We are teaching males not to value themselves

An ideal world

In an ideal world, men and women would live in perfect harmony with mutual respect, love and trust. We would encourage and inspire each other to reach our maximum potential as human beings. We would provide a structure for future generations to thrive and build upon these values. Our differences would inspire frank, unafraid, firm, yet respectful conversations and solutions would be found for the benefit of ourselves and for society at large. The thought of this brings a certain calm doesn’t it?

The real world

The chaos of reality crashes through. Its loud, its message is hard to ignore. Men and women are not at peace in the world today. There is abuse on both sides. There are levels of unfairness on both sides. There needs to be some effort to bring about harmony. But what we see today is anything but harmonious.

They say the future is female, but apparently, so is the present!

We’ve created systems to encourage girls and women to reach for the stars. But we have not done so for boys and men. We’ve managed to institutionalize and normalize sexist policies against men while at the same time rallying to fight discrimination against women. But whats even more concerning is the inconsistency in attitude towards sexism. Sexism against women is widely demonized as it should be but we don’t see the same when sexism is against males. The situation has become so normalized that politicians can freely promise to put women in positions of authority on the campaign trail without even the mention of whether the future mystery candidates will meet the required credentials. The fact that they do this without fear of being labeled sexist tells me that discrimination has pervaded society deeply and profoundly. It tells me that the fight against discrimination is not grounded in principle.

So far, the dream of harmony between the sexes doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out. We not only send a message that females are more deserved of institutionalized advantages based on their gender but males are constantly bombarded with negative messaging throughout their life. Just as an example, I’ve noticed that in most Disney movies for children, and even cartoons in general, the male characters are generally portrayed as weak and confused and bumbling as opposed to the strong female protagonist. If the villain is a male they are portrayed as bad (as villains should be, I guess) but for the female villain, empathy is solicited from the audience by giving the character desirable (“cool”) traits or their darkness is somehow rationalized. I have an eight-year-old at the time of this writing so I’m in the know and I’m always trying to give balance to the content being viewed. Imagine the impact on young impressionable boys. There’s no way you come out of this with any measure of self esteem.

Respect women they say…..but here’s the problem

I’ve listened to extreme factions of the feminist movement trying to socially re-engineer men into something that they want us to be. The motto is “respect women”. I hear that there’s is a rape culture pervading campuses. Tell your sons to respect our daughters, they say. The problem in their eyes is that men don’t respect women enough. A minority is used to classify the majority.

Well how wonderful it would be for both men and women to show respect to one another. But as I see it, the question is not whether men are able to respect society and our womenfolk. How can males be expected to show respect and care when we are not taught to respect and love ourselves? The media-backed scolding of all things men are bad has failed miserably. It helps no one.

We can’t expect to see the best of men if we don’t give them the encouragement to succeed. We cannot actively alienate boys from society and expect that they will somehow learn self-respect. But it doesn’t stop there, while pounding the message of gender-based respect into the heads of boys and men, we don’t seem to be telling women to respect men in return. In other words we send men the message that you need to show respect but you don’t necessarily deserve respect in return.

And the destruction is evident on the male psyche. But when men act out, we further demonize them instead of finding out why. Clearly this needs to change. We need to approach men with a different viewpoint. One in which we show more compassion and empathy. Get men to understand their value. Many great things have been done by great men in society. We all have the potential to achieve amazing things in our lives in whatever capacity we serve.

Its time we start reminding our men of this fact as often as possible.

Thanks for taking the time to read the blog. If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Keep speaking out!!!

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