

Tax Payer

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Apr 3, 2007
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#8
is she suggesting that we raise super kids? ..... LINGGGEEEERRRR LOONNNGGGERRR
 

LiddyRules

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Jun 1, 2005
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Now meet the twenty-first-century you, also 26. You've finished college and work in a cubicle in a large Chicago financial-services firm. You live in an apartment with a few single guy friends. In your spare time, you play basketball with your buddies, download the latest indie songs from iTunes, have some fun with the Xbox 360 - and then it's off to bars and parties, where you meet, and often bed, girls of widely varied hues and sizes. Wife? Kids? House? Are you kidding?
I wish I had that life. Minus the roomates. And torrents instead of iTunes. And pot instead of basketball. Fuck the wife and kids, we're sorry that we want to enjoy life. Its the 2000s, the existence of the "manchild" comes from a near universal loss of values and the realization that life has no meaning. It's no longer "you need to get married" to feel as though your life matters. It doesn't, it never did, but people realize it more now. (Existentialism is the only way to live.) The divorce rate and wanting to be "special" has lead to us not wanting to destroy our lives at such a young age.

Like Don has said, times have changed. We can't just go off to work and get a house immediately after college. Costs of living have risen incredbily. College degrees mean shit.
 

Sprite

permanent case of the Moooondays
Apr 27, 2005
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#10
I'm going to write an article about KAY S. HYMOWITZ entitled "Rise of the Cuntwoman".
 

LiddyRules

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I'm going to write an article about KAY S. HYMOWITZ entitled "Rise of the Cuntwoman".
Read The Bible. Or Greek myths.
 

Creasy Bear

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In 1965, a broad's eggs started going bad at around 40-years-old. Now... thanks to the miracle of modern fertility drugs, women are able to pump out the puppies in their late 40's and even into their 50's...

So shut the fuck up and relax, Kay Hymowitzsteinfarbmanberg. Give us a few years to enjoy ourselves. Don't worry... you'll still get to have your litter of Jewlets, and there'll still be plenty of time left for you to suck every last ounce of joy, passion, and optimism out of the poor bastard who marries you.
 

WhiskeyWhispers

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Mar 11, 2007
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Don't worry... you'll still get to have your litter of Jewlets, and you'll still have plenty of time to suck every last ounce of joy, passion, and optimism out of the poor bastard who marries you.
Seriously, why the hell are we all expected to just turn into boring fucking mopes who have to sit on a couch and watch home improvement shows every night because that's what "she wants", and that's somehow viewed as "maturity". I call that defeat.

It's not our fault that 90% of chicks dump their friends once they land a guy. We keep our friends, toots, maybe if you took a page out of our books and learned to maintain a little independence we wouldn't view you as a ball and chain burden and we might actually rather hang out with you than drink with our friends. So how about getting a hobby or discussing things that actually amount to something, rather than what Suzie said about Michelle's dress at the office. We really don't give a fuck. Why can't you read a book while I play a little Call Of Duty, or maybe paint or some shit while me and some friends play cards? What are we supposed to do, fucking stare at your mundane mug all night, every night? And I'm not saying all girls are like that, I myself got very lucky with my girl, but too many soldiers have fallen to these totalitarian twats who just want to cut your nuts off and put them on a dusty shelf, where they will dry up and crumble to dust, withering away like your will to live.

Don't buy into the hype, do what you do. I've seen enough dudes that have to pretend to enjoy this so called "maturity" and they are truly miserable, and when they are losing their hair and ballooning in weight and losing their minds listening to screaming kids every night, I'll be chilling on my couch blowing out bong hits and watching a good movie, then me and my cool girlfriend who understands this shit will fuck like bunnies. Don't be a sucker.
 

LiddyRules

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Jun 1, 2005
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If you read what she's saying, it's that the only way for people to grow up is to have children. The two examples she uses are Knocked Up and About a Boy, movies/books where the lead character, a man-child (though I would argue that Hugh Grant in AAB was not a man-child), gets a child in some ways and that helps them understand rights and responsibilities and all that garbage.

But really, do they need children? Do we need children as individuals? No. If they are holding down a steady job at an office and have an apartment, even if it is with other people, I think that says they "get" the responsibility aspect of life. To act like you'll become an adult because you suddenly become a father is ridiculous.

