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Yesica S. Mena

Instructor Kat King

English 1A

September 3, 2018

Summary and Response #1: “Bros Before Hos: The Guy Code”

In “Bros Before Hos: The Guy Code”, the author, Michael Kimmel, states that “The Guy

Code” is the list of attributes and behaviors that delineates the idea of how to be a man, and that

code sets the standard that men uses to judge other men. Kimmel describes that the first persons

the boys listen to form their initial ideas of masculinity are the men in their closes familiar circle.

He shows the example of many young men who shares their histories of how their fathers,

brothers or other male authority figures in their lives pressures them to comply with the idea of

maleness. The author claims that men acts like some sort of regulators over other men. In

addition, they are always proving that they are not gays. Kimmel uses the example of how

adolescents try to degrade their peers, labeling as “gay” any conduct outside the image of

masculinity. The author states Freud’s idea that boys needs to be separated form their mothers to

grow into a man. Moreover, he uses the term of “culture of cruelty” to explains when the boy is

forced to suppress his emotions. To exemplify this, Kimmel presents an episode where a little

kid expressing pain is been label as “wimp” for spending time with his mother. The author

claims that the desire to comply with the “The Guy Code” is so strong that young men creates

some sort of universal image of what is masculine. Kimmel cites the image the sociologist

Erving Goffman describes as dominant masculinity as an example. The author names the

violence as a main component of the code because men uses violence to lower their shame and
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replace it with pride. Kimmel presents three “cultures” that support men idea of what means

maleness. He reports the culture of entitlement as the strongest male sense of superiority and lack

of empathy. Kimmel shows as an example the way that men claims in a TV show as “theirs” a

job that a black woman obtains. The author presents how “The Guy code” requires men to suffer

and witnesses the other suffering in silence, and as an example, he tells the history of how even

though, in an educational institution, young men hears about a gang rape, they don’t report it.

Kimmel finally cites the culture of protection as a consequence of the silence, making the

criminal think that other men keep silence because they support and protects him. As an

example, the author states two histories of sexual abuse where the witnesses didn’t report the

incidents, but also the victim’s parents were threatening for been pressing charges. Kimmel

concludes that “The Guy Code” works as a regulator to keeps young men within the idea of

maleness. The author argues that in this frame the guys committing crimes are rewarded with

silence and protection while the good guys are been punished. Kimmel ends saying that we need

to do exactly the opposite to ensure the young men becomes an adult with values, courage and

empathy with others feelings.

The author’s argument is valid in the American society. The audience that the author is

directing this article to is the whole society because, like Kimmel states, even girls prejudice

boys and label them as gays when they don’t act like the “Guy Code” dictates reinforcing all this

idea of masculinity, and we don’t think that a sensitive man doesn’t have to be perceive as weak

or gay. I didn’t find any flaw; the author states a variety of examples from his personal

experience and also compeling data and cites information from professionals. In addition, there

are connections with parts of the article “Becoming Members of Society” by Aaron Devon,

especially on how the children learn what gender behavior is appropriate in connection with what
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the society is expecting form them. The evidence is very convincing because the author

disclaimed that not all the young men shares the same behavior. Kimmel did not generalize, yet

he uses examples where we can appreciate some of the many possible outcomes of these rules.

The article doesn’t display any bias or fallacy; Kimmel states at the begging that the rules

conforming the “Guy Code” had almost don’t change through generations, and that is something

we can see on a daily basis. Since very “innocuous” situations when we say to a kid to “be a

man” by suppressing their emotions to an adult boasting about sexually assaulting another

person, we can see examples of how we enforce all these rules and the result of that tacit