Earlier this year, I published an article in City Journal called “Child-Man in the Promised Land.” The piece elicited a roaring flood of mailed and blogged responses, mostly from young men . . . . Their argument, in effect, was that the [single young man] is putting off traditional markers of adulthood—one wife, two kids, three bathrooms—not because he’s immature but because he’s angry.
Stop, stop, STOP! A pox on both your houses! The premise as stipulated by both Kay and her interlocutors -- that men are deciding to put off marriage -- is utterly and completely false as a generality applied to all men!
But to know this, Kay would have to open her eyes beyond their currently narrow field. For she is guilty of the same error as the men for whom women of less than car show model attractiveness are invisible. Like them, Kay only sees men in the top 5% of the status hierarchy, the same 5% being pursued by 95% of women, the same 5% for whose attentions women bid in an arms race to the bottom. Of course those men don't want to get married: in the immortal words of Kelly Bundy, why buy the cow when you can get the eggs for free?
But what about the other 95%? You know: the ones standing on the sidelines looking desperately for some sign of encouragement. The ones with no idea how to talk to a woman because, well, none of them have. The ones without game.
Are there tradeoffs? I've been reading Spungen too long to try to deny this. She overstates her case (as do we all), but it may be entirely possible that it is NOT in the average woman's interest to settle down in her twenties with the average betaman. (Certainly it was not in Spungen's interest.) There are arguments to be made on both sides, for both men and women, and I wouldn't try to substitute my judgment for theirs.
But this, too, is a tradeoff, so they should make it with their eyes open. They may do as they will, but please, please, please spare me the tired invective about how men-won't-settle-down. It. Is. Not. True.
Addendum: On this question, I have to recommend Roissy's usual mix of vital insight and crippling contradiction.
UPDATE: Trumwill provides some perspective