Sat | Jun 19, 2021

Letter of the Day | Impatience and misplaced priorities leading to marginalisation of young men

Published:Saturday | May 15, 2021 | 12:05 AM


The number of theories given for the failure of boys and young men in education and workplace realms have been more than we care to recall. Notwithstanding, the phenomenon of young males marginalisation continues like wildfire in a dry cornfield.

This enigma of the male dysfunction is so alarming and complex that it has forced some among us to conclude, wrongly of course, that women are naturally brighter than men. Less offending theories claim that boys learn differently than girls, therefore more creative means of teaching boys must be found; and that the growing absence of more male teachers from the classrooms is a significant factor.

There is no doubt that the absence of fathers from the day-to-day supervision and interaction in the lives of boys is a major contributor to males falling through the cracks. However, I would have preferred if the narrative were about the failings of parenting.

In my opinion, there are three major reasons why girls are getting ahead of boys.

(a) Girls become more responsible faster than boys.

(b) Girls are much more ambitious than boys; and

(c) Girls are a lot more patient than boys.

Of the three reasons stated above impatience among our young males has been their biggest downfall. The average young male in our society is convinced that it takes forever to go through the education system to obtain the quality education and training that will land him the kind of job that will allow him to own a top-of-the-line motor vehicle. This, in their minds, has the potential to attract the attention of females whenever it passes or when it is parked. The other dream is to live in a fancy apartment.

It is this consuming desire by our young males to acquire all things bright and beautiful in the shortest possible time that manifests itself in the overcrowding of the recording studios by these young males, whose hearts and minds are set on nothing but fame and fortune. But when the reality hits that only a small fraction of them will ever have any fame or fortune, the majority resort to operating taxis or, in worst cases, become members of gangs.

Another potent testimonial of the impatience of young males is the percentage of boys who enrol in institutions, public and private, to resit failed subjects, and for vocational training, is dismal compared to that of girls.

It is therefore a false narrative that the reason for male marginalisation is because of some inherent intellectual or cognitive deficiency. For it is clear that the downfall of young males is their conviction that they know of avenues that bring fame and fortune which do not require getting a solid education.