There is no denying it – we human beings; we the Homo sapiens have made huge advancements while we have been on this planet. We have developed cures for complex illnesses, we have developed machines that shrink time and space and we have gone to the moon and very soon we might end up in Mars.
Yet, despite all of these we cannot escape the fact that deep down we are basically animals operating under the same dictum of hormones, cycles and seasons.
Yes, we may have found ways of defying age, or extending our lifespan but at the end of the day, as the hymn Immortal, Invisible tells us, ”We blossom… then wither and perish.”
Enough with the rambling. We all know there comes a time when all young males become full grown males.
Sweat and tears
To do so, they must all earn their right of place, be they seals in the ocean, lions in the Mara or boys in Kenya. The rites of passage usually involve a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears and inevitable conflict.
We all have seen male lions and male elephants battle sometimes to death for the right to be found worthy of maleness.
Once again, we human beings have sanitised this process through sophisticated rituals like the duels of the 14th century, the wars of the 18th century and even the gory and crazy circumcisions.
The thing is, for boys to become men there must be some level of combat and conflict with other men. They must be allowed or even forced to have some level of jostling and confrontation so that they can grow some balls.
Knowingly and sometimes unknowingly, many boy schools created certain habits to toughen boys (in my time we called them monolising). Even schools such as world acclaimed Eton and Harrow, have had a long tradition of ‘monolising’ meant to establish the right pecking order.
Most of these habits bordered on downright ridiculous, but in a certain way it was understood that once one overcame these challenges they had made the important transition from boys to men. As tough as these conditions were, they were all founded on the knowledge that masculinity and manhood is earned and fought for and in some extreme cases it is worth dying for.
While I recognise that like all things, these habits can go overboard, I still feel they are in some way an essential part of the men moulding process.
My fear is that in our quest to be cool parents we are creating porcelain boys – sissies who cannot take any level of discomfort, pain and disturbance. Maybe we have fed our boys with too much animation movies like Pocahantas and Lion King where all animals are mysteriously equal and love each other.
We have swallowed the Kool-Aid that you know men need to get in touch with their emotions and so we allow our boys to tear and wail at the first sign of trouble.
To make matters worse, we refuse to let our boys go out there and fight for their rightful place in society; instead we allow them to hide beneath our skirts or behind the console of the PlayStation.
And God forbid if our boys get into any form of scuffle anywhere! We will not allow them to fight their own battles; instead we wage full battle using the new money that we think we have or the rights we imagine the new Constitution has plastered upon it.
I am just sick and tired of these porcelain, delicate boys I see walking around masquerading as men. I am sick of men who cannot battle for anything or with anything.
These men do not know how to defend their women let alone their male pride. I am sick of it! And I am even sicker of the parents we have become because we refuse to acknowledge raising men requires a fair amount of roughness and toughness.