Stop Being Such a P*s*y

I’m not a fan of the p-word, but I feel it is in order at this point.  Stop being such a p*s*y!

Who am I referring to, you might ask?  Men.  Not all men, just some.  Let me elaborate:

I recently read an opinion piece by a CNN contributor, called Why Men Are in Trouble.  The crux of the article was that, beyond just reaching equality, women have surpassed men in education, career, and salary in the United States, today.  What is disturbing about this trend is not that women are doing more than men (which is troubling on a number of other levels beyond the extent of this particular blog); but really that it is correlative to some other things going on in American culture.  Most noted, as the author of the article points out, is the fact that as the numbers of unemployment and lack of education for men go down, the numbers for video game use among 18 – 34 year olds surpass those of young boys.  Further, role modeling in the mainstream media, particularly in movies, no longer espouse the typical qualities of a mature, responsible, adult male.

Now, I have no problem with adult men playing video games, but there are conditions which must apply.  If you have no job and no car and are over the age of 18, well then there is a big problem if you are spending all of your time in your parent’s basement playing video games.  If you are in college but prioritize your World of Warcraft marathons over going to class, there is a big problem with you as well.  What has happened with American culture that 20% of the male population is unemployed and sitting around their parent’s homes playing video games all the time, not taking the responsibilities that an adult male should be taking?

I think the other relevant point in the antiheroic qualities of men in movies, and male role models in general, is a strong one.  Men in movies now are portrayed not as heroes, leaders, or responsible and upstanding members of society.  They’re pot smoking babies that don’t want to grow up.  They show up on the screen as whiney children that refuse to take responsibility for their actions.  It’s no wonder there are so many single mothers out there, and children abandoned by their fathers, when the classic role models in our film and media do the same, exact thing.  It was like when Manny Ramirez was first busted by the Dodgers a few years ago for doing performance-enhancing drugs.  Everyone said “well, everyone in sports does it.”  As a role model for young men growing and looking to people like Ramirez to model themselves after, is that an acceptable response?  The same can be said for every movie or television show where the male characters act like adult babies in the face of situations where they should be acting otherwise.  But just because everyone does it now, does not make it okay.

I cannot count on both hands how many men I have run across in my own life that act like complete babies when it comes to a myriad of things.  Some of them, I wonder if they are even really men.  I started to notice this a few years after mother’s day when I saw a family member (who shall remain nameless because I know his mom and brother read this blog…) post on his Facebook page “just got back from a nice brunch with my mommy.”  I almost vomited when I saw this because, while in normal circumstances it might be sweet or a nice, mother’s day gesture, I knew that it was indicative of the fact that on most days of the year he (like a lot of men) still cowered under his mother’s skirt.  And how many of us don’t know at least one man who acts irresponsible when it comes to his family, or (more often) his job?  Who spits in the face of his family or the people around him, and refuses to take responsibility for the decisions he makes?  Who will walk out on a job whether he has a way to pay his own bills or not?  Or, how about more simply put:  how many of us can say we don’t know a guy that’s skating out on his child support, or on properly caring for his wife?  I can name a lot of those, which is a sad state of affairs if you ask me, faithful blog followers.

But I think this goes much deeper than just video games and bad role modeling.  Somehow our generation – our entire culture even – has gotten the idea that we don’t have to actually take responsibility for anything.  This is a great problem, which will only become greater, if something doesn’t change.  My solution is about twenty-fold, from education to government to parenting, etc.  But for the sake of being brief (for now), I’ll stick to just saying to all those men out there (and you know who you are):  stop being such a p*s*y!


  1. Smaktakula

    I largely agree with this. However, in defense of male pussydom, I don’t think there’s anything terribly wrong with a pot-smoking, slacker life if you’re not married or have children. Don’t get me wrong–being an eternal child with no responsibilities and never doing anything significant is not the life for me (exceptions for the pot thing) now (I’m happy to be married to a lovely woman and the father of three great boys), but my 20s might be considered by some to be “wasted.” I don’t regret it. I get very angry at those parents who wake up at 40 and decide because they never lived the life they were going to, they’ll do it now (unless their kids are out of the house; in which case, God Speed). I’d rather by a man-boy on my own time, and not my kids’.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Okay, I can concede your point – that if they are not married or have children who cares? But unfortunately, I don’t know of many men that live at home, smoking weed and being irresponsible and all, who do not carry that into the realm of marriage and children. In other words, the men I know that do that for a period of their lives carry it into that next chapter, in some way. I’m not saying that necessarily causes them to act that way after marriage and kids; but in my own experience that helicoptering-parent/enabling behavior has caused problems for people I know later in life.

      Another merit for your status as best commenter: “pussydom.”

      1. Smaktakula

        Thank you!
        smoking weed and being irresponsible and all, who do not carry that into the realm of marriage and children.

        For reals–I did. Again, except for the pot thing.

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  7. Mark

    Oooh. My absolutely favorite topic. The conflicts and contradictions in your post illuminate the real problem like a barium enema. Let’s turn on the scope and see what we can see, shall we? It all starts to unravel with your title. “Stop Being a Pussy.” I’ll actually say the word because a) I like pussy, and b) skirting around the real issues for fear of offending is what got us into this mess in the first place.

