“A bouncing baby boy” most often in African countries is a proclamation of death. This death, unfortunately, affects us all. Surprising, right? Africa where it’s known the rights of females are trampled upon, where treatment is discriminated among the genders with the males coming out on top. Let me break it down for you:
Of recent, awareness of the discrimination against females has soared. Different programs, NGO initiatives, and government sponsored empowerment programs have all come up with one aim: to empower the women in a society that does not think much of their gender. Have women been empowered? Yes. Has the societal outlook on the position and roles of females changed in the African society? Sadly, not much. Rather it seems the antagonistic feeling of the African man against the perceived threat of being dominated by females has equally soared with the awareness of discrimination. Battles are being won towards the establishment of a society built on mutual trust and respect between the two genders, but the war is very far from being won. Most African males still perceive females as materials to be used whenever they like. The rape statistics show this. What is being done wrong?
It starts from birth. How best to tell boys that holding someone back irrespective of gender will only keep the society behind? In fact, is this being done at all? Are boys being taught in schools and other social outlets to respect everyone regardless of gender? Boys have no programs, no enlightenment initiatives in place to mould their mindsets on the way they see the opposite gender in the society. The few men who respect women are either from exceptional families or arrived at that conclusion themselves. They managed to remain boys, while others died with unthinking beasts now running their minds. Young boys, now beasts, view the feminine gender differently without realizing there is really no difference. Can we wake up the boys in our boys? Can we stop letting them die?
Tomorrow, a boy will see a girl he likes and ask her out. She’ll refuse. He’ll be stunned—how dare she who was made for his pleasure?—he will stand in wait for her and catch her off-guard. At that moment, whatever safe defense strategy she’d learnt will leave her head in a flurry of panicked thought. Unable to reach her pepper spray, the boy will take advantage of her, leaving her with shame, damaging another important fibre of the society. The boy will rise, no. A beast will rise because the boy died. The boy died while we empowered girls and made them responsible; the boy died while we allowed girls to be emotional beings, to say it out while the boys man up and show no pain, leaving them to battle with a dazzling flurry of emotion, unable to handle anything, but pretending to be in charge; the boy died while we taught girls how to behave and let boys be boys. The boy died, long ago.
This article was written by Ogechukwu Samuel; connect with him on IG here