Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Fun Stuff => CHATTER => Topic started by: Avec on 13 Apr 2009, 19:25

Title: Rite of passage.
Post by: Avec on 13 Apr 2009, 19:25
I've been debating this subject with a few of my friends, but really, what seperates the men from the boys? What is the ultimate rite of passage for the contemporary male. Is it lose his virginity, to go to war, to fend for himself, or to be a part of something bigger? In our modern society we've lost touch with ancestry. The difference between the day you used to ride your skateboard and the day you first got in the driver's seat of the car, it seems almost stagnant and more of a number than an essential life experience. Do not read this as a rant, because that is not my goal, I wish to ask the elder few here to relate or maybe share some wisdom.

I'm almost positive this quote is going to come up so I'll get it out of the way.

The immature man wishes to die for something, while the mature man wishes to live humbly.

Sex
War
Pubic Hair


*wrong section, move if possible.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Gilead on 13 Apr 2009, 19:37
You become a man when you can act independantly and wisely and take care of yourself and others. Losing your virginity just makes you a buy thats put his dick in something, going to war makes you a boy that might get shot.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Spluff on 13 Apr 2009, 19:46
When the boy has fully reached maturity, he must fight his aging father. If victorious, he will eat the corpse, and will then take on his father's old role as the dominant male of the group.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Avec on 13 Apr 2009, 19:48
Genius.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: ackblom12 on 13 Apr 2009, 19:49
In the US it would, in general, definitely be the whole becoming independent aspect I would think. It's a major part of our culture that you become an independent entity and manage your own finances and life.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Avec on 13 Apr 2009, 19:50
I thought being alone is the last thing you'd want.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: usmcnavgeek on 13 Apr 2009, 19:50
Hell, I've done all of the above (stretching one definition slightly) and I guess I'm not sure, when I think about it.  Which doesn't help you answer your question, unfortunately.  

Perhaps it's more accurate to say that I don't bother asking myself the question anymore.  That might be a good answer.


(p.s.: 'Rite' of passage)
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: ackblom12 on 13 Apr 2009, 19:54
I never said anything about being alone. I said learning to be an independent entity. That has nothing to do with being a lonely sad sack.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Avec on 13 Apr 2009, 19:56
I suppose there's a huge gap in culture. Although I do live in the US, I represent a lot of the ideas of my origins. I'm russian, and although I hate the thought of living with my parents when I'm older that's something that's common down in the motherland. Just a thought...
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Caspian on 13 Apr 2009, 19:57
I've always thought it's a bit of shame that there's no defined right of passage in modern western society. no sort of "right, go out and live in the wilderness for a month, eating only that which you can forage or hunt, and when you come back you're a man". It'd help (maybe) get rid of a lot of those 20-something adolescents, you'd think? Otherwise I'm pretty clueless as to what in modern society typically separates the men from the boys.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: ackblom12 on 13 Apr 2009, 19:58
It is, it's why I mentioned the US specifically.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: A Wet Helmet on 13 Apr 2009, 20:00
Going to war was just something I used an excuse to continue to drink like a fucking idiot for the next half a decade.   Scratch that one off.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Spluff on 13 Apr 2009, 20:02
Pubic Hair.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Spluff on 13 Apr 2009, 20:07
The first time you wake up with a splitting headache, covered in mysterious substances, and with gaping holes in your memory. Trashy looking girl next to you is optional.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Avec on 13 Apr 2009, 20:07
I suppose I'll never get an answer.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Spluff on 13 Apr 2009, 20:10
When small children start calling you old.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Spluff on 13 Apr 2009, 20:12
The day you realize that there is no specific point where a boy becomes a man, and that you feel exactly the same as you did the day before, is when you become a man.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Spluff on 13 Apr 2009, 20:14
The first time you listen to Breaking The Law.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Avec on 13 Apr 2009, 20:16
thank you for shitting on this thread.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: MrBlu on 13 Apr 2009, 20:16
When you realize that bad words don't really make you sound big.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Spluff on 13 Apr 2009, 20:17
thank you for shitting on this thread.

The day you discover the awe inspiring power of italics.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Slick on 13 Apr 2009, 20:18
I like Stephen's independence remark. That is 'making it' here. We are a society of individuals, a society focused on the individual, so when you are a self sufficient individual you are adult.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: 0bsessions on 13 Apr 2009, 20:20
When you can out-beard Sam, you will be a man.

