Courtship, Etiquette, and the Adolescent Male

I had to apologize for my species again today.  Not the usual apology for the species that one has to give to the global-warming and population bomb crowd.  But the usual apology for my species that I as a male am accustomed to giving to adolescent females, especially when it comes to the behavior of their adolescent male counterparts.  Yes, I have to tell them, young men can be spectacularly foolish.  And yes, it is true, females just mature faster than males.  History suggests that has been true from time immemorial, but recent developments have surely exacerbated the problem.

It used to be (long before I was born) that adults tried to prepare young men for adulthood by teaching them how to treat young women with respect.  They conditioned them by having them do little acts of kindness throughout the day to show respect.  Sometimes these were small, relatively unimportant things such as opening doors or letting a young lady go first.  Sometimes they were relatively more important things such as not shoving them around or forcing them to do things they didn’t want to do.   Most (indeed, nearly all) of these bits of behavioral conditioning tended to be directed at young men.  They were intended to get them accustomed to how an adult man should treat an adult woman. As such, they were part of an overall project of turning testosterone-driven male lust into meaningfully directed male courtship. And then they were meant, in large part, to get the adult male not to treat his spouse the way most males have throughout history: namely, as property.  As something to be disposed of at his whim.  As merely a part of his life project, like the make and model of his car or the color and look of his business card.

What’s strange is not so much that the rules of respect have been dispensed with – it’s hard in the best of circumstances to keep a reign on adolescent male hormonal rage. What’s strange is that these rules weren’t done away with by men – even young men – but largely by women.  As for that, I’m not sure what they were thinking.  Did they really believe that by making young men open doors for young women, they were encouraging young men to think that young women couldn’t open doors for themselves?  Do such people imagine that young men in those days thought that young women, upon coming to a door, merely stood there helpless until a man could come along to open the door for her?  I think not.  I remember as a child being told by my rather “old-fashioned” mother that I should hold a door open for a lady.  I thought it strange because I had seen ladies open doors for themselves all the time.  “Why should I? I asked my mother.  “They can open the door for themselves.”  “That’s not the point,” she gently scolded.  “Well I’ll be darned if I can see the point, then,” I remember saying to myself as I skulked away.  At that age, I couldn’t quite see why you shouldn’t punch girls either.  I punched (and got punched by) my guy friends all the time.  What was so different about girls?

Well, as it turned out, there was something different about girls, but I didn’t really get the idea until much later.  In fact, I don’t think I really got the idea until I resolved it was time to get married.  Now that I’m married, I’m pretty sure I still haven’t quite got the idea yet, but I’m at least working on it.  (Or perhaps it would be better to say, my wife is patiently teaching me.)  Women, as far as I can tell, don’t want to be “put on a pedestal,” as it were, and they do want to be friends with men.  But then again, when they get past a certain age, they don’t necessarily want to “rough-house” anymore or be “one of the guys.”  There’s an oftentimes subtle difference there, but it makes all the difference in the world.  You could say it just comes down to this: women want to be treated with respect.

But to be honest, I’m not sure how helpful that is to young men.  Young men think of themselves as treating their guy friends with respect all the time, even if they’ve shoved them around on the basketball court, sworn at them to high heaven, and told them how ridiculous their ideas are.  For some strange reason, young women generally don’t see it that way.  For some reason, women tend to get offended when you shove them around, yell at them, and tell them how stupid their ideas are.  Strange, I know, but it’s just a fact of life, so we’d better get young men used to it early, or we’ll find them, as we find them so often today, utterly baffled as to why so many young women in their lives are offended and upset all the time.

He created them male and female

But look, I’m not so silly (nor was my adolescence so pure) as to suppose that young men aren’t aware that young women are different from them.  Oh no, they know alright.  It’s an awareness that comes with a vengeanceWhat they are aware of, however, is merely the physical difference, and the difference that makes in how they feel around young women.  What they often aren’t aware of, sadly, is that along with the physical changes, there have been certain internal mental and emotional changes taking place in young women as well.  It used to be said that young women were looking for marriage, while young men were looking for sex.  It’s harder now to claim that what young women are looking for is marriage – they’re not really allowed to say that out loud or even admit it to themselves – but what they do tend to be looking for is stability, commitment, and the kind of benefits that come from stability and commitment: a person one can depend on; a person who shows up when he says he will; a person who will be kind and gentle and thoughtful, but not whiny and full of complaints and excuses.  In short, they want a man, not a boy.

