CAN DO BETTER

Stop with the excuses and man up

We've handed men the most ridiculous excuses to explain why they're not their best.

In Summary
  • One excuse is 'Oh, no one modelled masculinity to us'.
  • Another, 'But you know men don't talk, especially to their fellow men'.

Today I just want to talk to the men. This is not a bashing session, so please let your guard down.

There is a narrative that has been creeping in the last few years. We have started handing men the most ridiculous excuses to explain why they are not the best versions of themselves.

“Oh, no one modelled masculinity to us.” To be fair, just because the only parent who was almost always at home happened to be your mother does not mean she knew how to model femininity for the girls either. She just did what she knew how to do. She just modelled being a good person. That is enough.

Now you are over 30, instead of using the internet to argue with women on Akothee’s posts, si you search for the masculinity you crave and do better?

Another popular excuse for bad behaviour is “Oh you know, men are not allowed to cry!” By who please? And for what? People watch too many movies, fiction, then turn it into their life story. If you grew up in an African household, we were ALL not allowed to cry.

Even after a beating. Girls and boys. You came home crying, you got a beating to help you stop crying. That said, everyone still cries anyway because we have tear ducts and emotions. We just do not expect you (man or woman) to cry inappropriately.

I sat at a table once with some reasonably old men. When the topic of therapy came up, they said they do not need therapy. They have each other. If one was marrying a second wife, or had a baby out of wedlock, those guys knew about it. If one was being auctioned or needed a job or maybe thought his wife was cheating on him, he could get a referral from the group for whatever service he needed.

Someone said, but women cry more easily. Which ones? Again, switch off your TV. Part of being a grown-up is managing your emotions in certain spaces. I may really want to cry about bills, for example. And I may actually do. But I cannot do it in front of my kids, for example. It would scare them and what will I have achieved?

If we are mourning, then there is a reasonable excuse for the wailing in public. Do not say women cry easily because you make your wife and or girlfriends cry. You also cry, maybe not in front of them, but there is someone who knows you cry.

If you are in a position of authority, we do not expect you to cry easily. Man or woman.

“But you know men don't talk, especially to their fellow men.” Africans are the most social beings. African men have more social arenas than even women. It is only recently that women have started going to bars. Before you had to wait to go to work or for once-a-month chamas or Sunday after church. While men passed by their locals daily to have a beer and catch up with other menfolk.

I sat at a table once with some reasonably old men. When the topic of therapy came up, they said they do not need therapy. They have each other. If one was marrying a second wife, or had a baby out of wedlock, those guys knew about it. If one was being auctioned or needed a job or maybe thought his wife was cheating on him, he could get a referral from the group for whatever service he needed.  

The empowering of girls is based on keeping her in school almost drama-free. Why is that a reason for you not to be your best self? Do you want pads?

Do not just decide men do not talk to one another because you watch a culture on telly that has men sitting in their houses all day being ordered by their wives to load a dishwasher or to ask their bosses for a raise.

“When we were growing up, girls were more empowered because women went to Beijing and boys were neglected” has to be the laziest excuse though. It usually comes from a guy you grew up with. Same neighbourhood and same schools. These guys think that now women are more empowered than men. Let me break down what organisations have tried to do for the girl child in need, according to me.

 

They have tried to get girls into the classroom, because an educated woman will impact positively on her society (men are included in her society). Then they discovered they would get her into the classroom but she would not stay there, especially when she got to her teens. Why? She got her period so would miss almost a week of school every month. So they got her sanitary towels. The empowering of girls is based on keeping her in school almost drama-free. Why is that a reason for you not to be your best self? Do you want pads?

I believe men can do better. Our fathers did their best. You now have access to so much, why would you want to concentrate on crying?

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