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.