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Putting A Ring On It Doesn’t Make Him A Man

February 24th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

So the other day I read this article in the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Where Have The Good Men Gone” (link is at the bottom for those who want to read it). The article (adapted from the book, “Manning Up: How The Rise Of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys” by Kay S. Hymowitz) basically says men such as myself — unmarried, without children, career oriented — are not entirely men. To the author’s credit, we are no longer boys either. We’re something in between, a laughable term she calls “pre-adults”.

Pre-adults. That’s the word she uses to describe those of us in our 20s who have yet to find Ms. Right and bore children with her. The term isn’t offensive, as a matter of fact, kudos to Kay for coming up with something so scientific so as to not demean my friends and I.

But what bothers me about the term is the implication that I am somehow less of a man because I have yet to get married. As the article states:

Single men have never been civilization’s most responsible actors; they continue to be more troubled and less successful than men who deliberately choose to become husbands and fathers…Relatively affluent, free of family responsibilities, and entertained by an array of media devoted to his every pleasure, the single young man can live in pig heaven—and often does. Women put up with him for a while, but then in fear and disgust either give up on any idea of a husband and kids or just go to a sperm bank and get the DNA without the troublesome man. But these rational choices on the part of women only serve to legitimize men’s attachment to the sand box. Why should they grow up? No one needs them anyway. There’s nothing they have to do.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what you get when you let a woman define manhood.

If there is one thing for which I am grateful it is being raised by a man who for better or for worse cared very much about me becoming a man. My pop taught me everything under the very abstract term of manhood, which means even the most laxed of activities, I better do it like a man.

I’ll never forget the time it was just me and him at the house. As I recall, my mom was a chaperone on my sister’s high school camping trip, so the women were away for the weekend. On the day they were scheduled to come back, which I think was a Sunday, my Pop woke me up at an ungodly hour, something like 5:00. He said, “Time to get up, son. We got work to do.”

The work was cleaning the house from top to bottom. The kitchen, the bathroom, the living room, everything, inside the house. When I was hungry and ready to eat breakfast, my Pops hovered over me and showed me how to make my own breakfast. I had no idea what was going on. The work felt brutal, and more importantly, unusual. I was confused by what we were doing and why were doing so many things inside the house as opposed to outside.

Consider my Pop’s worked construction. When it was time work around the house, it was always men work outside, women work inside. This wasn’t some dogmatic scheme my pop’s believed in, that’s just how the teams broke down. If my mom and sister were home they were working in the kitchen and cleaning up rooms. My Pop and I would be outside, working in the yard, working on a car or doing something of the like. Having two females and two males made this an ideal arrangement.

But on this particular morning, I didn’t quite understand what kind of statement he was trying to make. I just thought I was being punished, but I was actually being taught a lesson. Like a drill sergeant looking over his soldier, my pop’s would yelled to me all morning, “DON’T EVER LET SOMEONE TELL YOU THAT IT’S A WOMAN’S JOB TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN, TO CLEAN THE BATHROOM, TO COOK YOUR FOOD! A REAL MAN DOES EVERYTHING AROUND THE HOUSE! DON’T WAIT FOR A WOMAN TO CLEAN UP YOUR MESS! YOU CLEAN UP YOUR MESS!”

You see, I was taught that manhood isn’t defined by my relationship status with another woman or how many kids I had. For me, the lessons of manhood were steeped in individual survival. All my pop’s ever cared about teaching me was how to survive on my own, how to do things on my own. Maybe it’s been to my detriment, seeing as I’m still unmarried and without children, but I can’t say my status is a result of my pop’s lessons. He never preached to me that women were unnecessary, he was simply saying, get comfortable with being my own man.

Now I’m my own man, and when I look back at the things my pop’s taught me, I can say I don’t agree with them all. I’ve never been one to think having a woman in my life would hinder me from making progress in my career. I don’t necessarily buy the idea that women are a distraction, but I also refuse to buy the idea that I’m not a man until I get married. Getting married doesn’t make me more of a man, it just makes me some woman’s man. On my own two, I’m still a man.

The pedestal some people want to put husbands and fathers on is somewhat ridiculous. All due respect to those men who have married, ditto for the men who are fathers. But ladies  (and the men who agree with them), I’m sorry, their status does not make them more of a man than me. We’re both men, just two different types. They’re not a full adult to my pre-adult, and any man or woman who thinks so obviously has the inability to define things on their own. It’s not like I’m going around saying the lifestyle of a single man is more manly than the lifestyle of married ones. I’m simply saying, we’re both men, playing different roles within the gender.

