Opinion

ROWLEY: Boys Raised to Act Like Their Mothers

While surfing for something the other day on the internet, I haphazardly came across an episode of the TV show “Judge Joe Brown.”

What spawned my interest to watch the video that I quickly allowed to engulf my whole computer screen was a young black man (the defendant) with all this attitude, nonchalantly shouting at the judge. I couldn’t believe it!

So I continued to watch the immature behavior of the unmarried 20-something baby daddy, as he repeatedly and disrespectfully back-talked the judge. All the while, he incessantly shifted his weight from one foot to the other, and intermittently took his hands from his pockets and placed them his hips.

At times, as the judge attempted to remain civil with him, the defendant expressed blatant disregard, rolling his neck or tilting his head back, looking at the ceiling while rolling his eyes.

If this egotistical manchild wasn’t drooping his shoulders while countering the judge with some silly verbal comeback or smirk, he was folding his arms across his chest as if he was done listening. At those times, he made a hissing sound from the side of his mouth, as if to say, “Child, please” or “Bye, Felecia!”

Finally, Judge Brown had had enough of the foolery, and took to chastising what otherwise would have been an imposing six-foot figure. But by now, as the mouthy defendant leaned defeatedly on one elbow over the podium in front of him, he was staring blankly at the judge, reduced to nothing more than a boisterous chump.

“Look at you. Stand up like a man and stop leaning like that,” Brown snapped. “Standing there acting like your mama!” Brown exclaimed as he began to mimic some of the shocked defendant’s behavior.

“I see this all the time,” he said of the so-called young men. “Coming into my courtroom with their hands on their hips, rolling their necks and eyes. Stop acting like your mama and start acting like a man!”

“Wow!” I thought. “Did Judge Joe Brown just read this kid or not?!”

And that’s what led to this column: Boys being raised to act like their mamas.

While we understand that little rivals the connection a son has with his mother, a dead giveaway that no father image exists within a household is when boys sometimes, particularly in public arenas, tend to exemplify the passive and feminine behavior they see and hear from their mothers.

It all depends on the mindset of the mother. If she’s in love with her baby daddy, her son is groomed as her sweet little boy. He’s allowed to whine, throw a hissy fit, shut down  — whatever he wants, as long as he gets what he wants.

On the other hand, if the mother hates the child’s father, the boy can be brought up as a decimated male — the result of an often controlling and demanding mother who may inadvertently, yet strongly affect her son’s tendencies and relationships. (To that end, check out the movie “Moonlight”).

I have personally witnessed situations where a son has been so emasculated or intimidated by his mother that he fears looking other women straight in the eye — making him come across as demure and soft-spoken.

While it can be said that these are the same little boys who grow into the same men women complain about, I wonder if they will also be the same sons who end up shunning marriage and/or indulging in same-sex unions? Just wondering.

Moving along, I guess I bring all this to the forefront to say that, while different situations can and will result in women being the primary parent in their son’s life, it’s important to recognize that in order to raise our little black boys to be strong fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers, they need the presence of these kinds of positive role models in their lives.

No doubt, a woman can teach her son about being honest, caring, loyal and other such attributes. Yet, when it comes to learning to how to be a man, there’s not much she can teach — those lifelong lessons can only come from a man.

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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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