These days the problem isn’t as much pre-adulthood males as it is uncultured people–including women. When I was in high school at Georgetown Prep, a Jesuit school that prided itself on producing men who could both lay down a block and conjugate Latin, we had a term for well-rounded women: “cool chicks.” Yeah, she’s a cool chick. A cool chick would go to a baseball game with you, maybe liked a cool band, and also had a favorite museum and novel. They were cool because they weren’t just one thing–the Lena Dunham hipster, the scholarship-obsessed athlete, the Ally Sheedy Breakfast Club basket case. Do cool chicks exist anymore? Is there a Dianne Keaton of this generation?Translation: I just can't beat off to the Vanity Fair "Hollywood" annual since Meryl Streep got crow's feet.
But then I found that Judge's essay is only "part of a symposium in which a variety of writers and thinkers weigh in on the question: 'Can men be men again?'" -- a line I'd prefer to believe is a Rusty Warren set-up, but which these brightish youngish things apparently take very seriously. One of these is Ryan Duffy, and his essay is called, not even kidding, "Training Men to be Better: Rewards and Punishments."
Duffy tells us it's important that we get guys to stop liking casual sex because who knows why (with this crowd the reasons don't even have to be mentioned, but I bet birth rates are involved), and like Judge he blames women (I sense a pattern), because they "have been feeding the beast of men’s desire for short-term relationships." But if the stupid bitches will just listen to him and Steve Harvey, we can turn this thing right around:
But should we also look to women to play a role in this process? In his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey talks about men like animals and the importance of rewards and punishments. Harvey actively acknowledges his suggestions might not work so well with feminists, but makes suggestions likely waiting ninety days before having sex with men to ensure he is truly in it for the right reasons.
I believe there is some morsel of truth to Harvey’s claims. If we as a society want men to grow up and be real men–whatever that definition is–it’s critical that we go back to the simple rules of behaviorism. People will feel, think, and behave in ways that they are rewarded or punished for. If we truly want men to change, we can hope they will reward and punish themselves, but acknowledge that we (and especially the women dealing with them) must also play a part.I suppose it is progress, in a way, that instead of relying on embittered mothers or maiden aunts to teach women to treat men like dogs, conservatives are starting to enlist the aid of Magic Negroes. Maybe this is the direction their minority outreach will take: encouraging Ice Cube, for example, to go out on stage with Allen West to do "Black North Korea."
Still, if your strategy relies on convincing people to stop having sex, you've got a hard sell no matter how you jazz up the pitch. Maybe it's time they went really retro and advocated the establishment of red light districts. Of course, they'd probably abandon the project once they realized they have to pay the comfort women at least $9 an hour. Sigh. I guess it's rightwing sitcom reviews until someone gets them all jobs at The Atlantic.
Parting irony, though: Isn't it rich that their plan for whipping male sexuality into shape requires women to behave like a union?
UPDATE. ADHDJ, in comments: "Indeed, it's easy to forget the world pre-January 2009, before titty bars and pool halls were invented."
UPDATE 2. Late as it is, I should like to add chuckling's observations on Judge and his Lena Dunham hangup, which could easily be applied to any of these guys and their Lena Dunham hangup:
Anyway, interesting the dude's definition of cool when applied to a young woman: It's not someone who's smart, well-educated, cultured, ridiculously successful in television, probably crown fucking princess of the New York indie celebrity scene -- no, none of that is cool -- but someone who will fetch him a hot dog at a baseball game. Of course pretending to share the interests of some conservative ass and smiling as he drones on and on about whatever infuriates him at the moment is a more achievable aspiration than being Lena Dunham for most women, but unfortunately it's pretty much nobody's definition of cool.