December 13, 2020 at 4:22 pm #2999Daniel OchiengKeymaster
1. Stereotypes and Cultures that hurt males
a. What male stereotypes can you identify within your immediate community? Explain why you believe these are stereotypes. (less than 200 words)
Male stereotypes are replete across communities in Nigeria and to mention a few, I will say that Aggression tops the list for me. It’s the general belief that aggression or the no nonsense mentality is attributed to any male who is to be tagged a real man and due to thus belief men are turned out to be straight faces individuals taking life seriously with little or no smile on their faces because it will be perceived as a sign of weakness. Other cliché statement that goes with this are, men do not cry, singing is for ladies etc. Men that are on the excessive intake of traits that are consistent with this stereotypic ideal usually display aggressive behavioral responses with their male or female counterparts.
ii. Dating is another stereotypic ideal. It is generally believed that it’s the responsibility of the male between any intending duo to display an affectionate feeling or make the first call when it comes to relationships and finally,
iii Machoism. Males are generally expected to be an object of strength tainted with scars and bruises. The non-existence of scars is perceived as telltale signs that you do not have what it takes to be a man.
b. What measures do you believe can be instituted in order to ensure that these stereotypes can be broken down? (less than 400 words)
Measures that can be put in place to break down this stereotype would be through;
i. Education- the entire Nigerian community needs to stop making unreasonable demands from men. At the aggregate level, we need to be reoriented on the roles of men and women and how males are just human beings as much as females are. The gender that you possess does not make you less or more of a human being.
ii. Attention to the boy child just as much as we have had campaign for the girl child too. Cliché statement like boys will boys as pointed out by Ben Hurst are passive ways of bringing up potential men and this becomes a disaster waiting to happen for the crop of men that are future fully depends on.
iii. The creation of group sessions to sensitize men and support clubs for men.
iv. Rehabilitation Centers to ease the pressure on correctional centers as men are likely to commit crime in my community
v. Therapy sessions at mental health clinics for men who open up well in time on compulsive disorders or mental health behaviors that are not socially acceptable.
c. 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)
Following from the answers in (b) above, one of which is the reorientation of men as a whole because the older generation would be the men that nurture the boys of today who later become the men of tomorrow, allowing for some sort of overlapping generation model as inspired by Irving Fisher. To break off from the vicious cycle of old thinking pattern from the older generation that will clearly not advance the economy, it becomes a matter of supreme urgency to educate both male and female that we are equal in our humanities, albeit we slightly differ in our capabilities, men ( man and woman) should not be overly demanding or rigid when it comes to male folks’ disposition on expressing their feelings and emotions so that what is wrong can be nipped in the bud just exactly when it happens to allow for correction in the individual in question.
2. Health Versus Toxic Masculinity
a. Do you believe that toxic masculinity is still evident within today’s society? Please substantiate your answer. (less than 300 words)
Toxic masculinity exists as the downside to the many years of neglection and rejection of our responsibilities as it pertains to the boy child. Boys will be boys as a cliché statement for example speaks volume to this neglect as we have towed the part of passive parenting for every time that this statement is made. This lackadaisical attitude gas led boys to evolve into whatever they saw fit and this kind of evolution or growth pattern is risky for the potential man because as boys, males rarely knew what was right from what was wrong in the entire schemes of life events and for men who got guidance in their prime on how to go at it in life, the difference was usually there in terms of their achievement, health status which are all pointers to the fact that guidance and healthy advice from an enlightened generation leads to a more healthy masculinity.
b. Can toxic masculinity be unlearnt? Please elaborate on your answer (less than 200 words)
Toxic masculinity can definitely be unlearnt. There is no such thing as stagnancy when it comes to human beings especially when growth is being emphasized. One is either going up the ranks as regards growth or down the ranks. What appears to be toxic masculinity was in fact learnt and became a way of life. Coming from the place of influence which we are all subject to, it is possible to learn new things. Unlearning toxic masculinity in this case would require an undivided attention on learning the virtue, tenets and characteristics of healthy masculinity. This, in addition to the time factor that it took for the individual to learn toxic masculinity and even more time would lead to absolving the individual in question from such old beliefs.
c. How, as a Kectil Colleague, would you go about shifting the narrative from toxic to healthy masculinity? (less than 300 words)
Just before I joined the Kectil program, it had always been at the back of my mind to impact men within my sphere of influence and to ultimately reach out a much larger audience to liberate them. I knew I couldn’t pour from an empty cup and as a result I sought for opportunities both online and offline to grow which led me to the Kectil program. Now that I am a Kectil Colleague and through what appears to have been months of enlightening sessions and assignments, I have been capacitated to influence fellow Kectil colleagues, individuals that I have randomly selected from different group chats and those that I have physically engaged in my daily endeavors. Moving on from here, in the new year, I will be scaling up my engagement sessions to cover more numbers so that the narrative from toxic to healthy masculinity can be shifted.
