• January 6, 2021 at 10:21 am #3032
    Huong Nguyen

    1. Stereotypes and culture that hurt males

    a. Over the year, my community is seen as a great citadel of outstanding luminaries that secured a special place in the history and evolution of the Emirate since the emergence of Nigeria as an independent country. Yet, the community is viewed today characteristically as indolent, uncivilized and retrogressive due to its conventional norms or ethics that ingrain specific responses of the people in the community. My community is embraced with the stereotype of not allowing their male child to marry from other communities, tribes or region except within the community. This has however becomes a norm with the aim of spreading goodwill across the community and increasing the population growth of the community. With the current trend in dynamic education system across the globe, it is difficult for a male child in the community to marry from other tribe or region, this has killed lots of emotions, feelings and impedes male growth in the community. Today as we speak, the high rate of domestic violence and sexual abuse in the community is caused by this fact as men are not allowed to explore outside the domain of the community to marry their choices.

    b. Breaking down the above stereotype explored within the community in this treatise requires adequate sensitization and advocacy exercise which can be conducted by stakeholders and illustrious icons within the community who sees these stereotypes and norms as a backlog to promoting the community growth and development. The sensitization exercise and open dialog can be carried out within the community but chaired by activists of growth from developed nations through proper invitation. They come over to share their experiences and exposures, open people’s mindset to discoveries in the world and how stereotype impedes generation growth. Also, review the community book of life and advice on conducts that will reduce mental illnesses and improve people’s living standards within the community is also a vital measures to curb impediments in the community. However, knowledge is said to be the key to accomplishment, therefore, seeking for intense knowledge about ones’ environment in relation to specific challenges faced will also contribute to the advancement of humanity at a point where people virtually had no one to emulate in their immediate environment. Enriching oneself with the impactful knowledge of stereotype and its impediments to ones’ community could also contribute to it breakdown. Conclusively, every municipals are govern and controlled by a define alms who can see through the deeds and norms of every community then set basis to their living standard. Therefore, overruling the principles of certain stereotypes and issuing policies against these stereotypes could also contribute to the breakdown that inflict great harm on males psyche in ones’ community.

    c. Succeeding older generation point of view can only be appreciated through the need for collaboration and proper orientation using the platform of formal and informal set – ups. These grouping are more common in the community where people of like minds, community leaders and younger generation gathers in groups to relax, discuss vital issues and socialize among themselves. This avenue can be bridged to allow for an open dialogue among the group convincing the community leaders on the need to review conventional norms and implement evolutions or standard that will promote the growth of the community. The community is also captivated with religion belief, preaching religion sayings to certain norms, culture and stereotypes can also convince them in setting an evolution to the community standard making reference to other developed nations and communities with the key reasons to their development.

    2. Healthy versus Toxic masculinity

    a. It is however evident that about 75% male gender exudes the trait of toxic masculinity when performing their roles by stigmatizing their emotions of love, comfort and compassion and elevating other emotions like anger, depression and anxiety in all facets of life, ranging from relationship, society and ethical belief. This occurs majorly to men who strictly adhere to cultural norms and stereotypes in their respective communities and also emphasize on been self-reliance with zero compassion or epitome of expressing emotions, feelings or thought hence, aggressively causing sexual promiscuity, violence with no social value. Toxic masculinity vastly occurs when a man sees himself to be burdened with series of entitlements or bills, becomes the only decision maker and left woman to be submissive with the ego that “a man will always have to be a man. One of the general key to high rate of crime and public health generated issues is caused by toxic masculinity such as the elevated rate of drug abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence that are rampaged today in the outside world, which has shorten many lifespans and implicated a severe incidence and ailment to human race. With the World Health Organization analysis on suicide rate of about 800,000 people who commit suicide annually with the majority being male, study from the Nigerian National Population Commission also expresses that female sex has experienced Inmate Male Violence range of 61% for emotional violence, 31% for sexual violence and 31% for physical violence which are aggressively dominated by men rooted in gender and power inequality and hence occurred as a result of Toxic masculinity. This alongside other related issues make it evident that there still exist toxic masculinity.

    b. Toxic masculinity can be unlearnt if proper sensitization on the advantages of healthy masculinity and the effect of toxic masculinity to human race can be preached. Every societal value is govern with standard and norms which are set decades ago by older generations and thus imposes toxic masculinity with no voice for gender balance, reviewing these policies and implementing new changes could reduce toxic masculinity. For example, certain norms has become an etiquette in man’s life which are embraced with ones’ culture and looks to be bias. Looking at some home whereby it has become a mandate for a male child not to cook or help with house chores rather leave all burden to the female sex. If there is adequate education or orientation on gender rights and norms it will be pertinent to then reduce toxic masculinity. For toxic masculinity to be unlearnt, there is also need to embrace gender equality, preaching that a woman have to be treated right and men respect peoples’ opinion, be optimistic in making decision, let go of your own emotions as a man and think in other people’s direction.

