Aleasa Word speaks out about on how boys issues get ignored
Some may think the thought of trying to save our son’s in today’s world of “fair and just beliefs” is silly right? I mean, as a parent, why wouldn’t we want all want to pay attention to and save the lives futures of ALL children? Ugh, why dos this have to be gender specific……right?
In the past few years I’ve seen more and more initiatives put in place for girls programs and I applaud every one of them. I have a daughter who can benefit from understanding the importance of her role in society as well as the rights she is entitled to. Like with anything else, we tend to try and fix one problem and either create a new one or make another one worse. There is the myth that boys will be ok simply because they are boys and as a mother of two boys that I know first hand that just isn’t the case. I’ve written before, speaking about the plight of the African American mother of boys because that is one lens through which my world is seen; however, I also have the benefit of simply seeing things as simply “A Mother” without reference to race.
My sons like any other sons deserve the rights to be heard. My younger son will benefit from the mistakes I made with my other son as I learned to navigate my way through the scary yet incredibly fulfilling road parenthood can be. It wasn’t all berries and flowers trust me.
Something I’ve learned is no matter how much we try to treat kids the same, boys just aren’t the same as girls. To try and parent them the same is like trying to treat your new husband the same way you treated your old husband and expect better results.
Simply said BOYS AND MEN MATTER! As my younger son has expressed to me over and over “sometimes it’s like all the world cares about is what is happening to girls and our stuff is kind of ignored.” So today I ask, who is paying attention to our males? Who will save our sons? Is it the pedophiles who have raped/molested many of them and kept them prisoner to a life of shame because “that doesn’t happen to boys?” Is it that group well-intentioned teachers who feel their pent up energy is aggression and they need to be taken down a notch so they spend most of their day in detention? Is it the physicians who sometimes get mixed information and over diagnose them with ADD or ADHD? Is it the media who portrays them as aggressors when many times they are in fact the victims? Is it Corporate America who pays them more money than women but expects them to operate like robots and never be sick, never have family issues and get angry at them when they have heart attacks or strokes that interfere with their revenue because they can’t work 19 hours a day? Is it the college campuses that insinuates males can’t get raped or lied as they themselves try to find the truth about real rapes of our girls on the same campus?
All this is to say that we must pay attention to EVERYONE! No problem is a one gender problem when it comes to the issues I’ve raised. What I see often is boys who try to explain their side of the story being ignored because they are stereotyped based on the behaviors of others and lumped into a pot of “unruly, aggressive, entitled males.” While they are being assigned these titles is anyone asking why they are deservant of the title? Are they really unruly and aggressive? If they are, then why aren’t we working to resolve what’s causing it instead of punishing the behavior only. That’s like treating a symptom and never diagnosing a disease.
November 19 is International Men’s Day. The theme this year is Working Together for Boys and Men.” Tongue in cheek here…..both boys and men are part of our global family! What affects them affects us all. It’s time for us to stop talking about it and be about it. Ask yourself this question every single morning. “What can I DO to save our boys, add value to men and help the global family?”