d. What do you believe the benefits of integrating a sense of healthy masculinity into a community are? (less than 200 words)
The benefits of integrating a sense of healthy masculinity into a community are;
i. drastic reduction in the suicide rate generally and amongst men since 3 out of 4 people who make up the 800,000 people that commit suicide globally according to the World Health Organization.
ii. Men looking for and engaging in forums that will afford them the opportunities to love themselves individually and support themselves socially. I mean we could have men who are accountable to each other when it comes to personal struggles or emotional issues. The act of love through these forums, support groups and men’s club will go a long way in ameliorating and further sensitizing men with toxic masculinity to seek ways by which they can have a healthy masculinity.
e. 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)
Healthy masculinity practices within our communities is already ongoing through webinar sessions that Kectil has organized over the last couple of days. Personally, I have taken concerted effort to invite as many people as possible to the webinar sessions. I also conduct follow up sessions after such sessions for the very few that eventually attend such sessions to make sure that I get their opinion on the meeting, entrenching their beliefs and values on the right lines of thought. In the context of the lock down and the pandemic, webinars sessions and pledge signing have really gone a long way in getting the consent of men to act in consonance with healthy masculinity practices. What can be done to enhance this in the coming months is to follow up on those that have signed up on this pledge by curating an email list to send newsletters and updates to them on further discovery. When this process is scaled up across communities, it will have a bigger impact on communities that are yet to be reached by Kectil colleagues.
3. How Males can use their innate skills to protect females and advance/improve society
a. What natural abilities do you think men have to support females and transform the community? (not more than 100 words)
Natural abilities that men have which I strongly believe differs slightly from Women in that Men have more of it in abundant quantities are; survival instincts, strength and agility. Now all of these abilities when looked at were developed and could be worked on regardless of gender. These natural abilities can be used by men to protect females should the need for such protection arise. For example, ladies are friends to guys sometimes require that their male friends escort them back to their halls of residence from the library as students and such an instance gives such a lady the needed peace of mind.
Acts of kindness such as standing up for women when men make derogatory statements because such men are not enlightened to treat a woman right or because they have been products of wrong teaching or passive parental guidance that have led them to be complacent on human decency in seeing value in female counterparts needs to be corrected by the enlightened men who know these things. All in all, a woman deserves to be treated right and a conscious effort towards educating men is the only solution towards arriving at this state.
b. Comment on how males are using their natural abilities in your community (not more than 150 words)
Men have been standing up for themselves in cases where unreasonable demands are being placed in them. At the general level, it really boils down to the degree of the education of the man in question. Uneducated men are very violent and do not think much of the opposite sex and going by the high illiteracy rate in Nigeria, one can say that my community is replete with individuals that need to be re-oriented to use their natural abilities for the good of everyone they come in contact with regardless of the gender of the person they come in contact with for the good of the common man.
Educated men on the other hand are more enlightened and see women as their equal and allies in the business of making the country a better place for us all.
All in all, I would say that a man that is not treating a fellow male counterpart right is most likely not going treat a woman right either so it strongly boils down to educating men in general on the benefits to a healthy masculine society.
c. 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 have had a positive impact on the society as a whole. It has brought about a voice that matter especially when it comes to nation building. There has been a massive growth attributed to the area of women empowerment especially because of the increased competition it has brought to male folks. This has kept men on their toes across job openings, political positions and every other opening for the best of hands to fill. While some organizations have been dogmatic about specifically requesting for women to fill a job position, other have subtly stated that “women are encouraged to apply making it a levelled playing field for human resources generally to create the intended gender equity.
One of the negative impacts of this is the increased unemployment on the part of men which sometimes lead to depression and ultimately suicide for men who formerly worked at a position and a lady was asked to take over, it throws some light at a form of toxic masculinity or some form of unhealthy mental health state because it definitely shows that such a man has built his life around the identity or outlook that the society has created for men to generally have which is that they must be strong and they must not cry and all sorts.
Another impact is the intimidation that this movement have had on some male folks. The can-do spirit of women has brought about some sort of intimidation to a category of men and this intimidation, when examined appears to result from a loss of identity on the part of men who feel intimidated. As a matter of fact, the details of this assignment and personal research explains that men who feel intimidated are just a step away from toxic masculinity and if they linger a bit further with this state of mind, it will not be long before they engage themselves in heinous acts.
d. 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)
An outstanding young male in my country goes by the social name Mr. Debo Macaroni. He is an actor in the Nigerian entertainment industry. A recent winner of the 2020 future Africa awards. He uses his art to bring to light societal ills and suggests steps towards correcting them. He was a major voice during the EndSars protest in Nigeria and just recently he produced a short video clip to sensitize men and women in Nigeria on rape. This video clip was a circular to his fellow colleagues in the business of making skits and other media production on the careful use of words and utterances that might be derogatory to female folks that the audiences or consumers in the Nigerian entertainment industry might perceive wrongly which could portray ladies as sexual objects.
