boy child advocacy organizationBreaking Borders

The Essence of Advocating for the Boy Child

By: Kawthar Abdulmojeed 

In a world inundated with societal expectations and norms, the concept of masculinity has long been rigid and unforgiving. Men are taught to be strong, stoic, and unyielding in the face of adversity. They are told to suppress their emotions, to “man up” even when they are hurting inside. However, this archetype of masculinity is not only detrimental to men themselves but also to society as a whole. It fosters a culture of emotional repression, leading to mental health issues, relationship struggles, and a lack of authentic human connection.

The advocacy for the boy child aims to dismantle these harmful stereotypes and redefine what it means to be a man in today’s world. It’s not about celebrating men’s tears or deriving pleasure from seeing men expressing their pain. Instead, it’s about recognizing the inherent humanity in men and allowing them the freedom to express their emotions without fear of judgment or ridicule.

Imagine a sapling struggling to grow in a cramped constricted environment. Its roots are tangled, its growth stunted by the confines of its surroundings. This is in likeness to the experience of many boys who are raised within the constraints of toxic masculinity. They are taught to suppress their emotions, to conform to rigid norms that limit their potential for growth and self-expression.

Now, picture a garden where each plant is allowed to flourish freely, where there are no restrictions on how tall they can grow or how brightly they can bloom. This represents the ideal environment for the boy child – one where they are encouraged to explore their emotions, develop empathy and compassion, and embrace vulnerability as a strength rather than a weakness.

Society often equates vulnerability with weakness, but in reality, it takes great courage to be vulnerable, to open oneself up to the possibility of pain and rejection. By allowing men to express their fears and insecurities, we are not making them weak. Instead, we are empowering them to confront their emotions head-on, cultivate emotional intelligence, and forge deeper connections with others.

By advocating for the boy child, we are not seeking to diminish the essence of masculinity, but rather to expand its definition to encompass a broader range of traits and characteristics. Strength can coexist with vulnerability; courage can manifest in tears as well as in triumph. It’s time to break free from the shackles of toxic masculinity and embrace a more inclusive and compassionate vision of manhood.

The advocacy for the boy child serves as a light, illuminating the overlooked and under-discussed aspects of male experiences. It strives to give voice to the boy child, shining a light on their struggles, triumphs, and unique essence often overshadowed by societal expectations. By engaging in open dialogue and meaningful conversations, this advocacy seeks to ensure that the boy child is not relegated to a mere afterthought in discussions surrounding gender equity and empowerment.

Central to this advocacy is the acknowledgment of the challenges faced by boys and young men in navigating the complexities of masculinity and societal pressures. It is about recognizing that while boys may not always vocalize their struggles, they are not immune to the impact of harmful gender norms and expectations. By acknowledging these challenges and celebrating the inherent worth and dignity of every boy child, we pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable society.

Moreover, it is imperative that men themselves actively participate in and support the advocacy for the boy child. Oftentimes, men are quick to champion the rights and empowerment of women, yet neglect to extend the same support to their fellow men. This disparity stems from the misconception that advocating for men’s issues somehow diminishes the progress made in advancing women’s rights. However, this could not be further from the truth.

Men should recognize that advocating for the boy child does no detract from efforts to support women; rather, it complements them by fostering a more holistic understanding of gender equity. Just as women’s empowerment benefits society as a whole, so too does the liberation of men from the constraints of toxic masculinity. By joining forces in the advocacy for the boy child, men can demonstrate solidarity and compassion for their fellow brothers, breaking down barriers and forging a path towards greater empathy, understanding, and equity for all.

Think of a mighty oak tree standing tall and proud in the forest. Its strength lies not only in its sturdy trunk and sprawling branches but also in its ability to bend with the wind, to weather the storms that rage around it. Similarly, true masculinity is not about rigid inflexibility, but rather about resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity.

To conclude, advocacy for the boy child is not about making men weak or deriving pleasure from their tears. It’s about promoting emotional authenticity, nurturing empathy and compassion, and empowering men to embrace vulnerability as a fundamental aspect of their humanity. Just as a garden flourishes when each plant is allowed to grow freely, so too will society thrive when men are liberated from the constraints of toxic masculinity and encouraged to express themselves fully and authentically.

Be a voice for the boys around you!

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Breaking Borders

Navigating Uncharted Waters: Advocacy and the Boy Child

By: Praise T. Oluwasina

Dearest Gentle Reader,

There is a saying that “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors”, and neither is avoiding certain topics as a society builds a Better Man. Much like sailors navigating turbulent seas to refine their skills, young boys find themselves facing challenges seldom acknowledged or discussed.

