Statistics over the centuries have established that gender-based violence has increased astronomically and COVID-19 measures to stay indoors made the reality more staggering.
Some facts and figures from unwomen paint a very serious reality.
1. 650 million girls below 18 are push into marriages
2. 200 women have suffered genital mutilation
3. About 15 million girls between 13-19 have been forced into sexual intercourse
4. It is estimated that 23% of undergraduate students have experienced sexual assault or misconduct
5. According to the WHO, 1 in 3 which is 35% of women globally have suffered either physical and/or sexual intimate partner/non-partner violence
6. It is estimated that 38% of murders against women are perpetrated by men who these women shared an intimate relationship with.
The shared stats above is to establish a reality we are faced with and it all lands on men. Let me admit that these are reported and researched cases and it could be more considering several socio-political and cultural challenges. Men stand accused, men populates our prisons more.
This reality forms the bases of my concern but let me hasten to say that as an avowed feminist, this my piece is not to hold brief for abusive men
My question from the stated stats is, wherefrom all these men who engage in all these forms of dehumanizing acts against women? What actually went wrong with these men when they were boys? What did they suffer to become such a pain-inflicting beast?
What have we continuously been doing that model our sons to become like this? How do we raise our boy child as against how we nurture our girl child into astute and industrious women?
How can he abuse a fellow woman AND still love his mother or sister?
From the same home, what happens for a sister to turn out lovely and her brother become a beast towards another woman? What exactly is missing?
I am tempted to believe that we mostly raised our boy child/children instead of nurturing them. How can he abuse a fellow woman yet still love his mother or sister? What kind of irony is this, because abusive men don’t see mothers or sisters in their victims. How are abusive men able to do these things? Yes there is a degree of mental health foundation but why is it common to men. What are the underlying triggers from how we raise boys?
Our sons were programmed to prepare for war. The pride of society was at a point having heroes who were nothing but killing machine all in the name of patriotism and nationalism. Since it provided security and protection for our nations over centuries or millennia passed.
We never had a reprogramming system in place to ensure the humanity of our sons who returned from war.
We modeled boys, set them into having moods that characterize cruelty but names it militarization. In some cultures, it is a sign of weakness for a boy to cry, express emotions or vulnerability. Some tribes saw sons as war machines and were only allowed to marry after 40 years old.
We raise our boy children instead of nurturing them with compassion, vulnerability, emotionality, self-esteem, self-love, balanced masculinity, mutual respect etc
Let us marry gender based suicide with this subject under discussion with some statistics below to drum home that something fundamental is wrong with how we raise our boys into men
According to BBC research done in March 2019, suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45 years. WHO’s data show that nearly 40% of countries have more than 15 suicide deaths per 100,000 men; only 1.5% show a rate that high for women. Men are three times more likely to die by suicide in Australia, 3.5 times more likely in the US and more than four times more likely in Russia and Argentina. Again the research stated that male suicide methods are often more violent, making them more likely to be completed before anyone can intervene.
We set very high standards for our sons to meet culturally and religiously. For example man and woman of 45 years old won’t be judge on same parameters of success. We have not been able to see the world through the man’s eye or mind so to be able to address their challenges. Why is it a social shame for a man to report abuse suffered at the hands of a woman?
As we advocate to right the wrong of men and abuse against women, it gets rather characterized with misandry than remodeling of the beast we designed.
As we keep demonizing our men, we fail to shape our sons from becoming the kind of men that turn to hurt women. Is it possible to state that, perhaps our approach isn’t a solution-driven but settling of scores?
We raise and unnurture our boys, then they stand accused by their hands like men. So can we take a new look at the men we have collectively made? Why don’t we celebrate excellent men as part of the nurturing mediums? Why don’t we debug violence and crime on gender bases so we can address them
What is the world view of who a man should be and what a man is? How do we define Man, Father, Leader, and Fathering? All of these per our worldviews stimulates a being that produces what we see.
Men stand accused of what they become not how they become from boyhood. If breaking the glass ceiling is a collective undertaking, then reprogramming the man is a collective duty of nurturing the boy child. I appeal to our mothers, as we are advocating against abusive men, let us nurture loving boys with the kind of man in mind for other fellow women (daughters of other women).
Scofray Nana Yaw Yeboah
Transformational Coach | Certified Professional Trainer