Someone once told me, “Some guys think they’re a man when a woman has sex with them but a real man knows how turn a woman’s offer down.” I feel the same can be said for marriage. There are two types of men who get married: The ones who feel they have to in order to become a man, and the ones who wait until they’re comfortable with the man they are. I don’t need a woman to make a man out of me, and any woman who gets married to a man who needs her to do is a fool.

As I always tell people, some of us men who are single are doing the world a favor. We’re better off this way for now. A real adult, male or female, knows who they are. For some of us men who are single, we know exactly who we are and it is because we are so hyper-aware of ourselves, we’re biding our time. My appetite for more than one woman outweighs my appetite for being with one woman and thank God I know that now. I would hate to be the man who gets married and realizes he still wants to be with other women and therefore decides to be with other women.

My biological father put a ring on five different women at different points in his life and he ended up dying alone, which is an unfortunate by product of living a life defined by others. I honestly think he fell in love with women and thought he was supposed to marry them, only to end up breaking their hearts or letting them break his. He grew up in a time where “real men” got married, it’s just what they did. And he was never comfortable playing the role of swaggering casanova, even though that’s probably who he really was.

Let’s face it, some men are not made to get married, but those men are still men. Perhaps they’re even more of a man because they know that much about themselves. Everyone asks me if I want to get married, as though the title of this blog is “I Don’t Want To Get Married.” Some people don’t ask me at all, they just flat out say I don’t want to get married. Neither of them are correct. They confuse my ability to embrace my single status with the idea I relish in it.

The truth is, I do want to get married one day, I really do think it’s awesome and cool from the outside looking in. I mean, all my married male friends seem to be just as happy as I am single, and they have beautiful families to go with it. So I’m not over here looking at marriage saying, “Yeah I don’t want any of that.”

What I am doing is taking my time and trying to evolve into a man who is suited and ready for marriage, but until I get there, respect me, and men like me, as the men that we are. Just because we don’t have a woman to straighten our place up, doesn’t make us more messy than the man who has a woman in his life to do it for him. As I was always taught, a real man will clean his own mess up, with or without a woman.

Read: “Where Have The Good Men Gone?”

See a mistake? Hit me here, typos@untiligetmarried.com

—————————————————————————————————————

The Process: Ten minutes of jump rope, done. Thanks everyone!

Poppin’ Questions Podcast: Episode 26 is up now (from there you can also see the new Until I Get Married Podomatic page). Episode 27 is won’t be this week as I’m feeling under the weather, but hit me on my Formspring or email me at feedback@untiligetmarried.com for a question to be considered.

The Until I Get Married Twitter Conversation: It went down again last night and it was a blast.  To read the tweets from last week’s discussion, click here.


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  • Me

    if only all “pre-adult” males thought like this

  • http://twitter.com/mbridgetd Ms. Durant

    Bravo Jozen! It’s sad how people who are single by choice (men and women) get looked at like something is wrong with them. Just cause i’m single with no kids doesn’t mean i’m any less of a person. The other day I told someone “I want to be married before I have kids”, and they reacted with “ughhh, you’re old fashioned” O_o

  • Johnitta

    Nice! Well written!

  • Anonymous

    This is very disappointing. A man may not be defined by a “relationship” (everyday gf/bf) but he is defined by a marriage and the legacy he leaves behind. Really, if you are so concerned about your career… what does it consist of? Being a man exploiting women… and black women at that with your sexual escapades in our society. And you aren’t even connected to our culture other than your love for our music and women and that you went to a black school. A man is defined by how he treats women. And he should be defined by that. Women are what matters. We are a priority. Showing us little respect while you prance around “running game” is not healthy. I’m very disappointed that people support your work. And yes, I’m taking the time to tell you this because someone needs to.

  • Browneyecar

    Great post. I hate that men marry because they think they are supposed to. I want someone to marry me because of their feelings for me and that we are both ready. I think an unmarried man does not automatically make him less of a man. The pre-adult is the married cheating man.

  • http://twitter.com/BostonKate Katelyn D’Eramo

    Very well written and great views!

  • http://musicmakesmehigh.wordpress.com/ Reecie

    this was a damn good post. and you are right–plenty of single folks are doing the world a favor. good points about the title of your blog, its evident to me that you do want to get married, you just don’t want to RIGHT NOW. and thats okay.

  • Heeeeey

    Wow what era was this lady raised? When I think of the phrase “man up” I’m thinking around the lines of hold ur own. Be independent, have a backbone, stop complaining, work for what u want, etc etc.. So according to her all you have to do is knock a woman up and go to the courthouse and *poof* I now pronounce u a man?? I can’t say marriage makes a man change but ppl can encourage change.