Seriously, though, Stephen wins. There's no set rite of passage (P.S., it's rite, not right, right of passage sounds more like some kind of bridge toll) these days. It has given way to the much more sensible blanket judgment of "when you can take care of yourself."
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Tom on 13 Apr 2009, 20:23
Avec, I'm willing to bet that you probably are conventionally smart enough to realise that there isn't really an answer to your question.  Besides, the question is the result of flawed system that in part perpetuates an erroneous principle dividing humanity on a fundamental level.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Reed on 13 Apr 2009, 20:24
When you can out-beard Sam, you will be a man.

(http://i422.photobucket.com/albums/pp309/direbacterium/Random/Sam_Beam.jpg)
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Avec on 13 Apr 2009, 20:24
It's one of those times when I'm actually interested in what the internet has to say. So I just went with it.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Blue Kitty on 13 Apr 2009, 20:28
The day you realize that there is no specific point where a boy becomes a man, and that you feel exactly the same as you did the day before, is when you become a man.

I think that's it for me.  Also that independence and what not.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: DonInKansas on 13 Apr 2009, 20:33
When you can use the correct spelling of a word in a thread title.

"Rite," not "right."
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Avec on 13 Apr 2009, 20:38
Shut up about the title. If I could fix it, I would.

Done and done, I need to improve the whole me sucking with the internet deal, sorry.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Spluff on 13 Apr 2009, 20:40
(you can)
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: ruyi on 13 Apr 2009, 20:42
(you can change the subject line if you edit your original post)

Huh, I guess there's a similar ambiguity for girls=>women, except for some reason it doesn't seem like as big a thing. I guess we have that biological marker, menstruation? And it kinda snowballs from there. You become a woman in our society when you can maneuver sexual relationships I guess??? Or maybe there just isn't that big a dichotomy set up between girls and women in the first place.

That might make sense, since 'women and children' (and old folks) are the categories that need to be protected or whatever.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: KvP on 13 Apr 2009, 20:59
Can you truly be called a man when a hippy chick hasn't sat upon your face?

Truly not, I think.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Avec on 13 Apr 2009, 21:01
We have different mental images of hippy women I suppose.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Caspian on 13 Apr 2009, 21:10
my mental image of a hippy chick is one with little grooming in her nether regions (amongst other things). I think I'd prefer to remain a boy rather then spend a month pulling hair out of my teeth.

Quote
That might make sense, since 'women and children' (and old folks) are the categories that need to be protected or whatever.
Well, that's probably because generally, physically those three are weaker then men. I don't really think you can read much else into it?
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: lprkn on 13 Apr 2009, 21:32
When you stop wondering if you're really a man or not.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Elizzybeth on 13 Apr 2009, 21:33
Huh, I guess there's a similar ambiguity for girls=>women, except for some reason it doesn't seem like as big a thing. I guess we have that biological marker, menstruation? And it kinda snowballs from there. You become a woman in our society when you can maneuver sexual relationships I guess??? Or maybe there just isn't that big a dichotomy set up between girls and women in the first place.

That might make sense, since 'women and children' (and old folks) are the categories that need to be protected or whatever.

Just to play devil's advocate for a minute, I would like to point out that there's an in-between, catchall term for boys / men, which, though a little informal, is probably more common than either of the other terms: "guy."  

Women don't have a term like that.  I definitely sense a dichotomy, personally: most of the time, people refer to me in the third person as a girl (whether "that girl" or "us girls").  When I worked in a flower shop, I was always "girl," a la Eliza Doolittle (a role written, by the way, for a 49-year-old woman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmalion_(play))).   But, notably, when I worked at the zoo, I was either "lady" or "woman" (as in, "Give your toy to the woman").  When I wear a suit and teach, I am "woman."  

Is that difference based on an assumed level of professionalism?  Or attire?  Or assumed age (at the zoo, parents primarily referred to me as a "woman" when speaking to their children, who likely couldn't tell much difference between a 17-year-old and a 27-year-old)?  

