Sadly, that statement rings truer today more so than any other time in history. The state of our nation’s young men is frankly embarrassing. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a bitter, single, cat-owning 28-year-old. I’m saying it because it’s true.
Philadelphia Magazine recently released a front page article asking the same question every single woman under the age of 30 asks on a daily basis: WTF happened to America’s men? They don’t have jobs, they live with their parents, and they play video games or watch porn all day long.
Today, 59% of guys between the ages of 18 and 24 live with mommy and daddy. In my city alone, 64,000 young men still live at home. Five years ago, we could have blamed this pandemic on the economy. But 30% of 25-to-34-year-old men had stopped looking for jobs even before the recession hit.
One of my first serious boyfriends didn’t move out of his parents’ house until he was 29. When I first started dating him, he was collecting unemployment and was perfectly content sleeping on a mattress next to his mother’s collection of Home and Garden magazines in the basement. I, however, was mortified and refused to visit him. Any sexual desire I ever had for him immediately deflated when I caught his mother washing and ironing his boxers one day.
It’s easy to blame this laziness on the generation as a whole. The kids of Gen Y have been repeatedly referred to as “self entitled,” “cocky,” and “flaky.” But when you compare the success of Gen Y women to their male counterparts, all defenses of this theory can be thrown out the window.
Yes, Gen Y had much more opportunities than their predecessors. We were born with silver spoons in our mouths and iPhones in our little infant hands. We were constantly told that nothing short of the world was ours and we could do or have anything we wanted. We attended the top universities and colleges, lived abroad, and had parents that catered to our every whim. But when faced with the real world responsibilities of bills and 9 to 5ers and taxes and traffic, we pouted and ran away to Europe or hid in our childhood bedrooms.
But Gen Y women sucked it up and got over it. Statistics show that 60% of college students are women now. More women are receiving Master’s degrees than men. While Sally is climbing the corporate ladder, Johnny is back home in bed on the prowl for virtual strippers.
I’ve gotten a lot of smack for dating as many men as I have. “You can’t keep one boyfriend, Steph?” my friends jest. But in all seriousness, do I really want to keep any of the guys I’ve been involved with?
Studies have shown that more and more women are waiting to get married. Originally, I had just assumed that these women were like me and were too focused on a career to settle down and have a litter. Surprisingly, it’s not work that’s keeping women from getting hitched. It’s the lack of quality men available.
Do you know how your mom always told you to “date up?” Well, 20-something and 30-something females simply can’t do that anymore. When your choices are A.) Bob who has no job or no motivation and lives at home with his mom; B.) Joe who is an alcoholic and whines all the time about having no money or C.) Bill who is glued to his computer playing video games all day long of course you’re not going to want to walk down the aisle.
And it’s not just career-wise where our men are failing. It’s in the bedroom too. One in five men between the ages of 18 and 25 are classified as “sub-fertile” because of their low sperm count. Also, 1/3 of male college students have experience erectile dysfunction.
So what’s a girl to do? Grin and bare it? Dabble in lesbianism? Visit a sperm bank and raise a baby herself?
I don’t know.
We’ve entered the era of Brave New Girl. Even though it’s cool that women are succeeding as much as they are, this power shift in the genders isn’t necessarily a good thing for either sex.
So in this absence of good men, what constitutes as “manly” in our society? Rescuing kittens from trees? Standing up for the weak? Putting out fires?
Even though women are stereotypically attracted to men who can “save” or “take care of them,” there are less and less kittens stuck in trees. We cats are learning how to get down ourselves.