Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Demise of Guys - a Response

So what do you think? Is the internet  birthing and programming a generation of boys to men to be emotional dunces? Is this why we wonder where all the "good" men are. But it's not about good men though is it really? It's about fully rounded men, functioning at their optimum as men. Those who have been integrated with all parts of themselves, that have been nurtured by a less flat screened world. It's not just about the hard edges of HD, but about the soft line of analogue, the slight straining of the eyes to try and make things out by filling in the gaps with the imagination. No, what the 'arousal addictive' world of the internet provides them with is shoot 'em up fully waxed and shaved, full frontal, in out flesh fests that have nothing to do with contacting the intimate part within that reaches out to connect and vibe with intimate realms and nuances of others. No wonder our young boys don't have the articulation to be 'nice' to girls.

Just as an FYI, if you are not familiar with TED talk conferences, speakers sometimes have upto 18 minutes to share their knowledge and experiences. This speaker had 5, with obviously a lot to say, so he rattles through bullet pointing his wisdom but left me wanting more. He seems to hit with cliches and anecdotes that could be perceived as superficial and glib. But he got me thinking, filling in gaps.

Questions ensued. Firstly, isn't it easier for boys to hang out with the boys who understand the dysfunction of objectifying women, to jam with others in the "club" who will - with an air imbued with a thick ambiance of maleness and the telepathy of testosterone - bump chests with them, high five, grunt and ug over beer, video games and football? Sometimes it's easier to do that than to sit and try and fix things in life, than to sit down with a woman ask what it is he could be doing wrong that is interfering with getting close to a love interest other than between the sheets. The sad thing about that way of being, is that they may not even perceive anything needs fixing.  With the growing trend of Male Study courses, the issue of male connectivity with themselves seems to highlight a need to explore what masculinity is and what it means to be man in the 21st Century. Ms Magazine blog on Male Studies
I've had four people in my immediate social network take their own lives this year. All men. Three within the first four months. I wonder how much of a favour  is the mis-education around connecting with emotional intimacy and literacy and staying macho is doing for our guys. Especially when some are crying out to connect on more profound level, levels that allow for emotional release and are gateways to problem solving and building healthy relationships everyone and more importantly with themselves.

Expectations to deliver as an alpha-male are at an all time high as the global recessions hit hard. So how do we reverse this trend, the demise of our guys? How can we all connect to the intimacy within in small ways and have a brave willingness to share it with others; when time is forced upon us to be the workhorses of a make-money world and leisure is as excessively hyped as the illusion of material success; when the virtual 'outside' of the internet has replaced putting on shoes and a coat and literally going outside and working at diverse varified relationships - relationships that challenge verbal and emotional communication skills, that enrich your personality and life.

The Phillp's observations of many men's preference to fraternise in the homogeneous environ of the same sex for extended periods of time if you are not gay, seems a little bit... well, gay.  Except if you're in the armed forces or something. No judgment. Just calling it as I see it.
Personally, I cannot wait for the day when the porn and video game industry have a crash of some kind. I can live in hope.


Cleo said...

Absolutely...that is so true Zena. Men play such an important role in women's lives, they should recognise their responsibility not as men! But as an emotional being as well it makes life so much easier for women...this is really deep Z. You don't really think about these things at such a level like this, most times you hear in the form of constant complaining from a friend about her man. But there is a need for men to be more in touch with their emotional side not just for women but to make them more intune with the world and the people around them. Brings out expression in men if you ask me

Jon Speedy said...

The demise of men? Masculinity in crisis? Here is an controvesial but interesting theory: http://www.rustylime.com/show_article.php?id=2011

To be honest, i don't have any answers. The link i posted is only a theory, but i think it raises some interesting points. It might be that society itself places ridiculous expectations on men to be something that they are not or can never live up to (meaning they are confused exactly about what their roles are meant to be). I don't know if this explains the increase in male depression & suicides, but it might do. I think the video you posted does pander to sweeping generalisations of men like a lot of mainstream media tends to do. The one-dimensional stereotypes usually fall into two opposites - the thuggish alpha male or the effeminate sensitive metrosexual. And where do normal intelligent men who don't fit these stereotypes fit into this scenario? Nowhere. Maybe that's the crux of the issue .