Matt Walsh has lost patience with single dudes who no longer have the vocabulary to describe whatever it is they are or aren't doing with female dudes. "We're 'talking.'  We're 'hanging out.'  We're 'whatever.'"
Here’s some brutal honesty for you:  if you ‘aren’t ready for something serious,’ then you need to go get yourself ready and leave these ladies alone until you do.  You can’t go out and have sex (I mean, ‘hook up,’ as the middle schoolers at the lunch table might call it) and then claim that you ‘aren’t ready for something serious.’  It’s too late, friend.  Sex is something serious.


Grim said...

Quite right.

Cass said...

I have had a rant penned and trapped in my head over this for some time now.

It continues to amaze/appall me that some of the loonier feminists seem to think they have a God given right to risk-and-consequence free sex.

But so do way too many men.

There's no such thing, and never has been. I particularly loved this:

We are devolving into primates, losing the ability to even discuss our own behavior using words and sentences. The average single American man is now relegated to grunts and shrugs and ‘whatevers’ and ‘you knows’ when pressed to have a conversation about his dating habits. Or his vicinity habits. Or his whatever habits, because whatever, you know?

‘Hanging out’ is how we describe what we do with our buddies. Is that what you want? Do you want that beautiful woman to be your buddy? Or would you ideally prefer it if you could distinguish between your relationship with her and your relationship with your friend Steve?

(unless, of course, you're boinking Steve too, in which all bets are off...)

Defending randomness and irresponsibility as some sort of natural rights seems willfully perverse to me.

Texan99 said...

"Boinking." THAT's what we've been doing. What a relief. We've reached the boinking stage in the, whatever, the relationship. No biggie.

If she were boinking someone else, that would be a biggie. Or if she stopped boinking even temporarily. But no biggie. Why make a thing out of it?

Cass said...

I had to laugh at all the folks in the comments section launching into the "DON'T SHAME ME, BRO!" shtick.

This is exactly what feminists do when anyone dares to suggest they "person up".

Everyone's got the right to behave however they want to, and other people just need to suck it up.


Eric Blair said...

Walsh strikes me as a bit whiny, but hey, whatever.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I find it as common among young women as young men. It's not what I was taught to expect, and there is ample evidence that it is an even worse strategy for women. But where I work, women not only have sex with, but have children by, men they aren't ready to make a permanent commitment to.

I believe Virginia Postrel has been arguing this for years - that women are driving these marriage-avoidance strategies more than men, though in disguised language.

Cass said...

I've never read anything else by Walsh, but don't see anything whiny in this essay. Why "whiny"?

I would have characterized the essay as lecturing rather than whining, and there's nothing unusual about people staking out claims that Behavior X is right/wrong and therefore people should emulate/avoid it.

I believe Virginia Postrel has been arguing this for years - that women are driving these marriage-avoidance strategies more than men, though in disguised language.

I'm always suspicious of the "Group X is behaving this way because Group Y is driving them to" shtick. What I see with women and men a lot is demand/avoidance. As in the woman asks for what she wants (attention, affection, courtesy, commitment), usually directly, and the man feels criticized or trapped and responds by avoiding and withdrawing. It's a hard cycle to get out of once it starts because it's self reinforcing and self escalating.

Walsh's advice - to be open about what you want from the start - strikes me as mature and healthy advice: don't play silly games. Don't be dishonest. Don't expect other people to read your mind. Act like an adult.

I agree there are women who don't want commitment, probably because for the first time they actually have plans for their lives too, and getting married and having babies would effectively put an end to those plans. Heck, I thought about that my freshman year in college and concluded that my priorities were (in this order): marriage/family first, then education, then hopefully a career that would allow me to be financially secure and not dependent on another human being.

Getting to #1 required that I delay 2 and 3. Going after 2/3 first meant it would be harder to obtain #1. That said, it bothered me that my husband could go after all three at the same time. Different tradeoffs.

Texan99 said...

Walsh is a man speaking to men, but I agree women also seem to be avoiding the language that would permit them to be clear--with other people or in their own minds--what they're about. All the old words strike them as too judgmental, or too committed.