Which brings us to the other reason for all those rules of etiquette for young men.  They were part of a process of teaching young men to start looking at women not merely as play mates (in either the playground or Playboy sense of the term), but as a potential spouse.  Nothing aggravates the young women I meet more than the fact that the young men in their lives don’t know how to date.  “What do they do?” I ask.  “They play lots of video games,” is a standard answer.  Or they watch a lot of sports.  Or they go to the bar and look for a hook-up if “the mood” strikes.  This probably isn’t the best training for a future as an adult man in an adult marriage with an adult woman – something which requires virtues like patience, the willingness to pitch in and help, and the ability to put others before oneself.  Given the lives they’re leading, the adolescent boys I know (and that would include all of them from 15 to 35) aren’t exactly readying themselves for marriage.  Or for the life of a citizen in a democratic republic.  Or for adulthood, for that matter.

Unfortunately for such foolish young men, there are still foolish young women around who will indulge them as playmates or surrogate mothers and thereby risk ensnaring both in an unhappy marriage.  Such foolish young women are the second most frequent cause of aggravation among the sensible young women I know – right behind the immaturity of boys.  (“How could he be so stupid as to be attracted to her?”)  Perhaps, then, it was this potential for foolishness among young women to indulge the silly adolescent fancies of young men that brought about those other “old-fashioned” set of rules of etiquette: the ones that applied not to adolescent boys, but to adolescent girls; the ones that bid them not to allow themselves to be treated as property; the ones that encouraged them, rather, to demand respect for their dignity and worth.  Those were principles of behavior that used to be instilled in young women by their mothers.  Now I fear the culture-at-large is more interested in teaching young women to use their “sexuality” as a source of power over men.  That’s all well and good, I suppose, as long as you can stay strong and stay on top.  But when the most intimate sort of human relationship becomes the front line in the on-going battle to attain dominance in the war between the sexes, expect the casualties to be widespread and especially grim.

Personally, I’d prefer a kinder, gentler set of relationships: more like the give-and-take of an elegant dance than the rough-and-tumble of the full-contact sport that is the modern hook-up culture.  For that to happen, however, parents would have to remember that teaching their children how to dance, how to date, and how to court and be courted is their job.  No one else is going to do it.  And the results when they don’t do it are really very tragic and sad.  There are many things we college professors can teach your children, some of them might even be moderately helpful to them.  But one thing we definitely can’t teach them is the one thing that every study shows will be most important to their future happiness and flourishing:  how to meet someone, marry, and stay married.  If your son or daughter doesn’t know how to date and how to act on a date, you’re probably leaving them to the wolves.  Please don’t.  I’ve seen the wounds.  They’re not pretty.

Randall B. Smith


Randall B. Smith is Professor of Theology and current holder of the Scanlan Foundation Chair in Theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. He was also the 2011-12 Myser Fellow at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.

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  • Louis A. Shapiro

    Very good advice.  I work for the Church doing annulments and I have seen the wounds too.  This is great to know:  The world is indeed the enemy of love!

  • Pargontwin

    Sadly, this state of affairs has existed for so many generations now that the parents don’t know how to teach their kids these things, or even what things they’re supposed to teach.  Those old-fashioned niceties have been almost completely forgotten in some parts of the country.  It would probably be better to ask the GRANDPARENTS of today’s kids to teach them; those of us from that generation do still remember, but have been remaining quiet for too long, trying to stay out of the way of our kids now that they’re grown up.  It’s good not to try to manage how our kids raise their own families, but there comes a time when we SHOULD butt in, and this is one of them.  (Of course, the biggest problem is, most of the people from my generation are the ones who started this mess in the first place…)

    • Spoomp

      The grandparents of today’s kids were the parents of today’s parents. Today’s parents are collectively a failure as parents I’m guessing in part because of the way they were raised. The great-grand parents of today’s kids should contribute to raising today’s kids. Unfortunately, they’re all deceased and we’re in deep, deep trouble.