  • KitKatCuty84

    This phrase, “taking my time and trying to evolve into a man who is suited and ready for marriage”, is what throws many women off. What’s the problem? What’s taking so long? What’s so terrible about marriage NOW that you have to be 35 before you even start considering it, whereas back in the day, people were doing it right out of high school, or right out of college. For all their “taking my time and trying to evolve into a man who is suited and ready for marriage”, the divorce rate is as high as ever. So what good is all this time-taking and consideration doing without any tangible results? Without results, it seems like time-taking is actually just procrastinating on a responsibility that is a big part of being an adult for many people. Are they scared? Are they developmentally delayed (relationship-wise) to need 5, 10, 15 even 20 more years than their predecessors to decide to build a life with someone? These are the questions many women are asking themselves.

  • Shana

    Angry are we??!?? I can agree with you on some points sister-girl! However, you are bashing this young man, for what reason?? I hate to break it to you Angela Davis, but this country is built on freedom of speech. If he chooses to share his thoughts on relationships, sex, girls, etc – it’s his right! Just like it’s your right to choose to read or not. He’s a young man sharing his experiences. I don’t agree with what he says and on more than one occasion have found his comments and ideals a little offensive. However, I can respectfully disagree, shake my head, and move on to more mature and thought-provoking material. Try doing the same my dear!

    Agreed – We do matter and are priority. However, the women who allow Jozen or men like him to run their game and exploit them, must not feel this way. Always remember – men only do what women allow them to do.

    Peace!

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  • Tea

    I haven’t read this entire post yet, but I will say it is refreshing to see a man who think’s a woman’s perspective on his single manhood is as asinine as I think ALL of the men’s perspectives on my single womanhood is. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to see the article. For once, someone is creating a dialogue on single men [which in my mind is] to combat the perennial dialogue on single women.

    If people just worried about their own situation instead of giving unsolicited advice and theories on monogomous, heterosexual relationships, the world would be a much better place.

  • http://twitter.com/mbridgetd Ms. Durant

    Dang, you OD’d on that comment! You obviously agree with the original article. All he is saying (and I agree) is that he (or anyone) is not defined by his marital status. We define ourselves, not society. Even though I don’t always agree with Jozen’s methods regarding women, I do appreciate him sharing his point of view. It is a (quite often humorous) reminder of what I do and don’t want in a man. #takeachillpill

  • Rogue Thought

    I have to admit that I just skimmed through this post and heard about the article, and read and excerpt through another blog. So I can’t say it’s way off base. However I find this “pre-adult” term offensive. You know what is a “pre-adult”? It’s an adolescent, a teenager. Granted age alone doesn’t make you an adult. But to call an entire group teenagers just because they choose to delay something that is important to you is not fair. This isn’t about a woman defining manhood this is about a woman wanting to blame someone else. If women spent more of their 20’s getting to know themselves or living a little I think we would all be happier.
    I am a women who has been fighting my culture and family about having kids since I was 18. Sure it’s nice to see a young family, you can all grow together. But let everyone grow into their own adulthood at their own pace. It took all of us time to get used to how puberty hit us. Let us all settle into our adulthood before we bring someone else into that.

    That’s what I have to say for now…I’ll be back when I have read everything.

  • Ceej

    “For me, the lessons of manhood were steeped in individual survival. All my pop’s ever cared about teaching me was how to survive on my own, how to do things on my own.”

    This statement was much larger than you realized. He had a wife/woman and children he was raising… yet he didn’t teach you about that. There is a HUGE power in what is spoken and said… and he chose to say things about independence and being your own man, which were important, but not all that you needed guidance on.

    Had he taught you how to function alone FIRST and then instilled and explained the importance of that lesson helping you be a good husband… you’d be singing a different tune. You’d probably be a different man.

    Still I’m guessing that’s not alluring, because your comfortable just the way you are.

    Men and women and our value on independence is ridiculous at this point. We are so focused on being alone… we have lost respect and value of what it means to be together. Argue and debate “finding and knowing yourself” as much as you want. We aren’t meant to live this life alone. Not even for the shortest amount of time.

  • http://janekchun.wordpress.com/ jane

    nicely put! it’s funny because I just wrote about this before I read your entry.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been lurking on your blog since pretty close to the beginning, and though I don’t know you personally, I would venture to say that you do not fall into the “pre-adult” category that she’s talking about in this article. Because I know the guys she’s talking about. I had a long-term relationship with one in college. They don’t know who they are. They don’t know what it means to be men. They sort of float through the beginning of adulthood without vision or drive. My bff and I have our own term for them: “university boys.” It just seems to me like a lot of them never grow out of the mindset that they’re in training for adulthood. They don’t transform themselves to into fully-realized adults, perhaps, as this article suggests, because they’ve lost sight of (or were never taught) what their role as adult men should be. I don’t see that in you.

