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Monday, 26 September 2011

JUST BE A MAN ABOUT IT {BOY}



The barbershop, the smells of masculine tonics saturating a space filled with leather chairs, displaying the latest edition of KING MAGAZINE; a place where little boys become men, a place of STURDY moral character. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being inside the walls of a local barbershop along with a toddler that was waiting for his first haircut. I sat and watched as the little boy was taken to the chair. As soon as he was placed in the chair, the tears came. @ This point I was marveled that the barber was looking @ his crying in that he must be a sissy or something manner. Rightly so, since the male species no matter his age, is not supposed to whimper during his time in the barber chair. As I sat there, watching everyone involved try to get the little boy to stop crying, I couldn’t help but wonder, why is a little boy being taught such a hard lesson about life @ such a tender age?

How is a little boy supposed to sit passively and have no feelings about something he knows NOTHING about? Amazing how something simple like this forces boys to become men that are violent, LOVE hating their enemies and treat women like objects. How can we accept this ‘take it like a man mentality’ and think it is a must for a little boy if he ought to grow into a man? This made me wonder if the barber and his mother learned as children that being a man means you can’t be an innocent little boy. How could they inflict this event on a child, ignore his cries and not question the way we go about this activity? When do we as people examine our choices as investments of energy with predictable risks and returns? When we act in an inhumane manner, I believe we merely affirm what already is. This is like using a paddle when the stream is already moving in the same direction. The dishonesty we create about ‘manhood’ in the barbershops redirects a portion of a boy’s energy against the flow and create an alternate reality that requires SO much macho energetic input to be maintained.

I get that life is not always clearly defined, so we may find it useful to follow our choices to their logical conclusions. And though we may feel that a little trip to the barbershop is harmless, it can be that small crack that weakens an overall structure of a boy as he turns into a man. I hope that one day, when a mother/father brings their son to the barber; they would not try SO hard for that CERTIFICATION OF MANHOOD. I know this subject matter is so simple and common place to many of us, but can you imagine what this means for a two-year old whose impending manhood is dictated to him in this manner? 

10 comments:

  1. I can identify with this a whole lot. I remember my very first haircut. My uncle gave me a "Murder 1" (a completely bald-shaven cut) when I was around 3 or 4. I remember him saying: get used to it, you'll be getting them for the rest of your life. And he was right. Just recently, I found myself telling my nephew the same thing when I took him to go get his first haircut. The Black Barbershop is like our headquarters. When you wanna discuss politics, sports, women, etc, then you know where to go. I credit a great deal of who I am today to Alex, the man who cut my hair for like 16 years. *sighs*

    --Cogito

    (matta fact, lemme go get my hair-lined up right quick...)

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  2. pure boy...maybe next time extensions...and not cut!?

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  3. COGITO: TO BE A FLY ON THE WALL OF YOUR BARBERSHOP!

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  4. Ironically, the only time I cried at the barbershop was on purpose, when I was upset with my mother about something lol. But I agree with what you wrote. How can a two year old be expected to "man up" when he's nowhere near being a man?

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  5. Let the indoctrination begin! You are so right, in the black community the barbershop is practically homebase for machismo.

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  6. THOMAS: YOUR COMMENT MADE ME WONDER WHAT IT IS LIKE IN A 'WHITE' BARBERSHOP.

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  7. This is why when I was a child...I had looong hair, didnt get a haircut until I was within age to handle that. I plan on taking that rroute as well w/ my future son(s) [if there will be] Because when your are very young and getting hair cut for the 1st time, you WILL cry and them barbers be SO rough.

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  8. SIR: I AM SURE THERE WILL SONS IN YOUR FUTURE!

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