Besides, what does that even mean. I know the argument "the happiest moment of my life is when I saw my son for the first time." Yeah? Was it? But are you happy now? If so, keep it that way. Forcing the man-child to become a father will not make him a better person, it will make him a more miserable one.

Let me ask you this: how good, really, are your fathers? I mean you might like them, you might hate them, you might be in this love-hate relationship with them where you kind of like the fact that you'll never please them. But in the grand scheme of things, does your father matter? More than likely he's just another working stiff who is inconsequential to the rest of the universal.

Now is this adult she's so wet for the same father who is strife with money woes and miserable in a job he hates but he keeps it to support the mostly useless-to-society child he never wanted/can't afford? Is that what she's looking for in a man?

The difference now is that values have changed. We are enough generations removed from the family farm that that need to have children at such an early age seems kind of silly. We have the privilege to live in luxury and we're in a time when guys don't need to go to the seedier parts of town to make love to women. This is good.

If she wants something in her womb, there are plenty submissive, miserable, responsible guys who will fill her with their seed. They are here and will always exist. But for those guys who are "man-children," 99.999999999999% chance that a child will not suddenly make him realize some sort of important calling. He might "grow up," he might "settle down," but as a man he's just a trained puppy. He will be the same useless individual he was as a man-child. So I say up with manchildren because this world sucks and it's only going to get worse so enjoy the 70 shitty years you're going to have on this planet. Whether through guilt or passion, there will be people watching your back.

ETA: I am not a man-child. I am far too miserable and broody to actually enjoy life. But I would never once try to take away a manchild's right of enjoyment and in many ways I admire them for it. Much like you would not cockblock a friend about to have sex with a supermodel, I don't think people should cockblock manchildren from taking pleasure from this world.
 

CougarHunter

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Mar 2, 2006
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I just cut a check for my mortgage yesterday. Taxes and insurance included, plus 9 bucks extra to principle to round off the number - $340.

Thats on a 15.

I bought my house in 2001 at age 24.

Granted I have a small 2 bedroom house that is on a postage stamp. I live alone, I don't care for yardwork after growing up and mowing an acres big yard.

It's really all about how you choose to live your life. I have no desire to live in the big city, and nobody HAS TO. You don't HAVE to make 100k a year to live. I made 38k last year and spent 4k on the mortgage. If I wanted to live on ramen noodles, never do anything, and never buy anything, like a broke college kid, I could pay this house off in a year. That said, I could just say fuck it tomorrow and work at McDonalds and still make my mortgage.

YOU determine your circumstances in life.
 

Budyzir

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Nov 12, 2004
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Hell, these days, I wish I could be a mountain man. Living alone, checking my traps, hunting, fishing and eating what I kill. Today feminist would call that man a man child, shirking the responsibilities of wife and child. In reality, they were the ones who explored and built our nation. Times change, go figure. I guess I was born in the wrong time.
 

Creasy Bear

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#17
The underlying issue with this JAP cunt is obvious... she can't fucking stand any man having real fun. She wants men to have HER idea of fun... getting dragged to some flaming faggotass Broadway play- like fucking CATS, going to some douchey wine bar with an easy jazz ensemble playing in the corner, going to a kid's birthday party at some hideous gimmick birthday place where the kids are forced to make pottery or watch some artsy fartsy boring ass puppet show, going apple picking, or spending an entire Saturday afternoon driving around looking at model homes and open houses WHEN YOU'RE NOT EVEN PLANNING ON BUYING A FUCKING HOUSE! Nothing which takes places outside of the direct proximity of a woman or a child could POSSIBLY be any fun WHATSOEVER! UNDERSTAND!?

The bitch can't stand it that there is so much as a single man on this planet who isn't "mature and sophisticated" enough to accept that this type of shit is anything but orgasmicly enjoyable. The fact that a whole generation of these types of men exist is just too much for this miserable twat to endure. Seriously... nothing would give this cunt more satisfaction than rounding all of the "man children" up and locking them in reeducation camps until the are taught the error of their ways... until they realize that nothing could possibly be more enjoyable than sitting on the comfy couch in a trendy coffee shop sipping pumpkin spice lattes.

Yeeeeeeeeeech!

Kay S. Hymowitz needs to be water-boarded every hour on the hour for the rest of her life.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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Funny thing is, I had my own house at 23.

