Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thoughts on Kay Hymowitz's Immature Men and Good Women.

The two articles (Link 1, Link 2) penned by Kay Hymowitz have certainly generated a lot of comment in the manosphere, most of it being idiotic. Hymowtiz's assertion, that men are stuck in pre-adolescence, in my eyes at least, certainly has some truth to it.  The Western Male today seems a pale counterpart of his father.

The vigorous response by the manosphere to Hymowitz's article seem to follow several common themes. Namely:

1) Hymowitz is a feminist.
2) Hymowitz is correct in that men are pre-adolescent but they have become that way because of women's behaviour. (In other words, male culture is the product of female punishment and rewards.)
3) Wanting to get married is not a determinant of maturity.
4) Marriage is a bum deal for men and that's why men are opting out.

While some of these points certainly have a small degree of truth to them none of them really counter her claim that lots of men are stuck in an extended adolescence and are therefore unattractive to women who want to get married.

Many of the manosphere totally missed the point of her article. Nowhere did Hymnowitz say that men should be forced to marry, her lament was that the pool of marriageable men from which women could choose from was so small. At the heart of her article is the claim that many of today's Western males are unattractive as long term mates, in other words, there are few marriageable alpha's.  Hymowitz did not say that the older frat boy should marry, in fact she clearly saw that such a man was a poor long term mate, it just that men who are "beta providers" and who live in star wars inspired decor are also sexually unappealing.

The prime cultural exemplar of Hymowitz's contention was George Sodini. Here was a man with a responsible  job,  house, normal BMI and with a desire to find a permanent mate; all features which Hymowitz ostensibly mentions as the traits of an ideal man, yet was completely invisible to women.
He ticked all the right boxes with regard to "responsibility" yet is still considered a loser by women,  and therefore unmarriageable, because he had no alpha features.

This view of course syncs with the Roissyite view that many men are beta's and therefore sexually unattractive to women.  It's therefore a bit rich seeing Roissy's accolytes attack Hymnowitz when she states that beta males are unattractive whilst alpha men are. Her post essentially channels Roissy.

Where She and Roissy differ however is on the subject of Marriage of a marker of a responsible male. Personally, I think Roissy is perfectly correct in his position provided you're a hedonistic atheist. (Though that may be open to debate.) If you're a Christian male on the other hand, marriage is a desired state of affairs and a sign of adulthood.

A useful thought exercise would be to ponder what if Hymnowitz could get her dream and have all men alpha up. The results will probably be to her expectation. Roissy has written about this before:
No, the solution is to give the New Girl Order *exactly* what it wants: Game, and an army of cads that practice it. Force feed the beast until it is choking on its own gluttony. The emissaries of the Great Lie must have the consequences of their ignorance and treachery shoved down their throats. In time, the unabashed pursuit of hedonism and the embrace of Darwinistic nihilism (two potent forces which, coincidentally, happen to have truth and pleasure on their side. Exhibit B: God is dead) will raze the neoliberal monolith to the ground, and from the ashes the eternal human cycle will begin anew, strengthened and revitalized. A complete reconciliation with our tragic destiny gives us the only chance to avoid it.
On the other hand, what alpha Christian male wants to be sloppy sixth's to the modern shrew? The problem for this type of guy is the lack of quality women out there. He wants to get married but the pickings are so slim.  Hymowitz thinks that today's average girl is "quality" product, however I think that there is a fair amount of legitimate disagreement as what constitutes quality No matter what her career achievements, a woman who has ridden the carousel and perhaps made a few trips to the abortuary is not quality material from a Christian point of view. A mature and responsible christian male would think such a woman is high risk material for infidelity and divorce and by-pass her.  If there were an en masse movement to alpha up, the following would happen. The hedonists would pump and dump while the Christians would become more choosy; the pool of marriageable suitors for women would shrink.

No, what keeps the alive the hopes of today's modern women is a pool of supplicant betas who will do what it takes to secure the sexual love of a woman and will agree to any terms.


(Something to aspire to long term?)

Where Hymowitz errs, is in the assertion that today's woman is in some way more "mature" than the pre-adolescent male upon which she rightly heaps her scorn.  She labours under the illusion that the modern woman is some sort of prize that men will aspire to. Hymowitz has framed her argument in such a way that would be laughable to the good men of the past.

Men and women of the past would both agree that men today leave a lot to be desired, but the fall in quality has been most marked amongst women.  From the vantage point of the past, the modern woman today is vapid, slutty, superficial, unfeminine and hence extremely poor quality material.

