Update & Repost-Kay Hymowitz In The City Journal: Child-Man In The Promised Land?

Full article here.  (Originally posted ten years ago now, and I suspect more people are receptive to the problems raised…).

The basic idea:  Many young and young(ish) American men are free of the social obligations to commit to women, get married, have kids, and thus languish in a suspended state of man-childishness.

How did they get here?  By the radical and excessive cultural changes the last 40 years have brought about:  I’m assuming the excesses of feminism, the excesses of equality.. which form a solid part of majority pop culture opinion and have often been institutionalized…

Young men especially need a culture that can help them define worthy aspirations. Adults don’t emerge. They’re made.”

Hymowitz is arguing that the culture is failing young men in an important way, and it’s doing so by abandoning certain cultural values and the depth and wisdom those values sustain.

Do you find the argument persuasive?

Addition:  Emily Yoffee at Slate picks up on the same idea: adandoning the institution of marriage does have consequences for all of us.

See Also:  Kay Hymowitz In The The City Journal: Love In The Time Of Darwinism

From Will Wilkinson-A Response To Kay Hymowitz: ‘The “Menaissance” and Its Dickscontents’Kay Hymowitz In The The City Journal: Love In The Time Of DarwinismKay Hymowitz In The City Journal: Child-Man In The Promised Land?Kay Hymowitz At The City Journal: ‘How Brooklyn Got Its Groove Back’

From The Chronicle Of Higher Ed Via A & L Daily: Christina Hoff Sommers “Persistent Myths In Feminist Scholarship”Wendy Kaminer At The Atlantic: ‘Sexual Harassment And The Loneliness Of The Civil Libertarian Feminist’

Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

Update And Repost-‘Philip Brand Reviews Kay Hymowitz At Real Clear Books: ‘Women on Top, Men at the Bottom’

Full review here.

Man-children?  A war against men? The products of feminism?  An erosion of religious values?:

‘The thrust of Manning Up is different. In her new book, Hymowitz puts economic conditions first — along with the increasing professional accomplishments of women. Preadulthood, she says, is “an adjustment to huge shifts in the economy, one that makes a college education essential to achieving or maintaining a middle-class life.” 

That’s preadulthood for men:

‘Preadulthood — most common among men in their twenties, though it can easily extend to one’s thirties and beyond — is a consequence of two related economic trends that are reshaping the coming-of-age experience for young Americans, both men and women. The first trend is the extended period of training — college and beyond — deemed necessary to succeed in the modern economy. The second trend is women’s participation and flourishing in the new economy.’

There have been many changes going on in American society, which include getting women into the workforce and into college.  I suspect this has partially required the erosion of traditional and religious familial hierarchies and the institutions growing out of them as a model for civil society.

Naturally, social and religious conservatives are less happy with this state of affairs, and there is legitimate criticism that the State will fill the role the family they once held as a model for civil society, especially among lower income folks.

Obviously, we’re not going back to 1962, but men are not just born, they’re made, and now that the culture and institutions that made them is receding, what is taking their place?

Where are the new jobs coming from?:

***Thanks to Malcolm Greenhill for pointing this out.   In response to Megan McArdle’s post “America’s New Mandarins,” it might be worth revisiting Charles Murray’s Coming Apart.  Murray got there first:

—————

Helen Smith, wife of Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds, has a new book out entitled ‘Men On Strike, Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream-and Why It Matters‘ which suggests the old incentives combined with the new culture is incentivizing men to sit on the sidelines:

—————-

Related On This SiteFrom Will Wilkinson-A Response To Kay Hymowitz: ‘The “Menaissance” and Its Dickscontents’Kay Hymowitz In The The City Journal: Love In The Time Of DarwinismKay Hymowitz In The City Journal: Child-Man In The Promised Land?Kay Hymowitz At The City Journal: ‘How Brooklyn Got Its Groove Back’

From The Chronicle Of Higher Ed Via A & L Daily: Christina Hoff Sommers “Persistent Myths In Feminist Scholarship”Wendy Kaminer At The Atlantic: ‘Sexual Harassment And The Loneliness Of The Civil Libertarian Feminist’

Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

Philip Brand Reviews Kay Hymowitz At Real Clear Books: ‘Women on Top, Men at the Bottom’

Full review here.

Man-children?  A war against men? The products of feminism?  An erosion of religious values?:

‘The thrust of Manning Up is different. In her new book, Hymowitz puts economic conditions first — along with the increasing professional accomplishments of women. Preadulthood, she says, is “an adjustment to huge shifts in the economy, one that makes a college education essential to achieving or maintaining a middle-class life.” 

That’s preadulthood for men:

‘Preadulthood — most common among men in their twenties, though it can easily extend to one’s thirties and beyond — is a consequence of two related economic trends that are reshaping the coming-of-age experience for young Americans, both men and women. The first trend is the extended period of training — college and beyond — deemed necessary to succeed in the modern economy. The second trend is women’s participation and flourishing in the new economy.’