The boy child faces unknown waters in the vast ocean of societal expectations, which call for fortitude, flexibility, and a strong sense of self. These difficulties are frequently accompanied by silent battles that go unnoticed, which leaves a gap where the weights placed on youthful shoulders are hidden behind a curtain of social silence. For young boys, society has imposed a complicated web of duties and expectations that define what it is to be a “real man.” These expectations, nevertheless, are rarely examined closely or honestly. The boy child carries a great deal of weight, but societal standards prevent boys from acknowledging their responsibilities.

It becomes clear as we embark on our investigation of these unexplored waters that understanding and empathy can only be fostered by deciphering the nuances of the boy child’s experience. It’s time to set out on a mission to reveal the unsaid battles, bring attention to the difficulties young boys encounter, and start a conversation that breaks the taboo around their particular issues.

The first unexplored topic is emotional suppression, which is like a wall of ice created against a boy child. It’s no secret that boys struggle with the pressure to maintain a stoic façade since they grow up in a society that discourages showing emotion. When emotional navigation is denied, mental health issues flourish and internal disputes go unresolved since the required support networks aren’t available. Because of these kinds of beliefs, boys are frequently dissuaded from expressing their vulnerability or seeking support for their mental health issues, even in the face of intense internal and external pressures. Many boys suffer in silence, unable to express their emotions or get the help they so desperately need, as a result of the stigma associated with mental health in men.

All of this has its roots in the idea of toxic masculinity, another uncharted water of society.  The idea of toxic masculinity hangs heavy over boy children, enforcing strict standards on what it means to be a “real man.” It is difficult for guys to rebel against these expectations since they impede their ability to grow personally and express themselves authentically. Because of this issue, males are put under pressure to fit into stereotypes, which impedes their ability to express themselves authentically and grow as individuals. For the boy youngster, escaping these expectations becomes a difficult undertaking.

In addition to impeding personal development and genuine self-expression, the pressures from society for boys to conform to conventional roles also play a major influence on the educational gaps that exist. Boy students face particular difficulties that are frequently disregarded in conversations as they strive for academic excellence. Gender prejudices greatly impact males’ performance, and the narrow conversation often reinforces the false notion that girls are the only ones who face scholastic difficulties. This discrepancy highlights the necessity of tackling gender-related concerns in the educational framework as a whole to promote a more welcoming and equal learning environment for all students.

The strain on boy representation, role models, and image among young boys is another silent struggle. Boys struggle with what society expects of them in terms of appearance. Body image problems and a skewed sense of self-worth are caused by the unrealistic body ideals that are promoted by the media. Being six feet tall, having a big chest, chiseled jars, and a six-pack is seen as a real man’s fantasy. Boys are isolated in their adolescent journey by these unsaid forces.

Not only that, but it’s well established that representation matters, particularly for young people. However, the boy child lacks strong role models that exhibit empathy, vulnerability, and healthy manifestations of masculinity. Instead, they are frequently exposed to media images of hyper-masculinity and toxic behavior. Boys are deprived of varied narratives to aspire to and this lack of representation perpetuates damaging stereotypes. In contrast to the prevalent emphasis on empowering girls, boys frequently receive little support and advocacy. Few initiatives target their particular difficulties, thus they lack a safety net to help them deal with the difficulties of growing up.

 

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This lack of discussion on the boy child’s troubles leaves a void where problems linger unaddressed. We must elevate these issues in the public conversation. Promoting the interests of boy children is not about downplaying the difficulties that girls encounter; rather, it is about calling for a more inclusive conversation that acknowledges and tackles the complex problems that impact both sexes.

 

Navigating the Path Forward

We must acknowledge the particular difficulties experienced by boy children and take appropriate measures to alleviate them as we navigate these unexplored waters. To start, this involves encouraging frank discussions about what it means to be a man, dispelling myths, and providing secure environments where boys can be themselves.

Education is essential to this path. We can enable the boy child to succeed academically and emotionally by supporting social and emotional development, offering mental health resources, and implementing inclusive curricula that accommodate a variety of learning styles. In addition, we need to push for laws and programs that put boys’ health first. Examples of these include fair access to mental health treatments, encouragement of boys to pursue higher education, and the fostering of healthy male role models in the media and society at large.

