Von Goethe once said, “character develops itself in the stream of life”.
And this saying holds true for many people. Everyone has good and bad qualities. Sometimes, these bad qualities are often a result of how one is raised. When it comes to African men, there are many traits and characters that should be termed bad. These characters are often as a result of how men are raised and the need to follow tradition, culture and religion. Here are some really questionable things African men are raised to believe:
1. Men don’t show emotion
Many African men are raised to believe that showing emotion isn’t manly. From when they are boys, African males are told: “real men don’t cry”. They keep things bottled up and end up lacking emotional intelligence. Everyone is born with tear ducts, crying has no gender. Expressing emotions other emotions like sadness, happiness and even crying doesn’t make you less of a man.
2. Men have to provide
In the 21st century, women work and are able to provide for themselves. But African men haven’t caught up to that reality yet. Boys are raised to become breadwinners when they grow up. Many men are struggling financially because they believe they have to be the breadwinners in their family even when their wives earn just as much as they do or higher. Marriage is a partnership and both parties ought to contribute equally.
3. Monogamy doesn’t exist
Many young African men grew up watching their fathers cheat on their mums and having other families outside. They end up having the belief that a man is randy and not monogamous by nature. They use terms like side chicks and main chicks to justify their behaviour. They grow up to become their fathers and force other women to endure what their mothers did. Monogamy and fidelity are attainable.
4. Men are superior to women
From a really young age, boys are taught to believe men are superior to women. From how can a girl come first in your class to how can you let a girl win, this attitude of feeling superior to women is ingrained in many African men. Even as grownups, African men can’t stand the fact that a woman is doing better than them professionally, financially and other “lys”. This comes from a belief that men are inherently superior to women. First of all, both genders are equal.
5. Men are entitled to everything
“Boys will be boys” and “he’s just a boy” are some of the phrases that boys hear that is often used to excuse them crossing boundaries. They grow up with this sense of entitlement to things and people. Entitled boys grow up to be entitled men. When the average African man gets rejected, the girl that said is just a “hoe”. He can’t believe someone can reject him. This entitlement makes him believe that anything that doesn’t go his way is the fault of someone else.
6. Ego is everything
The average African men will go any length to protect his ego and will do anything to avenge what he sees as a slight on his ego (pride) as a man. This ego and need to be right are why many African men try to force their opinions down your throat even when you are an expert in that field and have a better understanding.
7. Women should be submissive
Would you expect your fellow adult man to be passive and let you run their lives? Why do you expect this from women? This behaviour and expectation come from boys being raised to see women as inherently less. Boys who are taught that women are less, grow up to become men who believe women are inferior and should submit to their “higher intelligence”. News flash: men and women are equal. Nobody owes you submission.