Related On This SiteFrom Will Wilkinson-A Response To Kay Hymowitz: ‘The “Menaissance” and Its Dickscontents’Kay Hymowitz In The The City Journal: Love In The Time Of DarwinismKay Hymowitz In The City Journal: Child-Man In The Promised Land?Kay Hymowitz At The City Journal: ‘How Brooklyn Got Its Groove Back’

From The Chronicle Of Higher Ed Via A & L Daily: Christina Hoff Sommers “Persistent Myths In Feminist Scholarship”Wendy Kaminer At The Atlantic: ‘Sexual Harassment And The Loneliness Of The Civil Libertarian Feminist’

Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

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Kay Hymowitz At The City Journal: ‘How Brooklyn Got Its Groove Back’

Full piece here.

Hymowitz tracks her time in Brooklyn and offers an interesting background and look at its history.  She notes why she thinks it’s been surging lately:

‘The third reason for Brooklyn’s modern revival was the arrival of a new generation of gentrifiers, a large group of college-educated folks who, like the previous generation, found the urban, neighborly, and safer streets of the borough mightily attractive.’

And of them:

‘Unlike their predecessors, however, these grads are not only artsy; they’re tech-savvy and entrepreneurial. Don’t confuse them with the earlier artists and bohemians who daringly smoked pot at Brooklyn Heights parties. These are beneficiaries of a technology-fueled design economy, people who have been able to harness their creativity to digital media’ 

And of the post-industrial knowledge gap:

The problem is that these boutique businesses have a limited impact on the borough’s total economy. For all their energy and creativity, Brooklyn’s young entrepreneurs tend to have few employees, and they’re not likely to be hiring large numbers in the future.

And thus her conclusion:

‘Brooklyn’s story, then, doesn’t lend itself to a simple happy ending. Instead, the borough is a microcosm of the nation’s “hourglass economy.” At the top, the college-educated are doing interesting, motivating work during the day and bicycling home to enjoy gourmet beer and grass-fed beef after hours. At the bottom, matters are very different.’

There’s a bit of a swipe there at the hipsters, and certain underlying ideas she likely takes issue with (progressive, green, idealistic, creative class, meritocratic ideas).

Big cities like Chicago and New York (which unlike Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are still centers of trade and finance to balance out the lost industry) have been losing a lot of low and middle-income private sector jobs, so where are we headed?

Related On This Site: Trade and commerce aren’t just vehicles for nanny statism, equality delivery services and racial harmony…they are well…trade and commerce:  Via Youtube: Ric Burns—New York: A Documentary Film – Episode One: The Country and The City (1609-1825)Joel Kotkin Via Youtube: ‘Illinois Is In A Competition’

Cities should be magnets for creativity and culture? –From The Atlantic: Richard Florida On The Decline Of The Blue-Collar ManFrom Grist.Org Via The New Republic Via The A & L Daily: ‘Getting Past “Ruin Porn” In Detroit’… some people don’t want you to have the economic freedom to live in the suburbs: From Foreign Policy: ‘Urban Legends, Why Suburbs, Not Cities, Are The Answer’

Is the same definition of ‘community’ connected with one that can stifle economic growth through political means?: Roger Scruton In The City Journal: Cities For Living–Is Modernism Dead?

And how do big-city machines actually work (Boss Tweed and Blago come to mind): Two Sunday Quotations By Albert Jay Nock in ‘Anarchist’s Progress’…Walter Russell Mead takes a look at the blue model from the ground up in NYC.

From Volokh: ‘The Decline of Men or Just the Rise of Women?’

Full post here.

‘UPDATE: I should note that Hymowitz doesn’t, in so many words, say that men are in decline, merely that they are “falling behind.” That phrasing is consistent with a view that men are better off than before, but merely haven’t made as many gains as women have in recent years. Still, it’s hard to justify concern about men “falling behind” unless there is some actual harm to men involved, as opposed to merely having slightly lower educational attainment (and among the never-married, slightly lower income) than women.’

Related On This Site:  From Will Wilkinson-A Response To Kay Hymowitz: ‘The “Menaissance” and Its Dickscontents’Kay Hymowitz In The The City Journal: Love In The Time Of DarwinismKay Hymowitz In The City Journal: Child-Man In The Promised Land?

From The Chronicle Of Higher Ed Via A & L Daily: Christina Hoff Sommers “Persistent Myths In Feminist Scholarship”Wendy Kaminer At The Atlantic: ‘Sexual Harassment And The Loneliness Of The Civil Libertarian Feminist’

Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

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From Dissent Magazine: ‘Blaming Women for the Infantilization of Men’

Full piece here.

A Myriam Miedzian reviews Kay Hymowitz’s new book.  Here’s Miedzian:

While relying on hard to find decent childcare, they [women] have had to accommodate themselves almost entirely to a workplace created for men with traditional wives.’

