Speak for the boy child; he too suffers SGBV
What you need to know:
- The boy has become an endangered species and gradually becoming extinct in the society; instead of ridiculing the boy child, society should try to rescue him.
- Values and a sense of character can be effectively impressed upon a young mind through demonstrating, teaching and explaining; in this manner, we can impart to the young man the true nature of manhood.
Over the years, the girl child has been empowered, leaving the other gender behind. Different organisations have been formed to protect girls. Many activists are also on the frontline to fight for the girl.
The boy has,in the process, become an endangered species and gradually becoming extinct in the society. Instead of ridiculing the boy child, society should try to rescue him. Values and a sense of character can be effectively instilled in a young mind through demonstrating, teaching and explaining. In this manner, we can impart to the young man the true nature of manhood.
In whose hands is the boy child safe? How many young men have been wrongly accused, o judged, and, perhaps, did not get justice? The society seems to only focus on crimes committed against girls and not boys.
Many young men have been sexually assaulted and molested but, sadly, society does not pay attention to that. Many victims choose to remain silent just because nobody will believe them or they will be told that they “enjoyed” the act; many resolve to commit suicide to end the shame.
Also read: Address SGBV against boys and men too
Men also suffer gender-based violence (GBV). Practically, a scenario where a man beats a woman in public, first it will attract attention and people will end up rescuing the woman.
But when it is the other way around, many people will film the act, post it on the various social media platforms and make fun of how weak the man is. Others will even help the woman in beating the man.
Even within marriage, many men suffer in silence. They also undergo domestic violence meted out to them by their ‘weaker’ wives. Who will believe or support them?
A lot on their shoulders
Men have a lot on their shoulders. Education for boys is still not encouraged and, instead, they are given motorcycles to “hustle like the other men”—by working as boda boda riders.
The income is not enough; so, most of them choose to become pickpockets and even robbers to ease the financial pressure vested on them since they are expected to provide for their families and even relatives.
As a result, numerous men end up in prison; others are killed while many are left physically handicapped. As the impact of negligence, the boy child is a slave to drug and substance abuse.
For a just society, and for peaceful coexistence, as much as it is important to reach out to the girl child, let it not be at the expense of the boy. Let there be gender balance.
To the boy child: It is okay to talk about it. Your mental health matters. Normalise speaking out. Your mind is your weapon. It is okay to not be okay. Say no to suicidal thoughts. Emotions know no gender. And, fellas, it is not weakness to seek help.
Men are humans, too. Check on your man!
Ms Manga is a media student at the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. [email protected]