Ever since I started writing this series, I have heard the same question from various readers: Why do guys suck so much?
Now, I don’t think all guys suck, but I will agree that many (maybe most?) guys suck. And after spending many sleepless nights mulling over this question, I finally have a conclusive theory to present to you. In Part 1, I will dissect the theory and hopefully with your help, we can figure out how to deal with this issue in Part 2.
To begin, let’s talk about some recent trends that have been emerging over the past 15 years and how they have affected society as a whole. I think that young adults today, both men and women (25 to 40, for sake of argument) are more selfish, flighty and privileged than any previous generation. Never before has there been so much opportunity and mobility. We can change jobs/apartments/friends every six months if we want. Have a nasty breakup? Just get on the next JetBlue flight to the other coast and start anew. There are few ties and a minimal sense of responsibility.
This generation has unprecedented freedom to do whatever they want whenever they want, and on top of that, everyone thinks they deserve it, as well. There is no impetus to settle or commit to anything because around the corner could be a better job with a better salary in a better location, and you deserve it. All of this creates a cycle of unprecedented selfishness. Both men and women refuse to commit to anything because it stands in the way of their selfish pursuits of constant upgrading. Our whole thought process focuses on what we will have in the future instead of what we have in our hands right now. For those who are into history, I would say the vibe in Western Europe during the Belle Epoque is the best approximation.
But then biology starts to kick in, and we start to notice a differentiation between men and women. Whether you like it or not, and whether or not you want to deny its relevance, there is a sociological stigma on “women of a certain age” that comes from the biological constraints of fertility. Even in our allegedly liberal day and age, there have been countless recent articles about how society still puts immense pressure on women to get hitched and pop out babies (example, example, example). My guess is that it happens a little later in the urban coastal areas, say 35 in Manhattan or SF, but it is still there. (For those who don’t follow this series, I have a special interest in how biology and evolution affect our lives.)
And here is where we can start talking about The Modern American Male, and why guys suck specifically. The reality is that guys don’t receive this societal pressure to partner up. When a woman, for whatever reason – be it external pressure or internal desire – starts to want some stability and commitment in her life, guys are still running full speed in their selfish pursuits. I would say this is probably most pronounced when men/women reach their early 30s. This creates a noticeable rift in the mindset between men and women, where 36-year-old guys are still effectively thinking about their lives and the world around them like they are 23-year-olds.
In summary, guys suck because they simply aren’t thinking of stability and commitment ’til their late thirties. More than that, they have no reason to think about stability and commitment. American society today even rewards and reinforces their selfish pursuits and flighty attitudes. And unfortunately, women mature and move past this infantile stage earlier, which creates a rift in the mindset of the two sexes somewhere around age 30.
I want to add a special important note to all the “pre-adults” ladies reading this, meaning those aged 18-25. Sadly, I think guys who are currently in this age bracket are going to be infinitely more “sucky” when they hit their 30s. In addition to the issue I outlined above, these younger guys have the added problem of Helicopter Parenting. As countless articles have pointed out in recent months (example, example, example, example), overzealous parenting has created a batch of kids who are so coddled and self-inflated that they are unable to handle any hardship on their own. Worse than that, they expect other people to solve their problems for them. Their parents have shielded them from anything remotely challenging to the point where these guys will barely be able to function as independent adults. This is only going to exacerbate the existing issues.
So what the hell is a single woman to do with this disturbing situation?? I want to open up this discussion to everybody, to hear your ideas on how best to approach this. I have my own thoughts on the matter, but first I would love to get your comments so we can come up with a good hypothesis together. In the coming weeks I will post up Part 2!