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Author Topic: Rite of passage.  (Read 8117 times)

Avec

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Rite of passage.
« 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.
« Last Edit: 13 Apr 2009, 20:59 by Avec »
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Gilead

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #1 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.
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Spluff

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #2 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.
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Avec

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #3 on: 13 Apr 2009, 19:48 »

Genius.
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ackblom12

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #4 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.
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Avec

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #5 on: 13 Apr 2009, 19:50 »

I thought being alone is the last thing you'd want.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #6 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)

ackblom12

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #7 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.
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Avec

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #8 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...
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Caspian

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #9 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.
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ackblom12

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #10 on: 13 Apr 2009, 19:58 »

It is, it's why I mentioned the US specifically.
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A Wet Helmet

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #11 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.
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Spluff

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #12 on: 13 Apr 2009, 20:02 »

Pubic Hair.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #13 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.
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Avec

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #14 on: 13 Apr 2009, 20:07 »

I suppose I'll never get an answer.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #15 on: 13 Apr 2009, 20:10 »

When small children start calling you old.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #16 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.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #17 on: 13 Apr 2009, 20:14 »

The first time you listen to Breaking The Law.
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Avec

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #18 on: 13 Apr 2009, 20:16 »

thank you for shitting on this thread.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #19 on: 13 Apr 2009, 20:16 »

When you realize that bad words don't really make you sound big.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #20 on: 13 Apr 2009, 20:17 »

thank you for shitting on this thread.

The day you discover the awe inspiring power of italics.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #21 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.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #22 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."
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #23 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.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #24 on: 13 Apr 2009, 20:24 »

When you can out-beard Sam, you will be a man.

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Avec

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #25 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.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #26 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.
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DonInKansas

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #27 on: 13 Apr 2009, 20:33 »

When you can use the correct spelling of a word in a thread title.

"Rite," not "right."
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Avec

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #28 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.
« Last Edit: 13 Apr 2009, 21:00 by Avec »
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Spluff

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #29 on: 13 Apr 2009, 20:40 »

(you can)
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #30 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.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #31 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.
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Avec

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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #32 on: 13 Apr 2009, 21:01 »

We have different mental images of hippy women I suppose.
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Caspian

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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #33 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?
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lprkn

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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #34 on: 13 Apr 2009, 21:32 »

When you stop wondering if you're really a man or not.
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Elizzybeth

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #35 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).   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."
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #36 on: 13 Apr 2009, 22:40 »

Sam Beam doesn't count >:c

Sam Beam should count.
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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #37 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,


Oh, and isn't 'guy' nearly genderless these days?
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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #38 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.
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Tom

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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #39 on: 13 Apr 2009, 23:49 »

Dude is still way more gender neutral than guy.
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Krina

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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #40 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.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #41 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.
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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #42 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,



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.

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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #43 on: 14 Apr 2009, 04:15 »

The first time you listen to Breaking The Law.

guys
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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #44 on: 14 Apr 2009, 04:32 »

Part of these replies would be more between child/teen and adult as opposed to boy/man.
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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #45 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.
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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #46 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!
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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #47 on: 14 Apr 2009, 05:36 »

I'm an archipelago.
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Re: Rite of passage.
« Reply #48 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.
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Re: Right of passage.
« Reply #49 on: 14 Apr 2009, 07:02 »

The first time you listen to Breaking The Law.

guys.
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