It's all about incentives and disincentives. Yes, the job market is brutal right now for young people, but it's not the economy that is halting marriage. Young men still got married in the Depression. Young men married during every war we've ever had. Technology throws a monkey wrench into things, but young men aren't eschewing marriage because of porn or video games. Having a kind, supportive, caring, nurturing, loyal, attractive living partner is going to be preferable to porn any day for the vast majority of men. But the system isn't producing kind, caring, nurturing, loyal, attractive women who want to be wives and mothers. It's set up to create crass, overweight, "empowered," mannish women who don't particularly like children or domesticity and who think sex is a contact sport and want to play until their fertility window is slamming shut.
This is not the kind of woman men get excited about committing to.
Furthermore, the system currently allows for a sort of children&home dream fulfillment without men via welfare/section8/WIC/food stamps/school lunches/medicaid. This version is decidedly inferior to traditional home and hearth, but it does allow women to have and raise children without men.
Many women opt for this version without even making a go of the other which makes a significant portion of the young female population single mothers. Here's another thing about men: they don't particularly want to raise other men's children either.
Additionally, the system is set up - not accidentally - to take both a man's money and his access to his children if his wife or girlfriend decides she wants out. And she doesn't have to have a good reason either. She's tired of him? He can say good-bye to his future. The police and courts will work hard to separate him from both his family and his money. Two generations of men have now grown up seeing their fathers fully shorn after divorce. That's a bit of a disincentive for settling down.
Want men to want to get married again? Get rid of sexist Police State laws like VAWA, make divorce harder to get, and give fathers default custody upon divorce. That right there will make divorce rates plummet because while plenty of women don't seem to mind chucking their husbands, they do not want to lose access to their children.
Women also have to realize that what men find attractive is not what women find attractive. Men are not sexually aroused by advanced degrees in liberal arts subjects, and they don't care if you crashed through the glass ceiling at work. They want to be around pleasant women who like men and will treat them with respect.Hingston ended her piece with this:
I want them to know: Now that I better understand their plight, I don’t blame them for it. And I’m sorry, along with all the other parents I know, for our own contributions to the mess.On its surface this sounds okay, almost humble, except that it offers no solutions, nor does it take any real accountability. I'm sure Hingston doesn't really think she failed in her parenting. Previous editorials would indicate that she feels her generation, the Boomers, solved all of America's problems:
We did, you know. We took the stark button-down black-and-white world we were born into and Kodachromed it, tie-dyed it, made it a rainbow of races and genders and candy-colored Spandex bike shorts. You think our force lay in numbers, but you’re wrong. It lay in the vision we had. You can’t comprehend that, because you’re [Gen X] so low-key, so small-scale, so It’s about intimacy. No. It’s not. Thomas Jefferson had it right: It’s about happiness. If you’ve ever had an honest conversation with your mom or dad, you have us to thank for it. If you get time off from work to take care of a new baby or a sick relative, you’re welcome for that. Getting a tax rebate for making your house more energy-efficient? Bike lanes, pocket parks, hate-crime laws, legalized pot, death-penalty moratoriums, organic food, space telescopes, genome-decoding — don’t you see what we were doing? We were taking the American dream to the max, pushing to its limits the pursuit of freaking happiness.Hingston has made it plain before that it's not just the men of Gen Y who are useless, although men are inferior to women and generally superfluous. So I'm not falling for it.
P.S. I'd trade the bike lanes in a heartbeat for the 1965 divorce rate (10%). That Kodachromed world the Silents and Boomers created changed the childhoods of Gen X and Y dramatically for the worse.