Start writing a post

Boys will not be boys: The toxic norms around masculinity we have to disband

Whilst some might have been forced to register words like "be a man," or "big boys don't cry," have compelled to subconsciously and unconsciously exhibit traits of superiority, bigotry, violence, suppression, predator-ship and presumptuousness.

Boys will not be boys: The toxic norms around masculinity we have to disband
three boys running on field
Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash
Elvis is a writer who creates content on fashion, lifestyle and culture. His main focus is inclusion, diversity, phobia and masculinity

For someone who was raised with two elder sisters, a younger brother, a loving mother, and an amazing father, I'd leave you with a very important statement - boys will not be boys. However, that statement couldn't be farther from the truth. Boys will be who we raise them to be, and my mom made sure her boys saw the truth in that.


I can recall friends passing very toxic normative statements of how boys can/should be without respect, or thoughts on the impacts these statements have on the mental health of the male child. It badly fueled our egos. We thought about the numerous things I could be excused for because we were boys growing up in the steps of other male adults. But trust a mother who never settled for the normative nuances of nature to beat down that ego as quickly as it surfaced.

A quote that resonates with me is from the Award-winning author and feminist icon, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

"By far the worst things we do to males - by making them feel they have to be hard - is that we leave them with very fragile egos."

Unlike me, not everyone is presented with such an opportunity. Whilst some might have been forced to register words like "be a man," or "big boys don't cry," have compelled to subconsciously and unconsciously exhibit traits of superiority, bigotry, violence, suppression, predator-ship and presumptuousness.

What parents or guardians fail to understand, is by subjugating boys to live a life filled with lack of emotions or empathy, they normalize a lifestyle that perpetuates hate, pariah, misogyny, assault, bullying, catcalling and hardness.

This generation of men have been raised with an idea so hurtful, it leaves nothing but pain and sheer lack of empathy. Every single action has been ruled out by an unhealthy narrative of how boys will be boys. Boys now see vulnerability as weaknesses instead of strengths.

To be honest, if we're ever going to disband the ideologies behind the practice of toxic masculinity, it'll have to be a collective effort. An effort where everyone involved is very intentional and conscious about the importance of changing the narrative and the concepts of masculinity/manhood, not just for the safety of women, but for the men, themselves.

How our mothers' lessons shaped us into the people we are today

We need mom's message to get through.


Eeva Rehnström, in her graduation cap. Four years later, she became my mother. (1931-2012)

Photo courtesy of Dr.Jaana Rehnström, the Founder of The Kota Alliance
https://twitter.com/TheKotaAlliance
https://www.facebook.com/TheKotaAlliance
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kota-alliance-102174129/
https://www.instagram.com/kota_alliance/

A special bond exists, in all cultures, between mothers and their children. Fathers are important as well, of course, but due to the very early bonding arising from feeding and nurturing, a child's emotional life is strongly affected by the mother.

Nine years after my own mother passed away at 81-years-old, I think about the role mothers play in developing our sense of right and wrong. Sometimes all it takes is a response to an innocent question.

Keep reading... Show less

A Parent's Hangover Survival Guide

Surviving a hangover with small children can be tough - here's my guide to getting through it

This bank holiday weekend I got a bit over excited about being able to see people in real life and had way too many margaritas. And I paid for it the next day. Hangover days BC (before children) involved lots of sleep and only emerging from the bed or sofa to answer the door to pizza.

Ah, those were the days. When you have small children, hangovers require a different strategy; here's my advice on how to survive a hangover when you have kids.

Keep reading... Show less
#StartTheConversation by joining us on
x

Join our new platform for free and your post can reach a huge audience on Indy100 and The Independent join