Faith Idemudia – Nigeria

  • January 6, 2021 at 10:25 am #3033
    Huong Nguyen
    Keymaster

    What male stereotypes can you identify within your immediate community? Explain why you believe these are stereotypes. (less than 200 words)
    There are several male stereotypes in my community considering the fact that it one of Africa context where customs and norms are greatly valued. Firstly, a man must always portray himself as physically strong, not feint hearted and not emotional. However these patterns create some difficulty in the way of life of some males and adverse effect on females. People are created differently and not everyone by virtue of being male can live up to this generalized views.
    Secondly, in family setting, a man is seen as the one who ought to go outside and be the breadwinner of the home, even when he may seem incapable. Also domestic duties are seen as something a man ought not to engage in when a woman is in the house. This is a widely accepted view and males from their adolescents are taught this role.
    Furthermore, in an occupational or professional context, males have specific professions as opposed to anything. For instance, it rare to find a male nurse, as nurse is perceived to be secondary and mere assistant to a doctor and at such more suitable for a woman, while a man is generally preferred as a doctor.

    What measures do you believe can be instituted in order to ensure that these stereotypes can be broken down? (less than 400 words)
    Generally alot need to be done in order to break these stereotypes, it won’t be easy but the narratives cab be changed. Basically attention need to be given to males, realizing that they are confronted with numerous patterns or ways expected of them to live up to and if not properly guided this could yield to lot of pressure being placed on the male gender, no wonder the gender suicide statistics revealed that suicides happen about 1.8 times among males than females in 2008 and 1.7 times in 2015.
    The first step towards successfully breaking these stereotypes is awareness. Alot of awareness. Much awareness through various publicity frameworks should be instituted especially among relevant stakeholders such as Government, Ngos and civil societies. They should be meant to understand that alot of these stereotypes means no good, but more like confining people into a certain style of life. Consequently, this awareness has to do with reorientation of both young and old people that these stereotypes further make the society for most males seem like a mental prison and often time lead to depression. It equally have numerous adverse effect on females some of which includes physical abuse, domestic violence and sexual harassment. Furthermore, this reorientation has to start from kindergartens, the male child need to be taught that he is human and should be able to express his emotions without fear of being labeled weak or emotional. The male child need to be taught to respect the female gender as a fellow human without any form of intimidation and lot more.
    In submission, society need to placed more emphasis on values that will limit gender disparity, as this will further eradicate these male stereotypes.

    How do you think we can change the points of view of older generations in order to see the harm that male stereotypes are having on the younger generations’ mental health? (less than 400 words)
    Basically, when it comes to issues of norms and cultural practices, our elders are usually rigid and somewhat static in upholding this norms without giving room to question it or for general evaluation. And like i maintain earlier, alot of these stereotypes emerged as a result of our cultural norms an practices. However, the first step towards changing the perspectives of old folks is massive awareness targeted at exposing the disservice of these stereotypes on the society. It can be well said that a good number of old people who still advocate the significance of upholding these stereotypes are unaware of it negative effi on young males and the society in general. In other words, ignorance is an attributed factor why a number of the old generation remain rigid towards these stereotypes and at such massive awareness and campaign through various frameworks should be implemented in order to eradicate these stereotypes in the minds of the older generation. Additionally, the family remain the primary agent of socialization, children who are at the forefront of the vices of this steoretypes should engage their parents and make them see the invidious nature of these stereotypes and how it can affect their present life and future. The constant enlightenment from children to their various parents will go a long way in reshaping the views of parents who form part of the older generation. Furthermore, meeting point, seminars should be organized to engage old folks on the need of flexibility of perspectives towards a changing world. They need to understand that the times in which some of these stereotypes were adopted are no longer same with our present society
    .

    Do you believe that toxic masculinity is still evident within today’s society? Please substantiate your answer. (less than 300 words)
    The subject of toxic masculinity is one of crucial nature and the reason behind the gap in Gender equality. Toxic masculinity goes as back in times as it can be seen in the Bible where a group of Pharisees intended to stone a woman for committing adultery with the man who committed the act with her missing and no blame attach to him.
    Toxic masculinity embodies male dominance at the expense of gender equality, male preaching violence as a tool to be feared or respected, considering emotions and empathy as weak. According to Sabrina Sarro a therapist, defined “Toxic masculinity as fundamentally predicated upon negating the emotions in the body, enveloping oneself in control, domination or entitlement, and ultimately obliterates the emotional anchor in the body”.
    Owing to the inquiry if toxic masculinity is still evidently present in our present world, i will vehemently affirm that the issue of toxic masculinity is still a grudnorm in the determination of many of our conducts in our today’s society. We still have alot of instances where women are treated badly. They are still families where the basic responsibilities of the girl child are deem secondary as opposed to that of the male. 60% of the parents in Africa still consider a male child as the standard while the female as secondary. In recent times i have seen parents with daughters still being unhappy of not having a male child, while the ones with male child feel satisfied with their offsprings. Consequently in South Africa, intimate partner violence is the most common form of gender based violence and 56% of all women murdered were killed by an intimate male partner.
    Also in many parts of the world, there are some traditions that forbids women to be in any position of authority.