  • Anonymous

    I too don’t define my manhood based on whether I am married with family or not and I did read that article in the WSJ and initially I started to react like you do in this piece. But I am also a decade older than you and to be fair the author does not dwell solely on the definition of manhood she attempts to explore and explain why pre-adulthood has seemingly replaced young adulthood and most alarmingly why it does not seem to want to end.
    Jozen, your answer is one factor that is apparent in less and less young men’s lives, someone teaching them how to be men. I have witnessed more and more men who grew up without a father, father figures or had neglectful fathers. As a result many are unaware of what is expected of them by society. They talk like adolescents; they behave like adolescents and dress like adolescents. They are under no pressure to behave like the adults they are suppose to be, even when some become parents and spouses they are unable to do live up to the basics of those responsibilities because they just don’t know how.
    What the author does not acknowledge is that many young women are no better at this grown up thing than most of the men in question; they unfortunately have biological imperatives (having children) that often force them to have more responsibilities. They have the responsibilities but they do not deal with them competently, so in my view they are not markedly better at being adults.

  • Kady

    I’ve been kind of irked by the way men bloggers have responded to this article and ridiculed the author. Maybe she should have chosen her words more carefully but from what I understand, that’s not really what writing is about. It’s about expressing yourself and putting your work out there to share with others.

    No putting a ring on it and having a few kids won’t make you a man, but that is taking the article too literally. I take it as her talking about the concept of family and responsibility. Whether you think a single man and a married man with children are equal men, one of those men carry more responsibility in there life. Same goes for a single woman and a married woman with children. I’m single and I can admit that! Instead of spending the time dwelling on the meaning of the word “Man”, why don’t you look at the comparison between the 2 people she describes in the article. This article just happened to be geared at men, it could have easily been written by a man ridiculing single women who only care about manicures, shoes and purses.

    I am 26, no kids and single but my older sister was married with 2 kids by the time she was my age. I know that I currently don’t want the responsibility of wife or mother, but to be honest, it is a big part of life. I find nothing sadder than seeing little hunched over old men and women out and about all by their lonesome because they don’t have a family to help them out. And when I think about it, I don’t want to end up in a place I can’t return from due to being young and selfish.

    I mean praise the single life all you want but you have to admit to yourself that selfishness is a big part of the reason you choose to be single, and part of that selfishness makes you not want to be accountable to anyone or anything, except your career… but to say you’re accountable to your career is such a copout. You work for money just like the rest of us, and unless you are making A LOT of money, it’s not going to bring you any great reward in life. There is also nothing holding you to a job, it’s hardly a real commitment.

    I understand that everyone wants something to be proud of, and want to think the best of the life they are living, but I’m so tired of single people acting life they are doing some great thing choosing to be single. If I had to make a top 10 list of the reason I am single, they would all start with “I” none of them have to do with me not wanting to take some nice guy on a crazy ride or relate to me trying to spare anyone else’s feelings, and although I am happy with my life, even “I’ can recognize that there is something wrong with that. Yea I think there are greater women than myself out there. If I didn’t admit that then I would be kidding myself, my sister is a great mother and I hope that I can be as great as her one day. Does that mean I am less of a woman today? In my head “Yes!” because I am working towards something and towards improving myself. Admitting that you’re on a journey to self improvement is not a weakness, or some sign of low self esteems, its LIFE!

  • sunshine

    i normally don’t comment but i’ve been following your line of thought ever since you posted it as a status on fb and some of your fb friends told you that biblically (not imposing christianity on you, but you have mentioned going to a christian church) man alone is ‘not good’ in god’s eyes and woman is seen as his ‘completer’ so i feel like you are defending yourself even though you know you’re a little off base.
    your post leaves the impression that men who are married or are fathers somehow woke up one day knowing how to play that role, thus somehow making it an easy one to play. yes, you are perfecting your role as a single man doing what you want and feeding your appetite for other women, but guess what, perfecting your role as a single man won’t help you as a father or husband. at the end of the day you’ll fully know yourself as single jozen, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be any more good at being ‘married jozen’–the two roles are different and require different things. men don’t get married because they don’t like other women, don’t have other temptations, or because they know they’ll be good at it. they do it for a variety of personal reasons, knowing that marriage is not intended to make you ‘happy’ and that it will require work and sacrifice. all you’re saying is you’re not willing to make that commitment–that doesn’t also infer that you deserve a pat on the back for choosing the way that allows you to do whatever you want for however long you want to.
    so yes, it is easier for people to think a man who has ‘put a ring on it’ (and is committed to what that act means and is not just going through the motions) deserves a pat on the back–it isn’t easy and we can look at this man working to be a good husband and see the sacrifices he’s making and the dedication, and personal restraint he’s showing, and you and people like you do tend to look self-indulgent in comparison. you’re effectively saying that we shouldn’t admire usain bolt for being a fast runner more than we do other people who *could* run that fast but prefer to speed walk.
    in fact saying you don’t ever want to be married is almost better than saying one day you want to be married but making a host of excuses as to why that day is no where in the near future–as another commenter asked, what are you waiting for? waiting is such a passive activity. . .this isn’t a train schedule we’re talking about.
    and this ‘haven’t found mrs right’ thing is a whole other post–you’ll never find a perfect woman, waiting longer doesn’t increase your likelihood of finding her. further, in your own words, you’ve been with lots of great women. . .and let them get away. so if mrs right did exist she could walk in front of you wearing a ‘mrs right’ sash and you still wouldn’t ‘man up’ and take on the role of a ‘want to be husband’ and spending more time perfecting your role of ‘single jozen’ is no excuse for that.
    the truth of the matter is it doesn’t take a whole day to recognize sunshine…you still haven’t really explained what you’re waiting for.
    just as if you were somehow ill-equipped to handle an assignment on your job, you would do what it took to get to a certain level of competence (researching, talking to people, finding a mentor, whatever) if you really thought a girl was great and you really wanted to be able to play a certain role in her life, you would do whatever it took to get yourself ready for that role–and clearly what you’re doing as ‘single jozen’ isn’t going to work.

