I don’t want to be a man.
When you really think about it, being a man seems like it sucks. We focus a lot of discussions on male privilege and get caught up thinking that manhood is just a ballsy walk in the park.
As babies, the two genders are the closest in getting equal treatment as it is humanly possible. Babies cry to their hearts’ content. They poop, get fed and cleaned. They are kissed, cuddled and cooed at the same. A baby is a baby. Except for colour distinctions when dressing up, who would know the difference?
But as they become toddlers, things begin to change. Have you ever had to shop for kids in any big shop? The aisles for boys are always fewer and drab. Brown, blue, black, grey… nothing excessively bright and fun for that matter. Options for what to wear are limited. Shorts or long trousers/jeans. Maybe overalls too. t-shirts, short sleeved shirts, long sleeved shirts, sleeveless top… sweaters, jackets, maybe a blazer too. That basically is it.
But the colours, options, and glitter that grace girl aisles are heavenly.
Short skirts, long skirts, overalls, shorts, long trousers/jeans, pinafores, dresses, ball gowns, tights… it goes on and all. They come in all the “boys colours” as well as ‘girl colours’. And there is the array of shoes in different shades and sub-shades of colours.
Can we talk about hair accessories or jewelry or tiny bags…
Boys have clearly defined fashion limits. Girls have none.
As toddlers, boys are taught to suppress emotions, be strong and hard. They are forbidden to show fear or to be petty.
I once heard that a little boy was crying, scared of an impending injection. His mother told him to control himself that ‘He was a man’. The boy would have none of that. “I don’t have a moustache and I am not a daddy” he retorted.
I will confess to doing this to my boys. “If you cry too much, I will buy a pink skirt for you…” to which they vehemently protest.
While girls can cry and be little girls as long as they like, boys are ‘manned up’ way too early.
Boys walk through life perfecting the act of bottling the things that they feel. Pretending to have no fears and proving their ‘bravery’ all their lives. When you think about it, it is kind of sad.
Girls explore their emotions and express them. It is allowed. When you juxtapose this suppression against how expressive women are allowed to be, you then understand some basic things. Women are always tagged as emotional, this is simply because most women were not taught to hide natural reactions. Men feel the same emotions but are judged for expressing them. I tell you, folks, I would rather have the right to cry.
As they grow older, men are taught that as men, they are sexual beings and though people don’t say it out rightly, men are not expected to be virgins when they get married. Virginity is laughed at. So, these teenagers begin to preoccupy themselves with how to get the necessary experience. The bad thing is that girls are taught not to ‘give’ sex. So the average teen has to now begin to figure out a way to get the girls to give. Then they learn the things to say, how to put pressure and also face constant rejection. For a girl to give in, the guy must be able to say or do something special. He could show that he is rich (which is ridiculous of course because he has nothing), or athletic, or very smart, or funny or very good looking… something sha to give him an edge. A lot of times, prostitutes are a last resort many fall too. (OR HOUSEHELPS)
Which brings me to issues surrounding sexual prowess. The guy has to know what to do. It is generally unacceptable when a man is not adept in sexual matters. A man will spend a lot of his life worrying about his ability to ‘do’. They worry about their ‘size’ which is something they cannot change and are judged by it. A woman generally doesn’t have such worries. Unlike men, she can fake a performance. But if a man for any reason fails to ‘rise’ to the occasion, honestly we all know that this is a huge blow.
A woman’s womaness is not centered around her ability to use her sexual organs, it is taken for granted that she is able to ‘do’ whether she wants to or not. But a man knows that what makes him a man is his penis and what he can do with it. (On the flip side though is that a woman has to be able to get pregnant or she is not a woman. But since we are talking about male woes, I will skip this)
This is the reason some men immediately feel inadequate when women say size matters or want to use vibrators or dildos during sex. The man is supposed to be all she needs and if he is not, it makes him question his manhood.
Men are taught to give things to women. Women are taught to expect men to give them things. This can be a huge pressure. When I think back to university days, I kind of feel pity for guys.
How on earth are two students given pocket money and the guy has to budget with a female student in mind? I have never, as a woman, felt pressured to take a guy out and pay for his meal.
I remember once, I was with my friend at the faculty of law in the University of Jos. We were getting something to eat and we saw this guy that obviously took a girl out to eat. She was eating chicken and chips with a bottle of coke. The guy was nursing a bottle of water. At one point, she asked him if he was sure he wasn’t hungry and he nodded with his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down like a ping pong.
Or another guy at ESUT when I was serving in Enugu. He took 4 girls to a restaurant. They ordered rice of course with lots of meat. One of the girls wrinkled her nose and poked the meat. She tentatively bit it and declared it was too tough. The guy who hadn’t ordered anything for himself did not know when the words
“You must eat it o!”
Escaped from his lips. Who knows what he had done to be able to afford to pay for the meal the girl was playing with.
Women hate to have men be completely financially dependent on them. So I wonder how it feels for men to be completely responsible for financing a whole family. That is their duty. To ‘fend’ for their families. A lot of women just declare the needs of the family and leave the thinking up to the men. But I guess all those days of borrowing, lying to parents and doing ‘deals’ to ensure that they had enough money to impress girls must have prepared them for adult life as a man.
When we talk about male privilege as women, we make it seem as though life is easier for a man. A girl walks into an interview. She could get the job because she is qualified and smart enough. She could get the job because she has a cute smile and butt (see, this butt power is real), she could get it because she seemed so helpless. A lot of employers believe that women are more loyal, less likely to hop jobs and commit fraud. When a guy walks into the interview, na him and baba God. It is a competition. Nothing is handed to a man on a platter of gold. Not promotions, not recommendations, nothing!! While I agree that the balance of power is tipped in the favour of men but being a man does not mean you can hold your penis in one hand and walk around town making demand sure, you will not get even a free meal, people will beat you sef.
A woman however only has to loosen a few buttons and I promise you, she will see food chop
Men go to war fronts and fight. They are more likely to get killed in any dangerous situation. Women are sometimes spared because they are women. While women and children do get killed in conflicts, but the chances of women surviving is higher than that of men.
Lastly, women may lose edges but men loose hair!!!! Have you watched the hairline of a man recede? That has got to be devastatin’ fixed.
Last last last… Izz it not uncomfortable to be walking around with swinging items between your legs? No wonder some men can be walking and suddenly stop and lift one leg and shake like a dog that wants to pee. I assume this is to rearrange how some items are aligned for comfort. Adjusting bra straps is easier and less obvious and a lirrle sexy.
Merry Christmas my people.
Read more from Abiodun