Guyland

Guyland is the title of a new book by Michael Kimmel.  Here is a description of Guyland from Kimmel:

Guyland is the world in which young men live. It is both a stage of life, a liminal undefined time span between adolescence and adulthood that can stretch for a decade or more, and a place, or, rather, a bunch of places where guys gather to be guys with each other, unhassled by the demands of parents, girlfriends, jobs, kids, and the other nuisances of adult life. In this topsy-turvy, Peter-Pan mindset, young men shirk the responsibilities of adulthood and remain fixated on the trappings of boyhood, while the boys they still are struggle heroically to prove that they are real men despite all evidence to the contrary.

This is not a Christian author.  The book is endorsed by Gloria Steinem.  But Kimmel’s remarks about Guyland reflect exactly what I’ve seen in many of the young men who have come through youth ministry.  Most important is the observation right at the end which I believe can be summarized simply, “Guys in this stage of life want all the freedoms and opportunities that come with adulthood but none of the responsibilities.” I’m not recommending the book.  I’m just pointing out the observaton.

There is much to be said about how to remedy this situation, particularly among our Christian young people.  A good starting place would be for parents to realize that they need to be preparing their boys to become adult men who are first and foremost followers of Christ.  These men will one day become husbands, fathers, and leaders within the church. 

Personally,  one of the things that delivered me from guyland was marriage. 

HT: Boundless Line

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One response to “Guyland

  • SKH

    Thank you for the not-a-recommendation observation. Sounds like a book that would apply to those of us still in youth ministry, or raising sons, or friends with those in youth ministry or raising sons.

    On another note, it is interesting that most parents discourage their sons from even thinking about moving into Marriage until they’ve long since moved out of Guyland. In between cities that leaves them living in van down by the river, and who wants to do that?

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