Regardless, I doubt most twelve- or thirteen-year-old girls really start getting called women when they start menstruating.  I would definitely argue that western society doesn't place much more--if any--value on the onset of puberty as a social marker of "womanhood" than of "manhood."
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: imapiratearg on 13 Apr 2009, 22:40
Sam Beam doesn't count >:c

Sam Beam should count.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: pwhodges on 13 Apr 2009, 23:40
Kipling had some ideas:

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too, (http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Poetry/KiplingIf.htm)

Oh, and isn't 'guy' nearly genderless these days?
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Elizzybeth on 13 Apr 2009, 23:45
Maybe.  But I don't think it can be used in situations where there's ambiguity about whether to call someone a "girl" or a "woman" in the way it can be used in an analogous "boy" / "man" situation.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Tom on 13 Apr 2009, 23:49
Dude is still way more gender neutral than guy.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Krina on 14 Apr 2009, 02:27
I once heard that you're becoming a grown-up when you start going to bed earlier because you're tired.

It made me feel a bit like a grown-up when I had to take care of a baby full-time and I shared responsibility for that tiny person. I'm a girl not a boy though.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: Gemmwah on 14 Apr 2009, 02:50
The first time you wake up with a splitting headache, covered in mysterious substances, and with gaping holes in your memory. Trashy looking girl next to you is optional.


I guess I'm a man, then.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Coward on 14 Apr 2009, 03:59
Kipling had some ideas:

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too, (http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Poetry/KiplingIf.htm)


I agree with this gentleman here.

Being a man, I would suggest, is a combination of having ability and the sense of balance to decide when that ability is used, as well as to what extent. To use physical violence, a stereotypically masculine trait, as an example a man knows that he doesn't need to solve all his problems with it, that the problems that do require don't always mean using it disproportionally or exclusively, but being prepared to use it to destroy/kill if necessary. Simply, a man knows how to do something, when to do something, and why to do something.

Leastways that's my view.

Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: David_Dovey on 14 Apr 2009, 04:15
The first time you listen to Breaking The Law.

guys
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: el_loco_avs on 14 Apr 2009, 04:32
Part of these replies would be more between child/teen and adult as opposed to boy/man.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: McTaggart on 14 Apr 2009, 04:38
You know, it was some time after hearing Breaking The Law that I ever started questioning my own gender identity.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Aimless on 14 Apr 2009, 05:04
Once I was told what separates boys from "guys". Roughly translated: boys want, guys can.

In the society I live in, I think that becoming a man amounts to "getting your shit together"--managing your life well, achieving financial independence, developing professionally (so that you're "going somewhere").

To me, becoming a man is about:

1. Getting to know yourself: what do you want in life? What drives you? What matters to you? What do you think you will have to do in order to achieve satisfaction/happiness? Who are important to you? What are your strengths and weaknesses in different situations? And so on.

And I'd say a boy is in the early stages of this process of self-discovery, whereas a man has come some part of the way, has at least gotten his bearings.

2. Understanding consequences for yourself and for others: what you do, think, say, can significanly affect those around you; what others do, think, say, can significantly affect you.

And I'd say that maturing from a boy to a man in this regard entails becoming aware of this and, as a result, behaving more responsibly. Someone who doesn't understand (or can't accept) that his actions can hurt someone else is, in my view, still a child.



In summary, I think that getting from boyhood to manhood is about finding your place--in yourself, and in the world. What you do from there on can determine what kind of a man you'll be :)

-- P

PS. Summary 2: joining the mainland. No man is an island!
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: öde on 14 Apr 2009, 05:36
I'm an archipelago.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Dazed on 14 Apr 2009, 05:43
What makes a man?!

TO CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES, SEE THEM DRIVEN BEFORE YOU, AND TO HEAR THE LAMENTATION OF THEIR WOMEN.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: MadassAlex on 14 Apr 2009, 07:02
The first time you listen to Breaking The Law.

guys.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Caspian on 14 Apr 2009, 07:06
shouldn't it be electric eye, or exciter? Breaking the Law's got a super cool intro riff but the chorus is freakin' lame.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Liz on 14 Apr 2009, 07:47
I guess I'm a man, then.

I'm so proud of you!
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: MadassAlex on 14 Apr 2009, 08:13
shouldn't it be electric eye, or exciter? Breaking the Law's got a super cool intro riff but the chorus is freakin' lame.