I came of age very much in the post-Pill, pre-AIDS culture. I didn't have a word for a sexual relationship either, and although I was likely to bind spontaneously with anyone I was having sex with, I could see that the same was not true of the young men, until I met the crucial exception to whom I've now been married for 30 years. Before him, I would have jumped into a volcano before I admitted that it hurt me not to encounter the same spontaneous commitment from my partner. Never have liked to ask for things I need, or admit to suffering if I don't get them. Any amount of denial before that!

Grim said...

I don't observe these things closely, but I do occasionally listen to complaints from younger men who are having what we used to call "girl problems." I think they would like to pursue the women seriously -- these particular men who come to me, who are a self-selecting sample. They don't quite know how to approach it, though, and I think the lack of language is part of the problem.

This is tied into a phenomenon that I know the two of you, Cass and Tex, hate: the language of the 'friend-zone.' Since our culture has destroyed its courtship rituals, they try to show interest by being nice or kind. Because the young women don't have a courtship ritual either, they misinterpret this kindness as mere friendship, and not the hopeful initiation of a romantic relationship.

And because the culture insists on this kind of 'hey, it's no big deal, whatever's fine, nothing important is going on here' language, there's no way to discuss what is going on.

No way, that is, except to break protocol and do something very uncool: sit down with the girl and lay it out for her.

It's very liberating to speak the truth, I tell them. It makes you feel like a man, because it proves you're not a coward. And if she says no, as well she may, she wasn't the right one because she didn't feel the same way. Having spoken the truth and been honestly rejected, you'll feel better than you think. You'll find yourself free.

And if she says yes, well, then that's the start of something.

Texan99 said...

It would be a relief in most relationships for people to speak their hearts.

I never participated in anything very much like a traditional courtship ritual. On the other hand, I was never in much doubt whether a relationship was romantic/sexual or not. That's fairly obvious within minutes regardless of whether a couple are going out on dates, or who's footing the bill.

So I don't think I was ever confused about whether kindness and attention were merely platonic friendship. The confusing and imbalanced part was whether people were the sort to take the plunge. Some people dabble their toes more or less forever. Having sex too early, or too casually, can make it hard to sort that out.

Anonymous said...

As much as I dislike certain social slang, there's something to the phrase, "Use your words." Meaning, as Grim said above, if you want clarity in a discussion or relationship, state your question or concern as clearly as possible, then listen to the response (no getting upset because the other party isn't a mind reader). And judging by what I've been reading and hearing over the past few years, pop-culture argues against that exact clarity. Emotion is supposed to trump reason, and everyone is supposed to be able to read everyone else's mind. Talk about setting people up for confusion and misery.


Texan99 said...

Agreed. Emotions are important, certainly, but that's no reason to become inarticulate. History and culture teach us that language is up to the task of communicating emotions as well as rational constructs. It's nice to combine the words with congruent actions, of course, if we expect the emotional message to get through.

I enjoyed a movie called "Trust" that came out in the 80's. The heroine insists that what she and the hero are feeling should be called love. The hero resists, explaining that he respects and admires her. "Isn't that love?" she demands. "No, it's respect and admiration," he answers. Then she posits that respect and admiration, plus trust, mean "love."

Grim said...

I suspect a Venn diagram would have been helpful.

Cass said...

Words are tremendously important in a relationship precisely because we don't understand each other automatically.

My husband doesn't enjoy talking and is a man of few words. When we married, he was sometimes a man of almost *no* words :p

That's OK, and you can't force someone to become something they're not. But you can (and I believe, should) expect them to make an effort and that effort must be reciprocated. And he has done that over the years.

The closest I ever came to leaving him was after a fight when he clammed up and refused to speak.

I can live with almost anything else, but not with someone who won't meet me halfway. Not all the way - just half way. So he talks more and I strive to talk less (and give him plenty of time to respond b/c he likes to think his way through things before weighing in). And I learned to to respond in ways that don't make him feel sorry he opened his yap. It doesn't matter how X would make *me* feel - it matters how X makes *him* feel.

These things aren't obvious - he had to tell me what he didn't like, and I had to be willing to change. There are things he does that hurt me, and I can't expect him to read my mind either. How will he know if I'm unwilling to explain it to him?

We teach each other how best to respond because he is the most important person on the planet to me and I want him to be happy. We're still learning, even after all these years :p

douglas said...

"It doesn't matter how X would make *me* feel - it matters how X makes *him* feel."

Just think how many marriages could be saved if we taught anyone that ideal anymore...