  • ladyp

    @BoomShots makes such a valid point. When I read the article I thought to myself “That’s my ex” (who has children and has been married and divorced). This is the same for many women who just can’t “grow up”. The children and spouses don’t grow these people up just forces them to change their lifestyle until they can find a way around it. This is a huge issue for those of us who are dating and actively seeking a partner because those still in that adolescent phase don’t wear a sign saying: “I still need to grow up some”. What they do is fall into the peer pressure of the others in their age groups who are married and have started their families and get involved with you (who is ready) and play the “I’m not ready” game until you get tired of playing. It sucks.
    Like muzkachica said from what I’ve gotten to know of you (Jozen) through this blog, you do not fall into that category. I think the lessons your “Pop” taught you are invaluable ones that too few young men are taught these days. I respect that you are self-aware and know what you want and are looking for at this time in your life and are hopefully upfront with whomever you get involved with.

  • ladyp

    @BoomShots makes such a valid point. When I read the article I thought to myself “That’s my ex” (who has children and has been married and divorced). This is the same for many women who just can’t “grow up”. The children and spouses don’t grow these people up just forces them to change their lifestyle until they can find a way around it. This is a huge issue for those of us who are dating and actively seeking a partner because those still in that adolescent phase don’t wear a sign saying: “I still need to grow up some”. What they do is fall into the peer pressure of the others in their age groups who are married and have started their families and get involved with you (who is ready) and play the “I’m not ready” game until you get tired of playing. It sucks.
    Like muzkachica said from what I’ve gotten to know of you (Jozen) through this blog, you do not fall into that category. I think the lessons your “Pop” taught you are invaluable ones that too few young men are taught these days. I respect that you are self-aware and know what you want and are looking for at this time in your life and are hopefully upfront with whomever you get involved with.

  • woman’s perspective

    Wow!!! Not only did you speak on behalf of some men who feel the same way as you, but you also spoke on behalf of how some women feel as well. Very good response especially towards the article related to this issue. Among all your viewpoints, my favorite was: “We’re better off this way for now”. That statement explains more than needed to say. No one should have to justify as to why one is not married. The answer comes down to common sense and or based on the individual’s 5 senses. What Kay S. Hymowitz’s wrote in the article is through her eyes and not through others. Just as Britney Spears sees herself as being not a girl, not yet a woman.

  • Diane

    Someone just told me that I am old-fashioned yesterday because I choose to live alone instead of living with my boyfriend. I am choosing to live alone and stay child free until I get married. If that is old-fashioned, then I will happily take that title.

  • http://www.outsidesinside.blogspot.com/ esoteric

    I’m of the opinion that the article was written as a vehicle to open up dialog and create social/cultural awareness and not a definitive view of “20 something” males.

    I am also of the opinion that this post is really just a sounding board and not really a defense against the perceived offensiveness of the articles definition of its terminology. (but I’m not a guy so I’m not quite sure if I can weigh in on the offensiveness)

    Here is what I’m taking from the two:
    “what you do” is almost synonymous with “who you are,”- Kay H
    “an unfortunate by product of living a life defined by others”- Jozen C

    Super tired of “society” telling me that if I am “___________________”(fill that in with educated, single, born in the 80’s, working as a …” what kind of person that makes me and how my life will end up etc…!

  • woman’s perspective

    There is more to meets the eyes of those who attract us. The important thing is that the feeling is mutual. As well as both agree to live a life together without interruptions, obstacles, etc…for better and or worse, etc.

