Masculinity and my boys
We all know the feeling that comes with the word boy: strength, power, leadership, toughness, health and intelligence which all add up to what we think masculinity is. Its world stands at a distance and watches us mislead and destroy our boys, we define it as being strong, powerful, untouchable and unbeatable. This is the problem, our boys fall prey to this ideology, we raise them to feel and own masculinity and not act masculine.
I am a teacher, one time we were conversing and arguing about random topics and suddenly a teacher reprimanded a female teacher for calling her young handsome son sweetheart, he felt so disappointed that the teacher was raising a crybaby and a coward instead of a man and a boy. That the mother was not preparing her son for the world. His view is that a mother should not call her son sweetheart because it will make the boy weak, timid and will not be able to withstand life. He added that it’s okay to call the girl sweetheart. (I wonder why they smile and feel overwhelming joy when their wives and partners call them sweetheart. They should say no.)
We restrict and limit our affection for the boys in the view of grooming them and making them masculine, they are human and deserve our love as much as our girls do. We raise them to believe in a society that sees showing love as a weakness, we then produce heartless, reckless and careless men who disrespect women and above all beat them up, the society allows beating of women and men cannot be guilty whatsoever. A few men show affection but most boys and men repress their true selves leading to pretence in front of women and society just to prove that they are meeting the demands of society. We should not ask ourselves why there are more men in prisons and more boys in remand homes than there are women and girls. According to the New Vision report published on the 23 July 2023, out of 2000 prisoners, only 9%are ladies and 91% are males. There are 155 boys and 3 girls in the Naguru Remand home. The murders on the streets and the burnt-to ashes bodies are usually men’s. Why? We have pushed our boys and men to accept the burden of society, themselves, family and their women which is awesome but when the boy does not have the means and the strength to carry the weight, what happens is that they become thieves, robbers, and murderers. In our classrooms, we teach them to feel intelligent and not be topped by a girl with the common phrase “How can a mere girl win you? ” “Science subjects are not for girls” yet we are born different and with different capabilities, the future is feminine because we are killing boys today.
Recently I had a conversation with a man who told me his son does not need as much love and attention as his daughter. Where does he expect his son to get the love and attention from? To be loved and distracted, they seek attention through grievous crimes and actions. Men love their mothers because they find love, solace, acceptance and courage from their mothers. After all, the mother doesn’t judge him and expects less from him.
“Be a man” is a phrase I often hear in my neighbourhood and streets, this phrase is associated with being tough, showing bravery and strength, the opposite is laddish and feminine. We forget that every child boy or girl is born with the natural ability and capability to be strong and weak at the same time, to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed, to love and be kind but why take humanity away from our boys? Why do we impose traits on them, this is killing them and neglecting this will leave the boy child lagging. As we uplift the girl child, which I always do because I see that we have not achieved and we shall not achieve our agenda if the boy is left behind, the boy and society’s norm is the centre of our fight. Let us redefine masculinity to ourselves and society, and also redesign society’s norms of how a boy should be. When the boy child accepts and appreciates the natural masculinity, not the imposed one, he will appreciate the woman and the natural law. The English dictionary defines masculinity as pertaining the male sex or gender. We are promoting animosity every time we define masculinity to our boys.