Tuesday, March 29, 2011



Author of the book ‘Manning Up’ (and several others that I think make interesting analysis of relationships) Kay Hymonwitz was featured on Book TV recently, painting a picture showing the contrast between the feminine ideal (as characterized by the featured characters of ‘Sex and the City) and the ‘man-child’ immaturity that is breaking box office records (Will Ferrell and the absurd display of a man-child behavior) telling. Her argument that 20 and 30 something males are putting off professional goals and family for  juevenile pursuits while successful women, driven by their biological clocks, are finding that their options are limited when it comes to finding a partner who shared the same life goals.  She would go on to point out that if general consensus on relationships were bleak for women who were high achievers and in the upper strata of the socio-economical scale, how much more difficult it is for women who were not intellectually as broad as Carrie and her friends, or for those without their financial independence, to find a partner? With chauvinism still writing the rules of attraction and creating expectations for men and women, I think that it isn’t as much as men are from Mars and women being from Venus as it just may be that the difference is between the English spoken in New York and the English spoken in London. Enough is similar that superficial communication is clear but when it comes to context and nuance, a lot is lost. Frustration is borne out of recognition of what is being said but lacks because the participants of the conversation lacks the full understanding that of what is being ‘said’ even though there is a strong familiarity assumed when speaking ‘English’ to another person who also speaks ‘English’.

Though I am not a research or a think-tank fellow as the authoress is, I think that this social environment is something that developed from the bottom up, but did not get as much attention until issues crystallized quite clearly at the top of the economic classes. Anywho, returning on message, the whole women redefining relationships was always visible in the lower and working classes.

I talk about the Single Mother’s Club and one of its affiliate groups, the Coven of Bitter Black Women particularly, semi-tongue in cheek. I think that I am aware of how black men have a large stake in the misunderstanding between sisters and brothers. But as a child I noticed that it was women who held key social positions and that the environment was rapidly changing for women’s role in relationships. It wasn’t that black men were not able to be the traditional head-of-household, but with the empowerment of women came a de-emphasis on women seeing themselves as homemakers but there was never a comparable adjustment in attitudes in respect to men.

The numbers that Ms. Hymowitz use to show how the there are more women going to college and obtaining both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees leads me to the conclusion that women have to consider dating beneath them in relation to the academic and economics of potential partners. Further aggravating the ‘shortage’ has been the unintended consequence of the feminine sweepstakes, their exerting ‘girl power’ and the loss of interest developing relationships on the male side of the equation.


Game designer Jane McGonigal indirectly mentions the reason (click link here and give her two or three minutes) why males are choosing to ‘opt out’ of chasing after women and the need for a new paradigm in how men and women relate to one another. Though she focuses on making the world a better place, I think that if the sexes could improve how they act towards one another, then the world would improve as a by-product of better human relationships.

An epic win is an outcome that is so extraordinarily positive you had no idea it was possible that you achieved it. It is almost beyond the threshold of imagination. And when you get there you are shocked at what you are truly capable of.

When it comes to gaming, everyone is fully capable of sharing if not achieving, an epic win. This is so not true about entering into a relationship.


In the virtual world there is the opportunity for people to be the ‘best version of ourselves’, but in real life many don’t feel as positive or as capable about reaching goals as they come across online or in the gaming world. For men, this seems to be agonizingly so. Left with the ‘version, version’ against the ideal, there are some who realize that even were they at their best as a person, they would still to be left without a ticket to the dance.

So possible eligible men opt out and live on-line where they get more from gaming than what they anticipate from a relationship with woman. THAT is where I believe the shortage, if any actually exists, lie, not in areas of achievement like education or employment. But again in lower social economic levels where like in fragile eco-systems the effects of global warming are first felt this is a symptom that has gone unnoticed. It was not until women who had the ‘badges of eligibility’ found themselves single that any attention was paid to lack of marriageable men. Once, there was a time where these hobbies and personal interests were seen as highlights to a man’s identity, indicative of the breadth of their character. But now such idiosyncrasies serve to further alienate some men from society as they only find acceptance and esteem among like-minded people, usually in groups with like-minded men. Men who also know what the ‘I’m not good at life’ face feels like as they themselves have had the look etched on their faces, especially when they attempt to engage a woman in conversation.

