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We men lack a ritual of initiation into adulthood.

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posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 06:24 PM
"I'm a 30-year-old boy".
- Narrator, character of Fight Club (1999)

We have college and army as a so-so initiation into adulthood...

What your thoughts on this?

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 06:27 PM
reply to post by infobrazil

We men lack a ritual of initiation into adulthood.

Wait what?

But that thing I did ....

Curse you intrepid, you have fooled me again!

ib, what do you have in mind?

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 06:39 PM
Initiation into adulthood??

Plenty of them already exist...


posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 06:41 PM
Ritual is just symbolic. It can be anything you want it to be. It should from your own perspective have some value relative to what it is intended to symbolize.

For some boys it's that first paycheck, first deer taken, first fear overcome, first championship won, etc... Regardless of what the symbolic ritual or moment is it is always accompanied by a greater lesson either overtly or covertly. A lesson that teaches independence and humility, respect for others and pride in oneself, justice and compassion, etc...

It can be just about anything at all as long as you place that symbolic value on it.

Trouble is that as I look around fathers and sons aren't even bothering to make something up. Way too many whiny 20 somethings still at home wasting their days playing Halo. They arent looking for a symbol because they'd rather not grow up. Their father's arent giving them a ritual because they themselves didnt have one or they've just given up on their perpetual children.

I believe this is a major contributing factor to the over-aggressive out-of-control type males that embrace "thug culture." Other thugs are their fathers and their rituals consist of violent and criminal acts.

One one hand we have boys coming of age like wild animals and on the other we have boys who refuse to come of age. The weaker set will be overrun by the violent set. No real men on either side. Just the two extreme examples of the two sides of men unbalanced and out of control. Id and ego run amok. The super-ego nowhere to be seen.

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 06:46 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

Great post. I'd also add the fact that we're being raised more and more, longer and longer to suck at the government teat (or be dependent in some form or fashion). We're hatched in the hospital (as opposed to at home), given birth certificates, identification, schooled through public (or private) school, taught to get a school loan, and then be consumers. At what point are we taught to be individual human beings, when both parents are working 5 days a week and don't even have enough time to cook at home but have plenty of time to watch America's top model? Now they want to ram universal health care down our throat so our entire lives will be in a form of dependency. Who has time to sit down and think and see how the world really is? If they did, they'd realize how jacked up we are.

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 06:48 PM
I was an Eagle Scout so I experienced a lot more rights of passage to manhood so to speak than your average kid in the US. I'll never forget Ranger Camp I attended one summer. Chiggers, humidity, only a blanket and a hammock. Also during my scouting experience I got to hike for two weeks in the backcountry of Philmont.

Most American idiot kids think becoming a man means binge drinking and banging a drunk female. Why do you think kids are so screwed up nowadays? Hell even a little hard physical labor wouldn't hurt. But yes I think our society should have some sort of right of passage into manhood like the Native Americans had that relied on going out into the wilderness and surviving the elements with a pocket knife and that's all.

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 06:49 PM
Steve Martin's character (Navin. R Johnson) in "The Jerk" frequently mentions realizing his "special purpose"

I had always assumed that meant:

- Getting married
- Procreation
- Killing cockroaches
- Mowing the yard
- Taking out the garbage
- Becoming invisible and being taken for granted

My .02¢

[edit on 29-9-2009 by kinda kurious]

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 06:49 PM
LOL I'm not a man but I'll tell you now, most men I know of my age group (mid 20s-early 30's) still live at home with their mums, have their dinners cooked and their laundry done. Its quite sad really.
Marriages, mortgages and fatherhood does make the man definately. Unfortunatly I know men who have had this then left and gone back to live with mummy. Is like they can't handle the real world. They are still little boys inside.
I call it 'peter-pan' syndrome, and it seems to be rife, in the UK anyway.
Maybe if men did have some some of ritual passage into adulthood it wouldn't be this way?

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 06:50 PM
I think you've hit on one of the major problems with our society
today. We've become a world of middle age children, particularly
men. Women can have babies and many do in their quest for
adulthood. What do men have? College? No, there is no proving
of one's manhood there unless you're on the varsity sports teams.
Army? Yes, that actually succeeds in terms of instilling discipline,
purpose and responsibility. Modern society offers no other rituals
or methods of entering manhood. I don't think this is by accident.
It is part of a bigger plan to infantize adults to make them easier
to manipulate and use. Our educational system is part and parcel
of this effort as is the women's right's movement by taking away
what had long been traditional male roles as protectors and providers.

Aboriginal cultures don't have the kinds of crime we do and for very
good reasons. They actually have ways to initiate boys into manhood.
Seemingly cruel by modern standards these rituals were based on
pain and self control, all the while the initiate's knowing they were
being watched by the whole tribe. Circumcision and vision quests
are two of the more common methods. What do we have today?
The military and crime, unless you are one of the fortunate athletic
types that get both the girls and opportunities for good employment
beyond school.
Don't wonder why inner city kids engage in gang activites and
randomly kill people; the're children who desperately want to
become men in a society that has given them no other ways
to prove themselves.

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 07:22 PM
I always see middle aged men, women who say that this generation is lazy and worthless. I'm going to tell you now, that I too am annoyed. I am 16 at the moment, but look to my older brother/cousins who live with their parents. They basically do nothing, and I don't want to end up like them. They have jobs, but they are just lacking something. I think that what their missing is dicsipline and maturity. Something I picked up by myself, and am sure many others have as well. I am self-taught on almost everything, so far in my life.

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 07:46 PM
Agree entirely, we have yet to have a mens revolution, we lack clear role models as to what it is to be a man. This transition to me belongs in the teenage years, few can acknowledge to themselves when they decided they were men. Most just figure they are old enough now(as if that was a measure) There are groups in NZ that are providing support for teenages (and older) through this transition.

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:06 PM
Restoring the draft or having mandatory service to the country would take care of the problems a lot of the mama's boys have and turn then into men.

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:11 PM
I agree an initiation of some sort would be beneficial. Mandatory military service would be a great way to do it.

What hasn't been said though that there is a much deeper problem behind what you are labeling lack of initiation. There are not significant enough opportunies for men to show their worth. There are not enough jobs and those that do exist will not provide one enough to get them out of their parents house for example. One used to be able to survive on the income from a moderate level job. Life wasn't grand but you could pay the rent and put food on the table and even have enough left for some so-called luxuries. That is not the case now. To have the same life, it now takes two people working that same type of job.

I think young men look out and see just how much the deck is stacked against them. Sure some will make it, but most will not, no matter how hard they try. Initiation may help, but what we need is to give the young people, especially men, some hope. Without hope you only have hopelessness.

Does anyone here much hope for the young folks of this country without a major change of political and economic philosophy? The first step would be finally do something for the people and provide a public option without mandatory enrollment. That would finally show our Reps. care and that we should have some reason for hope..

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