I have this issue around manhood and being men that confronts me everywhere I look, everywhere I go. In many of the communities I usually go to, be it on a social visit, be it because I am there to stay for a short while, or whatever, and many communities that I have never been to, that I usually see on TV, one thing always strikes me. violence. People’s capacity for violence or aggression. it comes under many guises, violence in relation to drugs, violence in an effort to get respect or be feared, violence in order to gratify sexual desires as in the case of rape, the list goes on. Men are usually the perpetrators of this violence and when you look deeper into it, a lot of it makes sense through the lens of masculinity. It is all about being real men, what real men can tolerate and not tolerate, what they can do so forth.
It seems to me as if the capacity for violence really gives someone capital in society. and I don’t just mean physical violence but all sorts of violence. verbal violence for example as when you violate someone’s dignity through the things you say about them (because men say it like it is, don’t be a bitch about it say it like it is). I always think about how destructive these things are, yet how they serve very functional goals for a majority of people that engage in them. Some of us are helpless victims, or some of us can say to hell with it, I wont be treated like this, I wont tolerate this and then proceed to rectify the situation with more violence thereby perpetuation this cycle of violence. Because if we don’t, the hatred, the violence, and the lack of respect that it is accompanied by when it is directed at someone reduce us as people, we feel that we vanish into the background as men.
People love to be feared in order to induce respect. But why should we be feared? Why should we invoke (and emphasise) fear to command respect? Are we animals? Lions are feared, a damn bear, those are fierce. Fear often goes with very fierce methods for keeping it in place. It destroys.
Real men don’t destroy, they build, constructively. For me, the greatest men in history, who most command respect for me have been those who built and developed. Those who built pride and identity, thinkers like Malcom X, Steve Biko, Frantz Fanon, brothers who helped build nations with their ideas on humanity like Nelson Mandela, Dr Martin Luther King, Brothers who helped prolong people’s lives through medical operations like Dr Christiaan Barnard. The guy who invented the light bulb or the telephone, for me those were real men worthy of respect. Fear and violence have nothing to do with it.
So lets build, build with The Precious Jewels