Recently I read a tweet from someone asking why some men are ORDERED to be men. Yeah, I mean its funny telling a man to be a man, right? Just how more manly can he be in addition to the masculine features he already has? It’s not like he wakes up one morning midway to becoming a woman and the scrubby beard is still there while the lips are already feminine and someone goes like ‘bruh, be a man!’
Or maybe a man likes to walk around in something that closely resembles a hand bag and his pals point out that anomaly and advice him to be a man.
Perhaps there is more to just having the distinct masculine features and mannerisms that makes you a man; could be a characteristic which will make someone say ‘so and so is a man’s Man’ which pretty much alleviates you a notch higher in the pecking order of masculinity.
The phrase ‘be a man’ could be a call to action as a result of a missing quality in the list of being a man. It’s like there is something a man is supposed and expected to do, or men of previous generations used to do and we don’t. So women are going back to the archives trying to work out a solution to the problem of men not being men, and they land on a random page of a dusty, aging Encyclopedia and they are like ‘that’s it (pointing to a sentence written in Italics), this is what our men have ceased doing!’
There are a bunch of things men of yore used to do that the modern day man doesn’t, either willingly or due to prevailing circumstances. Our predecessors for one used to eat the food they have hunted; like they would go out with their spears, hunt down a buffalo or deer, chop it up, smoke it and store it someplace where the family would feed on it for days.
A modern day man does not hunt. In fact, a huge percent of modern men have never held a spear in their hands and the only hunting they do is hitting on Qwerty keyboards from 9 to 5 utilizing what they were indoctrinated to do thanks to the education system. Well, good thing is that it still puts bread and butter on the table, but when it comes to doing the Qwerty thing women can obviously do it better.
Perhaps a notable difference between these classes of men is their way of showing affection. Men of yore never seemed to show much affection for their women, much as they were the heads of their households. They were not into kissy-kissy cuddly stuff like the modern day chap; I think stuff on Telly has really ruined the stuff men were made of. Nowadays most men have resorted to worshipping women, which was not the case when our grandfathers were our age. Fine, a little affection was thrown a woman’s way while the man was planning to literally kidnap her on her way from the river but the line was drawn at marriage. Once she was at home safe as a wife, affection would fly away to the future to waylay the modern man. The man would retreat to a corner and bark out orders which would be followed without question.
I wouldn’t want to imagine how the lovemaking was in those days, but am pretty certain men back then did not care with the physics behind unclasping bras. Goodness, now that I think about it I’m beginning to realize that perhaps there were many things they did not care about! Maybe the women back then were content with whatever they got coz divorce cases were very rare in those days.
The lack of affection spread its tentacles to the children too because in those days fathers were not as friendly to their sons as they are now. Back then the father acted as an aloof figure in the family, a shadow looming in the background with occasional coughing or clearing the throat as a reminder that he is around. Sons were not as free with their fathers and the chances that a father would teach his son how to ride a bike was even unheard of. If say, a son approaches his father and asks for lessons, the father is most likely to dismiss him by cautioning him against being soft. Be a man, the father would say; fall and get up as many times as you can, that will teach you how to be your own man.
While it is very common to see a modern day man carrying his wife’s hand bag while the baby is firmly strapped in his chest, men who lived in the times of our grandfathers would never do such a thing because their respect and standing in society would considerably go down. He would no longer drink at the table of men and his decisions would never count in those Barazas that men used to hold back then discussing the way forward for the village. He would be required to slaughter a goat to appease the ancestors because his fellow men would take it as a sign of being cursed. And even after accepting him back in the gatherings of old men, h would only hold minor roles like skinning goats and roasting the meat for the rest of the gang.
So, why is the phrase ’be a man’ so common nowadays. Is there an essential ingredient the modern man is missing which is now making him half man? I know men who were mature enough to understand what went on in the famous Beijing women conference on gender equality and the empowerment of women would blame the current predicament facing men on it. The conference tipped the odds to the ladies favor and of late, I would say, it has culminated into men being ass whooped like kids by their wives.
Will a game changer like the one Gikuyu men played on their women when the infamous Wangu wa Makeri used to rule over them work for the modern day man so he can indeed prove that he is a man, or is it too late for a game changer? Perhaps women already understand very well what being a Man is and no matter what men do, they will still be lacking as men.
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