Monday, July 28, 2008

Rites of passage and vanity

I have to admit I'm having a little bit of a "bloggers block" but am back now and teeming with thoughts to type into cyber space. I actually was outside scooping poop, oh the dreaded chore and thought it weird, that this time in the back yard would be my muse! So let's get to it.

We as a family often watch clips online from farting to small girls singing amazing grace, or talking about "obi kanobi" etc. You know normal family bonding time. Well, I came across a few videos that I would like to share. The first I didn't watch with my kids, just as a precursor.

1. Tribe in the highlands of Papau New Guinea that have a very grueling ritual for boys to become "men" and able to marry

I, for one, am glad that we as americans don't have this sort of thing but think maybe we should have some rite of passage. A moment in time that makes man hood all the more sacred, honorable, and something to be respected. You now, like you do something so challenging physically, emotionally and mentally that it serves as a constant reminder that you are a man once you accomplish this feat and will be held to that standard forever more after.

Now, I know that some may be able to pass these tests and be no more of a man but that brings me back to my original thought when I saw this clip. Is manhood based upon abilities/skills that help to withstand grueling onslaughts? Or maybe physical endowments? Or is it something more that makes a Man? Like character? I don't think its just one thing obviously but a multitude of things. Maybe that is what this ritual should symbolize. Is that for a boy to become a man he is raised up knowing what tests will come ahead by a Man that withstood the very same things and he can choose to either remain a boy-disgraced by his fellow "tribe", unable to marry, etc or he can become a man-purify himself of childish ways and thoughts, able to marry, be respected and a vital part of his community.

I only wonder about these things because 1. I am married to a man that took a while to make this transtion from boy to man and 2. I have 2 boys that will one day become men. I would like to keep them as boys forever but know that this is not healthy or realistic. I want them to become men and know what that means. Its gotta be tough. I know I don't go around, now, thinking about what it means to be a woman. Primarily due to the fact of influences that were practical examples of what it meant to be a woman and yet I didn't gain this perspective of woman hood, either, until my mid twenties.

So why is it that our society prolongs inmaturity, childhood and then complains about the next generation not picking up the slack? Ok, so onto something a little less serious but kind of risky.

2. Male Plastic Surgery

I really have to admit that my mind was in the gutter on this one and I hope I don't have to explain what I was thinking because it makes me kind of blush as I am typing it. HAH! So this guy in Cali. undergoes this risky surgery to augment his body. Which is strange to me because I can see that he is in shape and works out. So I'm watching, somewhat curious as to WHAT he is going to do. They explain the process, start prepping him, begin surgery and I am just thoroughly fascinated! Wow! I would have never thought a man would undergo such a thing. You know like when you see pictures of men with breast cancer, which is a very low percentage, but yet it happens.

I try not to be one that is surprised by humanity and our vanity but I was floored! Holy Cow! The funny thing is after he was done and they show him walking down the street, I could see no difference. It reminded me of when I go to get a haircut and come back to show it off to Jesse, who by the way is alot better at noticing subtle differences now but would ask me prior why I just paid $$ for something that looks no different then when I left! So this is my thought, why did this guy spend thousands of dollars on a procedure that no one will notice, well except for maybe family and himself? He did speak of self image issues but isn't there something alittle more practical to boost ones confidence than cutting into ones flesh?

I don't want to sound like plastic surgery is just for women and men have no right to this and I have even thought about a little nip and tuck on the ole rear and saggy boobs. I hope this guy does find some sort of happiness and that this procedure was a tool but not a means to an end. No pun intended! Now if I had the money to do this myself than I might be singing a different tune and I'd be posting pics of me that resemble Michael Jackson because I've heard that its like getting a tattoo. Once you get one, it keeps on going till there's nothing left to mark or cut up in this instance.

Hope everyone had a great Monday!

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