“Guyland” Quotes

I recently read “Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men” by Michael Kimmel. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like the quotes, please buy the book here.

Guyland Cover“More choices may not mean greater freedom, just a larger number of possible alternatives that are dismissed as wannabes and also-rans.” (16)

“The passage between adolescence and adulthood has morphed from a transitional moment to a separate life stage. Adolescence starts earlier and earlier, and adulthood starts later and later.” (25)

“They often feel that they’ve spent their entire childhoods being little grownups – being polite, listening attentively, and prepping for college since elementary school.” (27)

“Today, with women appearing to be every bit as professionally competent, career-oriented, and ambitious as men, and equally capable of earning a living wage, there is no longer the same sense of urgency for men to move toward “getting a good job” to eventually provide for the material needs of a wife and children.” (31)

“Masculinity is largely a “homosocial” experience: performed for, and judged by, men.” (47)

“Ninety percent of all driving offenses, excluding parking violations, are committed by men, and 93 percent of road ragers are male.” (51)

“At adolescence, girls suppress ambition, boys inflate it.” (73)

“Interestingly, girls assume they’ll be wrong – they like subjects where their answers are “not necessarily wrong,” while boys assume they’ll be right, so they like subjects where there is no gray area. Girls like English because it’s harder to wrong; guys hate it because it’s harder to be right.” (75)

“In part it’s because the transitional moment itself is so ill-defined. We, as a culture, lack any coherent ritual that might demarcate the passage from childhood to adulthood for men or women.” (100)

“Guys in Guyland want girls to be their “near-equals.” If they don’t play at all, they threaten the legitimacy of Guyland; if they play the game better than the guys, the same threat holds true.” (103)

“In other words, drinking “dangerously” requires a significant amount of safety. You may not know everyone you’re partying with, but you know that the people you are with are very likely to know people you know. You don’t “lose control” without having a large set of “controls” already built into the system.” (104)

“In the case of the University of Colorado, the biggest liquor store, with the closest proximity to campus, was owned by the Director of Athletics.” (119)

“Every generation thinks they had it tougher than the one that comes after them.” (121)

“Sports talk has become the reconstituted clubhouse, the last “pure” all-male space in America.” (127)

“Guys also like following sports because it’s a way to talk with other guys without having to talk about your feelings.” (128)

“Women remind us that we are supposed to be grown men. Other guys allow us to be immature boys. No wonder guys get so easily pissed off at women’s intrusion.” (136)

“Video games outsell movies, books, CDs, and DVDs by a landslide.” (154)

“Guys play video games, gamble, or pose and posture to the musical stylings of inn-city black youth because these poses give them the feeling of being in control.” (156)

“When a guy says he “hooked up” with someone, he may or may not have had sex with her, but he is certainly hoping that his friends think he has. A woman, on the other hand, is more likely to hope they think she hasn’t.” (197)

“There’s an old expression in business circles that holds “men are unsexed by failure, but women are unsexed by success.” For men, success confirms masculinity; for women, success disconfirms femininity – it’s seen as more of a tradeoff. To be taken seriously as a competent individual means minimizing, or even avoiding altogether, the trappings of femininity.” (252)

“In fact, “effortless perfection” may be the closest thing there is today to a “Girl Code.” … The appearance of effortlessness is the way young women reconcile such conflicting demands. “I just happen to be beautiful and brilliant, I can’t help it. Don’t hold it against me.” Effortless also counters the feminine taboo against competition. It’s okay to win, but not okay to try to win.” (254)

“Women sustain Guyland because Guyland seems to be populated by Rhett Butlers, and they are much cooler than the Ashley Wilkeses of the college campus – the guys who study hard, are considerate of their feelings, and listen to them. Those guys are a bit nerdy, good friendship material, but they don’t take your breath away. Better to latch on to the ones who treat you badly, with the hope that your love – and only your love – will transform him into a doting and attentive man, while he retains all the sexy guy-ness that drew you to him in the first place.” (258)

“And they’re right: they did sacrifice. For many men, the demands of being a provider and family man are filled with pressure and insecurity, having to bend to the will of moronic supervisors, placate mercurial clients, and kowtow to demanding bosses. And all for a family that barely appreciates them!” (276)

As always, if you liked the quotes, please buy the book here.

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