    Can toxic masculinity be unlearnt? Please elaborate on your answer (less than 200 words)
    Basically, Toxic Masculinity can be unlearnt, however this process is somewhat difficult and can only take true commitment to achieve. Generally, human nature lean more to negativityand awful features. In other words it is always more easy to learn negative traits than positive. I have seen kids as young as age six learning slander words easily than kind words. In the human system it is easy to hate than to love. Thus Toxic Masculinity wouldn’t have been a thing in our today world if it wasn’t so easy to learn and adapt it beliefs.
    Notwithstanding, this is not to say Toxic Masculinity cannot be unlearnt and it beliefs thrown to the trash bin, however it will take a lot of commitment, self consciousness, sensitization, self-scrutiny to unlearn this notions which have become part of our daily lives. It will take people with deep thoughts and sincere realisation of what gender equality and equity ought to be, to unlearn these Toxic Masculinity even when the circumstances provided by it is at advantage to them as males.

    How, as a Kectil Colleague, would you go about shifting the narrative from toxic to healthy masculinity? (less than 300 words)
    As a young leader and Kectil colleague who believe in the core values of equity, harmony, empathy and positivity. I have already commenced the reorientation of specifically young people from a mindset of hate and contempt to a place of love, respect and peace through my various youth platforms. However there is more works to be done specifically in the place of Toxic Masculinity. I am further ready to passionately advocate for a change in perspective as to how makes portray their dominance at the expense of females. I have equally made a commitment to the founder of one of Africa biggest gender equality movement to dedicate a good number of my time in 2021 to work and advocate towards changing the over dominance painted picture of a male’s world. Furthermore, in the times to come, i intend organising more symposiums, campaigns and partner with relevant agencies and stakeholders to form a formidable work force targeted at eradicating the vices presented by this Toxic Masculinity traits.

    What do you believe the benefits of integrating a sense of healthy masculinity into a community are? (less than 200 words)
    The significance or advantages of having a healthy masculinity in the society are enormous and cannot be overemphasized. The male gender possesses a huge form of energy and physical strength and when such energies are targeted towards promoting values such as equity, compassion, kindness, love rather than hate, violence, contempt, the world will be a far better place.
    Furthermore, there will be competitiveness of resourcefulness, like we all know competition often bring out the best in people, giving males and females equal spaces and opportunities to develop their craft and show their input will lead to more creativity in the world. Additionally, people will be free to express themselves sincerely. Mental health would be giving utmost priority as most males would be able to reach out to a therapist. Men will give more value to women other than seeing them as sex objects for their gratification. It will further increase the moral standard of our society. Also, new insights will be developed from the female perspectives of leadership in the political, economic and social context of our world. In submission, it will be a beautiful world of opportunities to all people irrespective of gender disparity.

    How do you believe we can enhance healthy masculinity practices within our communities, especially in the context of lockdown and the pandemic? (less than 300 words)
    Improving the healthy masculinity of our society will aid the progress of our society in innumerable ways. However, we must first of all dwell on how we can enhance and facilitate healthy masculinity traits as opposed to toxic masculinity. Healthy masculinity traits can be facilitated through promotion of activities that seek to instill values in the male gender. Attention should be placed back on the male gender in realizing they are the root problem of all these vices against females. The male gender should be taught to see the female gender as an helping and supportive gender, not like an antagonist. Males should be taught that their physical strength should be used in promoting values that will enhance love, peace and unity, not aggressive dominance over women. The Male gender should be taught to respect the physical fragility of a woman and not to take advantage of it. These teachings should be shared to both males adult and kids in kindergartens.
    In the event of the pandemic, Government and relevant stakeholders should engage the male gender especially youth through virtual forums on how to use their energy to compliment the value of females. Consequently, parents should be taught to instill equity between the male child and the female child without giving either of them preference over the other

    What natural abilities do you think men have to support females and transform the community? (not more than 100 words)
    Males are physically stronger than females, this can be channel in advocating for the empowerment and protection of the female gender, rather than violence being targeted at them. Also, statistics shows that males seem to be more logical than females, while females are more emotionally inclined. The male gender uses its logical reasoning as a tool for sound decision making in most cases. This logical advantage can be used to facilitate the growth and capacity building of women in the society which will further go a long way in advancing the general growth and resourcefulness of our community.

    Comment on how males are using their natural abilities in your community (not more than 150 words)
    Generally the abilities of males have been used at the expense of females. This is no different in my community, where males used their natural features to suppress the females in every ways to the exception of few males. Makes engage their physical strength to show their dominance over females. They maintain the perception of seeing the female gender as everything secondary, especially in political and economic context. Also males uses it logical reasoning as a tool to further take advantage of the emotions of the female gender, whereby females are being abused emotionally. Males equally have the natural instinct of being a better team player in other words males cooperate better and are more united in executing tasks, however this advantage is being used at the detriment of females, to further carry out conducts that marginalised females.

