I have four wonderful brothers so I cannot accept that #menaretrash. These boys are not wonderful just because they’re my brothers but because they were raised to be responsible and honourable in their dealings with others. They are also the most humble young men I know. However with some kind of experiences I’ve had, the kind of stories I hear and the quality of some men I have encountered, it will really not be hard to conclude that “men are trash” especially if I wasn’t mature minded or haven’t encountered some really good guys.

I’ve had mixed feelings about this tag. First I was disgusted, “Why lump every man in the same boat over the wicked acts of some others?” The word “trash” is way too demeaning to be accorded another human being; it signifies worthlessness, disgust, something unwanted and It sounded preposterous that a human being can categorise another one so! And then I remembered the rule of generalisation. In that rule, majority takes it.

When most of us want to vent, we say “Nigerian men/women”, rarely do we say “some”. I usually use the word “average” (i.e. the average Nigerian man) most times to show distinction between what is common and what isn’t, however I too have been guilty several times of generalisation. That said, I think that’s all this hash tag is guilty of: the sin of generalisation because indeed, there exists a lot of trash out there in human form and unfortunately, the male folk carries the higher vote. Let me give you a few examples.

The community penis, the ardent liars, the rapist, child molester, the father who fingers/has sex with his daughters, the woman beater/killer, the thieving politician, the power abusers, the Intimidators, the ritualist, the yahoo and 419 boys, the priest who rapes young boys, the pastor who sleeps (and rapes) those he’s meant to guide and protect, the lazy entitled manipulator who takes advantage of his partner’s hard work while stealing from her, the man who runs from taking personal responsibility, the deceiver, the arrogant entitled man who feels he can deride, take advantage, walk over women with no form of culpability, those are trash. Any man who doesn’t regard women as human beings, but as a lower specie of animal, and also acts on his demented thought pattern is trash. Sadly, these are the only kind of men some women have encountered beginning from their fathers. Sighs.

All men?

Sad to say but too many men fall into one of these category and I ask myself why? That hash tag -though unjustifiable- stems from the amount of pain caused by the men folk. It also invalidates the goodness of those men who have proven themselves to be beacons of light in this cesspool of life. It invalidates the men who play the role of both father and mother to their children, those who serve as worthy role models to the next generation of men. It invalidates the voices of those men who stand against vices such as violence against women and sexual abuse. It invalidates the efforts of those men who rush to defend and protect the women in a world that unforgivably sexist and patriarchal. It makes a mockery of the many good men out there, that’s why I say the sin of the #menaretrash tag is simply the sin of generalisation.

Does it invalidate the fact that a lot of men have stooped low enough to be regarded thus? I’ve realised many men don’t like being nudged to raise their standards. If you bother them too much, they would rather go back to mummy who fanned their excesses in the first place, or replace the “nudger” with one who treats him like mummy does.

Dear Parents, a state of emergency has been declared, this hash tag is proof. Please raise your sons properly, not just your daughters. Have positive expectations for the boy child, don’t excuse his every misbehaviour as simply “being a boy”. If your child rapes a girl, blaming the girl or flying him out is not the solution. If he beats up his girlfriend/wife, carry the matter on your head even if you don’t like the girl. Teach him to have integrity, humility and empathy, to respect everyone equally including the female folk. Teach him to be a faithful father, friend and husband. Teach him his penis is not a ticket out of responsibility, and best of all, teach him every action ones with a consequence and sometimes, with responsibility.

However before you teach, you must first be. So if you fall into the “trash” category, please repent. After all, some trash are recyclable.

Have a blessed day

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