I’m one of those young modern women who has clearly stated time and again that I would not allow a man to hit me whether he’s my boyfriend, fiancé or hubby. I developed a deep dislike once for an immediate neighbor of mine after I happened to hear him beat up his baby mama in the wee hours of the morning. His smiles stopped seeming genuine to me, his cheerful banter sounded like a witch’s chants to me afterward. He noticed my changed attitude and thought it wise to keep off. And I do pray to God that I never have to allow any man to hit me in my future life time, just because all sense in my head flew out the window the minute I fell in love.
What makes love turn once strong women into mushy creatures who can no longer stand up for themselves in the face of unfair treatment? Who are willing to act all desperate and clingy when it is perfectly clear that their subject of interest, is not interested or sadly friend-zoned them along the way. Women who once knew what they truly wanted in a relationship but are suddenly scared to lose a man even if he happens to fall way below the standards they had set.
Why do women worry a lot when it comes to choosing eligible people to date and get married to? Why have we allowed society to place time limits on us so much that we make love and dating decisions according to what society dictates? Who said that a man has to hit you just to make a point? Who said it was wrong for a woman to get out of a relationship or marriage that had since gone sour or that was riddled with violence? Are we supposed to stick to someone who hardly values us all because we fear being castigated by society or being by ourselves?
It is indeed true that being single sucks. But it is much better than sticking to a man who does not have the slightest ounce of respect for you. It turns us into broken women who now begin to believe that they do not deserve better. Who lose all hope of ever finding true love and allow themselves to continue being cloistered in a relationship or marriage that is not working.
Sometimes I think our whole female make up works against us. Women think with their hearts whereas men think with their brains. When a man is getting into a relationship with a woman, he knows exactly what he wants from that woman. If she fails to deliver it adequately along the way, he starts to feel dissatisfied and loses interest. If the woman turns out to be the one who uses bedroom matters as a manipulation tactic to have her way, then it will only be a matter of time before the man gets himself a sex partner to fulfill his denied desires. If the woman transforms into the devil incarnate, sooner or later, the man will get a replacement that treats him like the King of an ancient African Kingdom.
If you were to compare the ratio of men sticking to already failed relationships and marriages with women, to women doing the same with men, you will realize that the number of women is usually higher as compared to men. Simply because once women fall in love, they lose themselves in this thing called love. Their identities and standards prior to dating suddenly ebb. Insecurity replaces this. They fear losing this man. They suddenly develop this belief that this one is much better than a non-existent one. They begin to go out of their way to please this man who in the real sense might not be right for them.
If this man is the malicious type, he eventually begins to take them for granted because he knows that she is going nowhere. For women who are about to start pointing fingers at me with claims of changing times and women becoming more assertive, remember a time in your life where you continually held on to a man who was not right for you. When all the advice you got from your well meaning friends to leave him fell on deaf years. When you constantly justified his actions sometimes even with tangible evidence. And for what? Because love had long blinded you to the truth. Because you thought that your love would change this man. That he would finally realize that you truly cared, got his act together and reciprocated your care.
Any woman who has tried changing a man knows perfectly well how much of a daunting task it is. It is natural for men and African men in particular, to want to do things their way. Many interpret a woman’s well meaning efforts to change them as an act of sabotage. They want to go out with their friends to watch football while knowing you need some help with the baby. After all, the African society long did a good job in convincing men that the work of the house and children belong to the woman alone.
We are not asking men to get into a bend over position and mop the house with a rag or sit on the kiti moto and cook chapati over the jiko. We are simply asking for a little bit of help when you have a months old baby, howling her lungs out each time you try to put her down to get supper ready. It wouldn’t hurt if the man decided to forgo an important football match and minded the baby while you fixed supper. But NO, these men want things done their way. He will be gone to watch football, come back and expect a quiet house and the smell of hot deliciously prepared supper.
Again there are those men who are very supportive with their wives. I’m not saying that the whole lot are stubborn creatures. The point I’m trying to drive at is that men love things being done their way. Women on the other hand only love things being done their way when they are single. The minute they meet someone and fall in love, they are willing to bend over backwards to keep this man around never mind that he might not be willing to do the same. And the men have equally done a good job in the past, making women believe that it is utterly wrong for them to have standards and to demand that the men in their lives stick to those standards.
The mere reason that we think with our hearts when it comes to love matters turns us into zombies who lack minds of their own. We suddenly agree to all the stereotypes in place that have a patriarchal underlying tone to them. As a matter of fact, we become experts at turning misplaced stereotypes into facts. I’m not insinuating that women turn all horrible and beastly toward men to prove their point and stick to their standards. I’m asking women to be careful not to lose themselves once they fall in love. Which means to let go of that man who is not fitting in their standards and not to feel scared or insecure because of it.