We Need More Males Willing To Teach BOYS How To Be The MEN

I read TWO really interesting articles yesterday on the site Madame Noire. First, I read an article called “Why Men Need To Focus On Loving Women, Not Submission” by Brande Victorian, which was a great piece about the problem with two many men these days feeling ENTITLED to a woman’s submission, when they don’t know the FIRST THING about how to be the head of a household or even properly love and protect a woman. The next article I read was about Denzel Washington’s GQ interview where he talks about being around a lot of father figures who taught him, first hand, the good and bad about being a GROWN-ASS man. And it dawned on me, that we MAY be entering an age where the amount of BOYS out here, drastically outnumber the amount of able-bodied MEN we have to teach them.

Now I don’t want this to sound like an accusatory rant on who is responsible for the increase of broken homes and who is doing there jobs, and who’s not, because that conversation serves only to inflame, and misses the BIG point: Even though there have been fathers abandoning their sons since the beginning of fatherhood in EVERY community, there have always been a lot of REAL-MEN father figures who have been able to pick up the slack. But now it feels like we are entering into a stage where boys, who’ve had NO direction from father figures their entire lives, end up having kids of their own so young, and end up NEVER maturing. When I say there are a LOT of boys who need to be taught HOW to be men, don’t look at that as strictly a comment on young-dudes, because we live in a society with a lot of GROWN-ASS BOYS walking around, THINKING they’re men because they aren’t young anymore.

This is a start – but our BOYS need a LOT more…

But the truth is, we need more MALES willing to teach these BOYS how to be MEN, because there will NEVER be any qualitative hope for the continuation of a successful society without a greater accumulation of strong MEN. As much as I think Rick Santorum is a prejudicial DOUCHE, the one thing we can agree on is that a strong household creates a strong society and a strong society benefits everyone. But that strong household NEEDS a father FIGURE and our society needs to come to grips with the fact that we need MEN to teach BOYS how to be MEN – NOW. Because we are risking embarking on a time period where boys will continue to have more boys and men will become fossils and relics of a time past and forgotten.

Everyone has ideas and concepts on how men can be more involved in young boys lives, and I’m all for hearing them – as long as we don’t continue to propagate the ideology that ALL BOYS don’t need ANY male father-figure because that role can be replaced by their mothers. That’s too dangerous of an ideology to promote, and the fact is, it’s simply NOT working in our society TODAY.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

28 Comments

  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    09/19/2012 at 5:15 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, What Are Some Things We Can Do As A Society, Community And Nation To Help BOYS Get The Father Figures They Need In Their Lives? More Community Outreach, More Family Interventions, etc.?

  2. DarDar

    09/19/2012 at 6:27 AM

    That last point really drove it home. This (flawed) idea that a strong woman can be both parents in a child's life. That's simply not true. The consumer holiday that I hate the most is father's day. There is always some idiot that want's to wish me a happy father's day. For the longest time, I would try to explain to them that 1. its an insult to me as a mother to wish me happy father's day 2. its an insult to good fathers. I am wholly inadequate to be someone's father. I am an excellent mother, however, and that badge I will wear with pride.
    How do we, collectively, get to the point where everyone knows the value of a male role-model? more social awareness, more programs to teach men how to be men. Anyone in Toronto there is this program called UJIMA house. There location is at weston rd and lawrence. They provide a place that potential/young father can go to have time alone with their children, listen to other successful fathers speak and have a community that will listen but more importantly understand the struggles of being a black man.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      09/19/2012 at 2:02 PM

      Thanks for sharing that info DarDar because a lot of folks here in Toronto can benefit from it.

    • J.Crawford

      09/19/2012 at 5:44 PM

      The whole "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child" mantra died somewhere, and only a Small Minority wants to bring this back. Outside of Black Folk, the current state of a Family, as well as Masculinity and Maturity of Men/Boys is as partisan as the political parties- GOP= I Built That and Individual Responsibility/Self-Accountability vs Democrats= Community, Diversity aka "We All are in this Together".

  3. Smilez_920

    09/19/2012 at 7:06 AM

    Great article. I can attest to the amount of grown behind boys walking around. Like someone said above , we’ve become so accustom to the single parent household that were staring to under value the presence of a strong ( good) man in the household or atleast in the child’s life. A mother can teach her son how to be a good person, but it takes a man to show a boy how to be a man. If no man is around that boy is left to make the journey alone.

    • Paul B.

      09/19/2012 at 11:14 AM

      And when making that journey alone with no substantive guidance, those boys learn through trial and error and are prone to adopt dysfunctional ideologies about manhood and what it is, and will make bad decisions that affect their lives and those who they encounter. With that being said, it can't go both ways where the value of good strong men are low to nonexistent and they simultaneously be so instrumental in strong families and vital in the lives of their sons and daughters. We have to pick one and go from there.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      09/19/2012 at 2:03 PM

      Now the struggle is, does that single mother have a god male role model in her life or does she know what one looks like.

