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Know yo role

Chivalry , A Commetary On Social Issues In South Africa, know yo role, Charlize Theron, superheroes, roles, Women, men, deadbeat, abusive, functional, lentil, accusatory, encompass

I do not write this with an accusatory tone, pointin at everybody else while standin aside in false exemption from any ill. I am part of “we”. Maybe more so than many others I know.

There’s an email goin around that reads: “Chivalry is dead. And women killed it.”
Some of U might remember a campaign that ran a couple of years ago called the The Real Men campaign, with some ads featurin Charlize Theron with her American twang. “People ask me all the time what real men in South Africa are like.”

I found myself askin myself that question so many times yesterday wonderin what, in truth, defines a real man. We livin in a world where traditional roles have been compromised, but the mental programmin stays the same. Men still tryin to be seen as the dominant gender… The one who sets the law in the home… The one who protects the home… The one who brings back the bacon… The one who is all superheroes embodied in one. And the absurdity of it is that when we look around, it seems that very few men seem to be doin anythin to live up to the level they are tryin to be perceived in.

And it seems the roles are changin. This is a trend that’s been discussed in more extensive detail than I’m goin to afford it on this feature.

More and more, I’m seein women steppin up to the plate, raisin children single-handedly tryin so hard to assure that they will turn out to be respectable, healthy, functional members of their communities. More and more, I see young women takin charge of the things that matter in their personal lives, the things that matter in their communities in ways that previous generations were not subjected to. Women refusing to be beat. Women refusin to be perceived as second class citizens. Women refusin to be treated with nothin less than dignity.

Times have changed. A couple of decades ago, it was nothin less than scandalous for a woman to be seen drivin a car. In today’s world, I know quite a number who will quickly put U in yo place should U dare even attempt to open the door for them. These are just small examples of a really big condition, if I may call it that, in our generation.

Could it be that women are findin it necessary to fill the roles previously occupied by men because men have abandoned their responsibilities as men? Is the theory of displacement tru in this case, that because we are not doin what we are supposed to be doin, we are puttin pressure on women to be women and yet somehow fill the roles that in original design and intent, were meant to be filled by men? Is it sexist to believe that there are actually even roles meant to be played by each gender? Our cultures and religions actually teach us that to be an indisputable fact. Is it rebellious to challenge that notion?

There’s so many examples of irresponsible, deadbeat, abusive men. Where are we to get our inspiration from?

We have definitely gone wrong somewhere if we find it necessary to put women in their place. We’ve lost the plot somewhere if it becomes necessary to engage in power-plays to regain our position. In many ways, I feel men have not been overthrown, but have traded in their birthright for a bowl of lentil soup. And how do we come back assertin that we are still entitled to the same blessings that go with the birthright?

Men are not superior to women. Women are not inferior to men. We seem to have been called to different roles which work together to make part of a picture to big for us to encompass in a lifetime.

Last night, I was privileged to take a walk with one of the most inspirin young women I have met in a long time. We talked of many different things, and then she said somethin that at that moment pierced into my soul. I’m gonna paraphrase because I caught the spirit of what she was sayin, but maybe not the exact wordin.
“I would like to raise the type of family where my children know themselves enough To be able to be strong-willed without compromisin.
My children need to learn to be immune from outside influences
And the only way to secure that is to enforce strong family values.”

She strikes me as a woman who is aware that one of the most powerful roles any woman can play is to be the glue that solidifies the home. If U’ve seen a lot of single-father setups, U know what I’m talkin about.

I know it may seem like I’m bashin men, and that is not the intention. Tru, it may be argued that some women have contributed to the state we find ourselves in. But I just wonder to myself: What does it take to be a real man? What does it take to be the kind of man that’s not always strugglin to take advantage of his woman and women around him? The loyal type of man who knows his place in his life, home, community and generation? A man who is a challenge to many around him to be loyal, truthful, virtuous, carin, lovin and affectionate… What does it take to do the right thing, even though there may not be any consequences?

To test your character ask yourself what you would do
If you knew that you would not be held accountable
For the consequences.

Author Unknown
Quote Contributed By Vuyisile Nyandeni
Article By Tebogo Rameetse
fear of silence

Published: 2007-02-10
Author: Tebogo Rameetse

About the author or the publisher
fear of silence

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