Dr. Judy Kuriansky has a kindlier perspective on the emo boy. “This is the type of man that women have been screaming and begging for for years,” she said a bit reprovingly. “I’ve done innumerable research studies about this: after 20 years of asking what are the top three qualities that women want in a man, what comes out overwhelmingly from women is that they want the more communicative man, the sensitive and romantic man. That is overwhelming. They want the cluster of qualities that goes along with a more communicative man who speaks his feelings more, who is more intimate, more open.”
But Dr. Anna Fels comes down more on the ladies’ side. “I would say that historically, and right up through the present, one of the things that defined femininity — especially in the white, middle-class culture — is women listening to men and being their audience, their support system, and really asking for relatively little of that in return,” she said. “There’s been a really disproportionate share of attention of all kinds that men demand and assume as their due.”
“Stuff It, Emo Boy!” by Rachel Donadio, Sheelah Kolhatkar & Anna Schneider-Mayerson in July 2004.
By the way, I should be neglecting if I did not point to the website and gorgeous photographs by Ryan McGinley mentioned (negatively) in the story above.