Something that truly irritates me is when I hear people talking to little boys telling them to “be a man” or “man up” or something of the sort. He’s not a man. He’s a child.
I totally disagree with the belief that men are naturally insensitive unfeeling people. They just get taught early on in life that it’s not okay to cry then they’re rarely encouraged to still express their emotions. They get told to suck it up and be a man.
And we wonder why men and women have such a hard time relating. (But that’s a whole ‘nother post)
I read a Child Watch Column by Marian Wright Edelman and its title sums up what I’ve been thinking about. “Treat Children as Children.”
And we can see instances of this forced adulthood in so many places. For example, I finally watched a recent episode of Black•ish. (Have you watched that show? Do it! NOW!) Brilliant.
It brought out a topic we often ignore. Men who are raised by single mothers who end up hating their sons’ significant others.
After watching this scenario play out over and over, I deduce that it’s because the sons take on a dual role as their mother’s man.
I posted that as my Facebook status after watching and one commenter said this “Yep. Calling them little man, man of the house, king… Etc. Childhood is symbolically lost. You’ve nailed it.”
I don’t think we really understand how much our words really mean.
We have to stop forcing our boys into manhood with our words and actions.