Meet Kevin Carty, the new editor of “Guyhood” – about the lives of young men in the world.
I’m twenty years old, and I’m definitely not a boy anymore. And though I have a strong, yet admittedly incomplete, desire to reject the concept of transformative masculinity—that idea of becoming, rather than always just being, a man—I don’t feel like a man yet, either.
I’m somewhere in between, living out the years of young manhood where we see the hardest edges and ugliest contours of hyper-masculinity. You know the edges I’m talking about: the homophobia, the sexism, the objectification, the aggression, the peer validation, the emotional suppression, the crisis of low expectations because ‘all guys are the same’ and ‘there aren’t enough good men out there.’ These years start with puberty, when our hormones and insecurities are at their highest, and, frankly, I don’t know when they end. Like I said, I’m twenty years old. But, just like you, like everyone who comes to GMP, I’m figuring this out as I go, stumbling along guided by my own values and that vague, essential feeling that I am not alone in my journey through guyhood.
Yes, guyhood. That’s probably the best name we can come up with for this no-man’s land that stands between the ill-defined trenches of boyhood and manhood. Guyhood: that’s what this section will be about.
To tell you a little bit about why I’m here and writing about guyhood, I attended an all-male high school, and when I came to college I joined a fraternity. I’ve spent a lot of my life around other young men, and I haven’t come away from those times untouched. It’s not always easy to be a guy in guyland, as many of you probably already know. And, I haven’t experienced this world of young men in a vacuum. For the last year, I’ve been thinking a lot about this stuff, studying it all formally and informally. I’ve consumed every blog post, article, and book I could find on the subject of young men and masculinity, and my search for understanding isn’t over yet.
Of course, I can’t do this by myself. The experience of guyhood and the pressures of modern masculinity cross lines of race, class, gender, and community. I’ll be presenting my own stories, insights, and observations, but those will be necessarily biased. I am but one guy, and I have but one point of view. I encourage anyone with a view into the world of guyhood to step forward with their own pieces and perspectives, and as long as those submissions adhere to our style guidelines and number between 500 and 1500 words, I promise to consider anything and everything.
All in all, I have a lot of hopes for this section.
I hope that it becomes a wide and well-used resource, read by everyone from 14 year old high-schoolers, to young adult men on the cusp of marriage, to men and women who fit neither of those categories.
I hope that it can serve as a respite from the demands of guyhood, because as we all know, going through guyhood is anything but easy.
I hope that this section can provide answers, even if they are partial ones, to the questions that masculinity poses to each one of us, day in and day out.
Lastly, I hope this section can bring about that vague and essential feeling that we are not alone as we go through guyhood. And of course, we are in this together. Guyhood is a shared social construct, and traversing it should be a shared social journey.