“How did you realize that you had become a man…”?
This question was asked by Lars to his elder brother in the movie “Lars and the Real Girl“.
Lars began by a short introduction stating that his human size doll Gloria has followed rites of passage in her homeland Brazil.
Lars said: “Was it sex that made you feel that you had reached manhood?”
His brother replied with hesitation: “Yes, it was sex. But there are other things that I don’t know. This is a very interesting question and I have to think about it…”
Then the brother said: “It is when you get aware of your responsibilities toward the other people. Like never to cheat on your wife and care for your family…”
Women, always and naturally, go to an unmistakable rite of passage when they get their first menstruation period. A rite in her own blood and for a few days too, and every month thereon.
A moment of reckoning that the little girl has become a woman, and the family start readying her for marriage.
It is overdoing the rite of passage by mutilating the sex part of a girl, as done in certain traditions, with excuses that are worse than the practice.
Males kids have No natural rite of passage: The rites are mostly faked and never strike the kids as serious.
When wives frequently say: “My husband is a big kid“, they mean that he is still battling with the notion of manhood.
The training at an advanced age to manhood is hard and not effective most of the time.
In many tribes, the rites of passage are violent and the kid has to demonstrate that he can kill a big animal and many other feats of physical abilities. Mainly, proving that he is strong and willing to obey the community customs and traditions.
Maybe circumcising a male kid when he is over 13 is a better rite of passage than when he is born: Blood is an excellent shock for rite passage. However, harsher mutilation methods could leave worse results than expected.
The female kid has learned many survival skills and more talents are patiently relayed to her to become a wife and a mother: Like seducing, cooking, sewing… and mostly, how to endure loneliness and isolation.