THE UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MASCULINITY AND MATERIAL THINGS

Biology has clearly shown us that there are lots of differences between the XY chromosomes and the XX chromosome. According to biology, men, which are the XY chromosomes are physically stronger than women, who are XX. Also, we have noticed that males cannot be pregnant, or breast feed children because they do not have wombs, ovaries etc. There are also physical differences both in their reproductive organs and their body structures. Clearly, men and women are not the same. But despite all these obvious differences, the society still decided to impose gender roles on the different genders, so as to further separate the human race according to their sexes, as if the biological differences that are even physical, are not enough. Some of these gender roles have turned into malicious stereotypes, while some have led to toxic masculinity. Although we all know that men are the privileged gender, I cannot help but to always notice how these ugly gender roles have instilled toxic mentality upon the male gender, whereupon, the focus of this article is going to be MEN.

When it comes to men, the society places too much value on material things, its almost like a man isn’t ‘man enough’ if he isn’t wealthy. And when he is wealthy, he can easily get away with a lot of things, because he is wealthy. Right from a young age, male children are raised to be very ambitious, while the importance of some other values, like morals, respect, etiquettes and so on are not emphasized to them, unlike the girl child, who is taught that no matter how much success she attains, she still has to get married, have kids, respect men, learn how to cook and clean etc. Boys are not raised to value women, because they are of the mindset that once they have money, women will have no choice, but to deal with whatever horrible behavior they have (which is true by the way, a lot of women do not mind dealing with badly behaved men, as long as he’s rich), so, they therefore place a lot of focus into acquiring material things.

When I was in secondary school, around the age of fourteen years, when all I cared about was how to get good grades, so as to gain admission into the university to study the course of my dreams, I already had male classmates who were already making money. I always wondered where they were getting the money from, because we were all supposed to go for classes and face our studies, but somehow, these boys were more concerned about making money and getting girls with the money. There were even some of them who would buy so many gifts for their girlfriends, as if they had jobs or something. These boys were only teenagers and were already feeling the pressure the society puts on men; the pressure of being a provider. They already understand how much value the society places on material things when it comes to men. They know that once they have money, because they are men, then nothing else matters. Therefore, they do not mind getting the money through ugly means.

This mentality of attaching so much value on material things when it comes to defining masculinity, does not only affect the self esteem of men who aren’t financially buoyant, (because their masculinity is fragile, they do not feel ‘man enough’ according to the standards the society has set before them) but it also affects women who have to deal with such men, it affects boys right from when they are little, they already feel pressured to do what they cannot do, that’s why male children have the tendency of stealing than female children, that is why we have more boys involved in cyber crimes, kidnappings, robbery, scamming and so on. What’s sickening the most about this toxic standard, is that men do not even see the problem, because it is part of their masculinity, to not be vocal about what is bothering them, its part of being a man to learn to ‘man up’ and handle things, instead of crying out for help. Some of them even find it difficult to seek financial help from females, because they believe men are supposed to be better. A lot of them feel threatened by financially stable women, especially when the lady is wealthier than they are, because they believe they are supposed to be providers, and not the women. When they cannot financially provide for females, their masculinity is threatened, their self esteem is low, because they think that being providers is what makes them ‘man enough’, they take that much pride in being providers.

These toxic gender roles needs to go, because it is very harmful to men. Material things should not be a measure of masculinity, because that means creating a wide and unhealthy gap between the rich and the poor. The most healthy way to deal with this mindset, is to raise girls to be as ambitious as boys, therefore boys wouldn’t feel too much pressure to become rich, because girls wouldn’t need men to provide financially for them, which simply means boys would not need to be the ‘providers’. Also, when raising a male child, he should be taught a lot more things than the importance of wealth. He should be raised to be self sufficient, and most importantly, his masculinity should not depend on wealth, or on marriage like femininity, but should depend on biology; the fact that he has male reproductive organs. There shouldn’t be a big gap between femininity and masculinity, other than the differences biology has put in place. Men should be allowed to be comfortable with themselves no matter their financial status or the kind of hair they keep, or the clothes they wear, or even their sexuality, whether they are homosexual or heterosexual. Because a man with a fragile masculinity, will constantly feel the need to keep proving himself, sometimes in unhealthy ways, which isn’t a good thing at all. The society should therefore understand, that there is no relationship between masculinity and material things. A man doesn’t have to be rich because being rich isn’t part of the God given characteristics of men. Masculinity should be dependent on material things.

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