Jeff NcloseAuthor: Jeff N
Name: Jeff Nau
About: Jeff Nau is a main contributor to the Jace Hall Show covering pop culture and music trends in the nerd community. He has contributed to San Diego City Beat, 944, and Ill Literature, amongst others, and spends his spare time working as an artist and photographer.See Authors Posts (460)
This according to William Bennett, who was Secretary of Education under Reagan and who this week wrote an op-ed piece for CNN titled “Why Men Are in Trouble.” In it, Bennett lectures men on their masculinity (or lack thereof) and points to video games as a prime factor. Among his chief lamentations: in 1970, men earned 60% of all college degrees. As of 4 years ago, it was down to 43%.
Bennett goes on to cite male unemployment as a reason women are beating their asses economically. “In 1950,” he writes, “5% of men at the prime working age were unemployed. As of last year, 20% were not working, the highest ever recorded.” Many could point to the sh*ttiest economy we’ve had since the Great Depression as a plausible explanation for this, but perhaps Bennett still has a point:
“Man’s response has been pathetic. Today, 18-to- 34-year-old men spend more time playing video games a day than 12-to- 17-year-old boys. While women are graduating college and finding good jobs, too many men are not going to work, not getting married and not raising families.”
While this may be somewhat true (I know a jobless chap who got busted by his newlywed wife for playing WoW the other day instead of looking up jobs), Bennett is clearly a product of old-school Goldwater-ian conservative politics, and the time when it was kind of a man’s world.
“We may need to say to a number of our twenty-something men,” he writes. “‘Get off the video games five hours a day, get yourself together, get a challenging job and get married.’ It’s time for men to man up.”
[Read Also: Are We Wrong About Video Games?]
Bennett may be partly right — video games aren’t to blame, but perhaps men’s apathy for old-fashioned values and domestication is. ‘Raising a family’ and ‘getting married’ don’t mean what they used to, to men or women anymore — and many might not believe that that is the be-all, end-all part of life for either gender.
But Bennett cites a challenging job as a reason to get off your ass, and that might be good enough.
With its rampant fuddy-duddyisms, “Trouble” is actually a bit of a challenging piece to get through. But does Bennett make any valid points? Or is he just some old tool whose values seem more at home in a Leave It to Beaver/Donna Reed-type world?
Post By Jeff N (460 Posts)
Jeff Nau is a main contributor to the Jace Hall Show covering pop culture and music trends in the nerd community. He has contributed to San Diego City Beat, 944, and Ill Literature, amongst others, and spends his spare time working as an artist and photographer.
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