In Guyland, Michael Kimmel chronicles the journey of young males and the issues they face while trying to exert their masculinity and prove themselves to their peers. Based on interactions among North American males between the ages of 16 and 26, Kimmel has found that at an age where young men had previously prepped for a life of work and committed relationships, they are now living in “Guyland” where they spend their time drinking, playing video games, and having immature relations with women. Kimmel explains that these young men are “frighteningly dependent on peer culture” and “desperate to prove their masculinity in the eyes of other boys.” (30) These young men live in constant fear that they will not measure up to the ideals of
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(129) It is one of the few occasions where it is acceptable for men to express emotion. The liberation that is awarded by watching sports is a nice respite from the “relentless assertion of heterosexuality” that is expected of men (169). One of the main ways that men assert their heterosexuality is scoring with women. However, the process of getting a woman to comply with any sexual advancement is just “as much a threat to their self-esteem as it is a booster.” (170) This is one of the reasons why men frequently turn to pornography to get their sexual fix. “The pornographized woman’s middle name is compliance” and she “always comes around eventually—and passionately.” (170) Kimmel addresses how the sexualization of women in the media is all part of an “anti-feminist backlash aimed at helping men regain their self esteem having been diminished by the women’s movement” (171). Pornography allows men to overcome the “street dilemma,” which is when men see girls walking down the street and knowing that they cannot see them naked or have sex with them. Kimmel discusses a website called slutbus.com, where you can watch videos of guys picking up random girls and offering them money for sex. After the girl agrees and has sex with the guys in the bus, they wave the money in her face and drive off without paying her. Websites like this along with many others solve the “street dilemma” and restore “men’s unchallenged authority” (177).