Actually, my vote goes to Leather Rebel. Lightning in the dark. With a burning heart.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: nobo on 14 Apr 2009, 14:11
as a kid I thought of all the cool shit I would do as an adult. I would stay up as late as I wanted, watched whatever movies I wanted, drive a car, smoke a cigarette, drink alcohol, kiss girls, etc.

I think you are a grown up when you first seriously think "I wish I was a kid again" and a real man once you realize that just because you're an adult it doesn't mean you can't go ahead and do what you've always wanted.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Avec on 14 Apr 2009, 14:19
Hook up with underage girls?
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Scandanavian War Machine on 14 Apr 2009, 14:24
as a kid I thought of all the cool shit I would do as an adult. I would stay up as late as I wanted, watched whatever movies I wanted, drive a car, smoke a cigarette, drink alcohol, kiss girls, etc.

I think you are a grown up when you first seriously think "I wish I was a kid again" and a real man once you realize that just because you're an adult it doesn't mean you can't go ahead and do what you've always wanted.


"when i became a grown-up i gave up childish things, including the need to be very grown-up at all"


that's not the exact quote and i forget who said it but it seems fairly relevent. plus it's one of my favorite quotes.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: MadassAlex on 14 Apr 2009, 14:29
Huh. Being a "man".

It's strange for me to try and define this, because ever since I was a young teenager, I felt like I had to be very adult in many ways. And I mean that in terms of responsibility and maturity rather than privilege and such things that teenagers associate with adulthood.

So I kind of feel as if I've been an adult for a long time. I think a lot of it was accepting responsibility for one's own actions, which is why I get annoyed when people try to cover for my mistakes. It's a lovely gesture, but it implies that I can't handle my own faults, which I find a little demeaning.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: ackblom12 on 14 Apr 2009, 14:34
"when i became a grown-up i gave up childish things, including the need to be very grown-up at all"


that's not the exact quote and i forget who said it but it seems fairly relevent. plus it's one of my favorite quotes.

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

One of my favorite quotes actually.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: nobo on 14 Apr 2009, 14:53
thats a great quote.

I also think there is a distinction between being grown up and being a man.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: onewheelwizzard on 14 Apr 2009, 15:49
I'm not sure if I can identify a rite of passage that I went through that made me feel like a man afterward rather than a boy, but I can identify a bunch of events that definitely helped.

Having sex for the first time didn't really do much to make me a man, but sexual experiences later on definitely did.  The first time I woke up knowing that I'd made a mistake by having sex was important.  The first time I had sex with someone I had fallen in love with was important.  The first time I had sex with someone I was rising in love with was even more important.  The first time I had sex with someone who was trying to teach me something in the process was pretty important.

Drugs are also kind of a big deal for me ... again, the first time I did hallucinogens wasn't nearly as important as a few of the others.  My first experience with being in a state of mind I had absolutely zero control over was important, as was my first experience of being able to consciously control the output of my own sensory apparatus.  The first time I ever helped a close friend through a tripping nightmare was important and definitely made me feel more mature and capable ... more adult, I suppose, though not "manly."  My first drug-induced spiritual awakening was probably the biggest deal out of any single experience I've had in my life, so I guess that counts for quite a bit.  My first bad trip was pretty important but by that time I felt like I'd already made the transition into manhood so I don't suppose it was necessarily a "rite of passage."

Going to Burning Man was probably the closest I've come to a "rite of passage" in the sense that it is a ritual that I participated in as part of an effort to make me more of an adult.  It worked, I think.  The second time worked WAY more, I'd say (big long story about that, you can dig it up in the polyamory thread in "DISCUSS").

I think it's a problem, to some extent, that we don't have any culturally agreed-upon rituals for bringing someone into adulthood ... but really I only say that because we just don't have any that I personally believe to be more important than any of the others.  Obviously people still have bar mitzvahs and 18th and 21st birthdays and that sort of thing, and treat them as being important in one's rise from childhood into adulthood.  But if it were up to me, it'd be like in Island by Aldous Huxley, in which every child in the society goes through a yearly ritual at about 17-18 in which all the kids of the correct age tie themselves together and climb a cliff as a team and then take mushrooms and meditate at the top.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Josefbugman on 14 Apr 2009, 16:01
In the olden days the sign that you were a man in some tibes was to be hung from your nipples in a wooden hut for several hours whilst the older men of the village poked you with sticks.

