NYC Therapist News: The Demise of Guys: In record numbers, guys are flaming out

NYC Therapist News: The Demise of Guys: In record numbers, guys are flaming out 

The sense of being entitled to have things without having to work hard for them — attributed to one’s male nature — runs counter to the Protestant work ethic, as well as to the Vince Lombardi victory creed (“Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”) These guys aren’t interested in maintaining long-term romantic relationships, marriage, fatherhood, and being the head of their own family. Many have come to prefer the company of men over women, and they live to escape the so-called real world and readily slip into alternative worlds for stimulation. More and more they’re living in other worlds that exclude girls — or any direct social interaction, for that matter. (Read Article)

I’m a big fan of Dr. Zimbardo, but this blog post- geesh!  I feel like there are so many assumptions just in the little blurb I put above.  ”Protestant work ethic”?!  Well, let’s go from an rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) perspective.  Belief #1 is that there is such a thing as a Protestant work ethic, and that this is the universal work ethic that everyone, especially men, are bound to and MUST abide by.  Belief #2 is Dr. Zimbardo implying that guys aren’t interested in long-term romantic relationships, marriage, fatherhood, and being the head of their families and that they SHOULD be interested in these things, as in, it MUST be so.  Belief #3 (it just goes on and on, doesn’t it?!) is that men didn’t used to prefer the company of men over women (never mind the whole patriarchy thing- ie, the priesthood, most of politics, the military (until recently), the Shriners, Elks Club, Moose Lodge, Rotary, strip joints, etc).  Belief #4 is that men slip into alternative worlds for stimulation (so I guess reading is out), and said alternative worlds exclude girls (and shouldn’t), or at least should include some sort of direct social interaction.  Wow- every sentence here implies some sort of belief system that clearly doesn’t support “the way guys are” these days. I do agree that people, not just men, look in the most ridiculous places for their role models, and I do feel like there is a basic dumbing down of society that comes with Hollywood, reality TV and the like.  But I don’t think it is just men.  And I don’t think it’s a question of men getting their acts together.  I think it is maybe that the way things have been, the pressures put on people to be a certain way, and to fit within this “Protestant work ethic” is the problem. To quote Tom Hodgkinson’s The Freedom Manifesto, “Boredom is a form of social control…What can we do to fight boredom?  Well, the very same system that has created it also promises to relieve us of it.  We are bored by work, and then advertising promises to take our boredom away, once we have handed over our cash.  This is called leisure, and the word is derived from the Latin ‘licere’, which means “to be permitted”.  Leisure, then is what we are allowed to do in our spare time… We bore ourselves in order to earn the money that we will later spend to de-bore ourselves. ”

Photo from http://leospetcare.wordpress.com/

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