  • Philipacaulfield

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! Well written

  • All well and good to beat men over the head for not acting like gentlemen. It is no less important that women act like ladies. No, I don’t mean like submissive and helpless little waifs. Far from that. But I meet too many women who like to “have it both ways,” and in social situations, often succeed in getting it.

    A priest-friend of mine used to teach at a Catholic high school. He said that the girls presented greater disciplinary problems than the boys. If you have to ask why, I can’t explain it to you.

    • As a former youth minister of 8 years, I can second that!

    • T

      Then I advise you to look for women who act like ladies and behave properly. 
      If you spend time with the pathetic girls, you’re putting the proper girls down. 

      • sanelity

        Then the opposite is also true – 
         look for men who act like men and behave properly. 

        If you spend time with the pathetic boys, you’re putting the proper men down.
        Sums up your entire post.

      • sad ain’t it

        Well put! There are plenty of ladies around, if you know where to look, and what to look for. Sadly most men don’t know what to look for. Judge a woman not by the beauty of her face, or the size of her bosom, but by the depth of her spirit. Even her intellect pales in importance. If she loves God above all things, life will be good, because you share the same great passion.

  • Kim Hatton

    In the UK many, many adolescents demand ‘respect’ from their peers by violence and many women refuse the respect you cite as demeaning. But I’m sure you experience the same in the USA. In certain parts of the inner cities a young man can be killed for not showing ‘respect’ to another young man who considers himself ‘superior’. Maybe we need to find another word for ‘respect’. 

  • Jonathan


  • cricklewood

    I’m also seeing how a whittling away of these small gestures has lead to a culture where men don’t feel the  call to protect girls and women, even those they are related to.  I just read a story where a mother got arrested for choking a 14 year old boy because he wrote disrespectful things on her 13 year old daughter’s facebook.  I kept asking myself, where is this girl’s daddy?  In days past, if a boy disrespected a girl, he would be answering to her father, usually as the father is grabbing the boy by the collar…   But these days, a girl can’t even expect to depend on her Daddy.

    • Mary Bee

      If her Daddy did defend her, he would have an even stiffer charge.  When I read the article you refer to, it seems that the meeting between the scuzzy boy, the victimized girl and her mother was something that wasn’t planned or expected in a WalMart parkinglot.  So let’s not sell the Daddy short.

      What I want to know is why any one, male or female , thinks they have the right to post such vile things?

      Chivalry sure is dead.

  • Teres

    Good point that it is difficult for women to hold men to a higher standard when there are so many who will give in to a man’s childish demands.  Why would a guy go for the chaste woman when there are 10 willing to put out? It takes a lot of grace and sadly, as a single woman I’ve found, the men who do  seek that grace are few and far between.

  • Craig C

    So what about all the bratty harlots out there who only respond positively to being disrespected? Yes, we’ve raised a generation of vicious boys, but oh, the girls are just as tragic (and I venture to prophecy, will be just as catastrophic)

  • TheIdler

    It’s pretty bad when it’s considered sexist to hold the door for a woman…but such are the times.

  • I can also say that numerous young ladies are starved for attention and use immodest dress and behavior to gain it.

  • Mars96

    Once upon a time, the man was the king of the castle and lorded it over his spouse. Society  encouraged and perpetuated this dynamic. For a brief  period, known as courtship, the man would assume an almost subservient position in order to woo his chosen one. Once that was accomplished he resumed the behavior of the dominant member of the relationship. Women could influence indirectly and ,of course , it was more nuanced than this, but in general the man ruled and the woman’s role was subservient. There came a time when women’s resentment of this situation reached a critical mass resulting in a revolutionary spirit of overthrowing the existing order, ie. Betty Freidan. Slowly, women came to believe that they were men’s equals and insisted on being treated as such. But the trajectory of that new found “liberation” and” empowerment” didn’t settle upon equality but rather shot well past that. Women today believe that they are smarter than men and therefore justified in seeking always to control the relationship and decision-making. They are not above using their widely recognized capacity for anger to that end. Men are left to be the new doormat or eschew serious relationships altogether. Especially when the new, liberated, “trampy” women striving so hard to establish their “equalness” give their sexual favors away zealously.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      As a schoolboy, I knew an old lady, the widow of a man who had been, at various times, the British Resident in several of the semi-independent princely states in British India.

