The stone age man that existed hundreds of thousand years ago had one thing that informed his life’s meaning: survival. Survival from mortally threatening dangers, from animals to diseases to natural calamities. He needed to find food, unlike other animals that have claws and sharp teeth, or his closest species the chimps that have thumbed feet to climbing, he only has his intellect as his tool for existence and survival, to make tools, build a habit, hunt, and avoid being immortalised.
Increasing population and better survival strategies came in migration, migration to better, more fertile grounds. Then came in trade, and localized settlements. Civilization was building up. The male has always been the protector, the adventurer, the gatherer, and the female the nurturer, the breeder, the home builder. We men have historically loved status quo, it’s what we know, it’s what we are. Fast forward to the 20th century, with industrialization, the need for labor and consequently the need for colonisation and slave labour, the 20th century man is the explorer, the industrialist. Our definition of hypergamy might be a little different than among the males in the early 20th and 21st centuries. The parameters keep shifting to suit the intellectual, economic and political climate and move further from the rudimentary and biological disposition, call it evolution.
The first time I fell in love with a girl was in nursery school, I was probably 4 years old. That girl remained my crush for the better part of my life, finally when I was in my early 20s, we started a relationship. The most eye-opening experience was in how times had changed. I’m not talking about the age, but how looking back, how the different seasons, lifestyles and the social political climate had impacted both of us. When I crushed on Mary, she would look at me with an admirable gaze, in her teens she took a more liberal gaze, the kind that says I could choose to look away if I wanted, when we dated, she had a list of demands and requirements.
‘Love’ was lost. That’s the first time I realised that we men are the idealistic romantics, we are the ones who hardly get the message about what love is and unfortunately, we may never do, even with all the pro-male messages, still men go ahead and pursue that mythical girl who will love them unconditionally.
The 21st century male still has his primary goal as survival, the dangers might not be from foxes roaming at night, but the dangers are far more lethal than foxes. Capitalism, liberalism, individualism, anti-male propaganda, fempowerment crusaders are the real foxes roaming in the dark night, the pythons beneath his bed.
Nothing threatens male annihilation like the politics of the 21st century, the ignored male, the insignificant male, the male whose testosterone drive is sterile. With male suicide up to 4 times more than female suicides, males being incarcerated more, more children being raised without fathers; the tenets that say a man in significant, important, valued and respected are no longer valued or at least no longer tenable. From jobless corners, jaba bazes (which I frequent), divorced men in their 50’s, men abandoned by their wives to join their children abroad, the statistics around male vulnerability are staggering but enough has been said about that.
Historically we males have been the saviours of the world, the sacrificial lambs that willingly sacrifice their lives for the good of the world, the inventors of machines, health care, you name it. Naturally males feel responsible for the world, we want to be superman even if to our small families or communities. However, the 21st century male must consider an alternative model. Saving the world is far stretched, saving women is even far worse as they are already saving themselves. The modern man must save himself instead. Create his own world, be its own hero, be its own inventor, protector and save himself from it, should it also become no longer tenable.
There is no insurance man can have in this modern day, however comfortable or perfect things may seem to be. So, think about yourself because certainly the world won’t, I know it feels glorious being the dead hero whose name is sang, but a little strategy won’t hurt, you can still leave a legacy and keep your life. As a man, you have to realise that at some point you see not responsible to the lives of the vulnerable in society, including women and children, that the world is not your responsibility too, that you are your first responsibility. Time does a bad one on us men these days, and will continue to; it’s time we sat and thought purely about us, because we are the world that needs saving.