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Old 09-25-2008, 06:47 PM   #1
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Guyland

Some of you might have heard of this book, but I decided to set up this thread where we could discuss what it is like being a 20-something guy in today's world.

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Imagine a world where you can't express your feelings. Where women are treated as objects or bargaining chips, and alcoholism and drug abuse are the norm. Where you must reject your own mother, and your father will rebuff you. You'll belong to a kind of cult that demands that you ostracize anyone who doesn't follow the group's twisted values. This cult may pressure you into physically and sexually abusing someone incapable of fighting back. If you're an American guy age 16-26, congratulations. You probably live there already.

This is especially true if you are white and heterosexual, according to SUNY-Stony Brook sociologist Michael Kimmel. "Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men," his study of young American men, is a bleak and urgent yet compassionate analysis of young manhood in the United States. Kimmel coins the term "Guyland" not to suggest a place as much as a state of mind, an ideology into which the 400 or so young men he interviewed in the course of his research find themselves indoctrinated. He also uses the term to describe a stage of life, "a kind of suspended animation between the dependency and lack of autonomy of boyhood and the sacrifice and responsibility of manhood" -- a phase that in recent years has expanded into many guys' 30s.

While a fair number of Kimmel's observations about this new demographic are depressingly familiar, he warns that the dangers posed by disgruntled guys will rise the longer we tolerate, brush off and deny their bad behavior. "The stakes are higher, the violence more extreme, the weapons more lethal," he writes. School shootings, a relatively new phenomenon, are increasing. A new generation of girls who don't consider themselves feminists and people of color who oppose affirmative action may find themselves against a wall -- or a glass ceiling -- they thought their mothers had climbed over. All in all, reading "Guyland" has the same effect on a liberal as a good horror movie; it makes you terrified of something you're so used to that you probably manage to ignore it most of the time.
Dude, where's my manhood? | Salon Books

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"What used to be regressive weekends are now whole years in the lives of some guys," Kimmel tells NEWSWEEK. In almost 400 interviews with mainly white, college-educated twentysomethings, he found that the lockstep march to manhood is often interrupted by a debauched and decadelong odyssey, in which youths buddy together in search of new ways to feel like men. Actually, it's more like all the old ways—drinking, smoking, kidding, carousing—turned up a notch in a world where adolescent demonstrations of manhood have replaced the real thing: responsibility. Kimmel's testosterone tract adds to a forest of recent research into protracted adolescents (or "thresholders" and "kidults," as they've also been dubbed) and the reluctance of today's guys to don their fathers' robes—and commitments. They "see grown-up life as such a loss," says Kimmel, explaining why so many guys are content to sit out their 20s in duct-taped beanbag chairs. The trouble is that the very thing they're running from may be the thing they need.
Why Young Men Delay Adulthood to Stay in "Guyland" | Newsweek Culture | Newsweek.com


So guys, do you feel this book is spot on?

Ladies, are you concerned about the future of the male species? As in, would some of them ever grow up and stop having so much animosity towards women, gays, etc?
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:50 PM   #2
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Maybe I have kept company with strange men, but I can't think of a single guy that I have been friends with or dated who fits the description above.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
As in, would some of them ever grow up and stop having so much animosity towards women, gays, etc?
I don't quite understand what you mean.

There's certainly an awful lot of animosity on this forum towards anyone that doesn't hold pro-feminist and pro-multicultural viewpoints, whether the holders of said views happen to be in the demographic discussed in the article or not.

I saw some poster on another forum with the sig:
"Of course it's my fault. I am a white heterosexual male."

I thought there was a lot of truth in that.

Overall, the stereotypes presented in the article seem to me simplistic, patronising and would not be seen as acceptable if directed at any other group.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:12 PM   #4
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I'd be curious to see the make-up of his sample. Somehow I couldn't imagine that a representative sample could present such a dark outcome.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:29 PM   #5
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I'd be curious to see the make-up of his sample. Somehow I couldn't imagine that a representative sample could present such a dark outcome.
I'm not sure if it's so much the sample as that some people in the media have their own prejudices.

This, in particular, strikes me as simply offensive:-

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Where women are treated as objects or bargaining chips, and alcoholism and drug abuse are the norm. Where you must reject your own mother, and your father will rebuff you. You'll belong to a kind of cult that demands that you ostracize anyone who doesn't follow the group's twisted values. This cult may pressure you into physically and sexually abusing someone incapable of fighting back. If you're an American guy age 16-26, congratulations. You probably live there already.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:32 PM   #6
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That was the part I was commenting on - I have no idea what kind of men they are referring to but it's certainly not ones that I know.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:43 PM   #7
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"Young white males are bullying, aggressive racists, hate their parents, envy and hate women that are more successful than they are, and have a penchant for violence and drug abuse."