      It was one of the duties of the Resident’s wife to visit and establish friendly relations with the ladies of the court, who were kept in strict purdah.

      She told me that, in most of the states, the ruler was a mere cipher, real power being exercised by perpetually shifting alliances between his mother, his favourite wife and the chief eunuch.

      The Government obviously considered her services valuable, for she had been created a Dame Commander of the Indian Empire and a Campanion of the Star of India.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      It’s always fascinated me that the feminist movement of the 1960s came from such extremely upscale social circumstances – Betty was writing about “slavery” from her home in Bronxville, NY, where she enjoyed the assistance of domestic help who laundered her clothes and scrubbed her floors while she wrote books about how hard life was for her.  Whatever you want to call her lot, “subservient” isn’t the first word that springs to mind for me.  No, the “women’s liberation” movement was born of affluent leisure and, like much of the rest of the “revolutionary” movements of the late ’60s came from privilege, not deprivation.  Take a moment to check out the backgrounds of so many campus radicals of that time, and see the social advantages they enjoyed from “the system” they so despised and claimed to want to destroy.

      It also interests me how the feminist characterization of men at the time – by which we probably are referring to middle or upper middle-class men – is usually accepted so uncritically.  Recall that, just three years prior to the publication of Friedan’s book in 1963 came “Growing Up Absurd” by Paul Goodman.  This book was addressed primarily to the male half of the suburban  life around which Friedan’s book was centered, and reached a very different conclusion:  slow down.  Spend more time with the family; there’s no need to work so hard, you’re killing yourselves (in reference to the alarming health statistics at the time, which revealed that such men were suffering a spike in heart attacks, strokes and stress-related ailments).  Read a book, take a walk, but please, do take more time away from the job.  Of course, in one sense this wasn’t new: social theorists from Karl Marx to Josef Pieper hhad long sought greater leisure for larger numbers of people.  Work, as understood for most of humanity, had been a matter of simple harsh grinding necessity, something most people – and mostly men – did to survive.  A man’s job, as my generation of schoolboys heard repeated ad infinitum, was his DUTY, and all other concerns were subordinated to his obligation to support his family.  If that meant working multiple jobs or endless hours, then so it was to be.  As I used to hear so often during my factory days from such exhausted men who frequently didn’t live to the age of 55, “at least da wife don’t gotta work.”  

      How ironic, then, that Friedan and her affluent concentration camp inmates, to use her memorable formula, should have sought “liberation” in: WORK, believe it or not.  Yes work, the very thing that so many men could never escape until few years remained to their time on earth.   What a turn: work as freedom, as self-fulfillment, as self expression, as the thing that defines you – a career!   Fine, sounds good, go for it.  But if that’s supposed to be “equality” with what most men were doing, then I’ll take cheese.

  • Adam_Baum


    “And yes,
    it is true, females just mature faster than males.”

    I’m sorry, that
    may sell well in our current culture, in which men are consistently denigrated
    as violent, impulsive, competitive and directed by libido, but it is not true
    and spoils an otherwise thoughtful and necessary essay. A true
    observation would be that females mature DIFFERENTLY, but
    not faster.

    As teenagers,
    males are far more prone to physical expressions of immaturity than females and
    these exhibitions are often “spectacular” and
    problematic.  Two specific examples come to mind: bellicosity and
    vehicular misuse.  This does not mean females are more mature than
    males- anybody who has had to deal with teenage girls knows the vanity,
    moodiness, petty jealousies and foolishness that accompanies that age.

