A man must be this, a man must be that, and so we become those things, even if we have to pretend. Bouncing off the energy of yesterday’s International Men’s Day, which doubled as world toilet day for some reason, we’re going to talk about some of the things that men go through that we’re hardly ever comfortable talking about. Struggles we have been conditioned to suffer through alone, especially in Ghanaian society.
Being Victims Of Domestic Violence Or Sexual Assault
You could hear stories about boys being raped when they were just teenagers or even younger. And instead of the outrage that should be the reaction, you have the opposite. People question how much of a man you are if you didn’t enjoy being raped. And people question your sexuality when you turn down sexual advances. That’s just not fair. It’s encouraging that we’ve started talking about these things. However, more often than not we’d rather be silent than get made fun of for being abused.
The Pressure To Provide And Have A Successful Career
You can pretend this type of pressure doesn’t exist, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it does. A lot of this pressure is internalized to the point that a man attaches his worth to the number on his paycheck. It’s why a man gets distant when he feels he can’t provide for the woman he loves. It’s why men lie about how much they make. That’s also why depression hits so hard when you’re unable to maintain a job as a man.
Men Are More Likely To Have Substance Abuse Problems
The pressure to provide and the internalized need to be the “man of the house” can lead to problems of substance abuse when a man falls short. Similarly, when men’s feelings are constantly invalidated because of standards of masculinity, it can also lead to them to turn to drugs and alcohol in order to bury those feelings that they’re not supposed to have.
Homophobia And Stigma Around Intimacy Make It Difficult To Have Meaningful Connections With Other Men
Men are taught to avoid intimacy and closeness with other men, and this makes it hard to have meaningful connections. As a man, you struggle to have a solid support system. And that’s because we are taught to avoid being vulnerable around other men. This also makes it hard for men to have emotional connections with their fathers.