  • Anonymous

    so insightful!

  • Ceej

    @sunshine I was the one doing a lot of the responses on his fb that you are referring to. He’s sensitive about his beliefs though, which I am aware of, which is why I left it out of my comments on here this time but your right… he has yet to address a lot of that. He’s not alone in that. Lots of men are avoiding answering and simply defending their current state.

    The demise of the humanity is selfishness. It’s at the root of ALL issues. Sucks.

    I’ll find a minimally selfish man one day and will marry. I will teach my children selflessness like my mother taught me, first. Then, how to take care of themselves, each other… and finally how to be a good man/woman for a significant other. The rest will fall into place. I’ve kind of given up on our generation. The future is my fix.

    😉

  • woman’s perspective

    He didn’t say he was looking for a perfect woman. He did however admit wanting to get married one day. Just with who? Only Jozen knows. Just like you and every other individual who have chosen to get married and or choose to get married one day, it’s whoever the one they choose to do so. When it comes to marriage, love should not be forced. Love is not something to be taken for granted.

  • http://twitter.com/msorvam myrna orvam

    “Let’s face it, some men are not made to get married, but those men are still men. Perhaps they’re even more of a man because they know that much about themselves.”

    I love that you said that. More often than not, too many men get married because it’s what they’re “supposed to do”. But then they go into the marriage knowing that once they get bored or what have you they’re going to cheat anyway. Given all the recent spate of articles of the plight of the unmarried woman, it’s nice to see that men think about these things as well and can provide honest insight.

    As for Sparkgirls’s comments, Beethoven, Rene Descartes, Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci were all unmarried. But they contributed to art, society and culture in ways that still affect us today. A man isn’t defined by marriage any more than he is defined by having a penis.

  • http://www.adivastateofmind.com A Diva State of Mind

    This is a great post Jozen! I agree marriage does not define man (or woman).

  • http://www.outsidesinside.blogspot.com/ esoteric

    We live in a dang if you do dang if you don’t society. Of course we want the seemingly well together man that Jozen sort of represents, to go out and get married and have children which he raises up in their likeness. It’s what society needs!

    At the same time we’ve got to acknowledge that they’ve gotten themselves to this “well together” stage by whatever combination of parenting /god/ nature/ etc. and I don’t think guilt tripping/pressuring them about their motivation or lack of (not that I’m saying this is what you’re doing) is the way were going to get them to do this.

    From reading comments over the past few months Jozen is not exactly most of his female commentator’s ideal of “the perfect guy”. I think most would acknowledge that he’s a pretty good sketch of one though.

    I just sometimes have to step out of (and I invite others to do the same) my box and realize while I’m online reading and commenting on this the reality is the majority of the population of males in my age range that are geographically accessible to me (not the guys I associate with that are similar in lifestyle to mine and would only account for a small percentage of the males I am speaking of) probably are clueless about blogging and have never even heard of the WSJ beyond passing by it on a street corner.

    Sometimes I think we put to much pressure on the guy that’s winning because it’s our opinion he not only needs to win but he needs to be the champion and yet the only expectations we have of the guy that’s losing is for him is to try not to lose as much… or we just put them in the lost cause tally and it’s truthfully unfair.

  • Billiemc42

    I think you’ll find that the majority of marriages that end in divorce are a result of couples that married at quite a young age. I’d rather marry a man when he feels ready (even if it is at 35) than marry him when he’s 25 just because that’s now. That is not to say however that I’d necessarily wait for him, but it’s his prerogative…

  • Daniel E. Rodgers

    This article was a bit disturbing on several levels. Throughout this article it constantly referred to men as “pre-adults” but mentions nothing of the female counterparts of the same age. It referred to women leading the workforce and in college education, but based on the populous that would be expected as their are more women than men. Getting married is not a representation of responsibility but yet shows that there is still a separation in what each gender thinks is acceptable. There are a long list of shows that depict women as irresponsible but yet these are not mentioned. I am a man and I often stress gender equality but with articles like this it makes it hard. Because men and women like different things does not make one gender less responsible. For every Comedy Central, the Cartoon Network and Spike television show there is a Oxygen Lifetime, VH1 and many more which glamorize beauty, shopping and romance. In this article it mentioned that the average age of marriage for adults is 30 but mentions nothing of couples living together before marriage which seems to be very popular. Where have all the good men gone suggest some sort of dependency and selfishness as something is entitled. I could very well ask “where have all the adequate women gone.”

    This was truly disturbing “Relatively affluent, free of family responsibilities, and entertained by an array of media devoted to his every pleasure, the single young man can live in pig heaven…” yet mentioning nothing of women of the same age working just to go shopping.

