AOKO OTIENO: Toxic Masculinity, Male Privilege; the two bullsh*t words coined to emasculate men

Toxic Masculinity. A stupid term coined by Gender educators, misandrists, feminists, their sympathisers and proponents of politically correct language.

I have been accused of hailing masculinity and I take the dock to prove my detractors right for the umpteenth time. Boys and men in Kenya need our love and support. As a young woman and potential mother of daughter(s), the sons of this nation, our brothers, nephews and future husbands need embracing and help.

Masculinity is not what ails our society. Masculinity denotes strength, stoicism, aggression, and power. Pegging this as toxic is deodorised bullshit because, in reality, boys need those tenets of masculinity if they are to survive and thrive in a complex world.

Boys must work to exhibit strength, resilience, power to lead and be led, to work, to protect us in the families, within and without our borders and when need be, stoicism. They need to be aggressive which does not mean violent but assertive and self-motivated. These qualities do not relegate their ability to be tender, kind, compassionate, empathetic, spiritual and to nurture.

It goes without saying that the most dangerous male is not one who is strong, aggressive, and successful; the most dangerous male is one who is depressed, hungry and consequently angry, the one shunned by a society that has placed responsibilities on his shoulders without giving them the tools to handle those gargantuan responsibilities; one that is unable to earn a living. The most dangerous man is not one with power but one who feels powerless. This is why it is very dangerous to continue emasculating men by labelling their innate, manly traits as toxic.

The media has focused its lenses on a certain clique of men at the top of business, cooperates, various industries, religion and politics and helped pushed the myopic and skewed narrative of male privilege thus alienating the forgotten millions who live in inner cities and rural farms, gentrified suburbs, ghettos, street pavements, cardboard makeshifts and servant quarters. They are in constant fight-or-flight mode in a culture that has abandoned them, and every decade we see their withdrawal from and violence against society, and themselves, increase.

Masculinity in its fundamental sense underscores vision of strength, purpose, honour, power, and compassion that culminates in the art of building a strong enough male with the wherewithal to mentor and give in love.

We must challenge academia f*ckery on masculinity if we are to solve the issues faced by everyone today, including by girls and women. Boys need more masculinity, not less; more fathering and mentoring, not less.

Y’all can keep your cool, but I am going to speak out when foreign aided activists

exploit narrow definitions of masculinity for their own ends. When a man is silly, chauvinistic and poor mannered, it is on HIM! Not on masculinity. Bad men do bad things but to pretend masculinity has caused these social and personal conditions is to distract ourselves from huge areas of real issues around us.

We need not erase masculinity but the accomplishment of it is required -if we are to save our sons. Parents, guardians, policy-makers, educators need to understand how to raise and protect masculine development.

As we empower girls and women, let us also help boys and men find their strength, their purpose, and their success in what will be through this complex male journey in an increasingly difficult lifespan.