76 of 88 people found the following review helpful
More compassion please,
This review is from: Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men (Hardcover)As a 39 year old guy who quite consciously side-stepped "guyland" throughout my life I appreciated the thorough outline of what a lot of white middle-class guys go through in high school, college and beyond. I always walked by certain bars with the young binge drinkers Kimmel talks of and wondered what they hell they were up to.
What I don't appreciate is the shaming tone of the writing and the antiquated definition of a grown man. Marriage and children are not the only barometers for maturity. And as much as the bullies need to be held responsible for the violence they cause, "guys" including said bullies also need more real-life, healthy role-models and real compassion. The violence that erupts in boys most likely has very long roots. Think about it. Most boys are steered clear out of their feeling at about age 5 with the classic statement, "big boys don't cry!" and goes on from there. Factor in that boys receive less quality attention in general than their girl counterparts and the messages in popular culture and it's no surprise they're acting out.
I was also very disappointed that a little less than one-fifth of the book towards the end was dedicated to solutions. I've also got to believe that there are more stories of kids, like myself, who have led great alternative lives to "guyland" and who've never set foot on a sports team or a fraternity. I tried a number of times to enter these social groups in high school and college and simply found that their company was just not very entertaining.
My one small solution for helping guys in guyland and mankind in general is attending Men's Groups in the style of Robert Bly. I discovered my Men's Group in college in 1991 and have been attending them ever since. It's amazing what kind of support, learning, and healing can happen when few men meet twice a month to just talk about what's going on in their lives. In these groups I've met men who became the role models I'd longed for in my youth. In these groups I exorcised the many fears I had about wether I was "man" enough.
Principal among them was the desire to have more platonic affection with men, ie hugs. It took me a few years of groups to really let go of both the shame of desiring the warm embraces and fully letting in the pleasure it brought me. (For the record I am heterosexual)
As a full grown adult I hope to bring this compassionate awareness to other young men and let them know that being a man is a whole lot more than being successful with money and women and avoiding acting "gay." Hopefully someone can write that book.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 10, 2009 4:27:39 AM PDT
Kendrik Lau says:
I agree that for some reason that men are supposd to committ to family and children in order to be mature while women for years have been told that they have a choice in NOT having to raise children or marry.
Posted on Sep 1, 2009 8:36:42 AM PDT
Timothy W. Wright says:
Here is the book that you wished someone would write:
The Purpose of Boys: Helping Our Sons Find Meaning, Significance, and Direction in Their Lives
I enjoyed your review. Man to man hug to for a good review.
Posted on Dec 2, 2009 1:37:43 PM PST
Free Polazzo says:
Thanks for pointing out that men's groups, like the one your found, are most helpful. Each man is a gift and to be around men who are not trying to sell you stuff or use you as a stepping stone or get in your pants is wonderful.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2011 5:58:22 PM PDT
Anne R. says:
I haven't written exactly the book you're looking for, but I did write a book about how to find a mature relationship with a woman. It's called "Finding the Woman You Want: A Therapist's Advice for Men Looking for a Permanent Relationship." It's available via Kindle.
Posted on Dec 4, 2013 6:57:38 AM PST
J. Cisar says:
Let's call this book for what it is - A mysandrist attack on men by a feminized male for purpose of re-educating men into adopting the feminist-brand of masculinity.
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