What marks the transition from adolescence to adulthood is the gradual assumption of responsibility, maturity and independence. What separates the child, the adolescent and the adult is the increasing influence of reason over emotion. The mature adult takes his emotions into account but is not ruled by them. Enter the concept of the Rationalisation Hamster.  The concept needs to be understood as the cognitive mechanism by which thought is subordinated  and aligned to emotion. The function of this "hamster" is to provide a superficially plausible (if not logically consistent) series of thoughts to align and justify whatever action is required by the emotional state.  It is effectively the thought process of an immature adolescent.

The "triumph" of modern Feminism has been to culturally and legislatively legitimise this rationalisation hamster. Marriage is no longer seen as a reciprocal relationship amongst two people, but rather a flexible arrangement of convenience based on the emotive state of the parties.  The logic of abortion as a woman's rights issue (ignoring the rights of the father) is another example. The furthering of women into fields that they are totally unsuited to, such as the military, police and firefighting services yet another.  Feminism has also been able to reframe feminine identity; what previous generations would have thought trampy and flighty, modern feminism has been able to portray as mature.

When Hymnowitz points to the Star Wards nerds, all I can think of is the "mature" female SATC equivalents. I admit that men sitting in mom's basement jerking off to online porn are pretty shallow, but so are the women who spend their lives shopping for bags, clothes whilst riding the carosel waiting for the enabling supplicant whom will provide them with lifestyle to which they are accustomed. People from a less enlightened age would consider a person who endlessly obsesses about their looks, the latest pair of Jimmy Choo's and who Brad is dating now, pretty superficial. It's the pot calling the kettle black.

One of the recurring comments from the men that are "players" is how the  experience of women leads to a contempt of them. It's an interesting phenomenon since wouldn't experience of these wonderful, empowered, educated SATC types at least lead to fond recollections and a overall impression of female goodness? The common explanation is that these men are unable to bond and are narcissistic.  However another explanation is never considered: Perhaps these women aren't worth bonding to. Perhaps they are nothing more than an esotrogen toy and without their sexual potential would be ignored by men. Perhaps the reason they are dumped so often is that they have no qualities which lead men to love them. It's a thought.

The problem with Hymowitz's article is not its assertion, which I agree with, but its balance. The shortage of good men is portrayed against a surfeit of good women. But she should have asked around more. It's not just a problem of an abundance of loser men, as any committed male committed Christian who wants to get married will tell you, "Where have all the good women gone?"


(Another example of the "Mature and accomplished behaviour,  check out Dalrock's Single in the Suburbs.)

16 comments:

James A. Donald said...

It is clear that she and her friends are hooking up with those supposedly horribly immature men - hundreds of them - without demanding dinner and a movie first.

She is whining about the consequences of hypergamy.

She is also whining about running out of time, when men her age have plenty of time left. Why, she asks, cannot a thirty five year old man act like a thirty five year old woman? Because a thirty five year old man has thirty five reproductive years left, and a thirty five year old woman has one or two reproductive years left.

Hypergamy means women don't get married, and don't stay married.

The Social Pathologist said...

@James

Because a thirty five year old man has thirty five reproductive years left, and a thirty five year old woman has one or two reproductive years left.


That's something I wanted to cover in the post but I thought it was long enough so I skipped it.

Yes, you're right. Without the "biological clock" I don't think many women would want to "mature" at all. I went to a recent IVF talk where the new trend is for a woman in her mid thirties, to freeze her eggs so that they're there when she decides to settle in her forties.

On of the other comments made, was that many woman delay childbirth and family formation because of their mistaken belief that IVF will prolong their potential fertility.
For many women, it's an "enabling" technology. Enabling them to escape the imperatives of the biological clock.

Simon Grey said...

Great post! While I made a point of tossing my two cents in, it was more from the viewpoint of "what do you expect?" I totally agree that men are less mature;mature later. I also agree that marriage is a marker of maturity, for both men and women. However, it seems strange to see a feminist lament that the quality of men has declined, as if this occurrence wasn't predictable or deserved, especially since the number of good women have declined in recent years.

NYCer said...

In New York most women have thoroughly internalized the SATC ethos. The city is filled with young, attractive women who are completely centered on material gain of the most trivial kind (shoes and handbags) and short term pleasure seeking (sex and spa treatments). They are relatively easy to sleep with and almost insufferable in a relationship. Though they may not realize this consciously, IMO most do not want relationships. From the perspective of a modestly successful man, they just aren't worth the trouble for anything long term.

Davout said...

Nice post.

"While some of these points certainly have a small degree of truth to them none of them really counter her claim that lots of men are stuck in an extended adolescence and are therefore unattractive to women who want to get married."

