Of boys, men and falling in love

Disclaimer: You are encouraged to view the above video before reading this post. All views are my own.

This talk by Philip Zimbardo is surely an eye opener. While he talks about ‘the demise of guys’, he touches upon a very sensitive yet profound topic of how the the male brain is exploited in an ever progressing digital age. Being a male and a digital native – I could totally relate to the issues raised by him. Especially when it came to the following aspects:

The rise and rise of the second sex: I think there are two types of women today – the educated and the divorced. Philip Zimbardo says that, “Guys are flaming out academically; they’re wiping out socially with girls and sexually with women. Other than that, there’s not much of a problem.” In a country like India – this statement might ring a bell only within a tiny sect of a social strata that resides in the top metro cities and has friends in many parts of the world. But when it comes to academics, girls have always outperformed boys in India. To look at this situation more realistically, I tried counting the number of women-friends I closely know and was not surprised by the results. A majority of them were well qualified than me academically (including my sister!); a majority of them have shared with me the sorry state of affairs when it comes to engaging with men socially; and a lot of them are even at the verge of dismissing the notion of ‘the sensitive gentleman’. While it is a proven fact that women make better leaders than men, I also subscribe to the belief that women are better managers of ‘life’ than most of us men. And I come to this conclusion by own experiences and observations.  

The gullibilities in a boy’s life: Puberty occurs in a girl’s life with pain. And it occurs in a boy’s life with enjoyment. As boys, somewhere within the deep layers of societial structures and conditioning, we are forced to ‘objectify’ women at a very early age. Maybe because boys are wired differently. Philip Zimbardo talks about ‘arousal addictions’. And every guy worth his salt will confess being subjected to the powerful relationship between ‘arousal addictions’ and the world wide web in his formative years. I wonder who is exactly at fault here? I don’t have an answer.

I’m a man. I understand lust. I don’t completely understand love: Philip Zimbardo talks about “social intensity syndrome” which tries to account why guys really prefer male bonding over female mating. I’m 29 years old and I have grown up watching movies like ‘Sholay’ & ‘Dil Chahta Hain’ (to name a few). Oh, how I have adored the Jai-Veeru prototype and classic male chivalry since childhood! I have also been in the exclusive company of  ‘all-woman’ groups and sub-groups. Have had my own fair share of intellectual orgasms and musings and sweet talks and what-nots with them. And I must confess that after a hectic Friday, I would prefer male bonding sessions over female mating. And I feel at the root of it  lies the complexity over the male and female understanding of ‘love’. Like Zimbardo says – we men, are totally out of sync in romantic relationships which builds gradually and subtly. As a man, my problem with the notion of love is that – most of the women I know continues to believe that love is mysterious, and they talk about falling in love uncontrollably as if that notion and experience of ‘love’ never changes. Another problem with love is that nobody teaches you its history, its battles, how it is exploited for commercial purposes in pop culture, the rise and fall of its dominions, the hypocrisy of its economics that gets featured in the form of marriage, and the varying methods in which it is understood. People don’t discuss love. They discuss politics. Schools don’t teach about love. They conduct sex education classes. As men, the only thing we completely understand is lust. We pretend to understand love. But we will try. That’s a promise. Cheers to male bonding.

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~ by rb on October 13, 2011.

2 Responses to “Of boys, men and falling in love”

  1. Liked it..Very nice!!

  2. Dr. Zimbardo and I are currently working together to elaborate on this topic with regards to military personnel. We just did our first public presentation about the theory and the complimenting survey at WPA last weekend. If you would like more information about it, see our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/SISstudy. If you would like a copy of the slides, message us.

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