Nigeria suffers a crisis of the male gender. The lobotomised male was manhood’s dirty secret. It’s not much of a secret anymore, however. Culturally benumbed to maleness, he loiters at ethical crossroads. He is stuck at being a man while juggling traditional and modern precepts of his becoming.
Essentially, he must unlearn customary norms and notions of manhood. To unlearn what makes him man, however, is to fall, fatally.
His fatal fall is a consequence of losing his role as the lead in the gendered mating dance. But he can blame no one for falling for female belly magic. It’s a consequence of getting smitten by woman’s uncanny being.
Picture, for instance, the pathetic case of a southwest governor whose masculinity was recalled and cancelled out by his wife, in their youth. The wife, to the chagrin of the governor’s relatives, performed a cultural lobotomy on him. State House legend contends that Madam First Lady continually boasts to peers and aides that she is the de facto governor of the state.
Her husband, His Excellency, had found in her, both a mentor and sex vixen, in their youth. Consequently, she placed him on a leash of cash, connections and sexual grooming, she bragged.
That was all it took to reduce His Excellency. Now, stunted in full bloom, he is being kept as a parlour pet by his wife. The consequences of his failing, however, manifest dangerously on the poor citizenry of the state, who are forced to endure his inefficiency and absenteeism.
Going by the First Lady’s boast, His Excellency must have suffered the grievous lack of a father-figure as a child.
Masculinity flows from nature as an aspect of the birth mother, no doubt, but it is sculpted by society and a father figure into effective manhood. The boy-child learns by instruction, counselling, and imitation. The father moulds his character by careful nurturing, awarding punishment for vice and reward for virtue. So doing, he teaches him to be a man within acceptable precepts of culture and society.
Whatever the bent of the boy-child’s evolution, his resultant blooming reflects the quality of guidance he received as a child and his experiences through adolescence. Thus the maxim: The child is the father of the man.
Of course, there would be no man without the pivotal nurturing from the womb through lactation by the priceless sacrifice of a birth mother.
Hence the child is caught in a swirl of historical indebtedness to his mother. Fathers earn such allegiance by the magnitude of their immersion into the role of father, breadwinner, protector, provider, and hero, in ideal circumstances.
Manhood, encumbered by their debt to a physical mother through birth, and to the significant female other through romance, procreation and uxorial labour, created an alternate reality in which they could repay their debts by protecting women and fending for their needs.
Woman, at first placid in man’s protections but now inflamed via feminist-misandry with desire for her own illusory freedom, invades man’s systems and corrupts them by starting a gender war and rewriting man’s origins.
Thus the corruption of Gender Studies and its fallacy that gender is a social construct. Overdosing on theoretical dope, the feminist-misandrist channels juvenile rage to usurp man’s roles at home and in the society.
The manifestations are all around us. At the backdrop of aggressive misandrist campaigns at work, in arts, literature and the media, subsists international fellowships, strictly for women professionals, and the general ones for which “women are strongly advised to apply.”
Consider too, the periodic conferences of Nigerian and African women on professional and sociopolitical platforms. The Women in the Media conference has become a thing, likewise the various “Coding,” vocational and self-help gatherings of undergrads, high school students and housewives.
It may be decently inferred too, that Nigeria’s female folk deservedly dominate literary publishing as writers, critics, readers and publishers. The genres of literary fiction and chick-lit are particularly dominated by female narratives. Where the writer isn’t female, he must present a female protagonist and patronise feminist perspectives to gain acceptance and literary acclaim, oftentimes.
Of course, there is nothing wrong if the protagonist is female, its the tenor and intent of the narrative that become cringe-worthy, oftentimes. But art must mirror reality, some would argue.
How real and didactic are the narratives? Consequence-free promiscuity, lesbianism, denunciation of marriage, and outright misandry are common themes. Even the brilliant themes of self actualisation and financial independence of the Nigerian woman are weaponised and rooted in the sex, lesbianism and misandrist wonderland.
The movies are a different kettle of fish entirely as the highlighted themes are aggressively cued into plots of numerous ‘blockbusters’ and social dramas. Kudos, however, to Stephanie Okereke, whose movie, Dry, addresses the challenges of child marriage in progressive, resonant reels.
While it is inspiring to see the Nigerian woman assert herself and take the lead in the politics and plots of her becoming, its saddening to see her male counterpart stew in criminality and ignorance.
Little wonder that, misandry, masquerading as feminism, has gained a monopoly on Gender Studies. Men don’t have a gender identity anymore, only women have a gender identity and an intrinsic value to society and this sentiment is perpetuated by carefully articulated propaganda and research.
The concept of authoritative, strong, independent, passionate and intelligent manhood is persistently repudiated except it serves the misandrist cause. So when a young boy reaches the age where it’s appropriate for him to be initiated into manhood, we find the whole idea of “reaching manhood” laughable.
Nigeria’s malefolk, however, make no attempt to improve their lot. While the successful woman makes conscious efforts to mentor protegees, influencing their growth, her male peer, in contrast, breeds proteges as thugs, assassins, terrorists, internet hoodlums to mention a few.
Nobody can blame the woman for stealing his thunder. In euphoria, she asserts her dominion in aspects of culture, sex and gender politics. Her campaign is heavily funded too, by international NGOs seeking to destabilise the African family and social space.
Having perverted the politics of influence, she seeks to decisively put the Nigerian man in his place. But what really is the Nigerian man’s place? Where is his place? Confusion leads to grave consequences. Confusions about masculinity has led to a situation whereby Nigeria is afflicted by men who do not know how to be men.
The predominantly male political and business classes, for instance, are constituted by amoral men and weaklings whose claim to courage reposes in predatory policies and transactions; then perverse sexuality and whoredom. This shady manhood persists in the shadowy middle class to the boondocks.
Their vulturine disposition to governance, citizenship and family afflicts Nigeria with an army of young, virile males who are condemned to survive, daily, as Marlians, treasury looters, school drop-outs, assassins, Yahoo-boys, kidnappers, terrorists, armed robbers, political thugs, ethnic warlords, land-grabbers, prostitutes and rapists to mention a few.
Many among these grew up without appropriate father figures and male guardians. They grew up without the nurturing of appropriate mother-figures too.
There are very few models of fatherhood in the country at the moment. Many men have ceded their roles to their wives, who in turn, have ceded motherhood and their inherited roles as fathers, to their wards’ teachers, family pastors, neighbours, house-helps and extended family members.
Culled from The Nation