We open the door to a society that is kinder and more understanding when we recognize the unfamiliar seas that the boy child must go through. It’s time to break down the walls of silence and have candid discussions about the difficulties they encounter. We can only bring about a future where all children, regardless of gender, can flourish free from the constraints of society by raising awareness and advocating together. Let’s set a new direction and work toward a time when boys are encouraged, given authority, and given the freedom to realize their full potential.

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Sexually abused by a nanny

“I Was Sexually Abused By My Neighbor’s Nanny” — Anonymous 006

Dear Survivor, we are sorry you had to go through all you went through during the abuse. We appreciate how courageous you are to have decided to share your story through us. Kindly drop your story here in detail. Thank you.
There’s not much to say though. I was sexually abused by my neighbor’s nanny. My nanny used to keep me at her place before going to the market each day to get stuff. She played with my private parts and sat on my face regularly while emitting foul-smelling gasses from her ass, she compelled me to touch her, and kissed me awkwardly in all manner of sexual abuses.
For how long did this sexual abuse occur or has been occurring?
I can’t remember when it started, but it lasted until I was 10.
How old are you?
In my twenties.
Have you ever told anyone or received help?
No
Who did you tell or what type of help did you receive?
No one
Have you noticed any physical or medical changes in your body as a result of the sexual abuse?
No.
What have been the emotional or psychological effects you’ve experienced as a result of the sexual abuse?
I can only enjoy being with women far older than me.
How do you feel after sharing your story with us?
Has the abuse affected you in a way you think you might need professional help and therapy?
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Sexual abuse causes addictionBOYS TALK ABOUT IT 4.0

“At A Point, I Became The One Craving It” — Anonymous 007

Dear Survivor, we are sorry you had to go through all you went through during the abuse. We appreciate how courageous you are to have decided to share your story with us. Kindly drop your story here in detail. Thank you.
I will try to summarize as much as possible, please bear with me.
In my primary school, I had a cousin that lived with us. It was just me and my younger sister staying with my grandma and some extended family. I honestly can’t even remember how it started, but I knew I tried turning her down every time she played with me.
I remember that every time she kissed me, I would spit throughout that day, I would reject her but she would force me and overpower me, she always got what she wanted. There was a day I vowed not to give in and I pretended like I was asleep, but she threatened to beat me if I didn’t respond, she would use my hands to touch her body.
This happened almost every day. She even tried it outside and in public but in a hidden way that no one but me would understand. After a long time, I gave in and I got so used to kissing and romancing her.
At a point, I became the one craving for it. I got so addicted that I desired it. Because of this, I started acting rudely to her, I no longer respected her outside and in public, after all, we were equal, Irrespective of the fact that she was older than me by about 6 years.
She reduced the way played but it was already too late, I was addicted. This happened until we grew up and separated. After many years, I finally controlled the addiction and became in charge of my urges. I am still not perfect but I am far better today, all thanks to GOD ALMIGHTY.
For how long did this sexual abuse occur or has been occurring?
About 1 or 2 years.
How old are you?
32 years old.
Have you ever told anyone or received help?
Who did you tell or what type of help did you receive?
15 years later, I shared this story with some of my friends while also encouraging them. Interestingly, I picked myself up. I am not a religious extremist but I can confidently say my personal relationship with GOD ALMIGHTY helped me.
Have you noticed any physical or medical changes in your body as a result of the sexual abuse?
What have been the emotional or psychological effects you’ve experienced as a result of the sexual abuse?
I struggled with the addiction for years.
How do you feel after sharing your story with us?
Relieved, indifferent, and happy.
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male child sexual molestation

“I Was Molested By Three People” — Anonymous 008

Dear Survivor, we are sorry you had to go through all you went through during the abuse. We appreciate how courageous you are to have decided to share your story with us. Kindly drop your story here in detail. Thank you.
I was actually molested thrice: once by a family member, once by the landlord’s son who was almost molesting my sister, and then once by a neighbor.
These people were all older than me. You know, growing up, with extended family members… My grand uncle’s daughter was almost putting my tiny penis into her vagina then. At each time she tried, nothing would happen. Instead, I would cry, and it happened twice so, my mom noticed the movements and started locking up my sister and me inside as she went to the market.
The second encounter was our landlord’s son who would drag me into the room and do the same thing until we left the area.
Then, the last one was the neighbor who always lured me into an uncompleted building where he had his way until I grew up to know that what he was doing is bad and I fought him. That was how I broke free from his manipulations.
I was almost rewriting those stories with other people if not for God’s interventions. I thank God I broke free from those influences because it affected my mental health as a young man growing up.
For how long did this sexual abuse occur or has been occurring?
It was concurrent.
How old are you?
26
Have you ever told anyone or received help?
Yes.
I told my friends.
Have you noticed any physical or medical changes in your body as a result of the sexual abuse?
No.
What have been the emotional or psychological effects you’ve experienced as a result of the sexual abuse?
I was always lusting after both genders, especially the guys.
How do you feel after sharing your story with us?
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BOYS TALK ABOUT IT 4.0

