Tag Archives: men

Are You Wifey Material!?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Irina Shayk have had, in a certain famous person’s words, a conscious uncoupling after dating for five years. Why do I know this!? Well, because a certain Kenyan chap tweeted the story and added this caption…”Ladies, I keep telling you, if a man dates you for over two years, you are not wifey material.”

This actually made me laugh out loud. Sometimes it’s the only way to deal with people’s “school of thought.” First of all, what is the correlation between length of dating and being wifey material? Is it not possible for two people to decide to take it slow? When did two years become the magic number? What if the two of them have mutually agreed that they want to take their time to get to know each other deeply? But, hey, that can’t be the case because men call all the shots, right!? The woman’s role is to just sit around and hang on until the man decides if she is wifey material or not…huh?  So, if you are dating for more than two years then you are some type of failure? But only if you are the woman, right!? Because it isn’t possible for the man to not be hubby material? What if the lady is not even interested in marriage!? What if she is into the Oprah and Stedman type of relationship? Does that mean she is somehow not worthy when they decide to go their separate ways!?

Marriage is not everyone’s dream. Yes, that’s a difficult idea for some to grasp but it is true. I think that people have been socialized to believe that a relationship is a dictatorship led by the man. He cherry-picks the woman from among the many available to him. He then decides if she is worthy to be his wife, have his last name and bear his children. As women, we are expected to rejoice that a man has picked us out of the masses. Then promptly start fantasizing about the wedding and married life we have been dreaming of since we were little girls. If the dating relationship results in anything but marriage then it is solely the fault of the woman. You and your shortcomings will never be anybody’s wife, they say.

Except that that is not how things work, or at least they shouldn’t. Relationships are not dictatorships. They are mutually beneficial partnerships, and the only way to truly be happy in them is to treat them as such, in my opinion. Yes, women are decision makers in their relationships. Yes, we also walk away from relationships when we realize the man is not  who he initially claimed to be. Yes, we also agree with the man to call it quits when the relationship is going nowhere fast. We don’t sit around waiting for the man to say, “Well, you are not wifey material so BYE.” When we realize the man isn’t in it for the long haul, we also have the ability to bid him adieu and keep it moving.

So calm down with trying to impose your timelines on women. Stop passing judgment on people’s relationships, that you were not a fly on the wall for, and then confidently using said judgments to give women life “pointers.”

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MAMA’S WORDS – DATING 101

I found out recently that one of my relatives should have written a handbook on dating. If you were, are or have tried dating in this so-called modern times, then you know there are moments when you wish you had such a book to throw at some people.

When Aunty J (Yes, another Aunty J story!) was growing up, they lived near a valley. She had an uncle who owned an eshiriri, a stringed instrument with a drum-like base from the Luhya community. If you know anything about the Luhyas, it is that we love our music. He also had a girlfriend who lived on the other side of the valley. Every evening he would sit outside and play the eshiriri while singing. Now, I wasn’t there, obviously, but I have this mental image of him seating on a three-legged stool, wearing bell bottom trousers and with a healthy budding afro. He wasn’t doing it for money or communal entertainment. It was how he communicated with his girlfriend and requested her to come visit. Yes, people did communicate with their significant others pre – the text message. I can imagine he inwardly willed the air to carry his  music over the valley and direct it straight into his girlfriend’s ears. He would play and sing until the girlfriend heard him, and wouldn’t stop until she came over. She always did.

It’s a far cry from what happens these days. Nowadays people simply text “Wanna come over?” and that’s on generous days. When they are feeling stingy with their words then it becomes “Cme ova?” Seriously people, no effort left to put in this dating game huh!? Is this the downside of technology,are we just becoming lazier as a people or is it that changing times have altered the dating game?