    Even though
    most female immaturity is relatively benign, some expressions of female
    immaturity are far more consequential than slamming a door and yelling “I hate
    you”. As a former Medicaid auditor I read literally thousands of cases related
    to teenage unwed mothers, many who conceived-often intentionally- without
    benefit of a second thought, let alone wedlock. While every case was different,
    certain motivations for becoming pregnant were common. Establishing
    independence, seeking an infant as a source of unconditional love,
    underestimating the absolute responsibility involved with raising a child
    (especially alone) and proving “love” to a
    boyfriend appeared over and over on the medical and social
    health documentation as a part of cases submitted to establish the
    validity of payment. Of course, there were plenty of girls becoming pregnant
    unintentionally seeking love or assuming they couldn’t become pregnant for
    inane reasons such as assuming that physical position would prevent conception.
    Society not only ignores this, it rewards this behavior in a myriad of ways,
    from financial support to enforced public sympathy for “single moms” as

    To assert that
    “girls mature faster” is an assault on reason based on a failure to
    observe the process in its totality, and account for ignored, small and
    “spectacular” failures of judgment that for better or worse are not
    distributed equally between the sexes. Please don’t contribute to the war on
    men, which is real, unlike the contrived political anthem that asserts belligerence
    to women.



    • JTLiuzza

       Excellent post, Mr. Baum.

      And also this one, “Now that I’m married, I’m pretty sure I still haven’t quite got
      the idea yet, but I’m at least working on it.  (Or perhaps it would be
      better to say, my wife is patiently teaching me.) ”

      The canard that the otherwise perfect female is burdened by having to endure the hopeless schlub that is man is a tired one and one that is a tenet of secular feminism, a completely erroneous and dangerous doctrine perpetrated on us all by: women.

      But otherwise a nice article by Mr. Smith.

  • Lbald

    We have three boys of which two are teenagers.  I’m constantly told that the boys are very attentive to me and my needs. They make sure I’m all set at events and if I need anything.   Their father has been a wonderful example of self-giving and I hope I’ve mirrored that attentiveness as well. I was once told to watch how young man treat their mothers for that is how they will treat you.

    • sad ain’t it


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  • T

    This problem is not limited to adolescents. 
    I’m 41 and still dating. 

    At the risk of appearing that I’m just indulging in sharing a story….  I want to tell you upfront that I’m sharing an object lesson. This example is just a nugget of the idiocy that is really happening out there. 

    My most recent example is a guy who asked me for a date for the following week, but as the day approached, hadn’t called to firm up details. Although he had been sending “how are you doing” and “have a nice day” texts. 
    When I responded, asking if we were still on for our date, he enthusiastically agreed – yet he never did call me to pin it down.  The evening for the date came and went without any contact. When I finally reached out to him a week later, he said that he had sent more texts that I didn’t respond to , so he figured I wasn’t interested.  Well, why would I have agreed to a date with him if I wasn’t interested in going? Meanwhile, the texts he’s referring to are texts I didn’t receive, and suspect he didn’t even send – but giving him the benefit of the doubt – lets say he did.  Why then wouldn’t he call to follow up? This was a guy who acted very interested. He then said that he’d like to make it up, and asked permission to call me and arrange a proper date.  I have enough experience to know he is NOT going to do that.  These men, when called out on their behavior, display a little show of pride and say, “Oh, I made a mistake. I actually can treat you properly.”  but then they never have the guts/gumption/nerve/decency to go through with it.My advice to young daters…  ditch the technology.  Don’t text until you’re regular couple.  There is too much ambiguity in texting and other social media.  Do yourself a favor and date like it’s 1950.  Call the woman. Go to  pick her up for a date and treat her decently.   Anyone who assumes that texts even get to the people they’re sent to is foolish. Act like a human – it will get you much further in life. 

    • joedoakes202

      The world is changing and it is changing for the worst unless we can stop it.

