Cultural Values In The Guy Code

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Devaluing The “Important” Cultural Values The culture one grows up in determines most of their values and cultural practices. Michael Kimmel’s essay, “‘Bros Before Hos’: The Guy Code,” depicts the practices of masculinity. Kimmel focuses on the idea that masculinity is not a biological and natural occurrence, rather older men and role models enforce the “Guy Code”. This code often results in men ostracizing other men, which is harmful for society as a whole. However, since masculinity is unnatural, it can be changed. The essay, “The Head Scarf, Modern Turkey, and Me” by Elif Batuman, shows the journey and evolution of Batuman’s worldview. Batuman visits modern day Turkey, but has many predispositions about it due to her parent’s ideals. She…show more content…
Kimmel speaks to how boys are taught how to become “men”. The men who follow the quintessential rules of the “Guy Code” are often seen as the most successful. The basis of masculinity is to impress other men and embody older men and male role models. Kimmel was researching a book that spoke of the history of masculinity and found that, “American men want to be a ‘man among men,’ (465). The teachings of masculinity that span many generations can be seen by how men desire to see the fruit of their labor. Men who follow the code do not care for attention from women, but rather solely focus on the respect and acknowledgment from male peers. The practices that embody masculinity clearly have no intention to impress anybody other than men. The fear associated with not being manly is far more when another man is accusing one of such a heinous crime. This introduces that the “Guy Code” is harmful to men, and in turn society. Men are fearful of being attacked by other men for trespasses against the code. This fear of trespassing is often explained as being biological and natural for men. Guys do not risk their own self-value, friendships, and maybe their lives biologically. This behavior is taught and is due to generations of teaching these “hard-wired” behaviors. Kimmel states, “What these theories fail to account for is the way that masculinity is coerced and policed relentlessly by other guys... In truth, the…show more content…
The values she has are echoed by the political revolution of Turkey from a religious state to a secular state. However, when she visits modern, religious, Turkey her values are not exemplified in the foreign culture. Batuman rejects not only the practices but also the values of Islam, “And, because he said them in the name of Islam, I couldn’t forgive Islam, either” (5). Batuman’s own values of female autonomy and respect clash with those of Islam. She is constantly reminded of these values while in Istanbul, from both the government and her taxi drivers. The religious practices of Turkey clash with the secular practices her parents taught her, so she immediately disagrees with the values of the Turkish people. Batuman’s time in Urfa is full of awkward conversations and stares. When she speaks English other women stare, the fact she is alone in her hotel is crazy to the hotel staff, and ordering food was a chore. One day, Batuman forgets that she is wearing the headscarf as she walks back to her hotel. The change in behavior was instant, women would acknowledge her with a smile, men were far more polite, and in general “people were so much nicer” (7). Batuman experiences the benefits of Islamic values while not actually practicing the culture. She at first considers what the problem would be if she wore it constantly while in Urfa, just to remove the discomfort that she causes by not doing so.
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