The essay “How Boys Become Men” first published in Glamour was written by Jon Katz. The author analyzes different peculiarities of male maturity. This article was written for young girls in order to understand the behavior of males at certain period in their life. It would be quite useful for boys to analyze their behavior and define for themselves whether it is important to act according to the common stereotype of men described in “How Boys Become Men”. Therefore, the main purpose of this article is to describe male behavior to females, but it can also be useful for males.
First of all, Jon Katz described the typical behavior of young schoolboys. He analyzes a short story about a boy who was intimidated and beaten by his peers. Moreover, it was his personal decision, because he did not want to run away and be a “chicken”. The author explained that this boy was already well on the road to becoming a man, having learned one of the central ethics of his gender: experience pain rather than show fear (Katz 220: PARAPHRISED). Nevertheless, becoming a man includes a number of steps and acting smart is one of them. In a real world, true men would be proud enough to just walk away and pay no attention to the rude words.
In addition, females really find it difficult to understand such behavior. If you do not understand something about boys, you can’t understand why men are the way they are, why we find it so difficult to make friends to acknowledge our fears and problems (Katz 222). Many women believe that a real man is not supposed to show his courage through fighting. His maturity can be shown in actions that have some idea or goal, for example, protection of native country or family. Therefore, simple fighting does not prove male maturity and, therefore, it is completely unnecessary.
However, Jon Katz again points out that boys live in a world with its own Code of Conduct, a set of ruthless, unspoken, and unyielding rules (Katz 221: PARAPHRISED). It is important to stress that these rules are not obligatory; they were not designed by some scholar as an instruction of “how to become a man”. These are only universal value or perception of how man should behave. That is why completely your personal choice. For instance, one of the rules says: “Never admit fear (Katz 221: PARAPHRISED). According to this Code of Conduct, mature men would do everything in order to portray his courage.
The last rule is one of the most interesting parts of this Code because it says that a man should not ask for help (Katz 221: PARAPHRISED). It is crucial to emphasize that asking for help is common to all people, regardless of their sex. Another rule that should be taken to consideration is about empathy. Jon Katz wrote: “Empathy is for nerds. You can help your best buddy, under certain circumstances. Everyone else is on his own (Katz 221).” In fact, the lack of empathy has always been contributing to different social problems such as corruptions or other forms of criminal behavior. Therefore, empathy is an important characteristic for both men and women.
In addition, boys try to conceal their true emotions. They hide their weaknesses and fears from all, even those they care for (Katz 222). They are afraid that somebody is going to see their weaknesses. Katz said that men struggle to build their increasingly uncertain work lives, but will deny they are in trouble; they want love, affection, and support but do not know how to ask for them (Katz 222). In fact, men should realize that some women prefer sensitive partners who can show love, affection, and care. We are all human and want to be treated with love and respect. Nevertheless, sometimes men are not revealing their feelings and emotions to their close people.
Masculinity is quite important for adult men. Nonetheless, it is still necessary to remember that a man can remain masculine without engaging into fights or showing his courage. Rather than constantly showing their courage or superiority, boys need to support and learn from each other. Part of the task of forming a secure and meaningful identity is engagement with others (Cross 252). It is crucial for men to support your close friends as well as to receive help from other people. Extreme individualization and closeness will not solve the problems. There is nothing bad in asking for help as well as sympathy to other people.
Last but not least, some grown-up men still preserve these immature traits. Nevertheless, the problem it is not just the path of least resistance or the reluctance of men to abandon the pleasures of an indulged youth; it is an answer to the betrayal of the promise of masculine power (Cross 254). That is why from the young age each man should cultivate important masculine features, such as responsibility, support and collective action.
In conclusion, the article “How boys become men” portrays an example of the typical behavior of modern young boys. For example, the author emphasized that there is a specific Code of Conduct, which describes how boys need to behave. Nevertheless, boys should learn how to become more sensitive and portray their true feelings and emotions to close people. That is why this article should be taken for consideration not only by females but by the parents as well as young males.
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