This post is by Hillary Reinsberg. Hillary is a writer and senior at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was the editor of the campus blog UnderTheButton.com. Her writing has appeared on Crushable.com, The Huffington Post, and New York Magazine’s Vulture.
At middle school dances and bar mitzvah parties I attended back in seventh grade, the boys would huddle in dark corners to light things on fire. They were miscreants-in-training, stealing matches and setting alight flowers, or centerpieces, or toilet paper in the bathroom.
Girls, on the other hand, were six or so inches taller, and were generally more interested in talking to eighth grade boys and stealing alcohol from the adults’ tables.
In other words, at twelve and thirteen, the girls were looking to get ahead while the boys were busy screwing around.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal featured an essay by Kay Hymowitz entitled “Where Have All The Good Men Gone?”, an article adapted from her book. In the essay, Hymowitz argues, in short, that my middle school situation has hardly improved as men enter their 20’s and even 30’s. Hymowitz blames the increasingly long period of pre-adulthood–wherein boys look like men but act like kids–on our “cultural uncertainty about the social role of men.” In other words, women are making moves, and the guys are slacking.
Rather than killing themselves at work and trying to start families, her argument holds that men are sleeping in their parents’ basements, hanging out in coffee shops in Brooklyn, and perhaps not emodying the quintessential American sons someone thought they were going to be.
The evidence of said trend is there – both in the numbers and in the pop culture references: think Seth Rogen in Knocked Up.
My question, then, is whether, as ladies, we should care. The media seem to think we should. The New York Post jumped on the story too this week, with a piece on how some ladies are out-earning men and thus picking up the bill on dates. It’s 2011! Are we really still getting shocked by this?
So rather than cry that chivalry is dead, and whimper that all guys in their 20’s are selfish, unreliable wretches whose primary investments are in marijuana and video games, let’s focus on the fact that girls are doing well.
And I promise, there are still plenty of good fish in the sea!