      • Paul B.

        09/19/2012 at 7:10 PM

        Good question. I know some do because they have those good role models in the friend zone. Can't say that for all though, but definitely the case for some so not everybody can use that as an excuse. Another thing that has to be addressed is the overprotective attitude and actions regarding these boys too. Sometimes they need their butt kicked and it needs to be done at an early age too and the woman needs to step aside.

  4. Paul B.

    09/19/2012 at 8:41 AM

    True. I understand that sometimes stuff happens and the wrong men are chosen to have kids by and the women have to take care of the kids by themselves from day (ne or have to leave and take care of them for the majority of the kids' formative years. Yes, it's better than having a terrible man around, but it's not the same as having a great man around either. No, a woman can't make a man do something he doesn't want to do, but she is responsible for what and who she chooses to do. We have men who get with women they wouldn't commit to laying down with them and making babies with them, and we have women doing the same with men they know they have no business with, and who suffers the most? The children do. Smh

    • MistaHarsh

      09/19/2012 at 1:43 PM

      I agree with you but what is the answer? Regardless if safe sex is practiced, as long as people continue to have pre-marital sex kids without committment is going to continue. Also with the uprise of lgbt community and the change to the "normal" family dynamic the old definitions of what a man is supposed to be or do are skewed. The men that existed and were respected in the 50's-60's would be ridiculed by todays standards. How do you raise a boy to become a man in today's society when you're using old rules?

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        09/19/2012 at 2:07 PM

        People think I'm crazy when I say this, but boys need to be pushed into rec sports and group activities (for the non athletic). I've met coaches who were like a father to me, although I didn't need that because I've had my own, and focusing on whatever activity my group was doing helped me keep away from making bad decisions in my life.

        • MistaHarsh

          09/19/2012 at 3:49 PM

          agreed. All that pent up energy needs to be applied in a constructive manner. Most of the kids I knew that chose crime and gangs weren't in the gym after school doing suicides. Organized activity can really help build character. Also a good impartial role model helps. They say a child response favorably to a authoritive non parent figure because with the parent the kids are always trying to push limits. – why this is I have no idea but I've seen it with my own eyes.

      • Paul B.

        09/19/2012 at 3:52 PM

        For starters, we as men and women have got to start thinking beyond ourselves and our lusts. It sounds cliche, but our standards for ourselves have got to be raised. We spend too much time trying to make somebody step up for us when we don't even step up our decision making for ourselves. When our standards change, the people we allow in our lives change too.

        As far as what a man is or should be, some things should never change. Being responsible for your actions, being a man of your word, having a good work ethic, knowing how to present yourself, and having respect for yourself and others should never go out of style.

  5. Celina

    09/19/2012 at 10:00 AM

    Lincoln, I need you to get out of my head…
    I was just saying last night that I'm an independent woman not because I want to exert power over any man that comes into my life, but because I have no choice (only child, lost both parents by age 25, greedy/unsupportive Caribbean aunts and uncles, etc.).

    I would LOVE to submit to a man but the fact is that more often than not dudes come along not knowing their heads from their asses wanting to either run things because they think it gives them power over me or expecting me to take care of them because I have my shit together. I keep saying that more women would act like ladies if more men would act like gentlemen. I think a lot of this can be taken back to the feminist movement taken out of context (but maybe that's an entirely new discussion). The fact is that if somebody came along with the ability to take care of my house better than I could and would actually make a commitment instead of trying to stick his pickle in everything I would GLADLY follow his lead. But you can probably deduce what the current situation is… lol

    • mena

      09/19/2012 at 10:13 AM

      Your last paragraph… Agreed.

    • NurseJilly

      09/19/2012 at 1:57 PM

      Well said Celina!!

      Co-sign 100%

    • MistaHarsh

      09/19/2012 at 2:21 PM

      How can a man or anyone else for that matter take care of YOUR place better than YOU can? That's an unfair expectation don't you think? Also one of the charactistics of a gentleman is one that takes care of his woman. That means giving him control – in some form or fashion. Women especially ones that have survived and flourished on their own(I commend you btw) are conditioned to keep that control in tact like its their chastity belt. Until women and men have no qulams about sharing and relinquishing control there will always be conflict and aversion to relationships and thats not a bad thing because its a sign that subconciously women like that don't want a man at all(although they say they do)

      • Celina

        09/19/2012 at 2:36 PM

        I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one MistaHarsh. A man CAN take care of my affairs better than I can and I've seen it first hand. However, it takes a certain level of maturity, responsibility and knowledge for that to happen.

        Me giving up control of my responsibilities to someone without them demonstrating that they can actually handle the responsibilities is like hiring someone to be a surgeon without that person doing residency. To say that me wanting to maintain order of my affairs until someone capable comes along translates to me subconsciously not wanting or needing a man is offensive and asinine at best.

