T Nation

Rite of Passage


As we all know a right of passage is becoming a man from a boy. All I can think about is guys getting drunk and having sex is seen as a right of passage these days. Is the idea of earning your right to be called a man lost in our society? Also are today's youth doomed to be failures or is it just a phase that every young adult goes through?


I think that getting drunk and having sex is part of the idea toward becoming a man but at the same time, there's so much more to it. What I mean, is that becoming a man from a boy is realizing that the world is something in which your existence is not taken for granted. It is realizing that you get out of life what you put into it, and although luck certainly plays its part, realizing that you cannot live solely on luck. Some people learn this sooner than others, and some never do. Boys can get drunk and have sex, how easy is it to get alcohol in high school? But realizing that there is a greater purpose than that, and having the strength to face whatever path that they choose is a rite of passage.

I guess if we must talk about a phase or event, it is going to college and living on your own and finding what you want to do in life. And I guess getting drunk and having sex is part of that too.


That's all you can think of? That's what you think adults see as separating a child from an adult? Somehow, I don't believe that for one second. Maybe it's because you believe in a fallacy of a "rite of passage." That idea is a poor one. The process of becoming an adult is not digital, it's not "I did xyz, now I'm an adult.", it's continuous. To make an analogy, you don't simply go from physically weak to physically strong through weight training, do you? It's a continuous process.

You could write volumes and volumes on what is to be an adult. Here's one thing: eradicating your own selfish tendencies. This is probably actually impossible to attain, unless you believe in certain religions, but you can always do better.


The original "rites of passage" were where a boy made a kill for the first time. This showed the boy to have the skills it took to participate in the adult area of life. If you want that to be alcohol and sex we could look at it like this.

A child drinks alcohol, gets shit-faced and maybe fighting beligerent. An adult knows their limits, and occasionally foregoes drinking in order to usher his/her friends safely home.
A child (hopefully not a child, but I'm a realist) has sex, usually without proper protection. An adult understands the risks and protects themself and their partner.

Now, as goochadamg said, its a process, but I think you can safely say that when you think more of the outcome rather than moment, you've reached mental adulthood.
But, of course, these are my opinions.


Getting drunk and having sex is a rite of passage?

To adults? Or the idiot teens doing so?

I'd have to say the latter.

Just cause little Jimmy lost his virginity at 13... doesn't mean he's a man.

And no us younger folk aren't doomed to failure. We might just have a harder time getting started in the 'real' world because of current economic problems. As a whole I bet the youth of today are more desensitized than generations passed but I doubt that'll lead us all to being complete fuck ups.

I think you become a man once you make a large personal sacrifice for the sake of another, even if it goes against something you want or if it is something you don't exactly want to do. Whether it be giving up alot of extra money to pay for your child's diapers, food, etc. Or doing something major for your significant other. Something like that.


This country has less and less men than it did 50-100 years ago.There may be the same amount of males or more but far less Men.What the OP is saying is, these days the rite of passage is getting drunk and getting laid.Our country made thousands of men early in this century without really intenionally trying too.These men were made through physically demanding jobs like building the empire state building and the hoover dam.You will never see the same type of bravery these wild men had back then.Also the world wars forced males to go through a rapid change from boy to Man cast out of iron.

Most the people in this country nowadays are pussies so the rites of passage from boy to man arent gonna seem very worthy.Men should be judged on there actions and there ability to stand up for what is right not on getting drunk and banging chicks, I was doing that in juinor high and i was far from manhood.


you aint a man til you take care of your business and stop bummin it.

thats what pisses me off about all these young people having kids these days, motherfuckers cant even take care of themselves, livin off of welfare, no fuckin job. makes me sick. fuckin burdens on society


getting drunk and banging chicks doesn't make you a man.

I think its more of proving your not a pussy, That You can handle yourself in real life, make money, stick up for yourself, speak what you want to speak, never fall and stay on the ground when life puts you down. Once you learn how to Get up and never stay down YOUR A Man.


Being a man is about being able to handle responsibilty in many different situations.


doing what you want and not caring what anybody thinks.


Being a man (imo):
Being able to pay your own shit with a well respected job
Being level headed
Knowing how to fight
Having served
Knowing how to treat a lady

And IronManiac, teenage girls these days get drunk and have sex. I hope it doesn't mean they are joining the ranks as men too now.


DVDA thinks you're wrong. It's actually the titties.


It's not a right of passage if drug addicted welfare miscreants can also do it. Rites of passage are where you learn responsibility or prove ability.

My son got his first deer last year with a 225 yard shot through the lungs. that is one. It was a difficult shot, he did it, and he put food on the table.

The ability to pour liquor down your throat and get a boner is not a rite of passage.


No that's immaturity. Doing what you want and accepting and handling the responsibility that goes with your choices and not asking mommy, daddy, or someone else to bail you out shows maturity.


I did my first batch of laundry by myself my sophomore year of college. I think that's when I became a man.


Rudyard Kipling - "If"

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

I'm really surprised no one posted this before I did ... y'all are slackin'


It seems that every generation says the same thing about their youth. I remember my Dad saying the same thing, I personally believe I became more of a man than he ever was. No help from him either, that's for sure.

I think think people have to really look around. Not just see the jerks that stand out because of their stupidity. I was at my daughters graduation and there were an impressive amount of young men and women how stand up and take the lead. Doing major amounts of volunteer work while getting top grades. Fact of the matter is I saw more in our youth than I do in my peers.

Sometimes one has to really open their eyes to see things. With all the negative shit the media spoon feeds us daily, one could get the impression the world is doomed. Far from it, the challenges our youth are faced with, thanks to us, are massive and they are stepping up to the plate. That is their right of passage, fixing our fuck ups! I wish them luck!


I think being a man is about having the ability to handle things in life. Anything that gets thrown your way...you can handle it...A man is confident in his abilities to handle situations...

Men built this society around us...the buildings and structures...the laws...all of it was crafted at the hands of men...men who handled problems and situations which have all led to everything we see around us...

So being a man to me...is about having the confidence to handle any situation that may arise in life...


OP, there might be a little confusion about this process. Don't need to repeat what pretty much everyone is saying on here, but the process of becoming a man will most likely involve getting drunk and having sex a lot. What happens is these kids finally have freedom and start to indulge.

Some people will get this freedom earlier and some later, but regardless, 99% of people will at some point go through this. The idea is that they realize after X amount of time (different for everyone) that life is more than indulging, but experience is the best teacher. So, for most, part of the right of passage does involve indulging whether it be drinking and sex or other things. Basically, overdoing what you want until you realize that in the end, it's bad for you to overdo it and learning what is good for you in the long run.


Yeah having a physically demanding job really does toughen you out. When I was 15 me and my boss were working outside in the dead of winter and he would say it builds character. If you think about it he was right, you had to toughen up to finish the job not say my piggies are cold can I leave now. Most young adults these days have never worked a physically intensive job so they have to become men through other means. I would say any boy who dedicates themself and works hard to achieve their goal is becoming a man in a true sense.