“This Happened In The Late 80s” — Anonymous 010

As a child growing up, we had this Igbo neighbor family who had plenty of female children. 

Myself and my cousins at a very early age between 3/4 years were abused by some of the girls in their early teens.

They will call us in and rub their boobs and private parts on us, till I summon the courage to report to my mom who took it further by telling their mom. 

Then it was realized that they even had sex with an older cousin of mine who was 11 then and they were 12 and 14 years old. 

This happened in the late 80’s ooo, so you can imagine how long this stuff has been in existence. 

God deliver and save our children.

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BOYS TALK ABOUT IT 4.0

“He Would Tell Me To Secretly Come” — Anonymous 009

I don’t know how to write a long epistle. I never understood what it meant then (although I had the understanding later), but within me, I just knew it was wrong, though I didn’t know why I never tried telling anyone about it.

Maybe because I was threatened or there was no one to really confide in. The point is at age 5, in those days my mum wasn’t always around, she was always out for the hustle due to the fact that there was no one to look up to as a dad. 

As for Dad I never knew him, I only know he and my mum weren’t together because of some reasons. Anyway, I used to stay in the neighbor’s house till my mum would get back. One of this neighbor’s son, like three times older, as I could remember, would tell me to secretly come and make sure I rub or suck his dick till he releases.

After the third time, I stopped going to the house whenever he was around. I couldn’t say it out because he told me not to and probably threatened me then and he would also buy biscuits for me after everything.

In the long run, I just had to start running from him. I thought that was the end until an aunt staying with us then, also did the same thing at that age with the same threat, till when she thought I had sense at age 8.

They would think I don’t remember but I remember well.

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Flyer for story of a boy sexually molested by a womanBOYS TALK ABOUT IT 4.0

“To date, I Didn’t Tell Anyone About It” — Anonymous 005

I had my little experience of sexual abuse when I was growing up. I hope my story will inspire someone. Well, it all started when I was a little boy. I was molested by both male and female. First, it was a female.

She was our family friend. When I was a boy, she would carry me to her room, and start to rub my tiny penis on her vagina.

Well, she thought I wouldn’t know, but she forgot that as a kid, my mind and brain were so sharp to retain things. To date, I didn’t tell anyone about it. If not now that I am telling you.

I wonder why she engaged in such an act with me. She used to be a very beautiful young lady then, she could have gotten any man of her choice. Why little me?

Are you a survivor of a similar sexual abuse or any other form of sexual abuse? You can share your story with us for Project Boys Talk About It 4.0 via the link below:

Project Boys Talk About It 4.0 Story Sharing Form

Be the voice of awareness and change; join us in the campaign today!

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“… I was told I was going to experience seizure each time I ejaculated” — Anonymous 004

A 13-year-old boy who was barely a man …Had a classmate who was a friend to a senior (girl) back then in secondary school. I was in JSS 3 at that time, while the senior was in SSS 2. She would always come to check on her friend and bring stuff for me while we were on break.

When I mean stuff, I mean goodies (biscuits, sweets, money and her food too). I wondered why she was so generous, although I wasn’t bothered (I mean, why would I even be, with all the stuff I was getting). Moving on, She introduced herself and said she’d like to be my school mother. Trust me, I couldn’t have said no. Wetin I even know then?

She said: “I would get everything you want me to get for you and wouldn’t like you rejecting ’em.” And I said yes. In fact, I happily said yes cause it meant I was going to be eating when I didn’t have pocket money, and every day, in as much she’s still in our school…

Days went by. Weeks too…Then, this very week that was our inter-house week, the whole students were representing their houses, and the classes were empty. No staff or students in them. Then came my classmate who told me Snr. Abigail was calling me and that I should walk towards the school toilet, she was there waiting. I gave a head gesture that I had heard.

Immediately I heard my name, “******! School son! Come over here!”

