The Lost Boys
I always thought that I would meet my dream man at university: some brilliant soul, who also loved staying up late, appreciated a good cup of coffee, could debate world events and knew all the best hiking spots.
Instead of meeting my dream man, I found that university was filled with many like minded women, not necessarily because I was taking stereotypical female classes but because the boys just were not going to university. Bennet states, “Women now surpass men in college degrees by almost three to two.”
My male friends from high-school took part-time jobs instead of getting a degree. Said jobs allowed for ample time to balance a heavy schedule of video gaming alone in their parents basements.
As a third wave feminist whose road to a more equal future was fought already by my mother and grandmothers, I essentially became a product of affirmative action. I am not saying that we have reached a full level of equality however in order to do so it appears that instead we are seeing a reversal in the gender gap.
We have created a culture of men who stay stuck in adolescence. They no longer possess culturally successful traits. Traits which were associated with masculinity have now been replaced with ones associated with femininity. As Rosin argues, “The attributes that are most valuable today—social intelligence, open communication, the ability to sit still and focus—are, at a minimum, not predominantly male.” These are not things that are natural we are taught these traits.
Society is creating contradicting images on masculinity. The poet Guante challenges the statement “Man Up!” Proclaiming how it “assaults our self esteem by suggesting that competence and perseverance are uniquely masculine traits. That women—not to mention any man who doesn’t eat steak, drive a pickup truck, have lots of sex with women and otherwise conform to gender norms absolutely—are nothing more than, background characters and props in a movie where the strong, stoic, REAL man is the hero.” Yet the pickup truck, steak-eating man is no longer the bread winner but rather the one that has taken a back seat to a female with a bachelor’s degree and has fallen behind on his child support payments.Continued on the next page