"New research reveals that women are cloying sentimentalists and not good for anything apart from washing and cleaning."

"Jews revealed as money-grabbing parasites that secretly control the world."

"Exclusive - Muslims are backwards peasants who will behead you if you insult their prophet"


^ All offensive stereotypes - but only one is deemed acceptable for publication in a major national journal - well, to be fair, there were a lot of prejudicial and offensive articles published about Muslims since 9/11, but that's about the only other case I can think of where it's acceptable to lump on a demographic in the manner that the Salon article writer seems to be doing.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:52 PM   #8
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I don't quite understand what you mean. There wasn't even any mention of holding 'animosity towards women, gays' in the articles which you posted.
Did you read the Salon article? It mentioned if a guy shows the slightest form of sensitivity, he's gay. It also mentioned how there's a lot of homophobia among some young men.
The reason why I posted this thread was because I've either worked or went to school with guys like that. I even went on a blind date with one (don't ask). I've been following how young boys and young men are living in our society, and the media always portrays it as negative. Sure, that may sell, but when I see a guy boast about drinking, getting laid, talk negatively about women and homosexuals, I wonder if he is what the media is talking about.
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
Did you read the Salon article? It mentioned if a guy shows the slightest form of sensitivity, he's gay. It also mentioned how there's a lot of homophobia among some young men.
The reason why I posted this thread was because I've either worked or went to school with guys like that. I even went on a blind date with one (don't ask). I've been following how young boys and young men are living in our society, and the media always portrays it as negative. Sure, that may sell, but when I see a guy boast about drinking, getting laid, talk negatively about women and homosexuals, I wonder if he is what the media is talking about.

I did actually edit my post, because initially I skimmed the articles, and upon re-reading, I see that yes there was some evidence of homophobia being suggested.

I would have to say, however, I think it is too simplistic by half to assign these kind of views to someone if they make the odd risque joke or maybe drink too much now and and again.

For example, I have a friend who sometimes tells jokes that would probably be considered borderline racist and/or homophobic. Yet, this same guy also lived with a gay flatmate for several years and currently employs around 10 Asian people. And, no, it's not because they work for cheaper wages. In fact one of his business partners is Asian. In fact, my friend was one that specifically made the decision to recruit more foreign staff to this particular firm, because he felt that it was not multi-cultural enough. And also, to be frank, because he felt that the Asians were better workers than the Irish. I do think there is a cultural difference here. I do understand that there is a lot more sensitivity about race in the US.

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Sure, that may sell, but when I see a guy boast about drinking, getting laid, talk negatively about women and homosexuals
Yes, guys sometimes do that, at least within a certain age bracket. Women do it too, in my experience at least, except substitute 'men' for 'women and homosexuals'. Is this news to you, genuinely?

In general, in my view, the Salon article in particular displays a lack of nuance and sensitivity and displays a double standard.
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
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"Young white males are bullying, aggressive racists, hate their parents, envy and hate women that are more successful than they are, and have a penchant for violence and drug abuse."

- but only one is deemed acceptable for publication in a major national journal -
Which major national journal is that quote from?
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post
Which major national journal is that quote from?
Is Salon not a major US national journal?
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:39 PM   #12
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Is Salon not a major US national journal?
It's a book review, and I didn't see that exact quote, but then again I admit I just did a quick glance.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:13 AM   #13
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I don't have time to read the whole article, I will later. But in general I feel that any truth there is to this theory has to do with peer pressure and being so guided by it at that stage of life. I know some men much older than that who don't fit any sort of stereotype of what some men think constitutes a "real man" but somehow, usually in order to be accepted by other men, will fall into that and try to fit it. They tend to behave differently in a group of men than they do one on on, and around women.

There are younger men who are much more mature and progressive than many older men. Some aren't, and some do fit a certain stereotype. Age has nothing to do with it really, it's up to the individual and what kind of person he wants to be and what his core reality is. Sometimes it takes some life experience to realize what that is and to have the courage to be it in spite of pressures and expectations. Personally I think though that the earlier you do it, the better life is.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:19 AM   #14
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I had a discussion with a male friend from this forum recently, where he talked about this stereotype, and how it's very real for some (not all, obviously) men.

If you're reading this, post and back me up.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:30 AM   #15
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My son and his friends are in their twenties and none of them fit the generalization from Guyland. They are well educated, with no criminal records, good jobs and they respect women. They do not own weapons, are not looking for one night stands, though eventually marriage and children is desired and they don't discriminate against anyone. Especially gay folks. Since, they are smart enough to know that sexual orientation is not a choice.
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