“We’re tired of societal pressure to be employed and have resources,” men say.
By Jennyfer Boletz, Media & Culture Correspondent
Tired of what they see as media- and Hollywood-imposed pressure to be rich, ambitious, and successful, two underemployed American men have decided to say “enough.” These men, tracked down by Great Caesar’s Ghost, agreed to “bare all” for this paper, and show us the bank accounts, credit card debts, and employment status of what one called “a REAL man.”
“We aren’t the kind of guys you see in Hollywood movies and TV, or on the cover of magazines,” said Chuck Mankowitz, 44, of Tucson, Arizona. “I don’t have a big, fancy house, or a BMW or Corvette. I have a ’93 Chevy Corsica and I live with my parents right now. I’ve got a temp job at a law office.
“This is who I am,” Mankowitz went on. “This is what a real average man looks like.”
Name: Charles Mankowitz
Employment Status: Part-time, temp
Checking/Savings Balance: $201.67
Property holdings: None.
His sentiments were shared by Jason Hartley, 29, of Roanoke, Virginia. Unemployed since 2011, Hartley admits he is tired of “living up to all the expectations” placed on him by society, especially women. “I’ve tried and tried to get a full time job, but I’m having a hard time,” Hartley told GCG. “I decided to just accept myself for who I am. I’m not James Bond or Jay-Z or whatever. I’m not some who can buy a new iPhone every time or even get a laptop. I go to the library to use a computer, man.”
Hartley said he’s tried to meet women, but “as soon as they find out I’m not making money, they’re out the door.” He blamed this mentality on pop culture, which he says “puts undue pressure on men to produce.” He added, “it gives women this perception that every man has a 401(k) and isn’t in debt. Well, I owe some money. It’s who I am. Take me or leave me. I mean, if you can’t handle me at my poorest, you don’t deserve me at my wealthiest.”
Name: Jason Hartley
Employment Status: Unemployed since 2011
Checking/Savings Balance: $17.22.
Property holdings: None.
As these fully-exposed financial statuses indicate, not all men are as well off as they or others would like. “It’s very brave of these men to put themselves on display this way,” said USC Sociology Professor Amanda Harper. “They see images constantly where the man with the job, the house, the money to go on vacation, gets the girl or girls. They’re constantly instructed that in order to marry and raise kids, they’re expected to go out and provide and protect.”
Harper continued, “The fact is, some men are just born this way. It’s not their fault. They deserve to be told, ‘You’re rich, too. You’re wealthy, you’re of value to society.’ Everyone has value in their own special way.”