Over the last one week, I have received many emails and Whatsapp messages; of some impressed readers, some who couldn’t wait for Part Two and a few others who dragged a seat for me, and gave me a dress down on how I was castigating the boy child which ideally, belong to. I’m happy though that a majority found sense in what I was putting across and partook in appreciating the cloudy reality that seems to hover around the boy child.
Itemised below were bits and pieces that I was able to gather from this meeting organized by one, Moses Njoroge as pointed out in Part One of this article.
I was here seated with deflated humans just like me battling life fears and societal expectations that not only keep glaring at us but also toppling over whatever little confidence left behind. Amongst us were men married to beautiful, spiritual and devoted women who perhaps were worried of what could their men be learning from this meeting. Was it about radicalizing them to be tougher husbands who shouldn’t show emotions nor accept to be corrected when they fail? Was it about telling them to be a bit careful on giving out money to their wives? Or was it all about emphasizing to them to be ignoring ideas fronted by their spouses? Far from it, this was a forum attended by gentlemen who meant well for their women. They were coming from a school of thought that was willing to learn something new; to approach life with a wider scope of people’s experiences and backgrounds; to laugh about their weaknesses and mistakes and more importantly to create new networks to bond and to empower the boy child in us.
Here is a wounded lion that is still expected to roar. He is wounded by imbalanced upbringing, lack of role models, under empowerment and steady rise of single mothers. He is sidelined by the media and all other stakeholders, who now put all their attention to the other gender at his expense.
We are grown up men struggling to let go hangovers of our childhood. If it’s not about dad’s who didn’t live up to our expectations rather succumbing to the wild-fire of alcoholism then it has to be how they ruthlessly battered our mothers right in front of our eyes. These imageries have refused to go or die of. They keep haunting us and replaying over our minds. They stubbornly question why we had such horrifying dads; insecure, unambitious and who loved the beer bottle than our family.
Some have learnt to cope with realities of dealing with dads who passed on when they needed them most. They died even before, these men who were boys then, learnt how to pee on their own. They were left to be herded by older sisters in the jungle of adolescence and moms who had no idea on how to instill these sons, manly attributes. The best they could do was to provide them with all they could afford but nothing to do with how gentlemen think and are wired. These boys grew up in an environment where there was no man to look up to and to identify with. Their dads passed on pretty early in life exposing them to tough rays of life that were not only itching but with far-reaching ramifications.
For others, it was a case of finding themselves being molested by close relatives and not knowing who to trust or talk to. A majority of us (men) being fundamentally introverts in some quarters have a tendency of keeping it to ourselves from a very tender stage. To some, they got it really bad in Form One after going through hostile environments full of bullies. These changed who they were and how they perceived people. It eroded every good virtue in them. Living in a chaotic environment has consequences and one of them is succumbing to the ugly mess of turning out to be as the rest.
Family gatherings that are expected to harness unity and create identity to an extended family are no longer fashionable to attend. They are now scarce and far between. You know, we are busy humans; busy chasing money, cutting financial shortcuts, bribing and embezzling funds. We’ll also be spotted in middle class functions drink driving to look cool, having sagged our pants and mentality as well, hand in hand with lasses donning waistline skirts and showing cleavages from here to I don’t know where. Uncles, who should essentially play a critical role in mentoring nephews; are in fact busier souls to have some time with. Family gatherings have been reduced to show offs and a place to trade subtle, perennial family feuds. We attend these occasions to enjoy beer with cousins we’ve not met in a hundred years. Unfortunately, there is nothing like mentoring of boys by the uncles and being shown how to skin a goat or having a sitting to learn about traditional cultures.
I recall one participant who co owns a company in real estate and land business giving very cold statistics on the gender portfolio of their clients. You’d imagine men are big in investing, right? Imagine the numbers don’t seem to add up in days of our times. In fact according to him; Out of 300 sales of land, only two pieces were bought by men, the rest being purchased by women. As pointed out in the previous article, women are deliberately investing more and spending less. For men, we’re doing the reverse; spending more and investing less. And included in our entertainment expenses is treating these same ladies (who own acres of land) by taking them out with cars on defaulted loans, and paying bills with credit cards. Shouldn’t that worry you?
Society should further be scared by the overwhelming number of singer mothers. The boy child should be scared even more. With all due respect to voluntary single parents, and their devotion to their children, I mean well for all of you. However, allow me to look at the bigger picture, especially on the boy child issue for the sake of this article. According to Pastor Gillis Triplett of Embassy Christian Church headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia; your son IS NOT the man of the house. He is your child! Most single mothers will never understand the psychological damage they cause by anointing their sons to be the man of the house. By falsely convincing their boys that they are men, these single moms pigeonhole their adolescents into a pressure-based environment God never intended for them to be in.
We are giving these young boys lots of emotional duress and what Gillis calls mom’s fanatical demands of manhood. You know, many single mothers are not in good terms with their ex-husbands. Note I used the word MOST not ALL. It is a case of subtle war between the two. So this boy child is brought up in an environment where he is quickly ushered to a war field right after birth. It’s a case of who succeeds in winning the kid’s trust over the other. Going by the statistics of the rise of voluntary single mothers; the boy child poses to lose big time as he is brought up by a woman who has very low regards about men generally. Meaning, in as much as the boy would be provided with everything he’d desire of, except for a dad, he will be hugely exposed to narrations of how his dad was or is a failure. How then, will such a kid ever admire being a great man if his world exists of none?
I’m aware of men who’ve got their acts together, so to speak. They have intentionally dared to be the most committed fathers and husbands they can ever be. They have persistently raised the bar for contemporary men notwithstanding the overwhelming challenges facing the male gender. I salute these blokes and encourage them to create forums in their neighborhoods to empower the rest of us. No man is self-sufficient. And, we are human first before anything else. It’s natural for human to crave for acceptance, motivation, general empowerment and to be listened to. Men are of no exemption!