My wonderful father was kind enough to send me links to a couple of intriguing articles that touch upon a strange cultural phenomena that he has, of late, become aware of and is (as the father of 5 girls) deeply troubled by: it is the rise of the Child-Man.
The Child-Man, a term coined by Kay S. Hymowitz, a contributing editor of City Journal and the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is the title awarded to the growing class of perpetual frat boys who are descending upon western culture en masse. These men have jobs, they have homes, they may or may not have several degrees, and they have the disposable income to set any marketing executive salivating. Think of the possibilities when advertising to this eternal frat boy, whose finely-honed sensibilities have rendered him enraptured by bathroom humor, pornography, and things exploding into lots of pieces. (I think I just summed up the current marketing strategies of every major American corporation advertisingn on primetime TV...)
The point Ms. Hymowitz concludes her article with is this: that in addition to this behavior being a backlash against the raging feminism evident in the media and elsewhere, so many men today are embracing this newfound freedom to revel in perpetual adolescence because, well, they can.
They can have their cake, their sex, their ipods, and whatever else they need to satisfy their every whim... and they can eat it too. What guy's going to go to the trouble of coughing up three grand for an engagement ring when he can get the same emotional reaction and pseudo-committment by casually mentioning to his girlfriend that he thinks it might be time the two of them "take it to the next level"... ?
I mean, really, what the hell do we expect? And don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good men out there. Great men, in fact, who are valiently striving for holiness and wholeness, who know and embrace the value of sacrifice and service and real love. But there are a whole lot Child-Men out there too. And the next time I meet one, I pray I'll have the forsight to take my dad's advice, because he's right, I really don't have the time to baby sit.