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The Masculinity Crisis

The Masculinity Crisis

I’ve been reflecting on Vusi Thembekwayo‘s words when Tom Bilyeu hosted him on Impact Theory about how our self-identity could limit one’s potential.

Speaking of my life, I lengthily lamented in my 20s that my father had not prepared enough for my tertiary education that forced me to drop out of campus. Until I got to a point reality dawned on me that nobody was coming to save me. I had to figure shit out. Hence changing my attitude to: what can I do for my life with what I have? Self-identity and self-narratives. Very powerful.

From birth, society gives us men an identity. You have a penis. It means you should develop muscles. Be aggressive. Strong always. You are the pillar of society. 3 Ps of a man: Protection, Procreation, Provision. That’s all you’re reduced to from childhood. Nothing much about your intelligence or the value of your soul. If you think about it, all these are performative precepts. You don’t need any internalizing skills. They’re about what you show and do, not who you are.

It is extremely difficult for a man to change these worldviews because they are stuck deep into his consciousness. Such that he feels unworthy if he can’t protect, provide or procreate. And society (some men, some women, some gender non-binary persons), treats him as a nobody. His identity is centered on these three functionalities. But it is also easy to change if he is fed up with this way of doing things.

How you perceive yourself depicts how you interact with the world.

It is not from a vacuum that men register the highest suicide rates globally. A lot of the struggle emanates from the fight between who most of us believe they are versus what nature is calling us to be. Nature needs us fluid and flexible. But we believe we are rigid, immutable and inflexible.

All humans were born with an empty brain. Any ideas, behaviours, worldviews, and beliefs were fed upon us by the outside world. You got to ask yourself, who are you without everything you were told you are supposed to be?

Onyango Otieno

Onyango Otieno is a cultural designer ardent in maximizing the power of storytelling for healing and connection. Onyango believes in the potent spirit of humanity collectively creating safe spaces for interaction, development, business and movement, for a more cohesive world.

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