    “Today, however, with women moving ahead in our advanced economy, husbands and fathers are now optional, and the qualities of character men once needed to play their roles—fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity—are obsolete, even a little embarrassing” I would love to see women accept the role- fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity, which has been non existent.

  • Anonymous

    lol, you’re response is silly. Women accept these attributes (fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity) every day no questions asked. Men are naturally more selfish and complain about the role they were biologically designed to take.

  • Anonymous

    lol, I’m actually not even mad.. but I’m firm in my feelings about his blog and point of view. I’m not even racist… BUT, it always offends me when you have a “non black” person exploiting us and bc ppl are accepting this, we let it go underneath our noises. If he had blonde hair we’d be up in arms about a man exploiting black female sexuality. What’s funny is that when he finally does get married it won’t be to any of the many black women who are making him “famous” bc of the blog. And comments about me being bitter are uncalled for… I’m happily MARRIED. but I was once a single girl and I feel bad for the women who have him as an option.

  • http://www.metanotherfrog.com Sam Sharpe

    “I mean praise the single life all you want but you have to admit to yourself that selfishness is a big part of the reason you choose to be single,”

    Right. As if getting married is just a selfless act, like there’s not hint of selfishness in it. Not to mention having kids or family to take care of you when you’re older. That’s not selfish right? C’mon people, all Jozen is saying is that as mature adults let’s not belittle another person’s choice. If a given man or woman examines what it is they want and desire from life and decide that it doesn’t include marriage now or ever, what’s the harm in that? Why does that make him less of a man?

    My father married my mother, couldn’t hack it, broke up the family, disappeared, got remarried years later, started a new family and I rarely ever saw him. On the other hand, my uncle didn’t ever get married but his influence helped to raise me, my siblings, and countless cousins. Not to mention the fact that he took care of my grandmother in her old age and taught me all about integrity, character, virtue, respect and the importance of family. And we’re supposed to think that my father was more of a man because he managed to marry and impregnate two different women. Please. Get a grip people.

    Will I get married someday? Maybe. But whether I do or not, I will do so on my own terms and not because I feel I’m settling and not because I feel societal pressure. And it definitely won’t be because I think it makes me more or less of anything. It will be because I know it’s the right thing for me, the right thing for my wife and the right thing for my family. And if my stance doesn’t make me enough of a man in people’s minds then so be it. But believe me, I’m not worrying about what other people think.

  • Kady

    Well I’m sorry if i don’t really see how having my own family to grow old with is a selfish concept. I think its human nature to not want to go through life alone. So I guess we are all selfish.

    And i was not saying all single men are selfish and irresponsible and all married men with kids are responsible. I was just say patting yourself on the back and claiming to be doing something great for society because you choose to be single is a bit Extra. Im fine with everything but that.

    People should absolutely get married when they are ready, and marrying a man like your father is just the risk you take. As long as we live in a society where marriages aren’t forced and divorce is an option then the risk stands. I’m not quite sure how working another 10 years reduces that risk. Just like making a Guy wait for sex does not gaurantee a relationship, waiting until your 35 or 40 wont guarantee you a better marriage.

  • Jc1983

    Good post Jozen…I can honestly respect your honesty as a single man who isn’t ready to settle down quite yet. I think a lot of people get married for the wrong reasons.

  • Anniecrock

    amen sister!

  • Ceej

    Lots of the men commenting are obviously feeling attacked but in the explanations in the comments section they aren’t addressing the ACTUAL title of this blog. Your just responding to what some woman said about you. Mind you… I didn’t even read the article because, based on what Jozen said of it, she poorly boxed men in and that was unfair and deserves no further audience.

    But the title of this blog is… “Putting A Ring On It Doesn’t Make Him A Man” and none of you men are really addressing that. That means… your missing the point.

    I think the title should have been altered to “Putting A Ring On It Doesn’t Make Him MORE of A Man” and then we’d have a healthy debate.
    The answer would still be: YES it does. Taking care of others and committing your lives to them DOES make you more of a man. Just like it makes a female MORE of a woman.

    True, marriage isn’t for everybody but admit it… it is for a greater man… or woman… than that person. Even if all that makes them better is the separating fact that they made the choice to and believe they are ready for that commitment.

    But for now I digress because all of you defending yourselves on being good enough men already… will more than likely marry one day. Then you’ll understand.

  • Ceej

    Lots of the men commenting are obviously feeling attacked but in the explanations in the comments section they aren’t addressing the ACTUAL title of this blog. Your just responding to what some woman said about you. Mind you… I didn’t even read the article because, based on what Jozen said of it, she poorly boxed men in and that was unfair and deserves no further audience.

    But the title of this blog is… “Putting A Ring On It Doesn’t Make Him A Man” and none of you men are really addressing that. That means… your missing the point.