I have chosen him because he is very young and he has been able to attain a following in the media space, making him to be in a better position to sensitize more youth on positive ideals needed to make the Nigerian economy a better place.
e. How do you think women and men can work together to develop the community they live in? (not more than 200 words)
I strongly believe collaborations between men and women would go on to develop the Nigerian economy. We need an atmosphere where we are seen or perceived as human beings regardless of our sex or gender. We clearly complement each other in our humanity and while there are limitations to our natural attributes in that a man cannot naturally secrete estrogen and a woman, on the other hand secrete testosterone, we must work together within the sense of these lines of thought that the development of any society depends on both men as much as it depends on women. We must as a result of these reorientation put behind us as a people every form of bitterness that have resulted from past dealings and engage ourselves in more important conversations on how we complement each other and focus on the abundant benefits that the potential impact would be on the society.
f. What shape should an ideal women liberation movement in the contemporary world take Physical ability (less than 200 words)
The shape of an ideal woman liberation movement in the contemporary world should be subtle while pressing for the intended objectives for which the movement was set up to achieve. A clear example of an ideal women liberation movement is the Nigerian feminist co which led by a women’s right activist in Nigeria. She goes by the name Damilola Odufuwa, and in July 2020, with the consent of some of her contacts started the movement. The movement was simply to create a coalition of women who were passionate about making the Nigerian economy and the role of women in it better. They were a major force to reckon with during the 2020 EndSars protest in Nigeria as this team of women were able to raise about ₦147.86 million in about two weeks. This movement passes for a worthy liberation movement in the contemporary world. They pushed for the movement against police brutality risking their lives to ensure the safety of everyone exercising their rights to protest by supplying food, mask, water, medical aid, security information to make the Nigerian economy better.
MALE ROLES IN SOCIETY PANEL DISCUSSION
Assemble 4-6 of your peers between the ages 18-26 for a discussion session that you lead on the situation of male roles in society in your country. Although the lockdown order may have been relaxed in some countries, we do not want any of you to risk your health. Please do not organize face-to-face panel discussions. We highly recommend you to do online meetings on Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or alternative channels convenient for you.
Discuss the following and submit a short report of the outcome. Over the past two years, Kectil has run the male promise leaders’ campaign in order to ensure that men are held accountable to both their actions, as well as educating other men on how to break destructive stereotypes whilst establishing prosperity within their communities. It is such a good time to be a part of the Kectil Generation, especially as the Male Promise consists of very important, and for some uncomfortable, discussions. To give you some context, this is what the Kectil Male Promise entails:
i) When you see a female you find attractive, you must ask yourself this VERY important question. “If I am with this female and she gets pregnant, would I be willing to take care of her and the baby with a full commitment?” If the answer is no, then put your hands in your pocket and walk away.
ii) I agree not to hit or physically or mentally attack a female.
iii) I agree to keep my eyes open as a protector to identify situations in which a female is at risk and will try to take reasonable steps to help if possible.
iv) I will encourage other males to take the Kectil Promise Leaders Pledge.
a. Does the panel agree with this pledge?
My panel peers were all males within my immediate community. It was a group of 5 in persons of; Ayo, Ade, Seun, Habeeb and my humble self. The consensus by my peers on this panel supported this pledge and the very message that it passes across. They promised me that since I have brought it to their attention, they will continue to leave by such standards.
b. How would you go about encouraging males to take the ‘Kectil Male Promise?’
Prior to taking this assignment a Kectil male promise circular was sent to every colleague and I did well to send to every person within my sphere of influence virtually. I will go about engaging males at every opportunity I get to speak up as I go about my daily endeavors mostly to check the state of mind of men as it relates to the sensitive topic that the Kectil Promise addresses.
c. What do you believe can be added to the Male Promise, and why?
I think the promise can include; “I promise to speak to other male counterparts on the topic of treating a female right to sensitize men that a female is a human being as much as a male is human too”
“I promise to report cases or potential cases of individuals that are planning to sabotage any female that comes up in any discussion because such a female could as well have been a relative and I would be offended if she was in fact my relative”
d. What responsible steps do you believe are constituted in facilitating other females who find themselves in risky situations?
Steps involved for females who find themselves in such risky situations are;
i. Screaming upon finding first hand that they are now victims of a male friend or counterpart they trusted to treat them right but reneged on such instinct.
ii. I strongly believe females should be taught some basic self defense moves that can be used on males who are the villains in this situation and in addition to that, self defense every day carries such as pepper spray, combat knifes for ladies should be included in the everyday carries for ladies which could really be a life saver when circumstances demand that they use such tools. Also, the victim should be reported to law enforcement agents and in addition to that such a male villain’s picture should be circulated on social media so that females are aware.
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