Thursday April 24 2014

May the real men please stand up

By Kiiza Akiiki

Growing up, probably in my teen years, my friends and I often talked about the kind of men we wanted to get married to in future. If I recall well, some of the qualities included; educated, loving, presentable, rich, etc. We thought these qualities defined who a real man/husband was.

However, as time went by, I realised I could not actually find a man with the qualities I listed. I would just look at a man from head to toe, if you know what I mean. I sent many away because they “lacked the potential”.
A few days back when the same issue arose, I tried asking my friends who they think a real man is and these were the responses:
Brianah: “A real man is one who values more than just looks. He will always give a woman genuine answers no matter how awkward or uncomfortable the situation may be.”
Bob: “A real man will always trust his woman, as long as she doesn’t betray his trust.”

Lucy: “A real man is someone who is cool-headed, calm and knows how to control his temper. This man will always respect a woman’s views.
Aidah: “A real man puts effort in his relationship to make it work and he never raises his hand at his woman.”
Susan: “A real man will make his wife the best version of herself without changing who she is.”

As the responses buzzed in, I took time to get second thoughts on my dear Allan. Was he man enough? Was he all these things everyone expected of a real man? Well, he didn’t match the 100 per cent man I had wished for many years ago, but he is just fine.

One thing I have learnt over the years is that life will always humble you. It humbles all of us at one time or the other. This is something we either embrace or fight, and in most cases if we resist it, we will never learn.
For me, the first step any man should always take is becoming the man he ought to be, realising exactly who he is, what his strengths and weaknesses are, and the best way he can offer himself to the world.
I may have flaws, things I do unto myself or to others, and that alone makes me imperfect. I don’t rejoice for being that person but that gives me plenty of room for growth.

In my view, a real man is someone who treats women with respect and this does not only mean his wife. A male who disrespects a woman is not a man and doesn’t qualify to be called a man. A real man is someone who is dependable, and a leader in at least one aspect of his life. It can be with his family, friends or with anyone.

He should not be someone who can easily be manipulated. He has to always stand by his word. A real man doesn’t need to be a fighter to protect himself and the family. He should, however, be able to do whatever it takes to protect his family.

Yes, a man is human, just as a woman. He gets depressed or sad, but he never gives up - he pushes through adversity, I mean he has to remain super strong.
A real man is helpful, kind and approachable, and so many other things – things I can’t exhaust today, but promise to share next time. So, are you a real man?