Guys: “Why tie the knot?”

Guys: “Why tie the knot?”

I’ve twice before (1,2) treated the subject of guys, male humans who attempt to kick the emotional maturity can down the road a few years or decades. Maybe it’s a good thing, but many guys nowadays are saying they don’t want to get married:

[T]he Pew Research Center…recently found that the number of women 18-34 saying that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things rose from 28 percent to 37 percent since 1997. The number of young adult men saying the same thing dropped from 35 percent to 29 percent in the same time…

With feminism pushing them out of their traditional role of breadwinner, protector and provider – and divorce laws increasingly creating a dangerously precarious financial prospect for the men cut loose from marriage – men are simply no longer finding any benefit in it…

[Men say that] “women aren’t women anymore.” Feminism, which teaches women to think of men as the enemy, has made women “angry” and “defensive, though often unknowingly…”

“Men are tired”…“Tired of being told there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. Tired of being told that if women aren’t happy, it’s men’s fault.”

Feminism and the sexual revolution have simply made marriage “obsolete” for women as a social and economic refuge.

So it could be a chicken-and-egg thing: does feminism and contraception-and-abortion-enabled, consequence-free sex lead to immature men, or do immature men lend support to feminism’s claim that men are the problem?

pic by jcoterhals

I’m not sure the answer to that, but clearly our society needs desperate help on incredibly simple questions:

  1. What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be a woman? Academics preach social conditioning and manufactured gender roles that can be changed if we so desired; they also adopt Marxist rhetoric in ginning up conflict to pit men against women. These simple questions are addressed beautifully in JPII’s theology of the body.
  2. What is marriage? This one is up for grabs too, as voters in four states found out last November. Should we change its definition so that any number of persons can choose to receive legal benefits as long as they can prove that they like living together? Unless you define marriage as it’s been universally understood until a few years ago, a legally-recognized institution between one man and one woman for the benefit of the spouses and the procreation of children, I really don’t see how any other definition is coherent. Kudos to the Bishops (like Cordileone) for promoting common sense on this issue, though it’s becoming increasingly uncommon.
  3. What is sex? Feminism, contraception, abortion, and guy-ism seem to have a common, truncated outlook on what sex is, and what it’s for. Moderns put it on a par with ping pong: something fun to do as long as you have a willing partner. We need to recapture the understanding of the marital embrace as foreshadowing Christ’s fecund embrace of His church.

Full disclosure: I certainly contributed to this problem. As I mention in link 1 above, I am a recovering “guy;” haven’t touched the stuff in a decade or so. I also got married at age 32, quite a bit later than the median 28.7 listed in the article. This was due solely to my inability to have women find me attractive. Luckily, my wife didn’t have laser vision correction until after we got married so by the time she was 20-20 and could see what she got herself into, it was too late…

1 Comment

  1. Wow! Great post (one that I am tempted to forward to some of my single friends who bemoan ever finding Mr. Right). Whether it was feminism or economic necessity, women have entered the work force. As a working wife and mother, I am appreciative that I have the choice available to me to work…or not. That said, I can totally agree with many of the reasons research shows in regards to why men SAY they don’t want to get married (and I can imagine it’s also the reason why many women SAY they don’t want to, either). They say they don’t need one another, that the other is too hard to get along with, that it might just be best to avoid marriage all together and just “play ping pong”. I believe, however, that God gave us a deep desire for life long monogamy and partnership…the kind that can only be fulfilled between one woman and one man. Couples who cannot procreate successfully or where the woman is the breadwinner still feel drawn to the lifelong commitment to another person.

    While it is our duty as Christians to protect marriage, it is also our duty to pursue marriage, now more than ever! Marriage these days may not be as simple as it once was, but that doesn’t mean it cant be as beautiful and satisfying as ever. Expectations might have to alter a bit, within reason. A woman doesn’t lose her purpose as a wife because she is infertile and neither does a man lose his purpose as as husband just because his working wife provides a bit more money. Each can still find refuge with one another, protect one another and provide for one another…it may just not be in ways that tradition dictates. The marriage between Christ and the Church hasn’t always enjoyed a smooth path, but neither has abandoned the other just because the going got a little tough!


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