Forgive me if I wish to remain a child, but your "adult hood" seems to have many problems with it and not that many advantages.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Avec on 14 Apr 2009, 16:09
There's an idea behind it all though, and even something so small impacted peoples' lives dramatically.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Dollface on 14 Apr 2009, 16:22
i dont get this thing.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Reed on 14 Apr 2009, 20:07
I'm 24, have had a full fledged Bar-Mitzvah, have been drinking/doing drugs/having sex since my mid-early teens, yet still feel like a man-child. I'm really not sure how to contribute to this thread other than saying you need a beard the size of Sam Beam's to become a man.
Title: Re: Right of passage.
Post by: IronOxide on 14 Apr 2009, 21:11
Sam Beam doesn't count >:c
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Johnny C on 14 Apr 2009, 22:01
the day i became a man my father had taken me to the mountain and we had waited for five days until it rained and he had strapped me nude to a rock and let the weather pour over me and when the thunder and lightning cleared on the sixth day and you could see that i was not only alive but sporting a huge boner he pointed at me and looked up towards god and shouted "DEAL WITH IT"
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: ruyi on 14 Apr 2009, 23:24
the day i was a man

post doesn't explain how you became a man!!!! way to leave out the most important part  :roll:
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: look out! Ninjas! on 15 Apr 2009, 06:45
What I'm more interested in is how he lost his man-ness after the day had ended.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Johnny C on 15 Apr 2009, 11:31
edited for clarity! ha ha. my bad
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Josefbugman on 15 Apr 2009, 14:26
Your rite of passage was a bad one there Johnny.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Johnny C on 15 Apr 2009, 14:29
men don't care about sentence clarity they care about flexin
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: KharBevNor on 15 Apr 2009, 20:57
my mental image of a hippy chick is one with little grooming in her nether regions (amongst other things). I think I'd prefer to remain a boy rather then spend a month pulling hair out of my teeth.

Learning to deal with pubic hair is a big part of becoming a man. Real men love hair in all its forms and guises.

(http://www.maximumawesome.com/pervfriday/bears-bear3.jpg)

Shown above: Real Men
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: öde on 15 Apr 2009, 21:01
I'm not going to be tricked into becoming complacent around you, werewolf.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: nobo on 15 Apr 2009, 21:05
haha. i have the exact same wifebeater tanlines as these guys, except mine are more pronounced. Same amount of chest hair too :(
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: IronOxide on 15 Apr 2009, 21:07
Last time I had wifebeater tanlines it involved sun blisters.

That actually works: being a man, is getting your shoulders rubbed while you have sun blisters.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Masterbainter on 15 Apr 2009, 22:23
When not only are you able to take care of yourself, but the loved ones in your life without complaint and as well expecting nothing back in return.  Then maybe you are a man.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Krina on 16 Apr 2009, 08:37
Not that I'm recommending it, but:

I don't know just where I'm going
But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man
When I put a spike into my vein
...
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: De_El on 16 Apr 2009, 09:17
Oh and I guess that I just don't know.
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Krina on 16 Apr 2009, 09:32
I have made the big decision
I'm gonna try to nullify my life
'Cause when the blood begins to flow
When it shoots up the dropper's neck
When I'm closing in on death
And you can't help me not, you guys
And all you sweet girls with all your sweet talk
You can all go take a walk


Now you again! ;o)

(I admit that will get old soon. I love that song though, especially this bit:

And I'll tell ya, things aren't quite the same
When I'm rushing on my run.

So very true!)
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: De_El on 16 Apr 2009, 09:57
Heroin, be the death of me
Heroin, it's my wife and it's my life
Because a mainer to my vein
Leads to a center in my head
And then I'm better off than dead
Because when the smack begins to flow
I really don't care anymore

It is a great song.  I love the glammed up drug jam version on Rock 'N' Roll Animal, too.

So, uh, someone could try and argue that having profound reflection on one's heroin usage is somehow indicative of being a man?
Title: Re: Rite of passage.
Post by: Krina on 16 Apr 2009, 10:24
Haven't heard that version yet but I'll be sure to check it out.

I guess you have a point there! Being able to reflect your own actions and abstract them seems to be a part of being a man to me.