        • MistaHarsh

          09/19/2012 at 4:33 PM

          What I'm saying is expecting someone else to take care of your affairs better than you successfully have or can is a hard expectation for anyone to meet. I don't know much that can handle my affairs better than I(key word I) could nor would I expect them to unless its their professionally trained to. Also what I'm saying is if you've taking care of your affairs effectively what are the chances you'll allow someone else to do it for you Trustworthy or not?

          • Celina

            09/19/2012 at 4:47 PM

            We are raised (or are supposed to be raised) in a society where males and females are groomed to have different skill sets. Furthermore, as individuals we don't all have the same strengths and weaknesses. So it's easy for me to say that there is a good chance that someone out there is better at handling certain things than I am. I might meet someone that is great at planning, handling money, being a handyman, etc. and if those are areas where I'm not as strong and I have seen this man demonstrate his capabilities in that department, then I would be doing myself a disservice to not let him handle those areas of the household responsibilities and vice versa.

  6. mena

    09/19/2012 at 10:27 AM

    I recently went on a trip with one of my close guy friends (black male) and I asked him if he felt like he owed anything to the next generation. He said yes. I asked him did he plan on becoming a mentor. He said yes but that he was afraid to do so since kids nowadays aren't the way we were growing up. I took what he was saying to heart. He is a guy that has his life together, just turned 30, is well known in his community, still hasn't reached his full potential and is afraid to give back to the youth b/c in a way, he is apprehensive about the way kids are today.

    More men need to step up (women do as well when it comes to young girls) but I also agree with my friend. It's hard to know what to do and how to do it without it getting in the way of your own life and responsibilities. But then again, maybe that's the problem. We are too concerned with thinking about ourselves.

    • MistaHarsh

      09/19/2012 at 3:19 PM

      great point. We don't want the burden and in these times of social media, sexting, cyber bullying amonst other things it seems like the odds are stacked against parents. It doesn't mean he cant be a role model to another child nephew/neice volunteer at boys&girls clubs. Again he may know himself very well and understands that being a father is a lifetime committment moreso than being a husband sometime he's not willing to do. You can divorce a fack up wife but you can't divorce a fak up child.

  7. BADDEST

    09/19/2012 at 11:05 AM

    It's just basic psychology right?
    Our fathers represent what becomes our outer selves in the world.
    Our mothers represent how we process our inner feelings about our lives.
    The general and accepted absence of fathers has contributed to strange manifesations of identity in society…….women then react to the phenomenon, rather than make weighted decisions…. and the cycle ensues……its gotta be a collaborative effort of both sexes if we ever have a chance at correcting it.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      09/19/2012 at 2:08 PM

      Agreed. I think we need to find ways to help the entire community out together.

      • BADDEST

        09/19/2012 at 2:30 PM

        yes indeed and what my comment should have elaborated more on is i think it would be a good start if both men and women stopped trying to tell the other sex what their gender can do to resolve the issue and start thinking what elements they can contribute themselves….
        ex: women should leave the fathering to the fathers and other strong MALE members of the community , give up complaining and FOCUS on what sides of mothering and female thought need to be incorporated to support the success of the endeavor ( ie. creation of upstanding memeber of society)

  8. MistaHarsh

    09/19/2012 at 3:27 PM

    I don't know what the answer is and I know there's not book on parenting that applies to ALL children. But with the willingness to try, the consistent challenging to be better(from yourself and offspring) and the patience required for growth can only create a foundation for good morals and sense to flourish.

  9. Lia

    09/19/2012 at 4:07 PM

    Being raised by a single mother taught me that a woman can successfully raise a child on her own, but she shouldn't have to and it certainly isn't ideal for anyone involved. I also had other female influences: coaches, friend's parents, aunts and grandma. My own mother admitted that things would have been more difficult if I had been born a boy. More mothers (and women period) need to acknowledge and come to terms with their own limitations when it comes to raising boys, and seek outside help to fill in that gap. No woman can show a boy how to be a man. She can show him how to be a good human being. But even the mother with the best of intentions will fall short of the completing the task of raising him into a man. Boys need a man who can show them the way. Just as there are certain things that a girl can only learn from a woman, the same can be said about boys in relation to men. I have a few teenage boys in my family and it's sad to say, but I can already see where they are headed if something is not done to help them. Boys need someone that they can relate to and look up to, and women can only take that so far on our own.

    I think part of the problem is that there is a lack of sense of community these days. I'm only in my 20s, but I remember my neighborhood feeling so different when I was a kid. Because all the kids would play together, all of the parents knew one another, and all of the kids knew everybody's parents. We could sit and chat with each other's parents and learn something new that we might not otherwise get at home. Now, I barely see kids playing outside and I'm lucky if I can get a neighbor to make eye contact with me let alone actually speak. When we get back to being an actual community then men will share in the effort of raising up young men into grown men…

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