CNN contributor William J. Bennett, the U.S. secretary of education from 1985 to 1988, has a mouthful to say about how men are falling behind in the gender battle and how video games contribute:
For the first time in history, women are better educated, more ambitious and arguably more successful than men...
If you don't believe the numbers, just ask young women about men today. You will find them talking about prolonged adolescence and men who refuse to grow up... This decline in founding virtues -- work, marriage, and religion -- has caught the eye of social commentators from all corners.
Man's response has been pathetic. Today, 18-to- 34-year-old men spend more time playing video games a day than 12-to- 17-year-old boys. While women are graduating college and finding good jobs, too many men are not going to work, not getting married and not raising families. Women are beginning to take the place of men in many ways. This has led some to ask: do we even need men?
So what's wrong? Increasingly, the messages to boys about what it means to be a man are confusing. The machismo of the street gang calls out with a swagger. Video games, television and music offer dubious lessons to boys who have been abandoned by their fathers.
...The Founding Fathers believed, and the evidence still shows, that industriousness, marriage and religion are a very important basis for male empowerment and achievement. We may need to say to a number of our twenty-something men, "Get off the video games five hours a day, get yourself together, get a challenging job and get married." It's time for men to man up.
Apparently, to be a man in America, he has to work, get married to a woman, and be religious. Well, I'm an agnostic gay man who works by playing and writing about video games... so I guess I'm screwed. So is the rest of the video game industry, as the vast majority in the industry are men. Also, this just in: Women don't play video games. See? Facebook, Popcap, and iPhone games really don't count?
Now, I get it. Even I know a few guys who I wish I could kick out of their gaming chair and tell them to drop their video games for a sec and be responsible for a change. It's all about balance, yes?
But if we really want to talk about masculinity, I could talk about how video games are essentially a throwback for men, back to a time when strength and courage meant something instead of their marginalization in the modern workplace, which is why so many successful games are about historical quests, warfare, epic heroism, and the frontier, be it in space, the Wild West, or the apocalypse.
Instead, we just get another tiring editorial by an old man slamming young men with his erect judgmental ignorant troll face.