At one time it may have been a cop out to say that the ascension of women came at the expense of men. Still, the ramifications of the effects that equality has had in society are hard to deny. The roles now are undefined but the arbitrary definitions that once shaped relationships between the sexes still shape how expectations are formed. Women chafe at being primary wage earners, clinging to an ideal that the equality movement were intended to deconstruct. So I don’t see the problem that women are having… they got what they wanted, right?

Okay, forgive the sneer. But when I made my move from being a ‘non-qualifier’ to a ‘mid-major’, it took quite a bit of blind optimism… and really, who has the kind of courage to endure rejection and humiliation time and again? Very few, at least not enough to want to marry women who want their cake and not to get fat!


LceeL said...

Geez. Poor Kay. Must be tough up there in the Upper Strata of Society.

Us poor schlubs down here in the dregs? We're having a BALL. Rutting like crazy. Mating up and de-mating and just having a grand old time.

She should come join us.

Toon said...

If this means fewer people having children, then I'm not going to worry. There is too much childbirth in this country, world.

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Mark, I think I was lucky when it came to the match of my life. I never felt that he or I were looking at ourselves in the context of society. We had our own interests and we took interest in each other's interest. Since I lost him to cancer, I have not given much thought to how the world of men and women has changed. The Hollywood versions of men and women is pure escapism. People who develop theories (Kay) should go find a life.
BTW, thanks for your moral support last week. You are a very caring individual.

Thomas said...

"Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door, and just visit now and then." ~Katharine Hepburn

Lovebabz said...

I really enjoyed this post..you put in the mind of Carrie Bradshaw... Sex in The City. And you did a great job of laying down race without using race as the jump off.

I don't get this beneath you crap. It is ridiculous to base our loveships based on academic and material accomplishment. relationship building isn't about who has acquired the most stuff. it is the intimate relating of one human to another.

I have grown weary of this mess about not enough well-educated men out there (insert race) for Sisters. and that Sisters are more educated, accomplished and wager earners. It is outrageous that Sisters have bought into this notion of "I Must Have a Man Of So-Called EQUAL Stature" Bullshit. As if that supercedes content of character, fidelity, trust and righteousness.

(Getting off soapbox...drops mic...walks off stage)

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Amen, Lovebabz!

Mark, I did listen to the video and I think this woman makes some good points about why gaming is so popular and how it might be a way of working through real world problems. Hope she can work out some strategies on uses.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Just wishing you a good weekend, buddy.



Have Myelin? said...

Wow, interesting! I read somewhere that if you took a look at college campuses there were more women attending than men. Why is that, I wonder? Are men deciding not to go? (race was not mentioned)

My son is white and there's no money for college but he won a full, 4-year scholarship based on a leadership essay and he's a high school drop out. He wasn't immature but he sure was uncertain as to professional goals. He started a business that failed but he learned something from it and then went to college. He was no Will Ferrell, lol but wow there was so much upheaval in our family I don't know how he even kept his sanity to be honest.

His former girlfriend is black and she received a ton of scholarships with ease. Actually she had an easier time getting scholarships than he did because she was black (her words, not mine) and not a high school drop out. She started college right out of high school. Her family life was not stable at all. She went from A to Z out of the starting gate, it was as if her unstable family life drove her into a different environment. She's very driven, I admire her but they are no longer a couple.

I really wish I understood the difference. I don't know anything about this Kay person. This is merely a snippet of personal experience from my life lol.

Have a good day Mark, you are a very compassionate person. =)

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Hoping the "games" that people play can change and become more real.

FrankandMary said...

Forgive the sneer. Oh, are you really sorry ;0? I don't think you need to be.

I find all the male-female crap repellently fascinating, but have stopped trying to figure it out.