As far as the Left is concerned, Pajama Boy — the ultimate androgynous metrosexual — represents a significant majority of young people. Certainly that’s where the White House is betting its money. As Rush Limbaugh said, they wouldn’t have put together an ad campaign aimed at 1,00o or 2,000 people. The White House genuinely believes that, across America, there are tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of Pajama Boys who want to get cozy in their onesies and talk about how to promote government growth.
I wonder if the White House’s money men are right, or if the White House is deluded by the bubble in which it lives (a bubble with lots of Pajama Boys) or by the ideology that both strengthens and blinkers it. The White House is essentially saying that, for too long, we’ve been assuming that men are . . . well, manly, when all that they really wanted was society’s permission to be girlie. As far as the professional Left is concerned, traditional masculinity is one long, biased, societally-imposed construct that has nothing to do with biology.
I think (or maybe I just hope) that the White House is wrong.
Here in Marin, conscientious Marin parents do their best to raise their children free of gender stereotypes, yet the kids embrace those stereotypes with gusto. Boys play war games; girls sit around and share their feelings. That’s not all that the boys and girls do — they’ll come together for lots of shared activities — but even in shared activities, boys are rambunctious and girls are bossy. The kids who gather in my house each represent perfectly the highest points on the bell curve defining typical male or female behavior.
These behavioral differences are mirrored in their physical differences. The boys shoot up, their voices deepen, their legs get hairy, their faces more square (and hairy), and their shoulders broaden. The girls grow too, but not as tall, their faces soften, and they get curves in all the right places, something that they’re happy to show off in feminine clothing. These formerly somewhat androgynous little children, once they hit adolescence are manifestly different from each other. Moreover, as they flirt gently with each other, I do believe that each would agree with that old French expression, Viva la difference!
But back to the boys especially. I just learned the other day that another young man of my acquaintance enlisted in the military. On Facebook, his father showed a photograph of the young man in his fatigues after ending basic training. I wrote a comment congratulating the young men and saying that I’m seeing more and more young men look to the military as a way to learn self-discipline, have a purpose in life, and be part of a team, all as a way to hasten the maturation process. The boy’s father wrote a response saying that I had hit the nail on the head. He noted that, while his son’s choice was a surprise considering his Marin upbringing, it was precisely those goals that drew him to the military. In other words, this 19-year-old boy, despite Marin’s assiduously asexual upbringing, still wanted to be a man.
One of the things the insulated White House ignores is that, just as was the case for this Marin youth, boys want to be men. I don’t know if the White House ignores this reality because its ideology cannot accept it, or if it ignores this reality because, as Rush Limbaugh posits, it’s filled with Pajama Boys, whether youthful interns, or wrinkled and grizzled senior advisers. Either way, whether because they’re true believers or actual Pajama Boys, the White House has given us an insight into what it thinks the American young man is, or should be, like — and that’s like a girl.