Men are strong! Men don’t cry! Men are always in charge!
These are some of the words thrown at boys who later become men and are helpless to natural things and situations.
To the society, a mother, who is raising a kind and caring man is a failure and the child, a weakling.
Although, she is not moved, Ayodele Olofintuade, a writer and a self-acclaimed feminist shares her experience as a single mother raising two feminist sons.
One day I’ll talk about my journey as a single parent trying to raise two feminist sons and how the society is trying to fuck with their heads.
One of the subjects he picked was food and nutrition. The day after he resumed for the class I got a call from his school.
When I got there thinking the boy had done something terrible, I was informed that I needed to see the school counselor. I went to her office only for her to tell me that my son picked food and nutrition.
I waited for the punchline and got none. Does this mean that the boy won’t be able to apply to a uni? No. Is there a law against an art student picking food and nutrition? No. So madam what’s the problem?
I will never forget the dismay on that woman’s face when she informed me that my son is a boy. Really? thanks for that useful information! In the world she’s from boys don’t cook…
Food and nutrition is for girls. I swear I was so fucking mad! The funny thing was that after Alex joined the food and nutrition class more boys joined the class too. Yes he scored an A in the subject because… Why not?
Don’t get me started on the number of times I had to go to that school and inform them that they should put my fucking name on his school fees receipt because I’m the one paying the damn school fees.
Or having to tell them I’m Ms. Olofintuade not Mrs. Whatever their imagination comes up with.
The Boy was trying to date a girl in his uni and she turned him down, why? Because he doesn’t behave like other boys, he’s always asking about feelings instead of just taking what he wants. He’s not ‘rough”enough.
The one that stood out for the eight year old was when he was asked to write an essay on ‘my family’ which included “the roles of a mother and a father’. The boy cried back from school because the teacher gave him zero.
Apparently they’ve taught them what to write already and since that shit didn’t apply to my household the teacher couldn’t take it.
So I went to his school to find out why only to get lectured about the roles of a father. I had to report the teacher to the headmaster. It was a repeated nightmare.
The sad thing pi’s that you teach your children one thing and they go back into the society and find out that the opposite holds. The heartbreak and disappointment.
What do you tell an eight year old who wants to find out what he should do when the girls in his class keep hitting him because he told them that hitting people is wrong.
Should he hit them back? Should he just keep taking the beating because teachers think an eight year old should “man up”?
Well I told him to fight back, just once. He did and they left him alone afterwards. But was that the right thing to do?
What do you tell your sons about sexual harassment and rape when their friends make fun of them and call them names because they prevented a rape from happening in their presence?
That’s why I laugh when people on here complain about how men don’t stop their friends from raping or harassing women. Masculinity is so fragile in this country that taking action means you get punished with ostracism.
The only thing I keep telling them is that there’s nothing wrong with doing things differently, that being different is both a good and a bad thing. That they can choose to be and that the price they have to make is worth it.
But how do you make this clear to a teenager who wants his friends to think he’s cool or an eight year old who’s being taught that mothers Day stay in the kitchen and daddies go out to work?
There are some Nigerian men in my mentions already telling me how to raise my son’s. They don’t want me saying that I’m trying to raise them as feminists because that word is feminine I guess… Sigh.