“…I stood from my chair and to greet him. She sat on the sofa, he sat on the other chair. I put on the brightest smile I had and tried to speak clearly and fluently. He looked at me, she smiled at me. I looked at him but he didn’t smile back, he had his eyebrows raised. He asked of my age, state of origin, if I was dating, if I lived alone and which of my parents I am close to.
The woman kept smiling at me and wanted answers. So I opened my mouth and gave out the answers making sure it was free from grammatical blunders in my up tone, gentle voice. He asked me to shout as roman soldiers shouted when given commands, whenever he called my name. He wanted to make me strong.
The woman kept smiling at me, her smile whiter than I had noticed before. He asked when I would get married and to what type of girl. I felt embarrassed. He apologized and said he only wanted to know more about me.
He told me that he suspected I should be close to my mom and that she spoilt me. He said that if he were my mother, he would get me out of the house to stay on my own. “He likes men who act like men and are strong because the world is a tough place…”
“… I have always longed to be in this choir. I have heard their anthem, it gives me goosebumps. I auditioned and got enlisted in the Tenor part of the choir. It was there I met this wonderful young man who seemed to release the musical potential in me. I drank from his wealth of knowledge on music and took the voice lessons he proposed.
He composes music especially classical pieces and likes me to participate in critique sessions. I took the soprano parts. I discovered that I could sing on that range quite comfortably and told him about it. He encouraged me, showing examples of professional male soprano singers.
We met a friend who was a good Tenor singer. His singing voice was enviable, he could sing comfortably on a high pitched voice and the ladies loved him for it. Trouble came when he heard me sing in my soprano voice. He said it was not good for a man to sing like a woman, that it emasculates them; that he preferred me to sing tenor and he could teach me how to sing better. I turned deaf ears.
In time he made me the object of his every bad joke in our part, so much so that soon afterward I decided to join the soprano part officially. I was in that part till I left the choir…”
Men can dream too, let them dream. Men are individuals, let them be unique. Men are persons, let them live their lives. This is not to ask men to become women or less-men. It is a call to allow men to live out their full potential as creatures and children of God, “Children” of God. Bind men with responsibilities, and bind them with the courage to live their dreams. Build men to be strong but teach them that strength lies in the heart, in making the right choices. Tell them that you love them, that you know that they bleed, that they have a right to cry.
Happy International Men’s Day!