My ex-wife got it, and everything in it, in the divorce. I left with what could fit in the back of my Shelby Charger and my motorcycle. Yay me for being a "man" at 23.
 

LiddyRules

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Jun 1, 2005
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I guess I was born in the wrong time.
To be in my 20s in the 1920s. Too young for World War 1, too old for World War 2. Buy a hat, go out to the coast and hide bodies with the best comedians of all time.
 
Jun 2, 2005
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#20
Funny thing is, I had my own house at 23.

My ex-wife got it, and everything in it, in the divorce. I left with what could fit in the back of my Shelby Charger and my motorcycle. Yay me for being a "man" at 23.
Bought my house at 22 and the housing market down here is in the process of taking it away from both me and my ex wife. I'm literally going to have to sell a 200k house for the neighborhood of 135k and pack what I can into a storage facility and move in with mom to save money for a month.
 

Creasy Bear

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Bought my house at 22 and the housing market down here is in the process of taking it away from both me and my ex wife. I'm literally going to have to sell a 200k house for the neighborhood of 135k and pack what I can into a storage facility and move in with mom to save money for a month.
I'm not sure I understand... how is it the "housing market's" fault that you can't live in your house anymore? I understand that home values took a serious dive in most areas, but that shouldn't have increased your original housing expenses... if anything it should have lowered them... you grieve your taxes based on the new, lower value of your house and get your property taxes adjusted accordingly.
 
Jun 2, 2005
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#22
I'm not sure I understand... how is it the "housing market's" fault that you can't live in your house anymore? I understand that home values took a serious dive in most areas, but that shouldn't have increased your original housing expenses... if anything it should have lowered them... you grieve your taxes based on the new, lower value of your house and get your property taxes adjusted accordingly.
My ex wife and I were both in Mortgage and Real Estate, so when the market went to shit our jobs did too. Basically, our entire lively-hood was wrapped up in RE and Mortgage so with our house on the market for the past 18 months with barely 7-8 people even looking at it (Even at 30k under appraised value), we're pretty much screwed.
 

Creasy Bear

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#23
My ex wife and I were both in Mortgage and Real Estate, so when the market went to shit our jobs did too. Basically, our entire lively-hood was wrapped up in RE and Mortgage so with our house on the market for the past 18 months with barely 7-8 people even looking at it (Even at 30k under appraised value), we're pretty much screwed.
Oh... makes sense.

Damn... sorry to hear that. Good luck, dude man. Seriously... best of luck to you and yours.
 

TrashyMags

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Jul 28, 2007
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#24
One of the glaring omissions of this article is the fact that in 1965, you could still have a decent middle class life on a high school education. To even think about earning a living in most professions, you need a college degree and the 40-80k of debt that goes with it. I'm sure a lot of guys would like to have their own homes, but with that much debt and almost no credit (another thing, the credit nazis weren't cashing in on our worthiness back in 65 either), it's impossible. Add to that that the job she mentioned first -factories-are almost nonexistant in this country. we've outsourced everything to g-damn china, india and mexico. Maybe the manchild isn't his own creation, but a symptom of the sick systems we have in this country, where a man can't provide for his own family.
And oh yeah, don't forget that every "manly" instinct is now sexist, racist, whatever -ist you've got. It's tough guys. I feel for ya.
 

Budyzir

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Nov 12, 2004
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#25
One of the glaring omissions of this article is the fact that in 1965, you could still have a decent middle class life on a high school education. To even think about earning a living in most professions, you need a college degree and the 40-80k of debt that goes with it.
A BA or BS is barely a foot in the door. I have a MS and it's still tough.

I'm sure a lot of guys would like to have their own homes, but with that much debt and almost no credit (another thing, the credit nazis weren't cashing in on our worthiness back in 65 either), it's impossible. Add to that that the job she mentioned first -factories-are almost nonexistant in this country. we've outsourced everything to g-damn china, india and mexico. Maybe the manchild isn't his own creation, but a symptom of the sick systems we have in this country, where a man can't provide for his own family.
And oh yeah, don't forget that every "manly" instinct is now sexist, racist, whatever -ist you've got. It's tough guys. I feel for ya.
Two very excellent points.

And, lets not forget the erosion of benefits; health, retirement and the like. Everything costs more leaving less for the "manchild" to provide for his wife and children.