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!