Before we start today’s blog post, let me put the disclaimer out early…
Disclaimer: I am going to upset some women with this post. Some of you are going to get all defensive, and I know many of you are going to roll your eyes, give real side eye and suck your teeth. I knew all of this before I decided to write on this topic. But guess what… I don’t really care. It is not about you, Boo. It’s about all of us as a people/our human existence. At the end of the day, I am always going to write my truth with the full understanding that there isn’t a fan club for unfiltered truth. Some people will always prefer to dwell in the misguided fairytale they call life. Ok… so now we have covered all of that… let me go ahead and piss some of you off with the full blog post.
Today we are talking about men…and before you get your big girl panties all tied up, let me explain myself a little better… Today we are speaking about males, that is our young boys and grown men, and the way in which we [women] raise/treat and lift them up [oh, I can hear the soft rise of the suck teeth now… Be quiet and keep reading].
Let me give some background to this post… I am a mother of daughters. I have no biological sons, and I can understand why some people may say that I have no authority to speak on raising and ‘training’ young boys. But as a mom and a woman, I always find it surprising the twisted way in which women raise and often worship their young sons. From conception, society shines a light onto a woman’s belly hoping and praying for a boy. In some societies, a fetus is even aborted if it is found to be a girl. One would think that, with such a high preference, a male’s life would be a bed of roses, with limitless expectations for perfection. But this is not always a fact. At an early age, boys are told who they will be, which includes becoming a ladies’ man. They are told not to cry or show emotions; they should always be strong and to fight anyone for everything that they want. Many women go out of their way to dress their toddler sons like rappers and athletes [you do know that you could buy a bunch of books, Legos and STEM games for the same money you busy spending on name brands???]. Then when the poor child grows a little and goes off to school, other family members start contributing to his ‘training’ with questions and teasing about “how MANY girlfriends” he has while reminding him of the family legacy where no one in the family is “a punk” and they won’t allow him to be any different.
It doesn’t take a psychologist to understand how this sends a very distorted message to a growing boy, where he is nurtured into becoming a “bad boy” and a “playboy” instead of a learned gentleman [I know there were other terms I could use, but I am trying hard to keep this post PG-13]. When boys are worshipped for their ability to play sports and exploit women, rather than being applauded for their emotional and educational growth, we all suffer the consequences. As these boys grow up seeing the females in their family spending time with the thugs, the ‘playboys’ and men who lack any real long-term aspirations, they “learn” quickly. They constantly see their moms, sisters, aunts, and neighbors staying in relationships where the ‘men’ cheat and beat on them. Don’t you think little boys see and listen as women show little to no interest in hard working and emotionally expressive men, while the shiny, fast-talking and emotionally unavailable men get all the attention? Clearly, we are training our young boys to give credence to the idea that we women would rather stay in debilitating ‘relationships’ than be alone. It could just be my way of thinking, but I believe what we learn at home is normally what we take to the streets.
But our mixed signals to men do not end there; our twisted messages accompany them into their adulthood as well. We call them dogs and fools. We tell them how “they aren’t anything and won’t be anything.” Then we open our legs and our hearts wide to the ‘Canines’, paying no mind to dusting off the occasional fleas. Now before you lose sight of the topic at hand—from your reactive rolled eyes—I am not praising all men and putting them on an eternal pedestal with unrealistic expectations of perfection. I know that no one on this earth is perfect. I have seen personally the imperfections that lie within men [and women]. It was a young male who molested me, a young man who attempted to rape me, a grown man who cheated on me, one even had the nerve to dump me [I still need to send him a Thank you card]. There were also the mature men who placed glass ceilings over me and those who surreptitiously implied sexual exchanges for career advancement. But even within this reality, I can still say that, as women, we need to lift our men up.
“Why” you ask? Because two sides remain hidden within the truth. Inside each man lies a soul, since God did not decide to create man and woman and just give her a soul [though in my opinion I still think we are the more advanced model…just saying]. As a carrier of a soul, a man will have to face personal battles that many of us will never know. His spirit and energy will be attacked by the constant whisper telling him that he is a failure and will never be enough. And even though this assault began from the beginning of humankind, it is within the magic of a woman to turn the tides. I know we are constantly told to cook and clean for our men, and to do ‘handstands’ for our men; but how many of us are told to pray for our men? You need to pray over their present and into their future. This should be a constant act until it becomes part of your relationship as a mother, sister, friend, girlfriend, wife… And if you are not willing to pray for him, then you shouldn’t be in his life. [Yes, you did not misread that last sentence—I said it.] Through our words we are given the ability to choose the paints and hues that color and stain our future. If you are not willing to paint beauty into his being, then you really are serving no valid purpose in his life [harsh, but it needs to be said]. If we keep calling men dogs, then we women are also carrying fleas because broken attracts broken. It is time for us to stop speaking negativity onto men and refrain from saying that there are no good men out there. If there are no good men, then there are also no good women…and I, for one, strongly refute that notion.
As a society, I want us to pray for our men, teach them, support their dreams and provide role models for them. But in no way and at no time should we provide excuses for them. I want men to be held accountable for their actions and to know that there are consequences for when they mess up. So that means that if you know that a man has multiple children and is not financially or emotionally supporting them, then you have no right to be laying up with him. If you know that your friend is cheating on his wife, then you shouldn’t be hanging out with him. And if you know that a business man is beating and abusing his wife/women/children, then you shouldn’t be doing business with him.
It is quite simple when you remove all the semantics out of it—as women we hold a lot of power in our homes, our legs, through social media and the way we spend our dollars. We have the greatest ability in providing a nurturing nest to inspire greatness, or to remove warmth and watch things fall apart. As care givers, it is our job to inspire young males to achieve greatness, not by encouraging them to emulate the fallen, but by showing them and surrounding them with examples of great men. It is our job as a society to hold the fallen accountable and to ensure that they rectify their wrongs instead of handing them hall passes. As wives and lovers, it is our job to encourage and inspire our men, to help them build empires, to protect them from the world while showing them the respect that we too demand for ourselves. If we do not project better and never accept better, how will it ever be any better? For as a weak man/woman needs to break down a weaker woman/man to feel secure, so to the powerful woman knows that only a strong man can stand by her side. Therefore, she is willing to accept no less, and will speak strength into the man/boys/men in her life.