When I was in high school, people communicated with their girl/boyfriends through letters. Yes, good ol’ snail mail. The highlight of these letters was the song dedication that your girl/boyfriend/object of your affection/apple of your eye/current crush wrote either at the end of letter or on the margin or both. People carefully picked songs with lyrics that conveyed a message they couldn’t write outright due to nosy concerned teachers who occasionally opened the letters and read them, before passing them on to the intended recipient. Ah, the boarding school struggle. Extra creative people wrote poems that waxed lyrical about all the recipient’s attributes and the sustenance the sender drew from these. Of course there are those who sprayed cologne or perfume on the letter so that the recipient could get a whiff of them. During the holidays, it was face to face meetings and long telephone conversations. I thought our dating game was up there until I heard the eshiriri story.

That was all before everyone had access to a cellphone/ smartphone. Dating in these smartphone era is something else. People will try and fail miserably  to woo you through WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine and such. Then they get shocked when you give them an ample serving of side eye and keep it moving. What does a person expect when they contact you on WhatsApp and paint a picture of the rosy future they hope the two of you will have even after years of not hearing from said person? Seriously? Where is the effort people? Where is the e.f.f.o.r.t? No one is asking or even expecting you to play the eshiriri and sing or string together a sappy poem, but dang…try a little…just t.r.y. Heaven knows many of us would pick the strumming of that eshiriri  over “Cme ova?” any day.

Men and Miniskirts

Men and miniskirts – what do these two have in common? Well, one seems to be obsessed with the other. Case in point – a recent proposal by the Ugandan Ethics and Integrity minister to enact a legislation that would forbid women from wearing miniskirts. This is part of the proposed Anti-Pornography Bill. Typical African leader behavior – fixate on non-issues and ignore the slew of challenges that actually need to be addressed. I guess “priority” does not exist in some people’s dictionaries.

According to this news article, the  minister said, “Any attire which exposes intimate parts of the human body, especially areas that are of erotic function, is outlawed. Anything above the knee is outlawed. If a woman wears a miniskirt we will arrest her.” What now!? I could think of better ways for law enforcement to use their time and energy. For example, finding and arresting actual threats to public safety. But hey, that’s just me. While we are at it, why is there always a man somewhere who thinks he has the right to dictate what a woman should wear!? There is a seat somewhere for such men…watch your steps as you walk over to it.

In another article he is quoted as saying, “We know people who are indecently dressed: they do it provocatively and sometimes they are attacked. An onlooker is moved to attack her and we want to avoid those areas. He is a criminal but he was also provoked and enticed.” Now, I can’t even begin to analyze all the strains of stupid that are contained in his remarks.

Rape has never been, is never and will never be the victim’s fault. It is statements like the ones made by the minister that encourage rapists and silence their victims. Such remarks empower rape culture. What does he mean by saying the onlooker is moved to attack her!? How can you be moved to attack a person!? Do you not have control over your own body and desires!? A person’s dressing does not give another the right to attack them. This “her dressing provoked me” excuse has been used time and time again to justify sexual assault. It’s time to put a stop to it.

Listen here men, the thing is – you have full control of your body and actions. You don’t have to react to your every desire. You find someone’s dressing enticing – keep that to yourself, it is your opinion after all and we all know what they say about opinions. A woman rejects your advances – what you need to do is fall back not force yourself on her.

Women are not objects for you to do with as you please. Our bodies are not your playgrounds and neither are they your boxing rings. We are people – recognize and respect that.

Now, if you think that you can’t control yourself you should probably reevaluate your life space. After that, maybe you should consider living in seclusion. That way you don’t have to encounter women in miniskirts or any other outfit that you consider provocative. Or jump off a cliff. Or superglue your eyes shut. Just find a way to handle yourself.

Now back to the Ethics and Integrity minister. Perhaps the ministry does not have much going on and he had to find something to justify his position and the  budget they gave him. Perhaps he just wanted the attention that comes with such a controversial proposal. I guess we’ll never know for sure. Apparently the minister is a Catholic priest turned politician. Well, here is a suggestion for you Mr. Minister/Priest – why don’t you address the sexual abuse of boys within the Catholic church!? That is a far more beneficial use of your resources in my opinion.