Bro Before Hos: The Guy Code is the third chapter in the Guyland book. The chapter ideally focuses on the masculinity standards and untold rules that govern manhood or aid in the transformation of boys to men in a patriarchal society. Much of the chapter looks to the detachment of emotions from real manhood in many societies and cultures (Kimmel, M. S., and OverDrive, Inc. 45). Manhood is an intricate concept which is founded on age old notions that ensure that a man radiates courage, stability, focus and strength. The Guy Code happens to be a set of informal laws that regulate the code of young men in an environment that is greatly founded on reputation and measuring up. It is asserted that guys do not invest in their masculinity for the women but mostly for other males. Men subscribe to the guy code ideals with the intent of being positively evaluated by other men. The concept is further anchored in the need to be man among men. This reading response will highlight the fundamental aspects of manhood in light of the aforementioned chapter.
Bro Before Hos: The Guy Code is a title that links the subject matter of the chapter to its thematic constructs. The chapter incorporates experiences of a number of men in varied environments as they grapple with the problem of manhood in a rather harsh testosterone-driven environment. Mike, for instance, one of the respondents in the book cites that his father constantly reminds him of how a man ought to be tough even in the face adversities. Other respondents link their manhood perceptions to other male figures in their life. Other men act as the ultimate gender police (Kimmel, M. S., and OverDrive, Inc.46). They are quick to remind their counterparts on the impact of being termed unmanly. Words like sissy, wuss or gay are used arbitrarily to dismiss any sign of weakness in a man. Many men thus are keen on their physical attributes ensuring that they look and act manly and strong among their peers. Homophobia is thus linked to the notion of masculinity with men trying as much as possible to detach from any link or association with homosexuality through perceived weakness.
The chapter is strongly supporting the concept of masculinity showing how it rarely changes in different societies or generations. The guy code thus starts at an early age with boys being programmed to be tough. It is a constant test for many men starting at an early age. Boys are told to withstand pain and any other emotional hurt or risk to be branded weak or girly. Many boys are thus assigned to their fathers, brothers or other elder males within the family in order to identify with the gender roles that are associated with manhood. Too much connection with mothers is deemed by many societies as one of the major ways boys become emasculated(Kimmel, M. S., and OverDrive, Inc. 52). Through detachment with mothers boys suppress all feelings that are feminine or maternal in nature namely: dependency, vulnerability and nurturance. The repudiation and suppression is usually the beginning of manhood(Kimmel, M. S., and OverDrive, Inc. 52).
I agree with the author that the pressure to conform is mostly one of the major hurdles associated with growing men. There are preconceived templates of what real men ought to be. Many boys grow up looking up to other men that exude these qualities. It usually becomes a source of pressure or even stress for some that are keen on conforming to the assumed templates of manhood. However, with age many men have varied understanding of what it entails to be a man. Young men have the power to change or alternate their different assumptions of what manhood entails. Many young men can be men when it suits them, when they want to be taken seriously by those around them. They can easily act like boys when they dont want to be held accountable for their actions.
I disapprove the authors assertion that violence can be used as a measure or expression on manhood as posited by the author. I believe that violence is immature and true measure masculinity is measured in anger management and composure. Violence is not applicable at all circumstances as a measure of manhood. It is only but a vice that does not wholly legitimate the concept of manhood to many onlookers. The accidental bumps in the streets pursued as catalysts of violence are no longer what the contemporary perceives as manly(Kimmel, M. S., and OverDrive, Inc. 57). Being manly is all about putting your affairs in order, managing your emotions and thoughts and being a leader to self and the rest. Bro before hos moniker used in the title used in the chapter to highlight the allegiance and entitlement men place on their friends and brothers over hos which is a derogatory word for women.
In conclusion, manhood is a concept that many have tried to discern given the static nature of manhood in many patriarchal societies. It is the templates formed by many individuals that highlight the societal pressures that are piled on young men in the effort to conform and look manly before the gender police. There is need to embrace manhood for its positive attributes and not vices such as violence. Masculinity thus ought to be established on a redefined guy code that is cognizant of the changing world that has embraced gender equality among other things.Works Cited
Kimmel, M. S., and OverDrive, Inc. "Bro Before Hos:The Guy CoDE." Guyland: The perilous world where boys become men. New York: Harper, 2008. Print.
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