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OPINION: Real Men Cry


Before James Brown sang " It's a Man's Man's Man's World", a large majority of cultures of the world have always been patriarchies.It is seemingly a man's world,but I think men tend to leave it earlier for women to control.

This weekend has been marked by an avalanche of activities and buzz on social media connoting the expiry of the Queen of England.Condolences have poured in from far and near and deferring opinions have flared on social media and more.

One of Voltaire's sayings goes "we owe respect to the living; to the dead, we owe only the truth.” This is a sharp contrast to our realities here in Ghana,I am even tempted to say Africa.We refrain from dishonoring the dead and rather celebrate them irrespective of how questionable their character may have be.

Nigerian Prof.Uju Anya received a lot backlash for her opinion about the late Queen Elizabeth.Some people were equally receptive of her position.Seeing the Queen as complicit in the UK's role in slave trade and the aftermath.The wars,brutalities,the excesses.How they have lived off Africa's resources,building themselves a kingdom,a fortune and an "eldorado" in comparison to the realities of most African territories they colonized.This is a big subject l on its own that I intend shelving but I am beginning to have the opinion that,this draconian experience of slavery and colonialism left Africans with a lot of traumas and complexes (Inferiority Complex and also the Stockholm Syndrome).

These may be the reason why we may proudly start hanging the late Queen of England on our walls,cry profusely about her demise,name streets and monuments in remembrance of her but we want nothing to do with our ancestors.We still find our ancestors who fought "intruders" that came to oppress us unworthy of our respect and love.Europeanized,we think they are of the devil and everything connected to them is ungodly.

I have deduced from the Bible that Adam and Eve's primary responsibility was supervision and maintenance of what was created.These and many more our ancestors have done prior to the coming of the slaveships and the bible.The customs and traditions we have discarded today were never in contravention with the laws of nature.They only preserved and multiplied what the creator gave with so much sacredness attached.

If you have been thinking our ancestors are burning in "hell" ,you may be disappointed.They have honored the creator and have been responsible and accountable.What is more important to the creator than his/her creation?

As much as bitterness about the past may not be helpful, our lack of reverence for our ancestors and the bubbling love for our oppressors,I believe is a mix of Inferiority Complex and Stockholm Syndrome.I hope we are healed of these traumas we live with as Africans. I have also seen videos of the gold reserves of the UK,haven't you? I nurse the wish that at least 10% of it is returned to where most of it was looted from as we await our reparations.Yes,the Gold Coast of yesterday and the Ghana of today.

Although,the UK has a life expectancy of about 78.6 years for males and 82.6 years for females,Queen Elizabeth has indeed lived a long life.In Ghana figures are about 63.7 years for males and 69.2 years for females.In the USA the figures are 76.1 years for Male and 81.1 years for females. From the numbers women tend to have more longevity than men. Don't you agree?

There is a common assertion that women are more emotional than men are.At least it is very believable at this part of the world.As Ghanaians our culture bars men from being emotionally expressive.It is demeaning for men to cry or openly express their love in our society.These are signs of weakness on the scales of our society.Education has not yet succeeded in helping us unlearn this.

Women tend to cry more often than men generally and a study suggests that women have 60% more of the hormone prolactin compared to men and this hormone stimulates tears in both sexes.Crying comes with many advantages which include relieving us of emotional stress.Emotional stress may cause changes in our body and affect our overall health.Times have become hard and has brought so much stress to many.Crying may be useful in getting a relief from emotional stress and this comes to our women easily whiles many Ghanaian men bottle up their emotions to show strength and masculinity.This may have dire long term consequences on the health of some men.

As African men,it is about time we start crying too even if in secrecy.Just like smiling ,we may add some days,weeks,months or even years to our lifespan.There is no shame in crying.Even Jesus Christ wept,and Christians will confirm this.Prophet Muhammad also cried profusely when he visited his mothers grave.Men it is our time to cry,hahaha. Long live Ghana.

Dumenu Charles Selorm

Credit: Dumenu Charles Selorm

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