Thursday, November 20, 2008

Young, Single and Baha'i

W.O.W. There's a pretty interesting and often humorous piece by Kay S. Hymowitz in City Journal called Love in the Time of Darwinism. Every young, single Baha'i needs to read this (warning there is some colorful language so be ready for it). Here's a taste:

Earlier this year, I published an article in City Journal called “Child-Man in the Promised Land.” The piece elicited a roaring flood of mailed and blogged responses, mostly from young men who didn’t much care for its title (a reference to Claude Brown’s 1965 novel Manchild in the Promised Land) or its thesis: that too many single young males (SYMs) were lingering in a hormonal limbo between adolescence and adulthood, shunning marriage and children, and whiling away their leisure hours with South Park reruns, marathon sessions of World of Warcraft, and Maxim lists of the ten best movie fart scenes.

It would be easy enough to hold up some of the callow ranting that the piece inspired as proof positive of the child-man’s existence. But the truth is that my correspondents’ objections gave me pause. Their argument, in effect, was that the SYM is putting off traditional markers of adulthood—one wife, two kids, three bathrooms—not because he’s immature but because he’s angry. He’s angry because he thinks that young women are dishonest, self-involved, slutty, manipulative, shallow, controlling, and gold-digging. He’s angry because he thinks that the culture disses all things male. He’s angry because he thinks that marriage these days is a raw deal for men. (Read the whole thing here)

It reminds me of a post from the Changing Times blog that sparked a flurry of commentary. I've been in conversations with some Baha'i men, including one recently when I was in D.C. that share some elements with the frustrations voiced in Hymowitz's article. Two thoughts come to mind. First, I'm so glad that I am happily married and out of the whole dating scene because I experienced it as something analogous to a decade long sentence in an insane asylum. Second, to paraphrase a former president, "It's the sexism stupid". It seems to me that nine tenths of the difficulties that young, single Baha'is are struggling with is due to our culture not having figured out how men and women can relate in news ways based on gender equality rather than old patterns that no longer fit the needs of a human race advancing from spiritual adolescence to spiritual maturity.

Gotta go, but I would love to hear from Baha'is out there who read Hymowitz's piece. Does the author have a point? What do you think?