Scrolling through social media, one cannot fail but notice a headline or post of something wrong a man has done. With the advance of social media, men’s acts have been brought to question of their authenticity and intent. Man’s actions have questioned in his position as a father, brother, boyfriend, friend or work colleague or boss. This gave life to the hashtags #MenAreTrash and #MeToo. These two hashtags have exposed a number of criminal acts done by men that pass without question or worse that men do not consider to be criminal at all.
Gillette was recently in the news because of the video advert they released. The advert asks men to be better and that they can be so. The 2 minute video documents the behaviour of man under condemnation that men take for granted.
A number of men came up to contest the objective of Gillette. The argument fronted is that the video advert closes up all men in the same bracket as culprits. This same group argues that as much as there are bad men, there are also good men. Men who stand for their families. Men that protect, provide and are present in their children’s lives.
Men account for the biggest number of inmates in prisons across the world. This predates way back in history. During a recent conversation, I was informed that for the case of Uganda, only one woman has ever been tried in a corruption case and was since acquitted.
The character of man as revealed in these actions comes as result of unwritten norms of how societal wants the man to be versus what the man is capable of. This is informed in passing line such as “big boys don’t cry” as told to little boys as they dare open up to cry. In school, it was okay for a girl to cry upon being spanked but not for a boy as that would attract laughter from the entire class. Such experiences teach the boy child to suffocate their emotion and cry in hiding or resort to another way of letting out emotion. The results are the actions for which many men are in bad books of their families, friends and the communities from which they come. There is a remedy however, and that remedy lies in men standing up for fellow men. Building support groups that can hold each accountable to one another.
The argument is that man should be helped to cope with the changes in his life just as is the case for women. Society tends to care more the girl child than the boy.
The last twenty five years have registered bigger milestones in promoting the interests of the girl child. And because no one attends to the boy child, this has left behind a generation of dis-empowered men. The kind that do not know how to go about simple things in life like indulgence.
MAN ON TOP is a tale woven with the author’s varying experiences over the years growing up as a young Christian man; as a son to his parents, a student in school, and now; a husband and father, and as well as a leader both at church and at the work place. The author, through a series of W themed chapters dissects different topics that men especially the young adults ought to be paying attention to. This book comes as a response to the many questions that men carry in their heads but never get to ask. It carries the experiences men deliberately avoid talking about. On the brighter side, it teaches and reminds men what they ought to be doing especially in the arena of family.
Not many men have grown up to enjoy a friendly relationship with their parents. Most of them have grown up in fear of what their father’s next move would be. In the end, they have grown up distanced from the people who could have mentored them. There is a desperate need of fatherhood and father figures across the nation.
Things can change. Men can still be on top regardless.
The book is written by Jeremy Byemanzi