    c. Change as it said is inevitable but constant, every individual is embedded with series of behavior which can either be changed or reduced. The room for a patriarchal society whereby a male predominantly become the general oversee of several norms and moral value should be normalized and not victimized, if at all we want a change of narrative to a healthy masculinity. Creating more awareness to male child on the strength of possessing a healthy life and compassion, the measure of shared love and the implication of living a toxic emotion filled with ego could go a long way in changing every mans’ lives and living happily with a shared love. Also, understanding gender role is also a key to changing toxic narrative to a healthy one, every human has series of shared responsibilities like sharing of challenges, financial responsibilities, and physical responsibilities among every gender which can also create a health masculinity and not letting man to be a man all on himself. Freedom of expression is also a predominant key to a healthy masculinity, counseling parent, guidance, teachers and community leaders on gender role on social media or other platforms could encourage freedom of expression of male child and proffer a healthy living.

    d. Every defined community has a reason for its uprising and growth which are overwhelmingly acceptable to the people and then foster the growth of younger generation. A community growth however lies in the interpersonal development of the people in the community. If the above assertion is incontrovertible, it is then essential to integrate a sense of healthy masculinity into every community as it enhances a state of harmony, shared love and progress within the community. A community with a healthy masculinity is always embraced with men, women and society with a high self-esteem and societal value with a whole lots of perception in the right frame of mind. In the community, there is also a freedom of expressing oneself and free bonding with respect to one another which however contribute to a nation growth and development.

    e. Despite the fact that the pandemic has turned the year 2020 into a global economic downturn and has affected individual mental and physical responsiveness, there are certain criteria or tips we could set onboard to enhance the practice of a healthy masculinity in our communities. Most male genders today make use of the pandemic opportunity to cause more harm and abuse these period due to the fact that most male in the 20s are filled with greed and lack of empathy. Introducing a counselling session and making it a mandate for every members of each communities preferably male could change the world. Preaching goodwill and healthy messages at every religious gathering within the community will also go a long way. Conducting a sensitization exercise, an open dialogue session with a freedom of expression and zero discrimination and getting activists to influence people of every community will also enhance healthy masculinity. Finally, we do not need to rule out the influence of social media conduct on healthy masculinity in every media platforms could also help enhance healthy masculinity.

    3. How Males can use their innate skills to protect females and advance/improve society

    a. Men are naturally endowed with been assertive, channeled into giving the female gender the necessary push needed for self-awareness and also transform the society positively because women produce and train the future of every community. Therefore, when women become victims of negative assertiveness, there will be no hope for community growth and development. One other natural abilities in men’s possession to support female and embrace community transformation is Emotional intelligence and compassion involving one’s ability as a man to recognize other genders’ downturn or suffering and to respond positively to those issues through a sense of care and need.

    b. In recent time, there is considerable improvement on how men uses their natural abilities as oppose what we used to have. This occurs as a result of awareness creation, access to the media and general condemnation of excesses in men’s action within the society. Men natural abilities in my community are efficiently utilized in goal transformation and community service. Today, men abilities within my community have contributed to fight against gender discrimination, freedom of expression and freedom of information through proper implementation and advocacy to sign Freedom of Information Act, Violence against Person Prohibition, Fight for gender balance and against gender discrimination within the community. These abilities have promoted female inclusiveness in governance with the FOI Act been domesticated, VAPP Act signed into law and Social Audit implemented within the state.

    c. The impact women liberation have on male gender is what I will tagged “Liberation for men” with women liberation, men became liberated since there are connective strings between male and female gender attached with emotions and feelings that can be controlled or liberated by women efforts. The fact that women constitute the half of the global population makes their empowerment a realization. Women are said to be the wealth of every nation, therefore, to foster national growth and development then you empower a woman. The approach against women initiation which state that women education end in the kitchen is quite denied as their liberation movement towards developmental goals have reached a greater milestone. Recently in Nigeria, women have contributed to human capacity building and global goal realization through their inclusiveness in governance handling vital aspect of Education, Health, Finance, Economic, Entrepreneurship and skill acquisition. Women in Nigeria through their empowerment exercises and advocacy campaign have facilitated easy access to local and foreign market, boost entrepreneurship development and established an innovative funding window for the less privileged. Their impact also range from institutional reform, human capacity building, social welfare and policy reform. Women inclusiveness in governance has opened lots of eyes and instigated opinions and contributions to gender balance and discrimination which gives most ladies the opportunity to give to her environment the strength the environment needed. Recently in my society, women dominated the public administrative roles and inclusiveness in governance, therefore alleviating gender based discrimination or inequalities. Women today have proven their abilities to make strategic life choices where those abilities have been previously denied. Today, men are scared of what women are achieving and what they are becoming. Taking for instance, the high rate of women education, training, capacity building have foster women contribution to life determining issues within men and the society. United Nation Women (2014) however outlined that in order to create a just and sustainable world and to enhance women role in sustaining their families and communities, achieving gender inequalities is essential. Whereas, gender inequalities has extracted high economic cost, social inequalities and environmental degradation in the country. In a nutshell, woman empowerment has occupied an indispensable role toward alleviating gender discrimination or inequalities and have liberated men positively from their weaknesses.

