Real men

2015-05-05 07:18

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What does it mean to be a man?

A few decades ago, masculinity meant working hard to earn an honest living and provide for your family.

It meant leading your family in such a way that they would follow your example.

Masculinity meant protecting your family because you loved them.

But today, our ideas of masculinity have become warped. We pressurise young men to earn big money, to lead fast lives and to achieve their goals no matter the cost. We have thrown family values out the window, ­replacing them with the images we see on TV.

An honest living has been replaced by earning a quick buck.

Leadership has been replaced by dominance.

Protection has been replaced by violence.

Many young men today have little idea of the values needed to raise a family, support their community or build a career.

We can hardly blame them, with so many children raised by single mothers.

With no father figures to teach young boys how to behave, can we be surprised when they turn to crime and gangsterism or become abusive?

The only providers they see are gangsters. Leadership and protection have given way to domestic violence and substance abuse.

Teaching boys to be responsible men is a task single mothers cannot do alone. It needs the buy-in of the community.

Young boys need to see the men in their communities as an example of responsible men, men who provide for and protect their families.

They need to see men rolling up their sleeves and becoming involved with the community, imparting lessons and providing an example to follow

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