What They Told us

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           The recent movement online popularly known as the #metoo has helped to enlighten many who happen not to be aware of the high rate of sexual harassment and rape. This will make you wonder how many people walking around you are actually rapists. It is not written boldly on the face and they do not go around introducing their selves as rapists. The guy in suit sitting next to you might have had sex with his date without her consent which makes him a rapist. Most men are beginning to evaluate their selves and checking if they had raped someone before in the past before without knowing it. So this means without this movement, most men without knowing have been raping women. This is very disturbing but I am more thrilled and curious why that would be so. I am curious why most of the victims of the #metoo movement were women. Does that mean that no male has been sexually harassed, violated or raped? That is a big NO. So, why are more men likely to rape their date or why is there few or no male speaking up about rape? The answer is simple, Toxic Masculinity.

                  Masculinity is actually not a gene that men are born with. It’s something that was learned from childhood. Growing up as kids, we heard common sentences. To the boys, they were always told; “Stop acting like a girl” “Boys don’t cry” “Be a man”. To the girls, they were always told; “That’s not girl-like”. Now, all these gets embedded into our subconscious mind and we grow up to start exhibiting it all. The boys have been told all their life to not cry. They have been caged into a world of no emotions which shows on the rate of suicidal death. They FEAR fear. They are scared of being seen as weak men, they spend most of their lifetime trying to be man enough even if it means hurting people. They are not trying to be man enough because they want to, they were told as children that it was a necessity and a part of being a male. They were supposed to be engaged in hands on work, sports and so on. They grow up to be projected strong men with crumbling pieces inside. It is only a matter of time before they crumble. What a way of destroying a human life. The females who are taught that femininity correlates to emotions are always told to show emotions. They see their selves as the powerless group and requires the permission of a man to do anything. They have been manipulated into thinking that it is their job to always please the male which of course includes sexually. Girls are told that aspiring power is not girl-like, they term it being “bossy”. “Boys won’t like you” they say. Girls are told to cover up and not to be loud. Now, everyone is living a life that is not theirs. We are all acting a script given to us.
        
               Okay, let’s go back again to when we were small, what if we were told none of that as we were growing up. What if we were allowed to have our own opinions and form our own interests? I have always wondered what will happen if we weren’t raised with all these expectations. What if we raised our children differently than we have been doing? Maybe there will be a change. Maybe treating an issue from the foundation which is the way children are raised will bring a solution to the issues of today.  Maybe we raise our children differently from what we were told growing up. I really admire my younger brother, he is not into sports like most boys of his age; I have never actually seen him play one. He is not even into hands on work and a very good cook, but he is still a boy doing amazingly well in his studies and an aspiring doctor. Most times our neighbors always asked him; “don’t you know that you are a boy” but he never changed. I think it is thanks to my back bone, my mother for raising us well. He is an amazing person and has inspired me in so many little ways.  On the other hand, I did the fixing things, played soccer, and did not like cooking.  So just you in case that you are thinking or are questioning yourself, you can still be a boy but do not engage in the traditional gender stereotypes, likewise for girls. So my dear males, it’s okay to have emotions, it’s okay to be different and be seen as weak even if it means being questioned. It’s okay to be seen as weak even if it means speaking up for a sexual harassment, violation and rape. It’s okay to be seen as not man enough when she says No and you take your hands off her.

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