    d. Talking about an outstanding young male Nigerian who is earnestly putting the best of his ability toward goals transformation and national development is Samson Itodo, founder of YIAGA Africa. He is a young advocate of good governance and community development with diversified experience in facilitating legislation and policies on constitutional and electoral governance, civic engagement, public accountability and national development. He as the convener of Not Too Young to Run succeeded in enhancing youth inclusiveness and alleviating gender disparities in governance. Part of his achievement in community engagement is the legislation and policy creation on constitutional and electoral governance, youth, and civic engagement that transforms Nigeria political and civic space. Going beyond his advocacy campaign, he has supported students, youths and female gender through scholarship, training programs, networking opportunities, leadership capacity and commitment to Africa development. Recently, he designed a strategic framework to strengthen Nigeria’s National Assembly and promote good governance.

    e. I believe men and women can further develop our societies through the acceptance and understanding individual differences by virtue of gender. Setting priorities and knowing what is right for both gender will enhance our societal growth. Also, embracing one another differences, seeing one another as a support system in achieving developmental goals and eradicating the attitude of discrimination can however develop the community we live in. However, gender role set up, share of responsibilities and embracing equity will also go a long way in community development. This goes well when male gender does not see themselves as a dictator but embraces opinions and allow female gender contributions to community building.

    f. An ideal women liberation movement should take a transparent context and not been delusional during the quest of contribution to community growth. Women always see themselves to be proactive when it comes to developmental goal realization and would always want their voices be heard. Therefore the best liberation movement to clearly define women role and impact is to embrace an actionable plan, engage in physical outreaches, sensitization exercises and having an open contest with other gender on National development. Their contribution to economic growth and provision of solutions to National challenges also defines the shape women liberation force should take in the contemporary world. Do not keep your ideas to yourselves because you are a lady, let your voices be heard.

    A panel discussion on male roles in our society was conducted on Zoom platform among 5 peers of young activist from different communities within Nigeria. The Panelist in attendance include:
    1. Barr. Nurah Jimoh, a Legal practitioner and a young activist from Kwara age 22
    2. Engr. Balqees, a practicing Engineer and a community developer from Lagos, age 24
    3. Miss Abishola, a Health practitioner and a mental health advocate from Ogun, age 21
    4. Miss. Precious, a Media Strategist and a SDGs Advocate from Abuja, age 19
    5. Barr. Abdulsamad, a Legal practitioner and a Community development Activist, from Lagos, 23
    6. Mr. Habeeb Dayo Aliyu, a young leader under Kectil training (The Convener)
    The session was very brief as we look into the general context of male roles in our societies and the disparity male gender initiated within the society. Male gender role cannot be over emphasized says Miss Abishola, men should know their responsibilities and never discriminate female gender from their quota of responsibilities. This has to do with male gender expressing themselves rightly and not been reluctant to making the right zeal. Barr. Nurah opined that people around the community should be sensitized and well oriented on the gender based role within the society and not restricting the female gender their right for freedom of information, communication, expression and contribution to community growth and living standard.
    Knowledge is said to be the key to accomplishment said Barr. Abdul, therefore, seeking for intense knowledge about ones’ environment in relation to specific challenges faced should be the key role of both gender and embraced with shared responsibilities. Enriching oneself with the impactful knowledge of stereotype and its impediments to ones’ community could also contribute to it breakdown. Miss Precious however stated that certain norms has become an etiquette in man’s life which are embraced with ones’ culture and looks to be bias. Looking at some home whereby it has become a mandate for a male child not to cook or help with house chores rather leave all burden to the female sex. It is obvious that if this cannot be abolished and male gender try to orient other peers on gender rights and norms it will gravely cause adversity and affect developmental goals.
    All panels however agreed to the Kectil Promise Leaders Pledge and see it as an oath every responsible male gender should take and adhered to for a promising future. Barr. Nurah however added that the pledge should be in the constitution and taken as an oath of independent for every responsible man during their legal bondage. Miss Abishola however, seek for a handbill of the pledge to be shared at every conferences, workshops, seminars to every male gender and then preach its adherence scheme to everyone as it is very important. Barr. Abdulsamad however added that every woman must be seen as a reflection of every man’s success, therefore there is need to support their weaknesses and embrace their strengths.
    Conclusively, Miss Precious encouraged all female gender who has given up their supporting spirit and liberation towards developmental goals due to male gender oppression and autocratic approach to their living standard to stand and fight against discrimination, seek for adequate education, orientation and advocacy on gender role and equality, start raising motions and contest diligently against disparities and Violence and advocate for sustainable growth and development.
    The panel session was short and precise and span a duration of 45minutes with all panelist in attendance. A survey was conducted to get a feedback about the session from our panelists, as the session ended with a room for networking and close association among the panelists.

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