      January 21, 2012

      Dear President Obama,

      With all of this time on my hands from the economy being in the toilet, I’ve tried to remain productive.  Recently, I cleaned out my attic and a came upon boxes of memories that I have accumulated through my lifetime.  Photographs, “love letters,” a couple of matchbox cars that must be worth something now, a Tonka truck my grandfather and I painted one day when he came home from work.  Think about that.  My Grandfather.  World War 2 Veteran of 39 missions in a B-24 Liberator.  Worked.  Anyway, don’t tell the EPA, but this truck is full of leaded paint, and I used my fingers, and I’m doing fine.  Considering when I was young I used to melt the crayons in the humidifier, I probably drank some of the paint if I was thirsty.  Regardless, all of this stuff gets me thinking.

      Where’s your pile?  Where are all of those people for the liberal left networks to interview that knew you when?  I’ve got tons.  Never been to good at keeping in touch with people, and I regret that, but I would imagine even the old puppy love flames would remember me and they would not think too badly of me.  The college friends.  The high school ones.  The people I knew at work.  All of those people if they heard my name they would wonder at a minimum what happened to that guy.  I guess I could do Facebook, but that’s not my thing, then their is that Linkedin thing, again not my thing, if that’s your thing, that’s cool.  It’s a free country, but it will not be when “Obamacare” kicks in, and then all of what President Reagan foretold in his speech in 1961 with regard to socialized medicine will be well on it’s way to coming true.  Google or Bing that when you get the chance.  It is a great dissertation on how the liberal left operates and Mr. Reagan provides excellent instruction on how to fight back with nothing more than a letter.  If you are looking for someone to blame for all of these letters, you could pin it all on Mr. Reagan, and it’s my honor to do what he cannot.

      Which brings me to the South Carolina primary.  Like I said, many times before the only way to get this nation back in some semblance of normalcy, is to get Republicans back in charge pronto.  In 2010 we did a real good job of that, and in 2012 we will again no matter who gets the nomination of the Republican party.  But, if I had my way, and I was in South Carolina, I’d be voting for Newt Gingrich.  The reason is my attic, and all of those memories of one life that I tried to do the best I could with, even though I blew it more times than not, a lot of reasons for that, but now is not the time or the place.  Newt has lived a full life.  He has seen the ups the downs, and he has faced the consequences of bad judgement.  Never trust a man who has never lost something.  Mr. Obama what have you lost?  Ever lose an honest election?  Ever have one?

      It would be some debate watching Mr. Gingrich oppose you and Mr. Romney oppose Mr. Biden.  The contrast there is striking.  It would be good for America, and it would be good down the ballot, everybody wins, well, not everybody.



      Joe Doakes


      • sad ain’t it

        Why did you sign your comment with, Respectfully? I saw no respect in your letter. You definitely have no respect for President Obama. I guess you do not owe your president even a little respect while he is in office. No wonder the country is in such a mess. Now when Mitt becomes president, I can spend the next 4 to 8 years nightly writing hateful commentaries about the new fool in office, I would never vote for. What a lovely place to live.

        • sad ain’t it

          Maybe we should just spend the next four years trying to understand, respect, and obey the man who leads us.

  • Oh wow!  I am really appalled at the misandry both openly and inferred in this article.  The ridiculous assertion that boy mature slower than girls has been disproven time and again.  Boys mature in some ways faster, some ways slower.   Girls mature in some ways slower than boys and in some ways faster.  
    Message to both boys and girls should be about treating EVERYONE with respect not based on their sex (Sexism) and diffferences (Bigotry) but based on the individuality of each person and their value to God. 
    IF you want to change the rules and civility in dating then change the bias of family courts against men, repeal no fault divorce.   Dont lecture boys about how to date, let a boy be whoever he wants to be, but rather teach them the real dangers and unequity in the dating and marriage decisions, there is a reason that most divorces are intiated by women, it’s viewed as socially “standing up for yourself” and often (although not always) accompanied by a nice financial reward! 
    The hookup culture has been created by the above problems.  If anyone wants to change how boys date, then make marriage something that actually means something rather than merely a bet of at least 50% of your net worth that the other person is going to keep loving you forever. 