    What does it mean when you tell someone to stop being a pussy? It means pretty much the same thing as “grow a pair” or the gorge-risingly popular “man up”. It means do that thing – whatever that thing may be – that makes a man a man. Here’s the problem: nobody knows what that thing is any more. Men don’t know and women sure as hell don’t know. In the battle for equality, that no-holds-barred land-grab for gender neutrality, all of those bastions of masculinity, those defining attributes of manliness no longer belong to men. Provider and protector, sportsman, strongman, fixer of things, doctor, lawyer, scientist, engineer, soldier, fireman, policeman – these things not only used to describe men, they used to define them. Not anymore.

    But before the neo-feminists rip me to shreds, let me say, bravo! There is no reason women shouldn’t be all of those things. We’ve made unprecedented strides in this society expanding the definition of what it means to be a woman. Great!

    And yet…

    We seem to have forgotten that gender is a zero-sum game. If what used to define a man can now also describe a woman, the definition of being a man just got quite a bit murkier. And here’s the other problem: compared to women, men cover a considerably smaller portion of the spectrum of “things a person can be.” Men can’t reproduce. They can’t be mothers. They can’t just choose to have a child. They can’t just walk into an egg-bank, and squirt a baster full of ovum up their crotches and make a baby. In fact, when it comes to reproduction, men really have no choices at all anymore. From a purely biological perspective, women have more choices then men will ever have.

    And yet…

    In spite of all the choices women have, men are still expected to support them. You ask how many of us know a man who is “skating out on his child support, or on properly caring for his wife“, and I’ll be honest – I know very few. I know a lot more women who have been awarded custody solely because they’re the mother or they’ve exhausted their husband’s ability to fund his own custody defense, and I know a lot of men who left their wives because they refused to take care of themselves.

    You see, men don’t get the option of having kids, staying at home, and taking care of the house. They don’t get the option of waiting around for Mrs. Right to bring home the bacon and “properly care” for them. Why? Because women call them pussies for not “taking the responsibilities that an adult male should be taking.” You seem to forget that as little as 40 years ago, most women went to college to get their Mrs. degree. Waiting around taking home economics while you shopped for your Mr. doctor or Mr. lawyer was the norm. Well, guess what ladies: that’s about the only roles that you don’t want to take these days.

    Women will always have their ability to mother children to define them. There is no correlative for men. Women’s role has expanded, but instead of leaving their old roles behind for men to fill, they’ve left a vacuum. So when all of the roles that used to define a man have been taken over by women, men will seek to define themselves in the only roles left for them: the roles women no longer care to occupy. And don’t be surprised that it manifests itself as living with Mother, playing video games, waiting for Mrs. Right to come along and take care of him.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I shall bullet my response:

      (1) Tell us how you really feel Mark … I’m not sure you’ve made it clear here hahaha! 😉
      (2) To be clear, while I don’t like pussy … I don’t mind saying it (even though it is a bit crude for my delicate tendencies …..), but censored for the sake of not getting sent to anyone’s email spam filter. (Then later, of course, for continuity).
      (3) I would have to agree with you that no one knows what it means to be a man any longer, from a public perspective. I would argue that in the name of political correctness after the battle for equal rights between the sexes, the public culture (careers, jobs, companies, politics, etc.) has become relatively androgynous. That said, I firmly believe that we rely too much on the public (ahem, schools) to teach our children some core values, including gender roles. I think this is a classic example of how our public lives have become so commingled with our private lives that we truly are no longer able to delineate the two. Had that not happened, we may still be able to have a sense of masculinity and femininity, preserved by the family; even if our public modeling has lost all sense of it.
      (4) Regarding your comments about reproduction, you are absolutely right on that, and the author of the article I was actually discussing talked of that as well. I think he was trying to argue that men are effectively being eliminated from any necessity at all, with the exception of a few of them being needed to produce sperm to put into a bank.
      (5) By contrast, I know a lot of men that skate out on the child support. I know men that can’t keep their dicks in their pants and have multiple children with multiple women, who have moved to different states and changed their names to avoid paying child support, who deposit $5 a week so that they can show the sheriff’s department they *are* paying, and who (most importantly) make promises to their illegitimate children (who want nothing more than love and acceptance) and yet fail to fulfill those promises time and time again. I have friends with kids who could give a shit less about being in control and just want their child’s dad to show up for his weekly visit, which is rarely done. This is what I’m talking about with regards to responsibility. Any man who thinks that he does not have a responsibility to pay his child support, or that does not feel he needs to keep his promises to his kid, is absolutely a pussy.
      (6) I can see what point you are making: that if men are being effectively made irrelevant because women are taking over their roles, how can you expect much more from them than living in Mommy’s basement and spending all their time playing video games? And I am sure that an economy where the hard work and commitment of an employee will be undercut in a second if someone younger and cheaper comes along does not help the self-confidence of these men either. But it’s hard to look at the situation and excuse blatantly irresponsible behavior because androgyny has taken over the public sector. To be honest, I would think the same for a woman if she were sitting around doing nothing and expecting others to take care of her, skating out on her child support, etc. Perhaps I should have discussed more in the context of what it means to be an adult. I don’t think any adult should be sitting on their asses at mommy and daddy’s house, playing video games all the time. I don’t think any adult should be shirking off the *consequences* of their actions, or passing them off onto other people, just because they don’t know how they fit into their gender role. I think that’s an excuse, and anyone who makes excuses to act like that is for sure a pussy. Male or female. (And on another note, another blog idea … what it means to be an adult!)
      (7) I am again so glad you moved here … finally someone to have intelligent conversation with 🙂

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