This is not a post about children, despite the title. It is instead a post about people. I have been harboring of late a secret suspicion that boys have lost the war of the sexes. In fact, it is distinctly possible boys lost the war of the sexes before it even began.
I consider myself lucky to be exposed to a vast number of young adults on a regular basis. This exposure comes as a side benefit of being a performing musician. I regularly get to watch and converse with people who are 10 or even 15 years younger than I am, and it’s interesting to observe how they are different (and how they are the same) than I was when I was there age.
One of the most notable differences between myself then and them now is that when I was there age I was a parent. This alone has a moderate impact on one’s outlook. They are still growing up and figuring out how the world works, while I was pretending to be an adult and trying to guide a child through its first steps into humanity.
That aside, I see remarkable and fundamental shifts in the dynamics of being a young adult. When I drive by the high school down the street from my house, I see dozens of students out doing what senior high school students do – smoking and trying to look cool. That’s not so different from my experiences. What is difference is how hopelessly outclassed the boys look in comparison to the girls. At the grade 12 level, I see boys who look like boys, and girls who look like little supermodels.
While I am sure the boys love looking at girls that are that attractive, I am unsure they notice how its impacting their ability to concentrate on schoolwork. What (straight) boy could focus on math when a girl who looks like she stepped out of a wet dream is absently flipping her hair in the chair in front on him?
I can hear people telling me it’s always been this way, but that’s crap. It wasn’t so much this way when I was younger. Yes, girls were on my mind somewhat more than 99.5% of the time, but the girls didn’t look like hollywood actresses. These new girls know how to take care of themselves. They are healthy looking, intelligent, driven and admirable. They are amazing people, despite their often abhorrent taste in footwear.
I know an 18 year old girl that fits this description. She is intelligent, thoughtful, kind, mature and beautiful. She’s in her first year of university studying the sciences, and by almost all measures is a girl that once would have been described as having her “head screwed on right”.
And then she has this boyfriend. A skinny kid who works at a dead-end retail job and has no hope of getting into university (not that I consider this particularly telling). Sure, he’s sort of cute, in a boyish, waif-like way, and he’s not unintelligent, but – like those boys outside the high-school – he is so hopelessly outclassed by his girlfriend that it becomes almost laughable.
What’s worse is that his (possibly subconscious) insecurities about being in a whole different league than his girlfriend might be causing him to pressure her to leave university and pursue an education in college. While I have no problems with college, I think that if one has an opportunity to attend a university, one should. She can attend college post-university and receive a hands-on education should she so choose. Why not? Is there such thing as too much education?
Whether these observations are indicative of the general state of young adulthood, or some sort of regional abnormality is beyond my ability to gage. It’s an issue I see becoming more and more of a problem as the boys fall further behind the curve.
I don’t know the cause (though I have many pet theories) and I don’t know the solution (though again, I have some pet theories), but I think its something that maybe it will have to be addressed in the near future.