Men and boys matter, too
March is Women’s History Month, and, of course, there are many events geared towards recognising women who are making history, and there are also things to facilitate opportunities for the next generation of women. Women are participating in inspirational and mentorship activities that are designed to make them better people overall.
All these women-empowering activities have some men feeling like women are trying to get rid of the male gender all together. Some men complain that women are taking over and acting like they are not needed anymore.
After having a very interesting talk with a male friend of mine, I took some time to think and try to see it from the male point of view, and I can see how all the ‘woman-empowerment’ activities can make it seem as if men are not very relevant. I didn’t agree with him that it’s too much ‘woman power’ activities, because I think that empowering women is necessary for the society at large. I do agree, though, that something should be done on the male part as well.
There are some things that I think should happen to help men be better, and that will have an overall positive effect on the society at large. I do believe, however, that it’s not something that women can effectively do and will require the participation of progressive men.
Mentoring Young Men and Boys
There are several women’s organisations that have taken the charge to empower the next generation of girls. When it comes to boys, there are not many examples of a male equivalent. Boys need the guidance and modelling of a male leader to help guide them on a positive path.
As a culture, we think that corporal punishment is the only tonic that works to guide boys to become men. I want to challenge that, because I do believe that some of what we see in young men as bad behaviour, is really an indication that there is something fundamentally wrong that needs to be addressed – from abuse to neglect. Perhaps if we identify and address those issues, as well as provide some positive reinforcements, we can have a different result.
The way boys are socialised leave them ill-equipped to deal with their emotions, especially softer emotions. We still teach boys that the only emotions that they’re allowed to express is anger, but not softer emotions like sadness, hurt, joy, etc. Boys should be allowed to express the full spectrum of emotions when applicable. Mentorship can help them be more emotionally intelligent.
It’s time that men step up and play their part is supporting boys and helping them become better human beings. Instead of feeling resentment towards the women-empowerment activities, they can learn from it and find out how they can help boys become better men.
So, I want to challenge a man to find the time and mentor one boy, really invest some effort into guiding and uplifting that boy. It’s time to level up and get involved, gentlemen.