    The world has seen great milestones in the area of women empowerment. This came with a shift in roles among men and women. What impacts do you see women liberation movements have on males in your society? (less than 500 words)
    Women liberation movement has always been a welcome idea in mainstream media and other public channels, however one thing remain lacking, which is the actual commitment to it realization. In view of the significance of these movements on males in my community, i would say there have been some level of progress unlike years ago, we now have males who believe in the equity between male and female. Who believe that female gender is equally a member of the human race and deserved to be heard, love and respected. Males who genuinely identify with the struggles of females, who lambast fellow males and advocate for the change of various systematic approach and even traditions which operate at the direct adverse of the female gender. Additionally, alot of males have joined voices with various Government agencies and relevant stakeholders to promote courses that will enhance women participation in several decision making frameworks and further equate the gap in gender equality. Males have equally organized campaigns and awareness program to fight against domestic violence, sexual harassment and other violence targeted at women.
    Notwithstanding, there are good number of males who are reluctant and resistance to the idea of gender equality, they still resist to believe they are equal with females and continue to see females as everything secondary, they are totally against the views of female empowerment and still believe that females belong only to the bedroom and kitchen.

    Single out an outstanding young male in your country/ region who you believe is putting their abilities to good use. Write about what this person is doing (with facts) and why you chose them among the many (less than 300 words)
    There have been number of young men doing good in the aspect of putting their abilities in good use. However, one who i believe is exceptional in his approach and totally dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of females is my friend, Dr Elisha Attai, who is the leader of a global movement aim at the capacity building and empowerment of females and thus making their voices heard by making them leaders in their various communities. He is not just putting his natural abilities to good use in my country only, but the entire Africa and the world at large. He is the founder of Africa Women In Leadership Organization. He has held numerous programs, global reach outs and campaigns channeled against the marginalization of women. He has made enormous progress in his works and activism towards women empowerment partnering with government agencies and relevant stakeholders of various Nations. Indeed he is someone i greatly admire in the aspect of gender equality, women empowerment and advocating against toxic masculinity traits.

    How do you think women and men can work together to develop the community they live in? (not more than 200 words)
    The basic foundation for every successful partnership or collaboration remain understanding. Men and women can work together if there is an actual mutual respect and understanding as to their personalities and the concepts of project they intend working together. Firstly, the man must recognized the notion of Toxic Masculinity traits and get rid of it in totality. The man must see things in a moral and upright way, he must realise that the woman is equally a human like him and should be best treated in a way he would rather treat himself. The dignity and respect of the woman should not be compromised in whatever ways, the man must do away with traditions and norms that seek to devalue the woman in anyways. Moreover, on the other hand, the woman should learn to understand her struggle, identity and be able to meet up with the designed frameworks that will enable her gain more value, because most of the notions of Toxic Masculinity is not only made popular by males but also females.

    What shape should an ideal women liberation movement in the contemporary world take Physical ability (less than 200 words)
    Well, women liberation movements must equally learn to adapt to the changings of our dynamic world. Women liberation movements over the years has maintain a persuasive approach as to the change it aim to achieve, however, this has seen little progress in some aspects and some communities as well. Thus, i believe it is time for women liberation to take a more radical approach, in otherwords the female gender need to do more ground works in questioning the erroneous system which operate at it detriment. It high time for female movements to set out rallies and tough physical inputs to fight the system, in as much they have a just course. Also the female gender must become more united in their quest, as a whole lot of females contribute indirectly to the continuation of Toxic Masculinity traits. Most females believe in the doctrine that a man should preside over everything, such beliefs fight against the very instrument of female liberation movements. Furthermore females should increase their participation in numerous political and economic activities.

    PANEL DISCUSSION

    Does the panel agree with this pledge?
    Yes my panelists totally affirms with the contents enshrined in this pledge. They all saw it as a welcome idea especially in a time where domestic and sexual violence is at it peak, promoting the values of this pledge means a lot to them.

    How would you go about encouraging males to take the ‘kectil male promise?’
    As i earlier remark, i have initiated various processes in promoting values targeted at eradicating Toxic Masculinity traits in my various youth platforms. I intend doing more as a young leader who a good number of young males look up to, sending this positive message alongside series of commitment will go a long way in breaking the steoretypes. Some of which include assembling community heads in various regions addressing them on the need to maintain equity between genders in their communities. Creating massive awareness and working with authorities will lead to great impact.

    What do you believe can be added to the male promise, and why?
    Well, the addition of pledging to be a female guide, coach or mentor is equally important, in the sense that the commitment of staying off the risk position of a female is important but the enhancement of the capacity and growth of such female is equally imperative. Thus, being a form of facilitator to the development of a female should be added.

    What responsible steps do you believe are constituted in facilitating other females who find themselves in risky situations?
    My panelists unanimously agreed that some of the factors responsible for the enhancement of females in risky situations includes silence, whereby females go through abusive relationship and are calm about it. Also depression, a good number of females give total yield to toxic masculinity traits by being depressed, feelings of low self esteem, anxiety and pressure enhance the calm intake of abusive behaviors from their partners who they see as everything to them.

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