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I STAND WITH BOYS

I got this very interesting and inspiring post from Facebook and thought i should share..

Few months ago in a WhatsApp group, someone asked a question about understanding men or something like that. My answer tended towards men advocacy. One of the members of the group was surprised. "This is the first time I am seeing you write for men," he said.

I was on a panel two months ago and was the only guy amongst 10 female panelists. The event was about advocacy for the girl child and in the midst of many arguments, I argued that lots of empowerment program tend towards liberating women and helping them have healthy self identity, self image, self concept and self esteem but the boy child has been neglected.

I will repost my submissions in those two events.
I am of the opinion that we have more women raised to be wives than we have more men raised to be husbands. No thanks to incompetent parents who find nothing wrong in perpetuating a disempowering culture. A culture that reminds girls that they will one day be wives, but fails to remind the boy that he will be a husband, too. When a girl wakes up and does not sweep, she is reminded that "shey na like this you go do for your husband's house" but no one tells the boy who doesn't sweep the same. When the girl complains of being too tired to cook because of stress at work, she's reminded about starving her future husband but no one tells the boy who is at home since morning doing nothing to go cook for the house. The girl grows up, becomes a woman, well trained and ready for marriage and all she meets is an untrained boy in a man's body.

That's one.



Our society is one where men are seen as superior to women. The boy child is taught to be a man. When a boy cries, he's mocked as behaving like a woman. "Real men don't cry" was the message of the gods. Boys are taught to bottle up emotions. They learn this for many years. Now he's grown, ready for marriage and his girlfriend is confused on how
to get him to express himself to her. He's hurting but he can't pour it out because he has been taught that expressing hurt is the characteristic of a woman. The girlfriend tells him to tell her anything and everything and he's now trying to unlearn what he's used to. And sadly, he's interrupted and judged by the girlfriend, ergo,  learning a new message that "my parents are right after all. Real men don't show emotion or express feelings". Mother taught him for 20, 30 years to bottle emotions and you are trying to teach him within 6 month or one year to pour out emotion. He's trying to do what you say, yet you start judging him. He will return to status quo.


That's two.

The boy is taught he is the breadwinner of the family; that he is the sole provider of the house. And that's his only job. And as the breadwinner, he should demand for sex whenever and however he wants, he should lord it over a woman, a woman should not be richer than him and so many related chauvinistic lifestyles. Even though these are sometimes taught unconsciously, he's now grown and ready for marriage with this mindset without any respect for womanhood.

That's three. There are many instances but let me stop there.



See ehn, it is time to raise every child with the realities of what is on ground in this century. We are no longer in the stone age where our fathers go to the farm, do heavy work and our mother's only contribution to the house is home keeping. Things have changed. Women work these days, contribute to the family; some, even much more than the man does. Therefore, the man isn't really the breadwinner. Anyone, male or female can win bread in the place of love and anyone, male or female can keep the home in the place of love.

I digress.

With the realities of the 21st century and seeing how disempowering some of the cultures are to humanity and how women have been subjected to nothing, many women empowerment programs have sprung up raising their voices to give women freedom from traditions that have put them in bondage and helping them build healthy esteem and identity. While these should be applauded, we are not seeing the dangers of neglecting the boy child.

My argument has always been after empowering this girl, she will grow and become a strong woman in a world filled with disempowered, broken, battered and insecure chauvinists who think they are doing the best and frankly, are doing the best with what they know.

Let's empower boys, too.
Let's teach boys not to rape.
Let's teach boys that they will one day be husbands (if they choose).
Let's teach boys that they are not superior to women.
Let's teach boys how to do domestic work.
Let's teach boys that crying is normal and does not make them feel less of a man.
Let's teach boys that their body framework does not determine husbandhood or fatherhood.
Let's teach boys to protect and respect girls.
Let's teach boys that male and female are equal.
Let's teach boys that they are not the head of any woman. Husbands are heads to their wives only and there's a place of submission for them too.
Let's teach boys that intelligence and competence are not gender based.
Let's teach boys that they are not winning any bread but they should understand responsibility.
Let's teach boys about rights and freedom and responsibility.
Let's teach boys about respect for humanity.
Let's teach boys that it is okay for their wives to be richer than them.
Let's teach boys that their identity should be based on purpose and not roles.
Let's teach boys everything we teach the girls.




When these and more are done, we would have a balanced world.

A transformed nation nation can only be possible when there's is a transformed family and we can have a transformed family when the individuals who constitute it are transformed.

I stand with girls.
I stand with boys.
I stand with every child.
I stand with humanity.


Yours truly,
Matthew 'Femi-Adedoyin.
Pastor mmadu n'ile.

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