In excitement, I went to meet her, then boom! We were in the same bathroom together. My school mother’s friends (they were two) were standing just by the bathroom door with my classmate a little bit ahead of them.

She asked how I was. I had not even answered when a kiss followed. Believe me, that was the first time I ever kissed a girl. She took my fingers and put ’em in her PP. Stuff was wet and slimy. She began to moan, loosened my belt, took my trousers off, and began to rub my penis and kept it in her mouth. We were there for over 20 minutes if I can remember vividly.

Trust me, I released more than seven times, till I began to release blood. Lady drained the whole of me that day. Cause of the blood she saw, she stopped.

Having noticed that I was weak, they took me to my class where I lay my head to rest. When everyone was back to class, they noticed my absence and they were like: “where were you all through? Are you fine? Your house won” and all…

While they said all that, one of them noticed this awful odour and the smell of blood on me, and boom, they raised me up and saw how stained I was.

I was taken to the School Health Prefect, who happened to be one of the ladies that was standing outside the bathroom while myself and my school mother were in the bathroom.

They tried to cover the situation but they couldn’t cause I was unconscious and they had to take me to the hospital. The school authorities got to know what happened while I regained consciousness and they got all three students expelled.

To this day, I haven’t set my eyes on Abigail.

The stuff dealt with me physically, I would say. Along the line, I became less of myself. Had medical treatment and I was told that I was going to experience seizures each time I was going to ejaculate cause of the trauma it has caused me and the wrong way I ejaculated for the first time, and that with time the seizure was going to stop and if at all it comes that as I grow up, I would be able to control it.

Yes, I’ve been having seizures during sex and in my early 20s I’m still controlling it. The situation has really made me hate sex (cause it’s a bag of embarrassment each time it happens) and my relationship with ladies gets broken cause each time we’re kissing they tend to want to forge ahead and I restrict them.

In fact, they conclude that I’m impotent (as foolish as it might sound, just to prove to them that I am not, I end up letting us have it). Trust me, I’ve never enjoyed sex. Never!

Each time I get to hear about marriage, I have this phobia cause how do I end up being with a woman my whole life with such disgust for sex? It’s a story I hate to remember.

This situation causes me to have ASD too (Acute Stress Disorder).

Not even my closest friends know about it. But as I grew up, and with the better understanding I was getting, I needed to let it out.

Are you a survivor of a similar sexual abuse or any other form of sexual abuse? You can share your story with us for Project Boys Talk About It 4.0 via the link below:

Project Boys Talk About It 4.0 Story Sharing Form

Be the voice of awareness and change; join us in the campaign today!

 

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Raped by a paedophileBOYS TALK ABOUT IT 4.0

“This Went On And On For Months…” — Anonymous 003

 I should be able to forgive him now, but it’s hard to do so because I get angry whenever I remember it.

This was how it happened:

When I was like 5 or 6 years old, my mom was working as a caregiver or let’s say nanny in one rich man’s house and she usually took me along.

We didn’t have much; dad was struggling too. Things were so tight. Mom would go to the house and clean, cook, and also stay with the children. She also sold provisions at home just to help our father.

My mom’s boss had a younger brother living with them, and he would tell me to come to his room while my mom worked around the house.

He started by rubbing my penis, and if I tried to cry or scream, he would tell me he was helping me to massage it so that it won’t pain me later. Later, he told me to rub his dick too and I did. I didn’t even understand what he was doing to me.

Then, he started rubbing his dick on my anus and he’d threaten me not to talk saying if I do, my penis would disappear. But I was uncomfortable with it, and so I started acting weird whenever mom was about going to the house.

This went on and on for months. But one day, he had his way by inserting his big penis into my anus and I cried out.

Mom ran upstairs and met him on me. I was bleeding profusely and Mom carried me out and also slapped him repeatedly.

I was admitted for days. The pain was too much for me. That was the last time I visited that house. Mom reported him and she also stopped working there.

I remember the man and his wife came to beg my mom and also decided to pay my school fees, but dad sent them away. Dad later informed the police but they had money; the case was closed before it even started.

Till now, I feel like seeing him so I can strangle his neck. I just hope I can forgive him. I really hope so.

 

Are you a survivor of a similar sexual abuse or any other form of sexual abuse? You can share your story with us for Project Boys Talk About It 4.0 via the link below:

Project Boys Talk About It 4.0 Story Sharing Form

Be the voice of awareness and change; join us in the campaign today!

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