Face the Rain Like Men

Aug 6 , 2022
By Kidist Yidnekachew

As the rainy season gets wetter, accompanied by heavier rain showers, it is not unusual to see folks with umbrellas. Little do they know that how we respond to rain defines our personality. People who stand and wait for the rain to pass are patient, reserved and risk takers. Those of us who prefer to walk in the rain as opposed to waiting for it to pass are impulsive, impatient and a bit adventurous.

I do not have the patience to stand and wait for the rain to stop unless it is raining sleet or my hair is done. These days, it does not really stop. One might as well buckle up and march on or otherwise cancel plans. An umbrella helps.

Most people who carry umbrellas are women. Men, especially those younger, are not fond of umbrellas, so they would rather get drenched or wait in the shade somewhere. I saw this meme a while ago that attributes holding an umbrella to being feminine. Some men make fun of other members of their sex for having umbrellas.

The other day, I spotted a guy walking in front of me with a pink umbrella. I wondered what made him buy that specific colour. He was very young. As if he read my mind, he picked up his phone and started talking about how he had to take some lady’s umbrella from the office as the rain will not stop.

How many people saw him with a pink umbrella and thought it was weird? I do not see how holding an umbrella makes a man appear feminine. Who made it an accessory exclusive to women?

Instead of focusing on what a man should be, we focus on petty stuff that does not contribute to society. I agree that there are certain things that I, too, think are better left for women as in the plucking of eyebrows, manicures and pedicures, but an umbrella is a common item.

It reminds me of the time I went to visit a friend at her mother’s house. The younger son in the family was helping out with setting up the table and cleaning up afterwards. The mom did not look happy. She told him to leave it alone and she would do it. Nonetheless, a few minutes earlier, she was complaining about how tired she was of making food and cleaning the house all day. But the boy offers to help and she turns him down. This boy is going to grow up thinking women do not really need help running the house.

We should let men take charge, encourage them to participate in such tasks at a young age and stop calling them names when they step up to help. I saw this video where a man was talking about his parents.

“I remember when I was eight years old, I opened the door for this lady and my mom complimented me and talked about it for weeks about what a gentleman I was,” he said. “Until this day, I remember that incident. My mother used to encourage me every time I did something nice to someone and focused on building my character as opposed to just checking my grades. Parents these days don’t really care about that as long as their children are getting good grades. But manners are also important.”

It is up to us to teach our boys what it means to be a man; a protector. We should not let them get caught up in being a “macho” bereft of feelings. We need gentlemen to make the world a better and safer place to live for both women and men.

PUBLISHED ON Aug 06,2022 [ VOL 23 , NO 1162]

Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at kidyyidnekachew@gmail.com.

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