Annually, 19th November is recognized as the International Men’s Day. So in today’s write-up we will talk about our male child, young boys and men.
Let’s deal with the boring part first. “The objectives of celebrating an International Men’s Day are set out in ‘the Six Pillars of International Men’s Day’, and are applied equally to men and boys irrespective of their age, ability, social background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious belief and relationship status:
- To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sportsmen but every day, working-class men who are living decent, honest lives.
- To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
- To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
- To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law.
- To improve gender relations and promote gender equality.
- To create a safer, better world; where people can live free from harm and grow to reach their full potential”. (Culled from Wikipedia)
Coming to the 2019 theme for this year’s event; Making a Difference for Men and Boys, the focus is on promoting the need to value men, (boys inclusive) and to practically improve the health and well being of the male gender.
Welcome to the not-so-boring part. On what I really wish to address today, there are so many stereotypes out there about men. The most popular being that ‘all men are scum’! The rate at which society use these hurtful words to attack men these days, is quiet alarming. Like girls, boys have issues too. However, the focus has over the years been on empowering the female child. This may be because women have been marginalized over a long time in our society. However, in the aim to empower our women, we forget our responsibilities towards our young boys who would one day become men.
There is an imbalance!
Our society teaches the boy that tears is a sign of weakness. Day-in-day out they are told to be a man, not to cry nor show any pain… Many young male children have at one time in their lives been molested or sexually abused by relatives, friends, even housemaids. Yet, they can’t open up because society said they should man-up and swallow the pain.
There is an imbalance!
We teach our female children the importance of self-worth, self-dignity, virginity, and puberty. Yet we fail to talk to our boys about puberty and all that comes with it including wet dream. We expect them to explore and find out those things on their own. Who will they ‘explore’ with?
There is an imbalance!
We teach our girls to be decent, to be respectful and responsible. But we do not teach our boys that. So we groom decent and responsible girls for irresponsible men. Moreover, respect is reciprocal. Yet, we fail to teach our boys (men) how to respect the females. This is one of the major reasons why domestic violence is one of the major challenges of marriage. Our men turn their women into punch bags. They show their manly prowess at every tiny provocation. Show me a man who has never laid a hand on his wife since marriage, honey they are not many.
There is an imbalance!
We set up a high pedestal for our men to reach without giving them the requisite knowledge they need to achieve that. And when they fail to live up to the expectations, they are tagged scum. This is unfair. I strongly believe that environment shapes people and one cannot know unless taught. How will you know if you were not taught? Nemo dat quod non habet (you cannot give what you do not have). While some men have learnt a few things through their interactions with others, many are still yet to learn.
So not all men are scum.
Not all men are rapists. I have a friend who had accommodation issues while she was in school. She squatted with two guys for a whole semester and not for once did they make a move to have carnal knowledge of her. Every man has something behind his zipper but not all think from that angle.
Not all men are drunks. There are still fathers out there who do not drink themselves to stupor; the ones who would rather provide for their family with their meagre earnings than dash it out to beer parlour owners.
Not all men cheat on their spouses. There are men out there who have self control (sexually and otherwise).
Not all men hit women, be it their girlfriends, wives; even sisters. There are men who understand that the fist does not solve all problem. They go out of their way to protect the female anywhere they see them.
Not all men impregnate a girl and deny it. There are still ones who take full responsibility for their actions.
Not all men are so many bad experiences you have had with the male folk.
Lastly, while we train our girls, we should train our boys too.
We need men who are not loose; men who do not jump in bed with any girl they see or chase everything on skirt, men who are faithful, men who do not blame their ‘prostitution’ on the fallacy that men are cheats by nature.
We need men who can cry when it hurts them; the ones who can show emotions, the ones who can easily say how they feel, the ones who can tell their children that they love them.
We need men who do not see girls as an object of sexual gratification, to be used and discarded at will, men who can control their libido. You don’t tell the girl to zip-up and tell the boy to zip-down. Remember, it takes two to tango. We cannot want our sons to marry virgins and yet expect them to be experienced in the business of the other room. Who are they supposed to practice with?
We need men who the girls will feel safe with; men who will offer help without asking our daughters to spread their legs, men who do not look at every opportunity to grab our asses or make slutty comments about us (girls).
We need men we can trust….
If we put equal energy into training our boys as well as our girls, there will be less need for us to teach our girls how to defend themselves against abuse, molestation, assault, domestic violence amongst others.
Let us build boys who we will wish our girls to date in future.
Let us build men that will be proud husbands and fathers.
Let us build men who will not be intimidated by the success of their female counterparts.
Let us build responsible and dignified men!
Let me not forget to add that some girls are the ones who start the whole issue and when the guy reacts, he is tagged a scum.
And… Hey Darling girl, before you call all men scum think about your father, he is a man right? Is he a scum too? Just wondering!
Remember, none of us is leaving here alive!