I submit that the manosphere is not attempting to counter Hymowitz's claim of extended adolescence but to justify it, given the prevailing zeitgeist. The logic behind men opting out is:
(1) Women are disproportionately propped up a gynocentric system supported by the welfare state (WS)
(2) Society pretends as though the gynocentric system does not exist
(3) Men disproportionately subsidize the WS
(4) If enough men opt out of subsidizing the WS, then the welfare state (and the gynocentric system) will collapse

The fundamental problem as I see it is that females are defined as mature women simply by reaching adulthood while males need to jump some hurdles to achieve manhood. Those hurdles have been made more difficult by women occupying beta male jobs in traditionally male domains. If various perks such flex time and maternity leave did not exist, those women would never be as employable as equally qualified men in those positions.
On a related note, some men may have decide that if biological adulthood defines a woman, the same should define a man, thus rendering the goal of job/house/wife attainment purely superficial.

Albert Ciuksza Jr. said...

As a just-turned-30 man with an interest in Gen Y research, I believed this article was really out of line. If you don't mind a long response, I wrote a much more measured and level-headed response to her article here: http://abcjr.me/4i.

David said...

"most women don't even know who they are until their thirties"

My belief/experience is that people--men and women both--who "don't know who they are" (or at least have a pretty good idea at an early stage in their lives NEVER WILL. This doesn't mean they don't change their minds about careers and other things; it does meet that they have a strong sense of personal identity, an internal gyroscope if you will. This isn't something one develops for the first time at 30.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Simon Grey.

I guess that the women thought that they could change but the rest of the world would be the same. I don't think they thought the project through too thoroughly. Society, at any point of time, is a balance of forces, change one and the others get affected to. Seeing the "quality" of most feminist thought, I think they were blindsided by the change in men.


@NYCer.

IMO most do not want relationships

In this bit of the world, to quote Hymnowitz, the desired "life" script for a girl is a little bit of "fooling around" and then to settle down. Whereas the life script for a lot of young men is fooling around. The mismatch makes for miserable women. Singledom hits women very hard.

@Davout.
I submit that the manosphere is not attempting to counter Hymowitz's claim of extended adolescence but to justify it,

Totally agree.

I don't think men are opting away from women as much as they are opting away from commitment to a particular woman.

I don't think we live in a gynocentric world, I think its more that Western culture makes some assumptions with regard to women which simply aren't true. Our society still idolises women to some degree, seeing her as the more noble of the sexes. A woman is nearly always given the presumption of goodness. The fact that false rape accusations seem so mildly punished, despite the enormous harm they do to the accused, shows an unwillingness by society to judge males and females to the same standard.

@Albert

Who's article? Mine or Hymnowitz's.

The Social Pathologist said...

@David.

My belief/experience is that people--men and women both--who "don't know who they are" (or at least have a pretty good idea at an early stage in their lives NEVER WILL

Personally, I think it's an excuse to permit any form of idiotic behaviour. Still, this inability to grasp what one's tastes and preferences are by their early 20's dose demonstrate an immature personality trait.

Davout said...

"I don't think men are opting away from women.."

I didn't mean opting away from women but from the system which gives women a leg up over men.

"A woman is nearly always given the presumption of goodness."

How this is even remotely possible beats me, given how a huge number of women can rationalize murdering children in order to justify any number of lifestyle choices (1 in 3 women under 45 has had an abortion in USA).

Novaseeker said...

Interesting take on this.

Hymowitz herself says that women are mature just by virtue of being a certain age, whereas men need to prove it. So the women are "naturally" of marriageable quality just by virtue of being women.

In addition, she mixes apples and oranges. On the one hand, she's looking at larger trends of male underachievement and fretting about the impact this has on women (which is actually very debatable), while on the other she's more or less fretting about the situation among super-educated women in Manhattan. These are two rather very different things. The first issue may be a non-issue -- there are many nurses married to tradesmen or police officers, for example --> it isn't demonstrated that the "average" woman with a bachelor's degree is totally uninterested in marrying a guy without a college degree but with a steady job. The second issue is an issue but a very different one --> it's the age-old complaint that the attractive guys in Manhattan -- who are also often super-educated and worldly successful -- are not interested in committing to the super-educated Janes and Jennifers who are in Manhattan, but would rather have their fun. It's this latter group that she's really, really, really pissed at, because it's hitting ground zero soon enough with her own kids. But to make her situation seem more dire, she mashes up the national statistics with her own personal situation in NYC, and the result is a kind of confused mess.

Hymowitz doesn't care about the jackass in his mom's basement with his Warcraft and online porn. That boy isn't on her radar screen. She *does* care about the Harvard-educated young iBankers and lawyers in NYC who are alphas and attractive, and are successful and so on but have no interest at all in settling down with the women who want them to. Yes, some of them may even like Star Wars -- gosh! -- but for the most part the problem is that these guys are having too much fun to commit. And the women let them get away with that by sexing them at will.

Sounds like a win for these guys, really. I can understand why Hymowitz is pissed at them, but if I were one of those guys I wouldn't care at all what Hymowitz is saying, because these guys are getting both paid and laid.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think men are opting away from women as much as they are opting away from commitment to a particular woman."

