Yesterday was International Men's Day and, of course, there was very little celebration of our men. The social media posts, likes, and comments were awfully few. Don't we realise that a number of men are marginalised? Who will come to support and rescue us?
Why don't we have fora and conferences to celebrate and empower our men? If it were the women that were being featured, we would certainly see many adverts, podcasts, and meetings being organised to recognise them and give them a space to articulate issues affecting them.
I have absolutely nothing against women — a significant number of them are part of my life and I love them dearly. However, while they have fought for their place in society — and many are still fighting — we must acknowledge that our society is becoming feminised. Numerous statistics in education sectors across the world speak to the women leading, in terms of enrolment and subsequent graduation at both the secondary and tertiary levels. Yet academia will continue to create programmes and departments geared at women's studies. Women are constantly surrounded by empowerment while the men are sidelined. It certainly plays a key role in many of them becoming successful these days, which is a remarkable thing.
One may interpret my position as being misogynistic, but that is not the conclusion I wish to be drawn. I deal with university students daily and have first-hand experience of the myriad issues faced by our men: insecurity, sexuality, expectations, relationships, etc. They need people to believe in their capacities; they need mentors; they need father figures because many of them either do not know their biological fathers or get little to no support from them; they need advice on business ventures; they need emotional support whenever they experience hurt or have to make difficult decisions. Importantly, they need safe spaces where they can feel vulnerable without being judged or being ridiculed because they do not live up to the "macho" expectations of a "real man".
Admittedly, we cannot expect our women to lead this charge. They are building their legacies and expanding boundaries so that other women can occupy territories. We, the men, have to take initiatives to support, validate, and positively influence ourselves. We want to be the best fathers, leaders, businessmen, academics, professionals, and husbands.
Male creatives, influencers, media personalities, professors, corporate executives, pastors, politicians, etc, the next generation of men is depending on you for guidance. You must act now. A healthy man will lead to a healthy home, which will lead to a healthy society.
Let's support our men.