  • Paleoliberty

    I’m afraid you are putting the cart before the horse. Men really haven’t changed that much at all over the past 50 years. Women, on the other hand, have changed drastically. Postmodern young women have lived their entire lives in a culture that glorifies female sexuality and “empowerment”. The result is two generations of young women who are selfish narcissists (Lindsay Lohan? Paris Hilton?). They disparage the idea that caring for a family should be a legitimate life goal. Such things as learning to cook or doing simple housework are seen as beneath their dignity.

    But even more removed from reality is this statement: “It’s harder now to claim that what young women are looking for is marriage – they’re not really allowed to say that out loud or even admit it to themselves – but what they do tend to be looking for is stability, commitment.” You don’t get out much these days, do you? Have you seen the way young women dress today? Hint: It’s a minor clue as to how they behave. Having tossed aside the idea of chastity, young women flock to service handsome jerks, eschewing the company of “nice guys.” Should we then be surprised that “nice guys” are becoming an increasingly endangered species? Guys will behave the way the sexual marketplace demands.  If women desire shallow sexual relationships with alpha men…then that’s how men will behave. But it’s not something that is being inflicted on unwilling young women. Judging by their behavior, it’s what they actually prefer (much to the dismay of the shrinking pool of “nice guys”).

    I’m not sure if this can be repaired. But if so, it must begin with the young women. They must be taught to value positive traits in men, not to lust for the bad boys. And they must relearn the idea that one of the highest ideals of womanhood is to care for and nurture her husband and children, and that these ideals do not equate to slavery and oppression.

    It’s a long road, but it starts with changing the women.

    • buckyinky

      Paleoliberty presents a valuable counterpoint to the original article, especially for the society in which we live, which tends to be more comfortable and unquestioning of the perspective presented by the original article – that problems in relationships between the sexes is due to the faults of men.

      As with all things, however, there is no doubt a balance to be struck, which is lost by focusing too much on one sex over the other in diagnosing the problems between the two.  I think there is wisdom in this quote taken from the “Ask Spengler” column of the Asia Times: “In every corner of the world and in every epoch of history, the men and women
      of every culture deserve each other…where men subjugate women
      physically, women ravage them psychologically…”  The complementarity of the sexes is a wonderful thing to credit when beauty is the result of interaction between a man and a woman, but that same complementarity should cause us also to see that when things go bad between the sexes, it’s also a joint effort.

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  • Cathy

    It used to be the case that men made a sacrifice of themselves prior to marriage.  I can’t help but to think of Moses working for his father-in-law for years for the privilege of being with the woman he loved, or the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the Cross for His Bride, the Holy Catholic Church.  I find it both wonderful and longed for, the society that once existed with the acknowledgment that virtue was to be instilled and protected in the child, not only because of who they were, children, but for who they would be called to become, parents.  Radical feminism radically altered not only the responsibility of men, but society as a whole.  Young women did not inherit sexual freedom, they only sacrificed all God intended purposes on the altar of sexual slavery.  It is quite strange to think of, or to believe that once upon a time, the rights of the unborn child, began well before conception and with the formation of the human child.  We moved from baby dolls to barbie dolls to brat dolls, from innocence to concupiscence to rage.

    • Spoomp

      That’s just plain feminism. No need to qualify it as radical.

  • fiatlux

    It is frustrating to young people that manners and such are presented in just this sort of arbitrary way. Please go a little deeper, and give the REAL reason, which is based in NATURE. Unless courtship and marriage are directed finally to the procreation and education of children, chivalry and the “double standard” make little sense. If, however, young women are thought of as potential mothers, then young men can practice these small acts of patient generosity to prepare themselves for the very real weakness and vulnerability they will find when the young wife and mother are with child or a new baby. It is then that all the ‘practice’ deferral to non-weak females will pay off.

    • buckyinky

       Very good thoughts.

