Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mr Good Enough?

Is it some zeitgeist thing or am I reading too much relationship crap these days? There is a truly disgraceful article in The Atlantic advising single women in their thirties to settle down with the next idiot who shows an interest in them. Okay, a bit unfair but not much.

Just to balance, another article which indulges in some male-bashing. It covers the same Knocked Up territory - "Postfeminism and crisis in masculinity" (that sounds like an essay topic) but is pretty comprehensive. What I don't understand is why is shopping considered more edifying than playing video games?

4 comments:

Szerelem said...

Ok, is it just me or do these senseless articles increase in number around 14th Feb? It's such a shitty time for people who are single (happily, I might add) - I will be sorely tempted to pick up a heavy object and whack the next person at work who asks me why I don't have a boyfriend. Gah!

Alok said...

Yeah true. but then it is not just some random magazine or newspaper with their columns specialising in relationship and dating troubles. The Atlantic is a very serious and reputable magazine and this is supposed to be some kind of deep sociological analysis.

Jacob said...

This article came out way before the season of love began. I remember I was going write about it because I felt something was wrong with it.

I find many problematic things in that second article you have listed ("Single Young Males") other than not being a "deep sociological analysis" (Can we get some approval from some sociology committee or something?). I found the author's charges presumptuous and needs, well, more research. The article, I'd argue, would be harmful for both genders as the author suggests that male can only be self-actualized through marriage, kids, and a job (these seem to be the requisites for having a 'purposeful life)... but what I find ironic is how women were/are expected to be married and have kids at a young age too! Y'know, in order to be taken seriously. Non-breeders just aren't "adult" enough to have kids.

And plus, she characterizes her females as being Type A personality, driven to succeed, and basically being more "dominant" than the males. Isn't that creating some expectations? Doesn't that come off as a call to war? Like, "Now women, now that I wrote this you all better be kicking some major ass and not making me look like some freelance writer capitalizing on a pithy cultural phenomenon so I can get some space in Newsweek" I can imagine this author worshiping shows like Cashmere Mafia which I'm sure is damaging to women because it only depicts impossibly rich and beautiful women juggling boy toys and their glamorous jobs.

Either way, there is some huge generalizations being made, all supported by the kind of observations one could make watching TV, movies, or reading magazines, like Maxim. It's not even a subject like this, I just don't like articles that treat little phases in our on-going world like some epidemic. Ex: "Studies indicate if a child watches Power Rangers for more than two hours that child will become addicted to violence and possibly become a serial killer," etc. Exaggerated, but there's tons of them.

It all comes down to who's "childish." Who's regressing, and who's feeling threatened. I guess being a working stiff supporting a family makes you more "valuable" as a human being. Just the kind of crowd all the conservatives can appeal to.

Or maybe I just need to learn the difference between a representative sample and a suggestive one.

Judge Rufus Peckham said...

Both articles are nonsense. Neither men nor women should settle for someone they don't love.

And since when did "feminists" deign to have the right to ridicule young men because they no longer want to act like breadwinners with "responsibility"?

Too much gender generalization going on; it's all intended to sell magazines to young women (young men don't read this crap). And you are right, shopping is nothing to exalt as a hobby. New studies show, however, that young men's brains are wired for video games.