Let’s all get up and talk about sons
And how they don’t step up to marry some girl
Though she was born a long, long time ago
His mother should know
His mother should know
And yet it appears she -and so many like her- don’t have a clue.
Those who read Psychology Today might understand this growing phenomenon, not that women want to admit their role in the effort. As the magazine published in 2012, “some men choose opting out as the best option for them. This is sometimes known as the ‘men going their own way’ (MGTOW) movement. Essentially, these are the guys who have been frustrated and punished to the point that they see no further incentive to relate. Rather than spending their efforts on material success to attract a partner, they focus on making themselves happy. Although these guys are often socially-shamed as ‘not growing up’, in fact, they are arguably just reacting to the lack of outside motivation…and taking care of themselves.”
I’ve heard frequently from my wife about my older son not “launching” despite the fact that he can’t get hired anywhere. He can protest all day about how his applications get ignored by the kilo and it doesn’t sink in to his mother why attempting to date is a great waste of his time – assuming he found a female who didn’t turn him off with her attitudes and behaviors.
Let’s say for starters that he was to discover such a unicorn. Forbes Magazine published an article, written by Larissa Faw, which reveals the list of qualifications she and her Sex In The City posse use to measure a potential mate: “They have this list of qualities (smart, has a job, knows something about culture or the world, etc) that seem pretty reasonable, but so few men meet the requirements,” says Melanie Shreffler, a marketing consultant on Millennial culture.
Except for the job, my son meets those qualifications. He is thus unqualified to be taken captive by a female for her reproductive desires. As cited by Forbes, Liza Mundy tries to explain this feminine rejection in her book The Richer Sex: “I talk to so many women who are obsessed with finding men on their level. They want someone as ambitious, engaged, and high-achieving as they are.”
Dr Michael Dunn, of the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff, found in a study that women will reject a man shown in a photo driving a battered Ford Fiesta when they avidly accept the exact same man dressed the exact same way when when he’s shown in a Bentley Continental. Dr Dunn said his findings confirmed that women judge a man by his wealth and status.
My son owns a 1999 Saturn. About as impressive as Great-Grandma’s decrepit De Soto to the modern woman.
Jezebel ’s Katie J.M. Baker has to put her two cents’ worth into the mix: “But I don’t want that to come off as me encouraging women to ‘settle’ — because I’d personally rather be single than in a relationship with someone who isn’t worth it.”
The problem, Ms. Baker, is that few men are seen as worth the effort. Yet you women don’t get to the reason why, in part due to the following misunderstanding:
“[Marriage] is a worthy goal,” say Mundy. “It’s strange that it’s stigmatized.”
No, it’s not strange. Women still don’t see how expensive they are to men despite maybe knowing these things about themselves. They see the forest, but ask where the trees are.
I’m A Lumberjack And I’m OK – You’re only so-so
Luckily, there are a couple of woodsmen available to point out the trees to these canaries:
“You don’t bring anything to the table in the marriage bargain anyway,” complains Forbes article commenter yeahso. “Firstly, you’re all total commitment-phobes unable to really care or bond with any man–regardless of how much money he makes or what class he comes from. And the funniest thing is, you actually think that every man who looks at you doesn’t already know this about you. What’s unseen and certainly unspoken about here is all the instances where the right men walked away. Faded out. Disappeared. Took one look at the goods and said, ‘nope–not risking all my assets and future assets on THAT’. [Emphasis mine]
“Maybe it’s only poetic justice that modern women have absolutely no idea how the men they interact with really see them when the reverse is not true. Not true at all. Men know they are despised and looked down on by women–especially educated [women].” [minor typo repair]
Commenter Angelo Parkinson picks up this thread: “Women who are highly educated are actually more materialistic and superficial preferring even more so to be with for men with wealth, status and income and don’t give a man a chance if he doesn’t meet their financial expectations (mostly make a lot more money). They want to fly around the world, live in a million dollar home… because after all they deserve it.”
One might suggest that women look in the mirror to see the source of their deprivation. Unfortunately, as David Buss, psychology researcher at The University of Texas at Austin, discovered (in association with Todd Shackelford, psychology professor at Florida Atlantic University), women idealize “partners who have all the characteristics they desire, but they will calibrate their standards based on their own desirability.” In other words, if THEY think they are themselves hot, their opinions regarding the men who approach them become even more stringent. And if their friends know something about some man, they “frame” their perceptions of this poor schlub to their friend so that he is more likely to be rejected, even though she’s just met him. This was determined in a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior by Concordia marketing professor Gad Saad and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Tripat Gill.
Are we thus surprised that the 2010 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) reported in 2010 that 56.9 percent of single men ages 18 to 24 hadn’t had vaginal sex in the previous year? Can it be safe to assume that these numbers have NOT improved since then?
There is but one response to this situation, and it comes from Liza Mundy, who wrote The Richer Sex: [women] “maybe need to rethink that [attitude about male suitability] to seek a partner who is supportive, rather than competitive.”
It’s the only way my son will ever find a partner and get his mother off his back. Just don’t expect this to happen any time soon.
Apologies to Paul McCartney for mangling his lyrics.