Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ode to Aboriginal men; how I love you!

I love Aboriginal men!

Now do not let your mind stray some where you can't tell your mother. It is not for the reasons you are thinking a young Aboriginal woman might like men.

I am sure that you have heard of men talking about how dogs or even children attract women. Aboriginal men do not need to talk about it; they do it naturally. Despite the negative media stories about Aboriginal men, Aboriginal men are loving family men.

I have noticed that it is more common to see an Aboriginal man with a child or even children, then non-Aboriginal men. I do not mean the men at Coogee pushing their child’s stroller and trying to look “cool” by pushing it with one hand but never looking at the kid. Or the husband of my non-Aboriginal friend told me about who comes home from work, “exhausted” and needs “time to him self” before spending time with their kids.

I noticed a large number of our men and boys at the Koori Knockout last year with children, sometimes one on the hip and another holding their hand. It was as common to see the men and boys looking after kids, as it was the women. The child could be theirs, their niece or nephew, grandchild, cousin or even a mates. Whatever their connection was with the child, they would probably call them “Uncle” as a mark of respect. I made a comment along these lines to a colleague and she had noticed the same thing. At the footy carnival in Port Lincoln in South Australia, I also noticed the amount of our men looking after children.

One of my brothers, at the hospital with his best mate, demanded he hold the newborn, of which he has the self-declared, “Godfather”. He has also declared himself the Godfather of the older brother. Because of the way our Culture places a high value on family, our men have always been around children, so for an Aboriginal man to hold a newborn is natural. Non-Aboriginal men rarely seem so natural with a newborn. By the way "family" is often used as a term used to include people we care about. For an Aboriginal man to care about a child that is not his is natural.

On the weekend at breakfast, I was talking to a friend and he mentioned that at a footy game a mate brought his new baby. When my mate asked to hold the kid, the rest of the team looked at him as if he was crazy! Crazy? Really? What is more natural than holding a child?

This phenomenon is not unusual. I regularly attend Aboriginal community events, either as a community member or in a work capacity and always notice the way our men take care of kids. I have many male friends who are proud and dedicated fathers, brother, grandfathers, uncles and “godfathers”.  If I thought you would continue to read my blog, I would recount story after story of how Aboriginal men are amazing.

Our men are often generous, tender, caring, thoughtful and considerate. For their children or children in their circle (and the circle are often quite large), they are involved in raising them and embody these values.

If you are not Aboriginal, I hope that the Aboriginal men I describe, do not contradict the image you have of our men, however I am not sure that it does not. It is unfortunate that most non-Aboriginal people do not get to see what I see. If they did, they would realise why I love our men and why I am proud to be Aboriginal.

So for the single ladies reading this I hope I have made you consider an Aboriginal man. The saying “once you go black you won’t go back” rings true for me. But not for reasons, your dirty mind, is thinking of.
a large number


  1. Summer, I found your note interesting as it seems rare to find people wanting to praise men for much these days. I don't really think of the issue as aboriginal men being different to other men rather it is good to hear you so positive about them. Most of the time men seem to be described as deficient women i.e. being criticised for their lack of feminine attributes. Phil

    1. Thank you for your comments Phil. While people often don’t value men’s role as carers as much as women, Aboriginal men often find that they are over represented in the media and therefore are all tarnished with the same brush. There are things that as Peoples we need to address but there are also some amazing things that happen as well, much of which is overlooked.