I am completely fed up with frustrated women asking each other this question. Where have all the good men gone? It makes me feel really uncomfortable, like I constantly need to defend men against snarky, cynical women and I’m not sure why this is so I decided to do some research. (Please don’t misunderstand me here, I adore women-folk, clearly being one of them myself!) I started chatting to my good friend Google who informed me that an article in the New York Times has been published earlier this year on exactly that topic by Kay Hymowitz who argues that too many men in their 20s are living in a new kind of extended adolescence.
There are endless amounts of theories to explain this phenomenon that it seems women, no matter where they live, from Sydney to London to New York and everywhere in between seem to be moaning about. If you want to read about the current thoughts and ideas flying about on the topic, click on these links here:
International Business Time writer Rob Ogden argues that feminism since the 60’s has emasculated men and given them less responsibility and made them confused about ‘how to be a good man’.
Daniel Malito shares his views from a man’s perspective in the Huffington Post. (I love his point of view… please listen to the man!)
Ammmm, so girls, they haven’t gone anywhere. They’re all right here, in front of you. Living out their lives, doing their thing just like the rest of us.
I think that women (the one’s that are distressed that there are no men……. and perhaps some men also) have come to a place where they are holding onto an idea of what their perfect man might be like, might approach them like, that they have left no room for actually allowing it to happen. There’s no room for surprise because in their minds they have a set idea of how it all should be. The amount of happily-ever-after stories I have heard where girls end up with a guy completely the opposite of what they thought they wanted is incredible. Girls who thought they wanted a “suit” and ended up with an artist. Girls who wanted a musician and ended up with a banker. Girls who thought they wanted someone straight-laced and ended up falling in love with a tree-hugging hippy. Girls who were sure that they wanted someone their own age and then ended up connecting with someone significantly younger or older than them. And these are true love stories, romances that I adore and admire in their strength and connection. The truth is, you just never know who might be right for you.
I am also fed up with stereotyping….it’s a waste of time and doesn’t allow people the show their individualism. If we stopped trying to put each other in boxes and passing judgements based on race, job, education, background and so on and gave each other the freedom to just be who we are, perhaps we would all find it so much easier to connect.
Maybe the old-fashioned and out-dated gender roles from the past don’t apply to us any longer. Life and how we live it is constantly evolving and we with it. As humans beings we live longer now than ever before, are healthier, more educated, and have more choices and possibilities. Perhaps taking longer to “grow up” is a reflection of that. And perhaps we don’t really need to grow up at all. Hymowitz identifies that “marketers and culture creators help to promote pre-adulthood as a lifestyle”. Perhaps. It’s the lifestyle that I am also living. Not just men. Maybe I’m too young to remember what ‘real grown-up men’ are like, maybe I belong to a generation where I regard this extended adolescence as the norm. I have nothing else to compare it to so I can’t tell you. But I know that I’d rather be with a man who is passionate and creative and switched on and still wants to go to gigs and explore the world and create his own life than with a man who is deeply entrenched in society’s dinosaur gender role of merely being a provider who works so hard that he doesn’t enjoy his life or spend time with his family. You can have fun, enjoy life, be young at heart and responsible, and have a family if you wish, and live a full life and mature through it.
And I know plenty of men who perhaps would ask the same question: where have all the good women gone? It’s not men versus women. It’s about people. Having a hard time connecting with each other. Maybe we all need to become a bit more open-minded and accepting.
The real question is, what is it that you really want? And is that truly what you want or just what you think you want? If you sincerely look into your heart, what values and qualities matter the most? And how many people do you know, whether male or female match those ideals? Is it more important that a potential partner has the job or the body that you consider as ideal or that he or she has the same deeply entrenched values and beliefs as you? Is it more important that you can look into each other’s hearts and eyes and recognise each other or that the other person looks good on paper?
As I have lamented previously here and here, I love gender roles. I think that even though men and women are clearly equals, they also are opposites on the gender continuum and there is no point pretending to be the same. We are quite different and our strengths and weaknesses differ in a way that we balance one another out. We are currently just figuring out a whole new way to express our gender differences and the roles that we choose to play within our interactions.
This is absolutely an inconclusive discussion, however one that fascinates me immensely so your thoughts and comments are more than welcome. What do you think?