In defence of the boy child
SIR: For the boy child, life is good, maybe even perfect as far as toys, bicycles and football are concerned. There are few things as refreshing as seeing a child’s face light up with glee and excitement over very little things. Children generally cry when they are in pain or sad; they may sulk or become quiet when they crave attention and scream at the top of their lungs when they are angry. This is what makes them children. They are not scared of being vulnerable.
There is no iota of deceit in a child. Someone once said if a child tells you’re pretty, then you’re truly pretty because children by default don’t lie.
The boy child as he grows everyday looks up to a role model. A father, an uncle, a teacher, the nearest available male figure usually has their heart.
Before long, as the boy develops further, he’s taught to ‘be a man’, to ‘man up!’. He’s sold the lie that ‘boys don’t cry’. It’s normal to hear ‘ why are you crying? Are you a woman?’
As these things continually register in his subconscious, he builds a wall; a wall above his fears, insecurities, unanswered questions and pain. He becomes a child trapped in an adult body.
Society has projected on the male gender who was once a boy child that they’re not allowed to express soft emotions and this in itself takes away their humane nature.
Have you ever wondered how that sweet little boy you knew turned into a ‘heartless man’ that rules with an iron fist? This, right here, is the reason.
Men die a lot from heart attacks, of course there are always valid medical reasons, but if you look close enough you’ll find that it has a lot to do with ‘being a man’ and not expressing his true feelings.
There is a healthy balance between maturity and losing the ability for expression. Can we allow the boy child to be a boy? Can we let him weep when he wants to weep and not judge him? Can we allow him to admit that he doesn’t know some things and not force him to feign knowledge? Can we just let the boy child be the child that he is? The change we seek starts with this.
Happy International Day of the Boy Child.