Guyland Paper

1282 WordsNov 13, 20116 Pages
In Guyland, Michael Kimmel chronicles the journey of young males and the issues they face while trying to exert their masculinity and prove themselves to their peers. Based on interactions among North American males between the ages of 16 and 26, Kimmel has found that at an age where young men had previously prepped for a life of work and committed relationships, they are now living in “Guyland” where they spend their time drinking, playing video games, and having immature relations with women. Kimmel explains that these young men are “frighteningly dependent on peer culture” and “desperate to prove their masculinity in the eyes of other boys.” (30) These young men live in constant fear that they will not measure up to the ideals of…show more content…
This sense of entitlement is one of the reasons that violence is so prevalent among this age group of men. Although most men believe that acts of hazing, bullying, rape, and fighting are wrong, they conform to this culture of silence because they are afraid of being shunned by their peers. “Silence is one of the ways that boys become men.” (61) They are forced to be silent witnesses because if they were to express any vulnerability, they would likely become the next target. As Kimmel says, “what happens in Guyland stays in Guyland”. (62) By silencing oneself and turning a blind eye, these young men are not only supporting themselves, but also protecting themselves. When the community dismisses these violent acts, the criminals who commit these atrocious acts are protected, which in turn “enables them to transgress again, or even escalate the severity of their actions.” (63) One of the main ways that guys bond and prove their manhood is through the institution of sports. “Guys like sports because it is the easiest way to choose ‘guy’ over ‘gay’—and make sure everyone gets the right idea about them.” (128) Sports play a very important role in solidifying male camaraderie because it allows men to talk to each other without having to disclose anything personal

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