Yikes: Is Your Guy Stuck in “Guyland”? Here’s How to Tell
As #girlbosses, we somehow maintain a precarious, yet impressive work-life balance, save enough time and creativity to snag an awesome birthday gift for our bestie and scroll through the best apps of the week — all before dinner. But our world also has a counterpart: Whether it’s your brother, bestie or boo, your world probably has a few dudes in it. And many of those guys live in Guyland, a term coined by Michael Kimmel in a book by the same name. In it, the sociologist and author explores the mysterious world where young millennial boys become men.
Guyland is “both a stage of life, a liminal, undefined time span between adolescence and adulthood that can often stretch for a decade or more, and a place — or rather, a bunch of places — where guys gather to be guys with each other, unhassled by the demands of parents, girlfriends, jobs, kids and the other nuisances of adult life,” Kimmel says in the book. Does this ring a bell? Read on for five signs that a guy in your life lives in Guyland.
1. He was raised to be a good kid — and probably still is. According to Kimmel, most inhabitants of Guyland are college-educated and from suburbs of urban areas, although many guys hail from all walks of life. Here’s the thing: Guys in Guyland don’t necessarily want to be there. We talked to Media Studies Professor Holly Holladay, who told us, “Guyland is not individual guys. It’s a world that society has created for them and expectations that we’ve created for them.”
2. He’s a little directionless. These are the guys who “blend into the crowd, drift with the tide and often pass unnoticed through the lecture halls and multistory dorms of America’s large college campuses.” While more and more identities are acceptable (think: high school groups, such as nerds, hippies and athletes), “the pressure not to choose one of them” is also increasing because so many identities are marginalized by boys. This results in a prevailing mainstream culture that guys in Guyland strictly adhere to.
3. He can be afraid of women. While men respect women, guys in Guyland fear the fact that a woman is responsible and holds others accountable. The passport to life in Guyland is a single relationship status, because a boy’s “brothers are his real soul mates, his real life-partners,” with no room for female influence. This mentality might be why so many guys are afraid to commit.
4. He follows a novelty-seeking crowd. A telltale way to recognize a guy in Guyland is to pay attention to what he does for fun. Kimmel describes this brand of behavior as the “‘boyhood side of the continuum” that guys are so reluctant to leave; it consists of sports, video games and a college-like reliance on alcohol and pizza. To put it simply, “it’s all the behavior that makes the real grownups in their lives roll their eyes and wonder, ‘When will he grow up?'”
5. He’s almost a man — but not quite. Guys in Guyland adopt a Peter Pan mindset where they “shirk the responsibilities of adulthood and remain fixated on the trappings of boyhood, while the boys they still are struggle heroically to prove that they are real men, despite all evidence to the contrary.”
If these signs sound familiar to you, fear not: Holladay says that since Guyland is a societal shift, it’s also a state of being that can be influenced by society. By encouraging responsibility in the guys in your life, you’ll bring them one step closer to leaving Guyland.
Have you recognized any other symptoms of Guyland? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty).
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.