It’s officially international men’s day on the 19th November 2019… yay! Or is it yay!?... Before I start to consider men’s day, I have had to sit and reflect on what this really means, what does it mean to be a man, is it being quiet and aloof like my dad, or does it mean walking around wearing a mean look on your face, in an attempt to try to hide behind a mask hoping no one will see the real man/boy.
In today’s world, it’s almost anathema to suggest that life can be hard for a man, there is an almost unspoken rule carved in granite that upholds and enforces the cultural construct that men are big and tough and don’t feel any hurt or we as men are untouched by any feelings. The question for me was, when was the exact day or time that we went from the little boy that needed to be held, reassured, and comforted to the “Man” that has no feelings or can’t be hurt or doesn’t feel insecure or lonely or lost?
I have scattered some quotes on manhood throughout this written piece that I’m not sure I live up to but isn’t this part of the social construct that enforces the lie, it is even more interesting to think about how women think about men and their role.
“Men want a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and A beauty to rescue.Whilst reflecting on this question, I am transported back to my early twenties with my first real relationship shattered into a million pieces. I remember telling my mom what was going on and her reaching out to me with an embrace only a mother can give, I don’t mind telling anyone that at that moment I sobbed like a baby feeling no shame, this was my mom, I needed a hug and she knew it. Now just to put this into context, I have worked the doors as a bouncer and gateman at dances back in the day at places like Edwards and Hummingbird I’ve trained in martial arts for many years and never suffered fools gladly, however at that moment I was just a broken-hearted little boy inside a man, crying into my mother’s shoulder.
That is what is written in their hearts. That is what little boys play at.
That is what men’s movies are about. You just see it is undeniable.”
- John Eldridge
I'm not suggesting that all men are little angels or that some women haven’t suffered at the hands of men, this could be through emotional or even physical violence and other forms of abuse.
“if Boys don’t learn, men won’t know.” - Douglas Wilson
There are many women who might quote figures on domestic violence, something I deplore, domestic violence last year was responsible for the death of 139 women in the UK. These women died at the hands of male partners in domestic violence situations, what is interesting is that last year even though there were 1.2million women who suffered domestic violence, there were also 713,000 men that suffered domestic violence.
4.3% of men and 7.5% of women stated that they have experienced domestic abuse in 2016/17, equivalent to an estimated 713,000 male victims and 1.2million female victims. For every three victims of domestic abuse, two will be female, one will be male. (Mankind Initiative 2018)
I know there seems to be a 2-1 disparity however please consider all of those women that don’t tell anyone for fear of rocking the boat, and then after considering the true number of women suffering from domestic violence.
“Manhood and Christlikeness are Synonamouse.” - Edwin Louise Cole
I would then challenge you to probably double the number of men who suffer from domestic violence, but are too embarrassed to say anything about it to friends and family, ESPECIALLY the brothers!!!. I can almost hear the chorus that there are still more women suffering and even dying in domestic violence situations, this may be true, however I would then say there are three times more men that die at their own hands as there are women.
Then I go right back to your own little boy who needs to feel wanted and needed and comforted.
The same way you treat that man is the same way another woman will treat your son.
The same way you judge that man is the same was another woman will judge your son.
The same way you misrepresent that man is the was another woman will misrepresent your son.
The same way you lie about that man is the same way another woman will lie about your son.
“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One” - Marcus Aurelius
I suppose what I’m saying as a black man is when thinking about how you treat that man on national men’s day and going forward, whatever you don’t want for your baby boy, and I know some of you don’t have baby boy’s, (or don’t have them yet).
Don’t do to someone else’s baby boy what you wouldn’t allow anyone to do to yours, because believe it or not there is a universal law that quite simply states, what goes around will finally come right back around.
Finally, I would say to the brothers, that whatever you won't allow for your babygirl…yea you got it!!!