What does it feel being a man in the era of #MeeToo, #AmINext or #TimesUp? As young men it’s overwhelming to witness men in power being brought into their knees by the “cancel culture”. According to Dictionary.com, “cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (cancelling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive.”
We’ve seen recently the Hollywood giants such as Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose and Bill Cosby fall by the power #MeToo movement. The idea of being a man in the 21st century is bit vague. Nobody teaches boys to be men. The journey to manhood is a mystery – might as well call it a path to nowhere.
It’s quite tricky as men to voice an opinion in this era without being reminded that “it’s not your place or you haven’t owned the right.” As if men need permission to share their thoughts in matters that concerns women – maybe we do. One of the unspoken rules is: speak out but know when it’s time to ‘shush’.
The unfair privileges of being born male are under scrutiny. Of course, we all lust for change and dream of a real equal society. But we’re products of our fathers, a generation of breadwinners and non-negotiators of power. This new era is for men who are flexible, tolerant and comfortable being led particularly by women.
Young men find themselves in an awkward position. Who will lead the way? Unfortunately, this era isn’t kind to neutral men – one must pick a side or be labelled as a culprit. The mum and nonaligned men have no place in the society. It’s no longer about us and them – both men and women are expected to find a common ground. The days of claiming the “head of the house” title is fading out. Don’t be shocked to find some men in the kitchen and women behind the desk making decisions.
The #MeeToo movement doesn’t exist to demote powerful men but an end to an era of entitlement and toxic masculinity. This is an era not to be ‘survived’ by men but to be embraced. Somehow it feels like men are given an opportunity to rebrand and position themselves in society.
There’s an urgency for men do constantly define themselves outside the ‘man-box’ – to discover a new way of being a man without violence and ego. As young men, it’s in our hands to bring about positive change to the world. It’s time to divorce anything that tarnish the image of better men.
Bro, what are you doing to define what it means to be a ‘better man’?