Friday, May 24, 2024

Violence Against Boys Is Not a Joke.

February 29, 2020 by  
Filed under Health & Wellness, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( I saw a meme post I was told was supposed to be a joke. The problem was each time I saw it I became angrier, and I knew the opposite would not have been funny. There was a young girl approaching her grandfather with a young boy; when the grandfather asked, “who is your little friend” she responded, “my boyfriend”. As the young man extended his hand the elder punched him in the chest and ordered the young girl to go inside and do her schoolwork. Of course, our people found this funny. We also find it funny when we hear about dads threatening young boys for the protection of their daughters.

It’s cool to be protective of them…we should protect our children. The thing is, if a woman were to slap fire from a young girl introduced as a girlfriend all hell would break loose. We don’t want to believe that girls should be threatened when they meet the parents of they’re boyfriend. In this space we send the message that the protection of our daughters is all that matters. The only party that can be disrespectful, or do harm is a boy. We need to look at that narrative and own the double standard in such.

Violence against children is not a joke. Violence against boys is not a joke. If we continue to laugh they will continue to grow up to disregard others as they have been disregarded. This is the very principle that doesn’t allow us to focus on the needs of our children as a whole. If fuels the narrative that men are predators, and if we have to punch boys in the chest without so much as speaking it must be by nature. This is something within the black community we must address. If we are not fair in parenting and as adults guiding the youth we should not fix our mouth to fuss about what they become.

Our girls deserve love, protection, upliftment and empowerment. They need to know  mothers and fathers will fight for them and defend them in this world. They should be free to grow, learn, and love in a healthy environment that nurtures their gifts and needs. Our boys deserve the exact same thing. They need the same love, upliftment, empowerment, and yes protection. They should know their body and well-being is just as valued as their female counterpart. They should be able to grow in a nurturing environment.

Acknowledging these needs for all of our children is a part of how we teach them respect for self, each other, community, and true equality. None of us should be laughing at a young boy being punched in the chest as he extends his hand. That young man was not a thug he appeared to have manners and it was met with a blow to the chest. Imagine what that can do to the mind of that child. What if he decided elders don’t deserve respect? No, he isn’t right in totality, but that isn’t the lesson experience has taught him.

Violence against girls is NOT funny; no one is going to laugh nor should they. Let’s keep this same energy for our boys. As Black History Month comes for a close let’s have more productive exchanges about the betterment, protection and upliftment of all of our children. Let’s work this year to heal the spaces broken in self, and our children to build a stronger community.

Staff Writer; Adonicka Michele

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