Feminism is becoming more popular as more women and men fight for the equal rights of both sexes. As a result, more and more opponents to the feminist cause keep rising in a bid to champion the status quo that has persisted over the years and favoured men. For many of these opponents, feminism is absolute nonsense. Men and women are not equal; hence they cannot have equal social and economic rights. Many men are against the feminist movement as it makes women ‘undateable’. Someone on twitter recently said, “women are unhappy in their marriages because they don’t want to give up complete control to their men”. A guy on a TV show said he chose to marry from a different country because the women in his country were feminists who had not learned to rely on the ability of men to control the relationship (I really hate that word ‘control’ by the way). His choice of a bride was however very interesting – a woman who threw major tantrums, cancelled his flight via his email and even cleaned out his iPhone because he failed to get her a designer purse. It made me realise two things: 1. Many men do not understand what feminism or who a feminist is, and 2. men are victims of society as much as women have been.
Growing up in an African society, it was normal to hear the phrase “Be a man” whenever a man was facing a situation that drove him to tears. The phrase was meant to remind him of the fallacy that real men don’t shed tears. Real men take every pain in stride and move on like nothing ever happened. It was also common to hear elderly men tell younger men “you must show her you are the man” when giving relationship advice. The idea behind such advice was to urge the man to make sure the woman in his life did whatever he wanted, the way he wanted it. Even when these men were unfaithful to their partners, these elders told younger men to show themselves as men and not mind the painful groaning of their wives.Afterall, they are men!
I got to realise now that the feminist movement has exposed the fragile parts of masculinity that men have been raised to believe they are not men except they are able to control another person’s life, subject another person to pain and make decisions whose weight they don’t necessarily have to carry alone.
Society has victimised men by giving them power that they have not earned and by letting them ride on the insecurity wave that presents itself as security. Many men would not live with a woman who makes decisions regarding her career and her heart’s desires, not because she does not value their input, but because they are not in control of the situation. Many men would not marry women who are as educated as they are because they believe women who are ‘too educated’ (by the way, there is no such thing as too much education) are hard to control. Many men who marry educated women make it a point of duty to ‘clip their wings’ just so they can show them who’s boss. And interestingly, in all of this, these men consider themselves secure in their identity and individuality. Well, guess what? They are not. If anything at all, society has sown the ultimate seed of insecurity in men, telling them that they are not enough as they are, except someone is enslaved by them.
That is why feminism is regarded as a problem, rather than progress. That is why men don’t want women with vision but will happily put up with a woman who has no direction or plans for her life. It is the reason men will detest a woman who has her life together and will celebrate a woman who is unaware her brain is in her head. This is why submission is still a word in relationships and power is necessary to make the man feel good. It is why words like leverage are thrown around in discussions with their partners, and the term head of the home is more important than anything else. It is why many men are afraid of genuine love because it is too carefree, too happy, too free. It cannot be controlled; hence they let it fo (post for another day).
It is so difficult to be a man, but the added pressure from society to prove that masculinity adds a whole different dimension to that difficulty. Society has raised men to be narcissistic and self-destructive. They are not raised to choose the partners that uplift them; they are raised to choose the partners they can subdue. As a matter of fact, they are not raised to choose partners, they are raised to choose disciples and robotic elements who agree with everything they do, do everything they say, and say everything they want them to say at the time they want them to say it. With time, these men get bored and begin to feel like they are hibernating in life. In spite of that, they would not be caught dead with a woman who has an opinion, a vision or plans for her life. Of course, this spills over into other aspects of their lives. I have heard of men who refuse to rent houses owned by women, find it hard to take instructions from a female boss at work, and even disrespect women they barely know on the street because they have someone like her at home *sigh.
If you think society victimised only women, observe men and think again. As we liberate women, we must liberate men too! We are all victims of sick societal values that foster insecurity. XOXO