  • Mary Bee

    As the mother of four boys and two girls, and the sister of one younger girl and three younger boys, it is my opinion that girls do mature faster than boys.  Or should I say 30+ years ago they did.  In most cases, I can’t say that anymore.  It doesn’t seem like anyone matures anymore, instead they stay in a constant state of adolescense.
    Marriage is reviled as “just a piece of paper.” and yet people want to live together, and derive the same safety net economically and socially, without having it legally, and when the relationship breaks up, they are upset that their departing partner doesn’t retain any loyalty toward them, even if they’ve had children.
    Women have divested themselves of any femininity at all, and dressing up like a hooker isn’t femininity.  When they have a boyfriend, they expect all the niceties of flowers, lttle gifts and remembering aniversaries, while at the same time letting men know in no uncertain terms that they don’t need men economically, socially, or physically and they can fix their own cars, or pay the mechanics hefty fees, and even kick any man’s ass!
    Men on the other hand, have no chivalry.  They don’t open doors, they don’t offer seats.  They don’t want to marry because they’re sure they’re going to lose half of their net worth (really? With a woman who makes the same salary you do, or more?) or they expect women to provide half of the house hold income, without allowing for the woman who just can’t work because of pregnancy.  Pregnancy is a woman’s choice after all, so the woman shouldn’t expect any special treatment when she is.  Although women are responsible for bringing in half the income, study after study shows that men still don’t do half the housework , although that is majorly improving.

    Talking to really good men, they are lost about what is expected of them when so many relationships have the woman telling them that they “don’t need any man.”

    I have to wonder, where is love, not sex, not lust, but actual love, these days?

    I am in a 32 year, old fashioned marriage.  My job has been to nurture and care for my family, including my husband while his job has been to financually support us.  And me the strong male influlence when we need him.  Now that I have cancer, our vow “In sickness and in health” is especially relevant.

    I wonder if people who eschew marriage as “just a piece of paper” will have the security I have, when God forbid, disaster strikes?

  • Guest

    A big reason differences aren’t appreciated is because they are not practiced through an instutionalised framework.

    Co-ed schooling is a major part of the problem. It exists on an assumption that there are no differences. Single sex schooling will go a long way to solving this problem.

  • Stanmwenyewe

    whats the genesis of this problem? mainly teenage. most men i know were brought up well and treat their mothers right. as they progress to teenage, they fast realize such kind of behavior won’t get them the respect, and the girl they want or feel they deserve; Reason? during teenage girls often glorify the “bad boy” and are often sighted clinging on the arm of the insensitive jerk. The bad boy drinks, party hard & have several women fighting for his attention.
    A teenager who wants a piece of the pie i.e. popularity and status, must shed his nice boy image who loves his mum to the bad boy. When a man adopts the new set of bad boy “values” and they work for him why would he want it any different?
    As men progress from teenage to young adults preparing for marriage, some may loose the bad boy edge but some are stuck in the wave for good.
    the same girls who glorified bad behavior in teenage want to marry a gentleman i.e. into safety, stability and respect. This issue affects both sexes and should be addressed to both parties.

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  • Dan

    I really appreciate that so many of the comments are directed to calling out the negativity toward men in the article. However on the other hand I appreciate that he’s putting the ball in the man’s court. Really though, so many women adhere de facto to feminism that many men are very cynical at this point. I personally do not believe anymore in general that girls are sugar and spice and everything nice, something taken for granted in the article. Times have changed. For many men, evidently video games and porn are assigned a value greater than what most women are offering. Signing up for marriage or “becoming a man” is in many cases signing up for humiliation and disrespect. In past ages men stepped up in responsibility and hard work, but they received the consolation of a respected status. Now you’re talking about all the work and suffering, and almost none of the traditional rewards. Men aren’t stupid.  

  • Io

    This article addresses a real problem in a thoughtful way, but it would have been helpful if the problem hadn’t been blamed on women “doing away with the rules.” That’s mostly a myth. A very small number of radical feminists made a fuss about having doors opened for them. A very large number of fathers neglected to teach their boys how to be men. Nothing will get resolved as long as blaming women is the easy way out.

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  • asdf

    I wish I wish I wish someone would write an article explaining clearly what it is that women are offering that is just so wonderful. All I ever hear is how young men are failing and how we’re large, pathetic children. Women are offering nothing. Nothing I can identify anyway. They want special treatment, but what’s special about them? What do they give in return? They’ll walk through the door I hold open? Honestly, what is so supposedly special about them?

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