Are guys growing up fast enough? Should they?


by Greg Bernhardt
Tags: growing, guys
Greg Bernhardt
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#1
Feb24-11, 10:34 AM
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There is a fantastic article at WSJ that explores the phenomena where men are generally delaying stereotypical "man" duties and attitude for later in life. Men who won't commit, enjoy playing xbox into the wee hours and have week old pizza on the counter. I would certainly admit I am closer to that description than the classic male portrayal of the first half of the 20th century.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...725889448.html

I think she nailed the article, but I'm not convinced it's a bad thing. We're definitely seeing people wait to get married and have children. I am in that group and love it! But I can see how it is creating problems when women still have that clock. I know first hand from several lady friends that there is that pressure and it ends up making them husband hunt in their late twenties.
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FlexGunship
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Feb24-11, 09:24 PM
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Hah ha! That's funny. I'm the opposite. I've been trying to settle down since I was 23 (I'm 25 now). I bought a home, and I have a steady career. I've been learning to build and fix things, and I just want to get an early start on the rest of my life.
lisab
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Feb24-11, 10:05 PM
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One passage near the end I found especially interesting:

What explains this puerile shallowness? I see it as an expression of our cultural uncertainty about the social role of men. It's been an almost universal rule of civilization that girls became women simply by reaching physical maturity, but boys had to pass a test. They needed to demonstrate courage, physical prowess or mastery of the necessary skills. The goal was to prove their competence as protectors and providers. Today, however, with women moving ahead in our advanced economy, husbands and fathers are now optional, and the qualities of character men once needed to play their roles—fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity—are obsolete, even a little embarrassing.
I had a discussion the other day with a friend who thought that modern life was slowly causing men to go insane...it's too easy.

Evo
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Feb24-11, 10:10 PM
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Are guys growing up fast enough? Should they?


I was 29 and 32 when I had my children. My girls are 23 and 26 and I can't even imagine either of them settling down to have children for the next 10 years, if ever. They don't seem to want children, which is fine with me. I didn't want children and I don't want grand children.
rootX
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Feb24-11, 10:17 PM
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I had to pull birthday calculator once again to find my age, I just reached 23 (I am 23 years, 24 days old).

I am quite uncertain about my future. I don't know what/where I will be next year and the year after. I have no plans for future when it comes to my life.
Physics-Learner
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Feb25-11, 08:28 PM
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i think that one thing that is happening is that we are not as brainwashed into having a certain type of existence, as we once were.

we are becoming aware that we dont have to get married by 21, and start having kids, etc.

this gives us more freedom, but it also gives us less stability, in that our lives are not as cookie cutter as they once were.

which means we end up working harder to try to find a direction to take.
lisab
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Feb25-11, 08:51 PM
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Quote Quote by Physics-Learner View Post
i think that one thing that is happening is that we are not as brainwashed into having a certain type of existence, as we once were.

we are becoming aware that we dont have to get married by 21, and start having kids, etc.

this gives us more freedom, but it also gives us less stability, in that our lives are not as cookie cutter as they once were.

which means we end up working harder to try to find a direction to take.
Good points. Funny thing about freedom...having a *lot* of choices (like we do) doesn't always make a person happier.
Physics-Learner
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Feb25-11, 09:01 PM
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no, it doesnt, does it ?

i think freedom is a good thing, but i also think that we got too much of it too quickly, such that we have not yet adapted to it.

but that could be said for a lot of things, in that human beings tend to need time to make changes.

when i was younger, i was a type a personality, with all sorts of goals in mind. the typical kinds of graduating from school, going to college, getting a degree, getting a job, buying a house, etc.

well i did all that stuff at an earlier age than average. and i held off having a family, until (quite accidentally) i realized i didnt have to have a family.

now i like peace and quiet and stability and uncomplications. and on the other hand, i am affectionate and like someone to hug and hold.

those 2 lifestyles dont exist together - LOL.

so i have absolutely no goal, and no longer have the certainty of god and heaven to cling to.

and while i am not exactly happy about it, i am coming to terms with it, and just trying to let things happen as they happen.
apeiron
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Feb25-11, 09:09 PM
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Quote Quote by Physics-Learner View Post
which means we end up working harder to try to find a direction to take.
Interesting discussion. Modern life rewards people who take an entreprenurial approach to life - having ideas, taking risks, being skilled at networking and attracting a following. It is being said that the future of work is the mini-preneur. A portfolio approach where people have a number of losely connected jobs, contract work, small ventures. And a lot of it can arise out of hobbies and personal interests. Also more a continuous education and self-education approach. So very different.

