A commenter pointed out a piece on Rod Dreher’s blog in American Conservative criticizing the four 30-something men living together in NYC for being self-absorbed and not contributing to society.
It’s a bit depressing to see how conservatives simply can’t help but frame things the same way decade after decade, despite the fact they have lost – badly – over and over again in the culture wars.
However, a lot of commenters on his piece defend the men, although not always in the way we might prefer here. One female commenter, for example, says that they are not that bad, because at least they are not deadbeat abusers…
I, for one, am happy to see that men are finally questioning their “duty” in these matters. It is perfectly reasonable for men to ask “what’s in it for me?” Actually, if a man even asked “what’s in it for society?” I don’t think your typical conservative could give a very convincing answer as far as things stand today.
This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with family and childrearing, but instead to point out that that kind of lifestyle simply isn’t viable for a lot of men these days. We have to recognize that not only have a lot of men been priced out of the marriage market, but also that family is a very serious risk to take these days, with a failure rate of about 50%. The consequences of failure, of course, are brutal for men. Worse in some ways than falling on the battlefield, if you count slavery a fate worse than death.
But do we see conservatives doing anything to change that? Nope. They just keep flogging the dead horse of “duty.”
However, there may be hope yet. Even on a conservative website we find comments such as this:
I think you may be over-reading all of this. I have a couple friends pretty much like that: unusually bright fellows–too bright and too independent to lie and fake their way through an organization’s hierarchy, but not bright enough, ambitious enough, egotistical enough, to become any kind of super-stars.
Once upon a time America had more room for these people. They lived with their parents, or with a sibling, or they hoboed around. Not so much anymore. We should lament the shrinking options for the congenitally non-conformist.
And, let’s face it, the more standard roles the majority of their peers choose aren’t any great shakes. Yeah, you may have health insurance (probably inadequate) and once you sign for a mortgage, you’re stuck with the house and the job to pay for it, but it is a kind of wage-slavery that the majority loathe–hence their saying, “Thank God It’s Friday,” perhaps the most eloquent expression of our culture’s fundamental spiritual failure around.
The vast majority, I suspect, hate their lives and hate themselves for their cowardice in putting up with their hateful lives, but cannot face that fact–so they find someone else to hate, to distract them.
Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel.