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Social Construction and Performance of Hegemonic Masculinity in Michael Kimmel’s Guyland

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This Novel by Michael Kimmel, Guyland, is solely about the life experiences of men roughly through the ages of 16 and 25. A handful of these young men where interviewed to see the way the handle the big transition into manhood. The transition to manhood can be a tough one, and is probably the biggest thing to happen in a young boys life, and that is the reason Kimmel wrote this book, to try and open a psychologically encouraging world to these understand the reason behind the difficulty of a young boy growing up into manhood and how they can adapt to the changes and issues that comes with it in a positive non harming way.

For as long as man has enhabited the earth, men have always had to secure their masculinity and prove that they are in fact a “man”. You see it in your everyday lives, young boys are taught that crying is weak, and that showing emotions is for girls. This ideology of what a man should be has misguided young children for centuries. Kimmel believes that young boys are being told that frequent fornication, playing video games, and sports are the most popular things that men should do.

Young men are taught that doing everything that a man is supposed to do will help them “fit in” and that “fitting in” is a top priority. Another top priority to young males is to always be okay, never ever seem like you are soft or hiding something that is affecting them, every they have to live like the world is not affecting you because you are a “man”. Kimmel doesn’t always downplay women, but in a lot of his work they are mentioned numerous times, but only as a comparison to their male counterparts. He tries to compare and contrast the way men think and the way women.

Women are much better than men when it comes to adulting, but some stereotypes that women have has led them to have something to prove too… societal equality. Its always be an unwritten rule that men are supposed be better than women at everything, and women had an everyday struggle with men being dominant and having to prove that they can be better. Stereotypes have forced women to be the un-superiors while men stand at the top and rule over women, “Women have gone from being cheerleaders and occasional spectators to being active participants, and even commentators.” They have begun a “revolution”, women are participating in athletic activities, and got rid of the stereotype that “The man goes to work and the women stays home”.

Women now in today’s society have jobs and a lot of times make more than men. Unfortunately you have some cases of men trying to prove their dominance by acting violently which ends up with the man committing rape, and sometimes maybe even death. Some men see women who have repect for themselves and try to maintain their independence as so called “bitches”, but these same women are the ones praised for conforming and shaping themselves to fit the expectations of men. Women in guyland, try so hard to make their equality relevant in society, they still must play by the rules of a man or be cast out by them if they don’t. Women go through their own transformation completely different from the males transformation, one that has to chastise them for being who they are, women. Kimmel has interviewed nearly four hundred people over the course of four years and has even gone as seeking out other information from multiple sociologists, authors, and psychologists to examine the behavioral change between men and boys. “We have to look at every aspect of why the gap between adolescence and adulthood isn’t transitioned well. Even down to the economic portion of it.”

The society we live today is similar to a survival game; Its really easy for an individual to stray down the road that is destined for them. Settling is a habit among men, they want to always feel comfortable. Like in the womb when a baby doesn’t flip the correct position form them to be conceived, because its is to warm and snug to come out. There is an illusion in society that makes us believe the the right things are the wrong things and that the wrong things are the right things, like the right things are idiotic and have no real value, for example, a man thinks that the time he finally grows up is the time when he says no to drinking or having fun going out and partying, but in reality you always have to have that balance of fun and life.

“Most guys actually do become men-eventually. They may try to convince themselves that they are providing their manhood by torturing each other through inhalation, drinking themselves into unconsciousness, watching porn, blowing away virtual enemies, and hooking up will ever willing- or sometimes unwilling – women they meet. Most guys just drift into adulthood.” They feel they have all the time in the world to get it right, but, in reality, what the fail to even realize is that yesterday is history, tomorrow is unknown, and today in a virtue; that is why it is called the present. We have escaped away from the fact that nothing is promised to any of us, so living life to the fullest, finding love, means by any means try to find and focus on all the good things that this life has to offer us and that no one is able to ask “what if” but that they look back and can smile about what they did.

This world makes it hard for men to open up to themselves and others. So much of their focus goes into them having to prove their masculinity that most lost sight of what the big picture is. The world must start valuing our young men, especially men of color, a lot can be done done make sure we never abandon the men who need guidance throughout their lives. In due time we will soon realize that there is a big difference between living paycheck to paycheck, and actually living, enjoying you life. Many men get so wrapped up in “feeding the family” that they let go of there happiness, the same happiness that turn into dominance due to society. If this becomes a trend then eventually men will come around, they will feel compelled to get out of the same everyday routine and want a bette life, want more for themselves. It Will take for a little change to happen for everting to become clear and legit, and as soon as that is happens men will look back and wonder why they cared about such things like dominance, manhood, and the feeling of being better then women. “Many elements of Masculinity are enormously valuable; indeed, qualities such as honor, respect, integrity, and doing the right thing despite the cost.” Our men of America need to understand that standing you ground and not running from things in life that might give you heartache is what being a man is all about.

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Social Construction And Performance Of Hegemonic Masculinity In Michael Kimmel’s Guyland. (2019, April 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from
“Social Construction And Performance Of Hegemonic Masculinity In Michael Kimmel’s Guyland.” GradesFixer, 10 Apr. 2019,
Social Construction And Performance Of Hegemonic Masculinity In Michael Kimmel’s Guyland. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Oct. 2021].
Social Construction And Performance Of Hegemonic Masculinity In Michael Kimmel’s Guyland [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Apr 10 [cited 2021 Oct 25]. Available from:
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