The birth of the “Pajama Boy” meme, part and parcel of the debate over the government takeover of healthcare in the United States, underscored an important trend in our nation. This trend was NOT the increasing “juvenilizing” of the American male, a trend that has seen expanding numbers of grown men return home to live with and leach off their parents. Rather, it was the increased AWARENESS of the trend—a growing understanding that “Pajama Boy” and his ilk represent a category of male one will encounter in day-to-day life. But “pajama boy” is a feeler, a tendril, a probing tentacle of a greater mass of cultural foolishness.
The nucleus of the cancer is found in the “brony” phenomenon (and movements like it). The reason it is a problem is because it facilitates the deconstruction of necessary social gender roles. Stated another way, there are (or were) social rules for how men and women are to behave. When men adhere to these rules, when they conduct themselves according to these social guidelines, they enjoy more success overall. They appear and behave as if they are worthy of respect, of treatment as adult men, of female attention, of reproduction and families.
If they fail to conduct themselves according to these rules, which have been established over centuries of social interaction, males become “unworthy” in the minds of other adults and in the perception of potential female companions. To be branded unworthy is a self-fulfilling, self-perpetuating cycle of behavior, for once rejected by the sphere of adults, adult work, adult tasks, and adult responsibilities, the “juvenilized” male retreats into a world of fantasy, play, and diversion. Cultural analogs can be found in the “grass eaters” of Japan, to cite just one example. These are males who have given up on female companionship, on productive work, and on adult responsibility, not because (as they may or may not claim) they are happier that way, but because, having forsaken adult rules of behavior and conduct, they have found that no social community of adults (or adult women) will tolerate them.
Giving Up Childish Things
First Corinthians 13:11 reads, “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I became a man, I gave up childish things.” It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian, an atheist, or an agnostic; this verse is the centuries-old acknowledgment of a societal norm that itself developed over centuries. Children grow into adulthood. Adulthood requires a casting off a childish things and ways.
What characterizes children? They are impulsive. They are irresponsible. They break the rules and then try to avoid the consequences for their misbehavior. Left to their own devices, they will not be productive. They do not or cannot support themselves. We accept these traits as perfectly normal for childhood. A six-year-old who was obsessed with the practical realities of starting a business or overly concerned about questions of personal honor would be either a genius or a psychopath. Adults do not expect children to behave according to adult rules. The process of raising children is the process of introducing them to grown-up responsibilities and rules of behavior on a gradual basis, encouraging them to drop “childish things” and childish ways in favor of responsibility, productivity, and maturity.
What Characterizes An Adult Man?
What characterizes a functional adult and, in this specific case, an adult male (a man)? A man takes responsibility for himself, his well-being, and his sustenance. He engages in productive work to his own benefit and in support of his family (if he chooses to start one). He understands that a man is judged socially by how well he keeps his word and how consistently he meets his obligations—in other words, he understands and operates according to personal honor. He is capable of defending himself in a sometimes dangerous world and understands this “warrior” function of the human male. He takes pride in himself and in his possessions and in the upkeep of both. These qualities make him “worthy” to the human female. When he displays these qualities he is understood to be a worthwhile investment by the opposite sex. He enjoys the corresponding attentions of women to the degree that he demonstrates his value.
These are arguably subjective guidelines, but they are also readily observable as cultural facts. This is how adulthood and childhood work and compare. This is what one observes when one takes the time to analyze either in the context of modern society and its evolution over thousands of years. But to acknowledge these realities is also to acknowledge a cultural blight growing within contemporary culture. “Pajama Boy” is a waypost on that highway to pussified male hell. The fast lane on that route to juvenile waste could be no better represented than by the “brony” phenomenon. We will therefore refer specifically to this particular tendril of cultural blight (while understanding that many others exist).
It is not normal for a grown American male to celebrate, exult in, and proudly promote a love of entertainment intended for little girls. There may well be functioning adult men out there, particularly fathers, who aren’t bothered by (and who may even be entertained, in passing) watching programs like “My Little Pony.” A rational adult man does not tell the world how much he loves My Little Pony, however. He does not indulge in this kind of childish foolishness for two reasons. First, this is entertainment very obviously intended for children and females, geared toward female sensibilities, and to revel in it betrays a lack of manliness on his part. Second, over-indulging in children’s entertainment is a diversion that facilitates shirking adult responsibility.
The Wretched Man-Children Of Popular Culture
In other words, a brony is a wretched, immature male who engages purposefully in behavior and entertainment that should have been left behind when he transitioned from childhood to manhood. His devotion to a children’s television show calls into question his ability to function as an adult and to adopt and maintain adult responsibilities. All adults are, wisely, suspicious of age-contemporaries who exhibit inordinately immature personality traits. If you work in an office where the shirt and tie are the norm, you don’t give big projects or bigger responsibilities to the guy in the pink “Friendship is Magic” t-shirt. If you are looking for an adult to babysit your children, you do not select someone your children consider a playmate, who shares their interests and dresses as they do. If you are a woman selecting a mate, you do not choose a “man” who behaves and comports himself as an overgrown child, an immature man-baby exulting in entertainments appropriate to preteens and tweens.
A superb example of how this attitude affects one’s function as an adult was recounted recently by Aja Romano in The Daily Dot. On 24 April, 2014, Romano reported on a disturbing incident at the Bay Area Brony Spectacular Con, described as a fandom convention for the television show, “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.” Staffers at a vendor table for Sacramento’s “Sac Anime” reportedly struck up a friendship with an 11-year-old girl. When that girl reported that a grown man in a brony t-shirt had tried to grab her and take her to his hotel room, the staff of Sac Anime apparently allowed the girl to hide in their midst.
Supposedly the staffers felt they were “prepared to physically attack the human trashheap [should he try] to [mess] with her”—as if a grown man and would-be kidnapper would be at all dissuaded by the bared teeth and ridiculous posturing of a group of anime fops who cater to a customer base of stunted, sexually confused child-men. Worse, the staff of Sac Anime never alerted security to the presence of a potential sexual predator in their midst, apparently because they felt their readiness to leap upon the brigand in question was sufficient to resolve the situation.
Bronies, Furries, And Their Ilk Are Children, Not Men
This is a single example among many you’ll find wherever this type of juvenilized mind congregates. This is the type of thinking that children exhibit. An adult would alert security and the authorities because an adult would understand the dangers. A grown, functioning man, if alerted to the presence of the predator in question, would likely attempt to apprehend that predator and hold him for the authorities, on the idea that this is what grown men do to keep safe the public at large. Children, by contrast, believe they and they alone are sufficient to contain such a situation. Children misunderstand the danger to the public and don’t bother to alert anyone else to what they perceive as their localized drama. Children are more concerned with telling the Internet about how brave they were in protecting their new friend. They want the story and the credit that comes with telling it.
Children aren’t concerned with overarching issues affecting people in general, because children are self-centered. We expect them to be because that is a natural facet of their mental and emotional development at that age. It is these qualities that must be discarded as children mature.
The brony and countless other related indulgences—“furries” again spring readily to mind—represent the arrested development, the derailed maturation, of the American male. A male who embraces childish things, who cannot adopt adult dress and behavior, is telling you he is not ready or able to accept adult responsibilities. A population comprising such incapable, weak-minded man-babies would collapse in short order. As our own culture sags under the weight of these useless Pajama Boys, it is no wonder, then, that our own foundations are beginning to show serious cracks. The brony and his ilk are the horsemen of an adult apocalypse. The brony’s rise presages the extinction of the rational, responsible, grown-up men who once formed the backbone of our society.