In a recent discussion with friends, we touched on the issue of puberty and how we first experienced different things.
I will put it mildly and say shocking things came to the surface. I’m talking cases of molestation, masturbation, brothel visitations and porn addiction. All the above and much more despite being at home, even though for some of us, school was in the boarding system.
I am talking age range 12 – 16!
So, there we were, fathers now, suddenly able to speak about it. Yet, through the words, one could still feel the emotions flow. This was decades in the making.
“I remember neighbour X (who was a much older female then) holding ‘me’ and putting it as I watched on confused but unable to talk”
- one of us said, then the rest of us took a minute to digest it. We sort of expected that to be a one off until someone else gave another story.
In the end, it felt good to let these things out. We were kids! Relatively unguided kids who mostly thought we were grown.
Yes, we can say many come out lucky but what about the millions of boys out there who don’t? The realization hit harder because now we understood the other side of the table; parenting.
We weren’t abandoned, we were kids cared for but cared for in the context of what was obtainable from previous times and generations where the male child was left to go and discover it all alone, no guidance on these issues.
For generations, we have been abandoning the boy child and for generations that model has been failing us.
The things boys do and try between Junior secondary class one and final year of university is literally unthinkable simply because, we leave boys and expect them to automatically figure it out.
Think about the marital issues that exist today and think about how much better things could be, think about how much power that gives us over the nature of future husbands and marriages then.
Unfortunately, these are not things we think important. How many fathers take the time to be available and present for the whole family, let alone paying attention to the boys? Who cares about the company these boys keep when they to out and get influenced by peers and conditioned by communities who fill up the position of the absent fathers?
Ask the adult males around you about their first encounters and you are likely to hear tales about aunts, cousins, teachers, neighbours and domestic staff. What makes it worse is how many back then enjoyed it so said nothing about it.
Somehow, the male is taught early on that sexual activities count as a point scored for the male and a point conceded by the female so they actually enjoy the abuse as it happens.
This happens, and has been happening for long. Hopefully, we can begin to make the moves to be better.