Men need platforms where they can speak freely about their challenges and problems.
On Sunday, April 23, 2017, I was at the poolside of Excellence Hotel watching the Manchester United match.
Parents had brought their kids for them to swim and have fun outside the house. In the middle of the game, a little boy who was swimming earlier ran to his mum.
He was crying because he had bruised his knee when he was getting out of the pool. Later, his mum tried to clean his wounds with methylated spirit. The boy wasn't having it. He couldn't stand the pain and was screaming and wailing.
Some men who were at the swimming pool area told the boy to man up and take the pain without crying. "Ah, ah, you are a man stop crying," they said.
This got me thinking. A lot of men go through emotional stress but can't express themselves because society has told them that men should not complain. Society has told men that they shouldn't complain but soak up the pressure. They should take it all in.
What this has created over the years are men who are afraid to express what they are going through for the fear of being called 'soft'.
Men deal with a lot of issues and handle a lot of pressure. Society expects, demands from you that you are successful from a young age. You are expected to figure what life means from the beginning. However, men go through challenges, bouts of self-doubt, depression, financial challenges and mental health issues.
They absorb these things, afraid to speak to anyone because they are afraid of being ridiculed or taunted. Masculinity so fragile is only half of the story. Masculinity is fragile wrapped in a case of bravado.
There are many platforms for woman empowerment and they highly needed. These platforms help women to deal with their various issues, develop, and grow into their potential. In your average Nigerian church, there are seminars to help women grow and become better versions of themselves.
For men, there are groups that mainly focus on men as businessmen. There aren't many groups that deal with the emotional issues that men face. And this is a serious issue.
This is why men are committing suicide, and going crazy. All that emotional turmoil has to find an escape. When there isn't an avenue for escape, we see men start to crack.
There needs to be an emergence of platforms where men can seek help and learn how to deal with their issues. No one really teaches men how to be men. you are expected to figure it out. This approach is dated. Men also need empowerment platforms like women to be better men.
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