    I think the title should have been altered to “Putting A Ring On It Doesn’t Make Him MORE of A Man” and then we’d have a healthy debate.
    The answer would still be: YES it does. Taking care of others and committing your lives to them DOES make you more of a man. Just like it makes a female MORE of a woman.

    True, marriage isn’t for everybody but admit it… it is for a greater man… or woman… than that person. Even if all that makes them better is the separating fact that they made the choice to and believe they are ready for that commitment.

    But for now I digress because all of you defending yourselves on being good enough men already… will more than likely marry one day. Then you’ll understand.

  • Namia20

    My father married my mother, couldn’t hack it, broke up the family, disappeared, got remarried years later, started a new family and I rarely ever saw him. On the other hand, my uncle didn’t ever get married but his influence helped to raise me, my siblings, and countless cousins. Not to mention the fact that he took care of my grandmother in her old age and taught me all about integrity, character, virtue, respect and the importance of family. And we’re supposed to think that my father was more of a man because he managed to marry and impregnate two different women. Please. Get a grip peopl

    Just quoting you, some two people got together and had your uncle hence his ability to help take care of you and the rest of your near and far relatives..am guessing he was taking care of family..am thinking the article is not so much
    about marriage but responsibility…

  • FallingInlOVEwithMe

    First, I would like to say kudos for your perspective! I think it was very interesting and very logically sound. I can’t imagine any women would truly want to get married to someone that didn’t want the same thing. I assume that if she did, she would soon find that if he was not intrinsically motivated to get into it, he may not be intrinsically motivated to stay in it; but that is just my experience.

    I find it so interesting that people don’t understand that there is more than one side to every person, perspective, thing, etc. I don’t understand how anyone can attack this because it’s his opinion and in his life, right now, its true. How does that ensue a debate?

    No Idea.

    I think the idea of defining women or man-hood by the opposite sex is an issue, because we are not with someone everyday of of lives. Even Paul, spoke on behalf of singles and I don’t see anyone challenging his man-hood because he choose to live a life of single hood. It happens. There is going to be a time in everyone’s life when we stand alone and we should be who we are in and out of roles.

    I’m just saying, being aware of yourself; strengths and limitations is a powerful gift. I would prefer to marry a man that did, rather than one that was still searching.

    “Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” ~St. Augustine

  • http://twitter.com/DestinedNurse Irnise Fennell

    I wish more men had fathers. Fathers who taught them how to be a man. Instead of mothers who dd not know how and made them into needy demanding humans with unrealistic expectations! Kudos to your father for being there and teaching points that many men miss!

  • Daniel E. Rodgers

    I believe in gender equality no roles in the family and detest cast systems but to demean a gender based on pastimes and to say that a gender is irresponsible because they are unwed by certain age is comical to say the least. Because a woman has a child does not make her more responsible nor does it mean that you posses fortitude, stoicism, courage and fidelity…sorry! If you read “How The Rise Of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys” by Hymowitz” you would see that there are no references of women of the same age group or what they do. There are several mentions of men in there 20’s but none of women, sorry they must have been watching “The Game.” You say that men complain but it was a woman that wrote the article complaining about men.

  • Anonymous

    As one man that did not feel attacked by the article because I am older and don’t partake of most if not all of the activities she describes I can attest that getting married does not make any man more…All you need to do is go review the 50 percent of marriages ended in divorce. Getting marriage is easy, any idiot man or woman can get married. I even know a few. I see no courage in me making the same kind of bad decisions choosing to marry someone who I will very likely not remain married to….
    I know a lot of women would like to get married and they would love it if more men did too because it would increase their odds but the truth is pretending like marriage is some life achievement is just plain dumb. The institution of marriage is damaged and it cannot be repaired by more people doing it.

  • Single and Happy

    I cannot begin to thank you enough for this article. Last year, I took a stand and found the courage to end a terrible marriage to a selfish, narcissistic person. Some women, like my ex-wife, see weakness in a man’s ability to care and willingness to take care…I feel sorry for those women. I also feel sorry for men who stay in bad marriages.

    Being married to the wrong woman is a fate I wish on no man, unfortunately, some women send their representatives and fool us (but that is another article). Yes, I do plan to get married again, but it isn’t a priority. What is a priority is God and continuing to get stronger in my principles and standards. I’m having a ball being single and never again will I allow a woman to define whether I am a “good” man or a “real” man, nor will I give a damn about their judgments on my choice to be single.

    I love the girlfriend I have, but I’m not trying to move in with her anytime soon…I love doing me. Thanks again.

  • Mandi

    Nice!

  • jaesoreal

    This is my first time commenting on your blog. I’m a man. This article was the shizit!! The line you said “this is what happens when you let a woman define manhood” is epic. Bravo!