The downside is that for most, the entreprenurial results will be a small scale success - a career-let (or portfolio of them), that could be mistaken for dabbling, but is just the small tail phenomenon. In an openly expanding economic system, success becomes distributed according to a powerlaw (and so the vast majority of those "successfully being entrepreneurs" are down at the tail end of the distribution). But this is cool as the lifestyle is still fun and earns enough to get by.

Of course, this does not fit the traditional male role stereotype. Or so people might say. But then again, think medieval or renaissance towns, or more ancient trading cities like Miletes. There might be something of the same homespun, find your own niche, create your own trade/craft feel to it. Well, not to stretch the analogy, but the idea of "male" does seem different if you think about silversmiths, weavers, etc.

See this list of 200 essential trades in a Victorian town and consider how perhaps some of this is about a transition in the world of work from the 20th century mass production model to a 21st internet driven entreprenurial craft economy (perhaps).

http://transitionculture.org/2009/01...wn-functional/
rootX
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#10
Feb25-11, 09:17 PM
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Quote Quote by Physics-Learner View Post
i think that one thing that is happening is that we are not as brainwashed into having a certain type of existence, as we once were.

we are becoming aware that we dont have to get married by 21, and start having kids, etc.

this gives us more freedom, but it also gives us less stability, in that our lives are not as cookie cutter as they once were.

which means we end up working harder to try to find a direction to take.
I don't work to take a direction, opportunities come by, I either take them or discard them. It's quite simple.
lisab
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Feb25-11, 09:23 PM
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Quote Quote by rootX View Post
I don't work to take a direction, opportunities come by, I either take them or discard them. It's quite simple.
But what if you have dozens (or more) opportunities facing you all at the same time? It can be overwhelming.
rootX
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Feb25-11, 09:32 PM
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Quote Quote by lisab View Post
But what if you have dozens (or more) opportunities facing you all at the same time? It can be overwhelming.
I have been in those times and I use my instincts to make decisions. I believe more in doing best in what you choose than making a best choice.
lisab
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Feb25-11, 09:42 PM
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Quote Quote by rootX View Post
I have been in those times and I use my instincts to make decisions. I believe more in doing best in what you choose than making a best choice.
That's good to be comfortable with being decisive. The important thing is to not dwell on the choices you didn't make. But, in my experience, that gets a lot harder with age .
Pinu7
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Feb25-11, 09:45 PM
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That was perhaps the longest article I have ever read which contained absolutely no substance. The Wall Street Journal outdone themselves.
chiro
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Feb25-11, 10:10 PM
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I find nowadays that people want to "live their life". When I say this I mean that people want to do things like travel, do specific hobbies, start businesses, get a PhD and so on and that they would rather defer the responsibility of being a father and putting their resources purely into their family.

I'm the same and I don't blame other people who share these views. There is just so much out there to experience in my mind, and quite frankly I want to take advantage of what we have in the 21st century and not be bogged down with worrying about a family.

I think another thing apart from the above is that it is a lot more expensive to have a family nowadays and I am assuming that people that want to have children and have the best opportunities wait until the right time so that their children do get the best options in the parents view.

Problem is that every generation grows up for the most part very comfortably and they generally want to party for just a little bit longer having the good life.
rootX
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#16
Feb25-11, 10:15 PM
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Quote Quote by lisab View Post
That's good to be comfortable with being decisive. The important thing is to not dwell on the choices you didn't make. But, in my experience, that gets a lot harder with age .
Yep older we get, harder it gets to undo our decisions.

But, I think life can be very hard for people who spend too much energy in coming up with a best decision. I know (young and old) people who literally get paralyzed by uncertainty and freedom. Most of the times, they end up in circles.
Physics-Learner
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#17
Feb25-11, 11:32 PM
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a very interesting development in myself has caused me to wonder a lot.

and this thread seems to be proof that others are in that same boat.

and that is that we have all been talking about ourselves in terms of "what we do" or "what we accomplish".

and the thing that has been going on in my mind for the past 5 years or so, is that perhaps what i am experiencing is a journey of what we should be doing.

learning to understand ourselves at a more basic, but deeper level. not as what we do, but who we are ? and in order to do so, we need to remove the cloak of goals and what we do.

if i ever figure it out, i will let you know - LOL.
DanP
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Feb26-11, 09:44 AM
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Quote Quote by lisab View Post

I had a discussion the other day with a friend who thought that modern life was slowly causing men to go insane...it's too easy.
And perhaps she is right, at least partially. We live in a world where the more feminist magazines encourage men to get in such with their sensible feminine sides (yeah right, like a man has any feminine side whatsoever), where male kids engaging in rough and tumble play are labeled as violent and problem kids, where a male trowing a punch is considered a psychopath, where the smallest bruise on a kid is a catastrophe and where physical activity is frowned upon by legions of fat slobs.


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