Very true S.P.

"I don't think we live in a gynocentric world, I think its more that Western culture makes some assumptions with regard to women which simply aren't true. Our society still idolises women to some degree, seeing her as the more noble of the sexes. A woman is nearly always given the presumption of goodness"

I am in total agreement with you here, too. I must admit that I had never really thought much about this before.. Beautiful women are always for some reason presumed to be even more noble than the plainer ones.

I have a drop dead gorgeous daughter who at fourteen(she looks a bit older if she wears a bit of lip gloss and light make up, which I allow on special occasions) is already having the blokes triping over their tongues...

It is very obvious..to me when we are out..

Funnily enough, I notice women seem more receptive to her too. If we are in a shoe shop getting her some new shoes, for instance, the assistants smile incessantly and fuss over her..

I even had a young woman at the checkout, say to me last week "Is that your lovely daughter?"

I do worry about all of this, though, and try my hardest to keep her grounded.. Inculcating in her good moral and religious values..

She can be a headstrong girl at times (takes after her mother, lol)
and peer pressure can be a powerful thing...So one still worries..

She does confide in me, however and tell me everything, and I am grateful for that..

Recently she had her first boyfriend.. He is a lovely boy, from a good family.. He and my daughter actually went to kindergarten together before his parents put him into an elite private school.

As nice as he was, my daughter was never allowed to be alone with him for any length of time... I did allow her to go for walks with him in the park down the road ( where there were other people around)

I knew that he was completely smitten by her. Saw the way he looked at her.

I warned my daughter that he was infatuated with her, and, that although he was a very nice boy, at nearly fifteen, his hormones would be taking a hold..

I reiterated once again, previous talks we had had.. Girls are the gatekeepers.. etc..
Her reply to me (in her naivety) was, " B isn't like that Mum.."

The world sadly, is a different place, today, and you cannot wrap your kids in cotton wool, rather you must prepare them for what may await them.

I was so very very pleased when she came to me on Sunday and said that she was breaking up with B.. The reason? You guessed it. He wanted more than a kiss...

He had it bad alright. Kept telling her that she was beautiful, wanted to marry her when he got older, wrote her a poem..

My daughter told him, "no" when he pressed her for something more intimate and that God would not be pleased with that sort of behaviour, and that it was wrong...

B told her that it would be alright.. "God will forgive you " he said.. Lol..

Gotta give him ten out of then for trying..

To be fair to B, he WAS head over heels in love.. But of course he was far too young for any of this.

He was too intense.

My daughter told him that she liked him but just wanted to be friends..


I thank God that my daughter, does listen to me, after all.

When she related what had transpired, I jumped up and grabbed her and hugged her.. I told her how proud that I was of her.. And yes indeedy, I WAS!

I felt like doing cartwheels.. Truly..

Kathy.

Anonymous said...

Nova: "but for the most part the problem is that these guys are having too much fun to commit. And the women let them get away with that by sexing them at will"

Tru dat!

Women DO have the power to change all of this..They just don't seem to get it.. shakes head.

Kathy

The Social Pathologist said...

@Kathy

Beautiful women are always for some reason presumed to be even more noble than the plainer ones.

I don't think women realise just how powerful a spell they can cast on a man by just being beautiful. It took me years to get the idea out of my head that the beautiful is the same as the good. ( in fact, near to absolute evil can hide in a beautiful visage)

I think beauty's allure impels all those around to possess it (even by proximity) in some way. The beautiful are always fawned on.

Something on a similar vein. I was recently overseas in a country with lots and lots of beautiful women. Hardly any fatties at all and all the women dressed superbly. It's weird but it really made me feel good to be there. I wasn't lusting after them, it's just that world is more enjoyable with pretty girls around.

chris said...

Simple as pie.

Men are no longer aspiring to be good long-term prospects because women are no longer good long-term prospects.

Women have been tricked by feminists into beliving that they can adopt the characteristics that make a man a good long term prospect and as such this will make them a good long term prospect. However, this is false.

Evolutionary theory dictates that
what makes a female a good long-term prospect is her chastity/fidelity, youth and looks and what makes a man a good long-term prospect is his status, wealth and looks.

What makes a female a bad long-term prospect is her sluttines, age and ugliness and what makes a man a bad long-term prospect is low-status, poverty and ugliness.

Women think by achieving status and wealth that they will be the equal of men with status and wealth. They will not. The equal of a man with status and wealth is chaste/faithful and young.

Interestingly enough, someone could probably do a game theory analysis which would demonstrate along these (very simplified) lines, why women can't find men to engage in a long-term mating strategy with, with the reason being that the women in question are not worth engaging in a long-term mating strategy with.

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