By India Taina
Kings, stand up! If you are a male reading this, that’s you baby. I know, most of my male friends reading this will think it’s very strange that I’m calling them baby, as I am definitely the type of person who utilizes bro and dude to the max, but bear with me for a bit.
Y’all. I’m just so proud of you. The growth that I have seen in the men around me has astounded me. Some of you are chasing your dreams (whether it be music, internships, business pursuits, etc), others pursuing their hustle and grind like there ain’t nothing to it, and some of y’all are just staying low, hanging out, respecting women. It’s beautiful. But it’s underrated. Too many times in 2019 have I seen “Men ain’t shit” or things talking about women just using men for their money because they aren’t worth anything else. But y’all emotional. Y’all like to be soft. I know. Just gotta be dusted off a little bit, I feel you. Y’all struggle with mental health too, but nobody seems to be creating self care pages just for you (and that’s tea). So I originally titled this post “Why we should empower our men in 2020,” but that doesn’t even begin to cover it. We should always be empowering our men as fiercely as we empower our women to discover their purpose. I can’t stress this enough. We can’t leave them out of the equation if we want to solve the Patriarchy. The Patriarchy, although created long ago by men and perpetuated now by both men and women (more on that coming soon), still controls male behavior, more than we think.
It’s why homophobia is around, why men are against vulnerability, and why 2 chainz always has more than just 2 chainz. It’s a state of mind that both men and women have had a hand in maintaining. So I think this year, we should scale down on the maintenance of strict gender roles and the constant belittling of the male species, and glow up in the area of empowering. And I know, there are always going to be naysayers, that men always get whatever they want in this society, so why should we empower them more, blah blah. Come on now. Men of color don’t get everything they want, sis. Instead, they get everything they don’t want, from longer jail sentences to their names being immortalized in hashtags that they never get to see go viral (think about that for a second). Our men are so important. All men are important. Our women are so important. Everybody is important (but Black Lives Matter all the way sis, this is not an advertisement for all lives now), and so in order for everyone to comprehend that, we have to push each other along.
And for the people reading this who are still so adamant that they shouldn’t empower men, I really have to ask, are you a fan of Future? Or Chris Brown? Because it really makes no sense if you say men ain’t shit but these are the men that you support wholeheartedly with your music downloads and concert purchases, yet can’t find the dime in your purse to put forth some money for a brother’s t-shirt company (I know, the tea is piping). And for the one person who is still reading angrily and convinced that you aren’t a fan of Future or Chris, let me frame it this way for you: Imagine if this were your brother. Your son. Your cousin that you love so dearly. Imagine that this person (yeah, they’re human), is constantly dragged into this narrative that they aren’t shit, that their mental health is of insignificance, and that they are undeserving of empowerment simply because they are male. It’s a real and palpable detriment, y’all. Please let’s change the narratives for the good men out there who need to be listened to, who need to be told that it is okay for self expression, and that it’s okay to not play their gender roles. We don’t even need gender roles y’all, but that’s for another day.
And for my feminist readers, I am female baby. I’m all about this. I literally created this site just for females, when I first started out. I’m NOT turning a blind eye to the huge wage gap, the obvious gender inequalities and disadvantages that happen to us, or the fact that we have periods and men don’t, so they need to woman up. I feel you sis. I just know too many awesome men who actually feel the reality of the marginalization that happens when we further separate our men of color (or any men who feel they can’t escape the “men ain’t shit” cloud) out of the group. We don’t want them telling us that we aren’t shit so let’s stop the labeling and the bullshit now. Stop feeding the false narrative that men aren’t shit, because if you continue to tell them, they will eventually believe it and have no recourse, no purpose in changing to be a better them.
“Too Long; Didn’t Read” Summary:
Why should we empower men going forward?
Because everybody, no matter how they identify, needs some sort of support. Marginalization is already a huge struggle for men of color, and so to also be marginalized because they are men and not given resources for their mental health and their emotional well being is just dumb. It’s exactly why suicide rates are so high for men, and why they are so vulnerable but can’t express it. It’s an issue, and I think it stems from the sensationalization of men who really are bad reps for the male race. Rappers who have 74 baby moms, and men who beat and cheat are what women are constantly privvy to because of social media and Tinder and it also affects how males act. They see that that is what makes men get into the headlines, that those actions sensationalize them. So obviously there’s going to be a shift in how men see themselves and how they want to behave if they want to get ahead. Same with women. It’s something that can only really be taken down if we choose to empower instead of perpetuate. Stop feeding the false narrative that men aren’t shit, because if you continue to tell them, they will eventually believe it and have no recourse, no purpose in changing to be a better them. Men have been and still are beautiful creatures. We do need them. Absolutely. They are our equals, so let’s treat them as such. We don’t want them telling us that we aren’t shit so let’s stop the labeling and the bullshit now.
Men, I want to openly empower you. You have the means. You are beautiful when you cry. You have abilities that are beyond what the spectrum can measure. This year, I really think y’all are going to kill it. “Husband material” will be the new hashtag for y’all this year because I know that once y’all realize that opening up, communicating, and respecting women is the MOVE, some big doors will open up for you. I love y’all. Keep shining you beautiful boys.