Saturday July 12 2014

Treat a man like you want him to be

By Mathias Wandera

Being a man today is a more daunting task than it was in the 60s. My grandfather, of course, does not subscribe to such sentiments. Often, he asserts their generation possed the original breed of men. He is convinced they lay the foundation on which the monument of manhood will forever be built.
We were the men!” he often brags. “We provided. We led. We gave direction. We raised more kids and successfully managed to tame our wives. It is very unfortunate that you, today’s ‘men,’ can barely hold it together with just a wife and a kid.”

In an effort to milk the breasts of humour, this old man occasionally asks why today’s men complain about the increasing complexity of manhood when we at least have the luxury of Viagra!

Well, this is not to burst anybody’s bubble. The 60s men did a great job. So did those in the 70s, 80s… And so is the 21st Century man.

What makes it harder to be a man today, however, is that we are faced with a different woman. We stand on the same stage our fathers conquered. We read from the same script.

Our role has not changed as men and we try our best to impress. Disheartening though, our audience (the women) remains unmoved by our Oscar-deserving performance. There are men out there working hard at being men.

The break of dawn finds them out in the economic trenches trying to cross paths with a dollar. They pay their rent, put food on the table, every day and ensure their children get a decent education.

These men love their women, protect and adore them. Want to know how the ladies return the favour? They just demand for more.

“So what if you pay the rent Mike? What kind of man does not buy his wife a birthday present?” “You always wake up early to go to work Ben. As if you make any money! Why are we still trapped in this old apartment block?” “Do not even for a split second think you are a man John, because if you were only half the man you think you are, we would not be having trouble conceiving!”

Then the poor man is left to question his position as Alpha male. The validation, pride and satisfaction men derive from being able to provide for their families is nibbled away by such unappreciative gestures.
Life would be smoother if women tried to hold men to impossible standards. Good men would graduate to better, if the words “thank you” were a big part of female vocabulary. Boost my ego instead. Whisper to me about how I’m a great man already in your eyes and I shall burst with encouragement and determination to indeed seek greatness.

Every once in a while, look beyond my flaws. Acknowledge my fatherhood approach and see how you evoke the best father in me. Quip about how you trust him never to cheat on you and most certainly I will not! Praise my art between the sheets and see how I will soon become the proverbial “tiger!”

Point is, treat a man like he is already what you want him to be. Appreciate him, at least for the effort made. It helps to cut down on the constant fights that crop up as a result of women demanding more without ever appreciating the little already given. After all, a happy partner is the beginning of a happy relationship.