Have you noticed that a typical African man is often uncomfortable with a woman of great resource and ambition? Ever noticed that it is harder for a successful woman in our society today to find a genuinely suitable spouse not because of her ego but because of her wits and ambitions? Have you even noticed that our society expects marriage to be a privilege for a woman but just a passing thought for a man?
Every parent today has the arduous task of raising their sons to swim against the tides of our society’s mentality. If we indeed want our sons to be the responsible fathers their uncles and probably fathers never were, we need to restrategize how we bring them up. Raising them with an outmoded mentality of irresponsibility will only make them fill the shoes of these uncles and fathers tomorrow.
We ought to raise our sons with a different thought pattern. We need to make them responsible for their actions and inactions. A responsible child is likely to be a responsible adult. When we bar them from the kitchen, they grow up to be allergic to anything cooking. When we make cleaning the sole responsibility of our daughters, our sons can’t even live in a clean environment all by themselves.
Kings are for battles and our sons should be able to face life squarely. Whatever life throws at them, they should be able to take care of such all by themselves. When life presents opportunities for them to live all alone, they should be able to. They should be able to cater for themselves.
They should be able to wash their own dirty clothes. They should be able to walk into a kitchen and fix a meal for themselves. They should be able to keep a home all by themselves. No woman was ever born with cooking utensils or washing powder. It is our society that has managed to restrict such roles to them!
We need to raise a generation of men who see life from a different perspective. That’s who kings are. They don’t see their queens as competitors or threats, neither do they see them as slaves. Kings are not bullies who demand tons of respect but are never ready to give an ounce of it. When we make our sons feel entitled to respect from a woman, we must ask if they are ready to give same.
According to a 2013 DOVVSU report, a total of 8,098 cases of fathers either misconducting themselves or behaving irresponsibly were received between 2011 and the first half of that year. In 2011 alone, a total of 2,671 were recorded as against 3,759 in 2012, accounting for a whopping 40.73% rise.
Ever wondered why there are so many irresponsible fathers out there? Well, it all comes down to how they were raised. Everything rises and falls on mindset. Some men have been raised to be more conscious of their privileges but not their duties. We have brought them up to know what the woman ought to do but as to what these men need to do, only little is mentioned.
If we want to raise a new generation of responsible fathers, we need to raise young men with the right mindset. We need to raise sons who don’t think they do someone a favor by marrying them. We ought to raise men who don’t assume that because they are the heads of the family, a woman is the tail. If our sons want to be regarded as kings, they should be ready to treat others as queens.
It’s interesting how some men have been brought up to think about women. They have grown up with a weird sense of entitlement that tends to put their interests ahead of everyone else’s, especially a woman’s. Irony is when such men were even raised by women!
Every king needs a queen. While we raise our daughters to be good wives someday, we should also be raising our sons to be good husbands. It takes two to make a home stand. It takes two to build a great marriage. No matter how well our daughters keep their home, if our sons are playing no role in the ‘home-keeping agenda’, things will fall apart.
You see, our society is one that in a bid of raising kings out of men, makes them slaves? slaves of their own actions and thoughts. We give them some false hopes of being better than women. We make them assume that they can get away with any nonsense in a home but a woman can’t. At the end of the day, they live the rest of their lives as victims of some of these privileges so-called.
A king is a man of integrity. Teach your sons the values of life. Teach them how infidelity has cost families. Teach them that what they will not have another do to their mother, they must not do to another’s daughter someday. We can all raise a generation of new fathers by indoctrinating them with the right mindset.
Our daughters deserve good men. They deserve prayer partners, not prayer topics. If you have a son today, you’re either raising a great father or just another man who adds up to the statistics of others who want to be treated as kings yet are nowhere near one!
The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications, an Accra-based writing company (www.scribecommltd.com).