Men seem to be “out of step” in various parts of American society today, reports the popular CBS “Sunday Morning” TV show June 17; while focusing especially on how men are not enrolling in college at the same rate as women and “they don’t graduate from college at the same rate.” The numbers don't lie, added Sunday Morning while pointing to “male college enrollment has been sliding for more than four decades - and it's expected to just get worse.” On this same Father’s Day, First Lady Michelle Obama was speaking to graduates about today’s changing “traditional markers of success during the Oregon State University graduation ceremony in Corvallis, Oregon, June 17 that was televised state-wide by Oregon PBS. The First Lady was on hand to give the commencement address at Oregon State University, the school where her brother Craig Robinson is the head basketball coach. In turn, in what’s become evident - at both this university graduation and throughout the nation – is that women and not men are excelling in both college and all other aspects of American society.
American males left behind; while women excelling
For instance, this “Sunday Morning” TV report noted the alarming fact that “about 70 percent of valedictorians today are girls. And it's not just about grades: It's about jobs.”
"The economy shifting to a service economy, a knowledge-based economy, a words-based economy rather than an action-based economy has certainly been to the detriment of that traditional ideology of masculinity. And those men who most strongly subscribe to it are those men who are going to be left behind,” explained sociologist Michael Kimmel during the Sunday Morning report where he also talked about the “boy crisis” in America today.
In turn, Michelle Obama also burst the bubble on stereotype males during her commencement speech Sunday for Oregon State University graduates that was featured "live on TV" June 17 when PBS featured the First Lady’s advice to both female and male graduates.
For instance, the traditional view of male success in American society is just not where it’s at today in 2012, said Mrs. Obama in her commencement address to a crowd of about 30,000, including 5,000 graduates: "We still had all the traditional markers of success with a fat paycheck, the fancy office, the impressive lines on our resumes. But the truth is, neither of us was all that fulfilled," when sharing how both Mrs. Obama and her brother looked for more in their careers.
"Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own," Mrs. Obama added; while blasting males and other youth who only tend to communicate with each other these days with tech gadgets, saying: "Liking them on Facebook doesn't count. Nor does following then on Twitter. What counts is making the time to be there in person."
In turn, the dean of Ohio’s Kenyon College concurred with the First Lady when she shared her views about slacker males in today’s American society who are simply not making the grade in both college and in life; when revealing what she calls “the widening gap in achievement” that’s simply leaving males in the dust.
Simply put, many young and older males are "lost boys" in America today, because experts say "they don't have a clue on how to be a successful male."
Moreover, there's also this view with many young males that they just have to "phone it in," and not try hard at anything.
"There's a kind of anti-intellectualism of young men that really bothers me," said Dean Jennifer Delahunty, who added, "that it's not cool to be smart. That it's not cool to be engaged. That it's not cool to do your homework. That bothers me.”
John Wayne males are now history
Sociologist Michael Kimmel also told “Sunday Morning” that "Twenty five years ago when I started I would ask the women in my classes, 'What does it mean to be a woman?'" And they would say, 'Well, you have to be nice and pretty and smart and smile a lot.' And you ask them now, you know what they say? 'I can be anything I want. I can do anything.' "You ask the guys, you know, 'What does it mean to be a man' - 25 years ago? 'John Wayne.' Now? 'Arnold.'"
But, this famed sociologist explained in this TV report how boys aren't saying "hasta la vista" to these outdated “He-Man ideas, but sadly, many are saying it to education.”
"Boys think that academic disengagement is a sign of masculinity," explained Doctor Kimmel. "The less you can do in school, the less connected you are, the less interested you are, the more manly you are."
Thus, the Sunday Morning TV report references experts who explain this “stunning role reversal;” while also pointing to “a new study finds that young women today value high-paying careers more than young men do.”
Thus, the question these experts are now asking is: “Should there be a sort of affirmative action for boys?”
Dean Jennifer Delahunty says no: "That's not the answer. The answer is to look at this problem systemically. I don't believe in affirmative action for men in higher education."
However, this college dean did tell Sunday Morning that: “The reality is that because young men are rarer, they're more valued applicants," and she apologized to girls who'd been rejected because of "demographic realities."
"I think that, you know, the idea of an affirmative action program for men is engaged in by a lot of college admissions offices these days, because they're worried that the women are much better qualified," added Kimmel. "Now they do this sometimes by infrastructure, which is to say they build a new athletics facility. They build a new student center with lots of pool tables and videogames.”
Men out of step with changing gender roles
Overall, this Sunday Morning TV report explained how the role of male breadwinners "is changing. "
For instance, Dean Delahunty said, "Right now, what do we reward in the K-12 system? We reward self-control, communication, verbal and written communication, expressiveness. These are all qualities that girls are really good at, and are generally better at than boys."
Also, Delahunty said “if I were going to speak to the fathers of high school boys, I would say, 'Teach them honor, self-management, responsibility, model it for them.' Let's throw 'boys will be boys' out the door. It doesn't serve us anymore."
Image source of the cult teen male horror film “The Lost Boys” from 1987 that’s based on the “Lost Boys” books by J.M. Barrie about both boys and men seeming to be “lost” in a world that’s now dominated by girls and women at every turn. Photo courtesy Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Boys