I’m not sure it logically follows that we must rearrange our society to accomodate women who want to work part time (which should be at the company’s hiring discretion…some people may be worth it), women who take significant time off for child-rearing (probably good for all of us as far as producing good citizens and well-adjusted people…but available to a relative few), and not compete amongst men who are working to take care of their own families:

“In his May 12, 2011 testimony to the U.S Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich stated that “by the 2000s, the typical American worker worked more than 2,200 hours a year—350 hours more than the average European worked.”

According to Miedzian, not only do we need to emulate the more regulated, managed, high-unemployment, culturally homogenous European economies (I presume in part because Europe has been much less violent this past century), but we need Secretaries of Labor like Reich to tell us so.  Plenty of room for disagreement there.   She goes on:

After citing all this, Hymowitz then mistakenly concludes that “blaming the media doesn’t make much sense. Media execs…can’t foist a new cultural type on an unwilling public.” This ignores the human potential for undesirable, anti-social behavior—in this case the male potential for childish, crude, irresponsible, violent, and misogynist behavior. The entertainment media is one of several variables that feed into this behavior.

Well, what about what you may have observed of women’s childish, crude, irresponsible, violent (agreeably less physical, but not always) and misandrist behavior?  Apparently, Miedzian’s definition of equality wouldn’t extend that far.  Human nature on her view is inherently good, but is only corrupted by improper ideals (and only males are primarily violent).   Miedzian is on a mission, which I think leads to this rather unhealthy desire to control the means of communication.

Here’s where I might have some agreement with Miedzian:

‘While Hymowitz does a good job of identifying some of the social and cultural forces that are prolonging pre-adulthood for young men, she certainly does not prove that the rise of women has turned men into boys.’

What is the level of proof required?  I don’t know if Hymowitz has it right, but if Miedzian’s work is any indication, then what Hymowitz is disputing is having replaced religious morality and the promotion of marriage and the two-parent family as a basic unit of society….with…ideals that have left us with a confused jumble of no-fault divorce laws, arguably reduced incentives for marriage (especially for men), gender equity ideologues who stifle debate about basic biology and human nature (the ‘personal is political’ crowd).

Such may be the times.

Related On This Site:  From Will Wilkinson-A Response To Kay Hymowitz: ‘The “Menaissance” and Its Dickscontents’Kay Hymowitz In The The City Journal: Love In The Time Of DarwinismKay Hymowitz In The City Journal: Child-Man In The Promised Land?

From The Chronicle Of Higher Ed Via A & L Daily: Christina Hoff Sommers “Persistent Myths In Feminist Scholarship”Wendy Kaminer At The Atlantic: ‘Sexual Harassment And The Loneliness Of The Civil Libertarian Feminist’

Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

At least Martha Nussbaum can tie feminism back to utilitarianism (with J.S. Mill’s promotion of the individual and classical liberalism)  From The Reason Archives: ‘Discussing Disgust’ Julian Sanchez Interviews Martha Nussbaum… Martha Nussbaum In Dissent–Violence On The Left: Nandigram And The Communists Of West BengalMartha Nussbaum On Eliot Spitzer At The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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From Will Wilkinson-A Response To Kay Hymowitz: ‘The “Menaissance” and Its Dickscontents’

Full post here. (Wilkinson responds to Hymowitz’s article).

Quite a title.  Men don’t know what to do that now with themselves now that women have more economic and social freedom, and it’s unfair, claims Hymowitz.  Wilkinson involves De Tocqeuville to make a good point:

“American-style democratic equality creates a pattern of unceasingly stressful striving for relative rank, and all this mobility up and down produces a confusion in manners that can lead to dangerous social frictions and resentments.”

Agreed.  Hymowitz’s article is pretty reactionary. 

However, to try and defend social conservatism for a moment:   There have been a lot of intolerant agents and impulses which have made the equality of women possible, and which seek equality in ways to which the social and fiscal conservative can reasonably object (as a prudent defender of institutions and their moral lights).   

So, if we are (and I’ve found few if any valid arguments denying women their freedoms) witnessing the messy, molten lava process of democracy maintaining, perhaps even reinvigorating, itself…how messy can it be and how far can you follow the logic?

I wouldn’t want to follow Hymowitz’s logic too far, incidentally, though I do give her credit for thinking against the tide.  

Wilkinson seems pragmatic in what may be his plans for libertarianism:  Will Wilkinson And Jonah Goldberg On Bloggingheads: Updating Libertarianism?

Updated:  Wilkinson and Hymowitz discuss matters at Bloggingheads.

See Also On This Site:  Kay Hymowitz In The The City Journal: Love In The Time Of DarwinismKay Hymowitz In The City Journal: Child-Man In The Promised Land?

Conservatives shouldn’t entirely fret the depth of Martha Nussbaum, as she is a feminist but perhaps classically liberal:  From The Harvard Educational Review-A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

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