A lot of women are of the belief that being a man is such an easy task. Some of them would wish they were born into this world as men as they often regale us with tales of how difficult their lives are.
They will tell tales of how they have to compete with the men for anything they want; how they shed blood every month in the name of menstruation; how they carry ‘their’ babies for nine months; how they lose their shapes during pregnancy; how they have to cook, feed the babies, clean the house, wear high-heeled shoes, spend three hours in front of the mirror applying makeup, shave their legs, get raped, go to the market and at night, we would not let them rest as we would want to do go the jigijigi.
And if they had a choice, they would change their genders… bla bla bla.
But what they forget is that being a man is not a complete walk in a sun-dappled park, being cozy with life or having to walk into any bar and get some chilled drinks down our throats. Babe, e no easy like that o.
We do have our own set of problems and vulnerabilities, some small – even funny – and others large and painful. We also live with the constant expectation to be strong and to keep our issues to ourselves.
A man is not supposed to cry, abi? Yes, we must always be strong for the women but little do they know that we carry a lot of burden within us and just because we be men, we have to bury our problems and let the world think everything is fine.
Let us have a feel of what men do go through, summarized in these 10 bullet points and at the end of it all, you will tell me if we do not have our own issues as well.
1. Hair Everywhere
Hair… hair… hair, everywhere. So you thought going about with hair all over your body like a monkey is an easy task, especially in the era of beard gangsterism? My dear, it is not a thing of joy to have hair sprout on your neck, down your back, on your chest, stomach, chin, arms, and legs and somewhere between your legs. It’s not funny, I tell you. It varies from man to man, and, hey, some of it can be attractive or serve a purpose but it is not fun at all.
The hair under your arms can be nauseating at best, but we have to bear it like the men we are. But what purpose do the hairs on your feet or knuckles serve? And why do some men have small bushes of hair coming out of their noses and ears?
Even waking up early every morning to shave your beard in some desperate attempt not to look like a hobo or an alcoholic can rankle the most stoics of men. Oh, and lest we forget: one word, my friend; Manscaping, (if you get my drift.)
2. Random Erections
One of life’s cruel ironies is that when you’re young and virile and pitching your tents at every glimpse of a bare skin – say, in a lecture hall, inside a bus, in a banking hall, and of all places, inside a church – you’re less likely to be able to enjoy your virility.
Imagine walking into a packed banking hall and just one glance at the pretty lady teller and this enormous and gigantic snake begins to grow in your trouser… and women say we do not have a problem! Now that’s a cruel irony.
3. Balls Getting In The Way
Now, this is what I call the rare moment in the average man’s life when he can forget that he has a pair of balls dangling between his legs and decides to do some stupid things that require the twisting of the waist region.
If you own a laptop, you’ve probably wondered if having it on your laps will cook your sperm and lower your fertility. And you’ve definitely agonized over whether to go boxers or briefs.
Then, to add to the agony, you have your zipper getting caught in the hair down there… you have your labour pains but I tell you, nothing compares to the pains a man feels when that rare moment occurs. Let’s just leave it at that, biko!
4. Bad Sex Is Always The Man’s Fault
Oh, you think we do not notice how you frown and get upset when sex goes wrong? We know you blame us even if you do not say it. When it comes to sex, the pressure is disproportionately on the man to perform.
To begin with, he has to get it up, which is sometimes heavily dependent on his level of attraction to the woman, his comfort, his health and, not least of all, his sobriety. So when the sex is bad or you are sex-frustrated, why is it only our fault if it’s bad? Shocker alert: Women can be bad at sex, too, so shove the blame game, darling.
5. Mistaken For A Pedophile
God forbid a father wants to walk hand-in-hand with his son or daughter or take his child to the playground to play with other children. There is a culture of hysteria surrounding men and children that have made men afraid to be physical, to pick up, hug and cuddle their own kids for fear of being mistaken for a pedophile. That’s just not fair.
6. Condoms Problems
Condoms help prevent pregnancies and the spread of STDs; yes, but they also suck. A lot. As you grow older, you are wary of the stares at the pharmacy when you go to pick up a pack as the attendant immediately suspect that you are out for some wenching, leaving the long-suffering wifey at home.
Condoms are actually a hassle to buy at the appropriate size, often difficult to put on, and going through the process of opening the package tends to be a mood killer, and, obviously, they dampen the sensation significantly. And yet still, we use them because, in many cases, the alternatives are way worse.
7. Getting Called A Creep By Women
However much social mores have changed in the last 50 years, for the most part, the onus is still on men to approach women in romantic situations. If we don’t say hello to a total stranger who happens to catch our eye, she definitely won’t.
And in that brief interaction, in a bar or club or coffee shop, things can go horribly, horribly wrong. The end result of your failed manliness might mean the dreaded ‘creep’ label (variants include ‘foolish’, ‘mumu’, ‘maga’, ‘idiot’ ‘dooh’ ‘talk to the hand’).
And the one wey dey pain pass is when all your efforts at chivalry are mistaken. And nothing quite hurts a man’s pride, or his chances of approaching another woman, quite like being so negatively labeled.
8. The Fighting Double Standard
When it comes to fighting, there’s a terrible double standard at play that we find difficult to comprehend. We are expected by society not to fight, to keep calm and find a non-violent resolution to conflicts.
But when the local bar bully is insulting your honor, or, worse, that of your girlfriend, there’s an expectation from many people that you don’t entertain his entreaties and to prove your worth, you have to engage in some fisticuff-trading rather than slink away.
When confronted with this situation, a man has two choices: be a man, protect your woman, fight and be considered a violent Neanderthal, or try to make peace, resolve the conflict, don’t fight and be considered a chicken. So whichever way, you are the loser and for good measure, the woman could end up in the arms of the punk!
9. Getting Slapped In The Face
There is one sight that makes me cringe every time I see it happen and that is one act of physical violence that gets used with alarming frequency: Men getting slapped in the face – by women, of course – and you are expected to be a gentleman about it, smile and pretend as if nothing happened.
When you see a woman slap a man on the street, chances are, you didn’t think to yourself how awful it is that she resorted to violence; instead, you probably wonder what he did to deserve it. The painful thing is that you are not expected to retaliate or you will be seen as a woman beater, a beast, and a violent man.
A real man does not raise his finger on a woman; she is the weaker sex and was molded from your ribs. Nonsense and a blatant double standard! Hitting someone isn’t a solution no matter which partner is doing it, but the slap is much more accepted if a woman does it.
10. The Pain Of Getting Hit In the Groin
This is the ultimate and it happens in a split second and only lasts a few minutes, at most, but those few minutes are filled with excruciating pain, cursing and the fleeting thoughts that, maybe, you’ve finally taken one too many shots to the groin to be able to have children.
And you say we do not have our pains as men? We do, abeg! To be a man no be moi-moi mbok.