Where Have the Good (insert noun) Gone? A response…

24 Feb

Alright, I was going to ignore to but it got posted on Facebook (the all-seeing eye of social life… or something) at least five too many times for me to ignore it anymore.

Yes, I am responding to the article Where Have The Good Men Gone? by Kay S. Hymowitz where she “argues that too many men in their 20s are living in a new kind of extended adolescence.” News flash folks, this may feel new but this is the same thing we do. All the time.

Let’s think of it this way, how would you have responded to the article if it were titled Where Have The Good Women Gone? and wondered why women don’t stay in the kitchen anymore… how would you feel about that?

Let’s just say, an essentialist viewpoint in this situation (that is to say any viewpoint that says any one generalization we believe to be true) isn’t going to cut it for me.

The author throws around a lot of words I’m uncomfortable with. The differentiation between “adolescent” and “pre-adult” is never really made clear to me, except that one is okay and the other is confusing and therefore bad. But again, let’s take a step back.

While the word “adolescent” as been around for a long time, a similar word (and more of what I think the author means) is “teenager.” And guess what, that word has only been around since the 1920s. What happened then?

It was more common for “kids” to go to school and not just school but college. That’s right, our own academic adolescence extender. Before that, you went to some school and then got a job. Heck, you might’ve gone straight into the workforce if you were able.

Now, you’re probably asking, why do I need a history lesson? The thing that I’m trying to point out is that this is all still new!

Pining about where all the good whatevers have gone is the same as any reminiscence of the good old days. And we’ve learned this lesson before, you can’t lament the good old days without reminding yourself why those days weren’t always as good as we remember them being.

Let’s just say, this is a slippery slope I’d rather not get on. And all those good (insert noun here)s? I’m pretty sure they’re still right in front of our faces.


9 Responses to “Where Have the Good (insert noun) Gone? A response…”

  1. Mariella February 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Totally with you on this one!!!

  2. Sarah February 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    I firmly agree with you here Shana. Some women, and I can include myself in this category at times, are constantly wondering where all the good men have gone. I agree with you; they haven’t gone anywhere, but they have changed form. Back in those “good old days,” a good man was a man who went to work, fed the family, and worked around the house on the weekends. But you shouldn’t expect him to help you with anything that would be considered “women’s work,” those crazy chores like laundry, dishes, raising the kids, etc. Good men are still around, but we’re not going to spot them if we continue to look for the guy of the old days. We have to look for the guy of now; good men have changed form, just as good women have. We are no longer stuck barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen cleaning the house all day and having dinner on the table when he comes home. Relationships have changed form. Everything has changed in the past 100 years or so. It would probably be a better idea if we would all lay off each other, men and women. We need to recognize each other for who we all are, NOW, not who we would have been 100 years ago.

    • redshana February 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

      Nicely done! We are on the same page 🙂

  3. Doug Lance February 24, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Who wants to get married? Not this guy.

    • redshana February 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

      Haha! Also, plenty of girls. Fortunately, there’s hope for you yet.

  4. Elle February 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    I have a good man, and he is about as far from the “good old days” as it is possible to be. Unless the good old days you’re referring to are the days of pirates…or the zombie apocalypse of the future. And yeah, he’s super duper immature, but I don’t care, because so am I. I think women need to rethink this, and instead of berating the men for being immature, take the opportunity to stay immature for a while.

    • redshana February 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

      What I meant was that the article seems to yearn for the “good man” of the past, the easily identifiable, fits into a mold kind of “good man.” I completely believe that there are “good men” of all different kinds and that there is no one fit definition that would encompass all of them. Nor should there be.

  5. eileen February 25, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Considering that every Baby Boomer memoirist claims their generation was the first to craft and coin the “extended adolescence” I feel it’s safe to say (without reading the article) that no one is growing up anymore, not generation X, not generation Y, not the Baby Boomers either.

    • redshana February 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

      I like your style of answer lady 😉

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