There’s a new phase in the developmental stages of men – the Pre Adult. This is an extended period of time between adolescence and adulthood during which males have adult privileges without adult responsibilities. IKEA in Australia has responded to this need by creating a nursery for men modeled on its children’s play area where the adults i.e. women shop while the kids (men) play. The area has free hotdogs, video games, pinball and other things that appeal to the Pre Adult when he leaves his home basement man cave to venture into the wider world. IKEA hopes to roll this Mänland out in North America in the near future after testing the concept in Australia. See the video below for a demonstration where the men certainly see the benefits.
At least these boys have significant others so they can be categorized as late stage Pre adulthood as opposed to those who can’t even develop a relationship with the opposite sex. This is a new consumer demographic and websites such as Eternal Bachelor have stepped in to market products such as Eternal Bachelor logoed t shirts to this group. Kay Hymowitz, a William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal who has degrees in English literature from Brandeis, Tufts, and Columbia University, in her book, “Manning up: Has the rise of women turned men into boys”, addresses the sources of the new life stage which she identifies as young, educated males between the ages of 21 and 35 who hang out with their bros, read Maxim magazine, watch cable channels, play computer games and worship screen characters as portrayed by Seth Rogen and Adam Sandler. She certainly doesn’t hold back in her book and in an article published in the Daily Beast says:
Shocked? I wasn’t. During the last few years researching this age group, I’ve stumbled onto a powerful underground current of male bitterness that has nothing to do with outsourcing, the Mancession, or any of the other issues we usually associate with contemporary male discontent. No, this is bitterness from guys who find the young women they might have hoped to hang out with entitled, dishonest, self-involved, slutty, manipulative, shallow, controlling—and did I mention gold-digging?
She also says that these aging frat boys don’t have to worry about a lonely midlife because as they get older the pool of potential female partners increases while the pool of desirable men decreases. The drawback is that they’re intimidated by their more highly educated (women make up 58% of college graduates) and higher paid alpha female counterparts. A distinguished columnist at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, those bastions of objective and insightful reporting, she is well regarded as a commentator on childhood, family issues, poverty and cultural change in the States.
My twenty two year old son who is a member of the North American hikikomori has played video games like War Craft at night and slept during the day with the occasional food foray for the last five years. He doesn’t seem particularly intimidated by his three alpha female older sisters who graduated summa cum laude or magna cum laude from higher learning institutions and during the occasional appearance from his basement man cave where he keeps his state of the art computer rig as well as his bed seems content. I hope that this developmental stage doesn’t last until he is thirty five.
|Son playing computer game|