Is It Justified For Women To Provide For Themselves?

I recently had a very interesting conversation with some female acquaintances. We were actually discussing how in recent times, it has become increasingly difficult for men to provide for women. Of course the men have always been quick to point fingers at women, as the cause for their transformation into mean individuals. I tend to hear the accusation leveled against Kenyan women as being merciless gold diggers who are only after a man’s pockets. So just to punish us and make us tow the line, the men in our midst learnt to withhold any monetary favors from us over time.

Anyways, while we were having this conversation, we ended up giving an example of how many men of nowadays, highly avoid spending on a woman they have asked out on a date or simply avoid “the asking out on a date” part because money is involved. Picture this scenario, this guy you have just met asks you out for maybe a coffee date. You are supposed to turn up for the date with your own means which in some circumstances, may extend late into the night, depending on how compatible or interesting you found each other.

Then just because he doesn’t want to spend extra cash on a cab to take you back home, this guy cunningly suggests that you head over to his house for a sleepover, since it is more convenient for you and probably safer(or perhaps only convenient for him). You agree and find yourself spending a night in this man’s house. Sex might or might not happen. But if at all sex does happen, the woman is definitely going to be blamed for giving it up too soon and being too cheap.

Well, just to be fair, for a man to send over a cab to pick you up for a date or to actually drive himself to your place to pick you up definitely depends on his means. If he does not have the resources to send a cab or to own a car, then it would be gentlemanly if he gave you a refund plus fare back after the date. Assuming your respective places of residence aren’t entirely safe at certain hours of the night, then the date can be cut short for that day, so that the both of you can arrive back home safely. You can always arrange for additional dates in future. Well, that’s just per my reasoning.

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Since the women of nowadays are more assertive and perhaps equally subscribed to the idea of feminism, it is not entirely uncommon encountering women desiring to provide for themselves. Perhaps if a man asked you out on a date, you wouldn’t want him to think of you as a damsel in distress and you may want to prove your level of independence, by showing up and subsequently leaving with your own means. I mean, some of these men who are increasingly withholding monetary favors from the opposite gender, are riding on the wave that the modern woman wants to provide for herself. So why should he if she can?

This whole phenomenon does not only apply to dating per se. In the home for example, there are things that a man is expected to provide for his family as well as things that a woman is supposed to provide for her family. A majority of these things are made possible by finances. So picture a scenario where just because the woman probably earns more than the man and appears to be entirely independent, then the man in question decides to abscond his financial duties as a husband and a father and lets the woman run the home financially. Of course that will generate into an imbalance of sorts and disagreements are bound to arise.

I tend to find a whole lot of misunderstanding in both genders of what feminism entails. And while feminism may many times advocate for the financial liberation of women, it does not mean that the men in the society should now take a back seat. I’m fully aware that for many women with a desire to get into a relationship or marriage nowadays, money is a motivating factor. Heck, money is a motivating factor for both men and women alike!

However, their initial desire to be provided for by a man let’s say in monetary terms, stems from the fact that the man has always been Biblically and historically required to provide for the woman. I do not dispute the fact that many women get over zealous to be provided for to the extent of fully transforming into gold diggers. But just to be logic, when looking at a potential mate, the fact that he can provide for you both emotionally and financially almost always comes into play. Human beings are constantly yearning for a better, stress free life than the present.

I come from a family where many of the women provide for themselves by choice. That is reason enough to make me transform into this highly independent woman in future, I (or you) may be tempted enough to conclude. Funnily enough, I do expect the man to provide. I want him to do his part while I pull the weight doing my part. That doesn’t entirely make me less of the feminist kind of woman I purport to be. I’m equally unapologetic of that particular fact that the man should provide what is his manly duty to provide.

There is an upsurge of single women in my country raising their kids on their own just because the fathers of those kids weren’t man enough to provide for their offspring. And while I applaud these kinds of women for their bravado, there is always that all too real eventuality of the woman struggling under the weight of all those responsibilities. Sometimes culminating into a desperation of sorts that may push her to take any kind of job just to fend for her children. There is also that section of single mothers who have been blessed enough to sufficiently provide for their children without any strain.

Kudos to the latter kind.

However, whether she is fully financially capable or not to be a single mother, the input of the opposite gender is equally needed. And while a section of men may want to hide behind the false illusion that Kenyan women have become gold diggers, therefore deserving of being on their own with their children, I find no justification for a woman providing for herself if at all there is a man in her life, who can equally pull his weight with an input and especially, if there are children involved.

What do you think?

 

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4 comments

  1. This is not an easy one! Even as a feminist, sometimes your only desire is to get spoilt silly by your man and some other times, you are like: « wait a minute, am I not a responsible adult capable of taking care of myself? » and the back and forth between the two attitudes is constant!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this article…it reminds me of one of Chimamanda’s interviews where she talked about the concept around gender equality, concerning how women especially feminists who preach about being independent and when they go on dates they expect the guy to pay because he’s a guy rather than breaking away from that sterotyped idea by letting it be a matter of who has more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Feminist or not I think we all want to feel as if a man is capable of providing for us as women. It’s something I’ve come to realize we really can’t run away from. I equally think that if you are asking me out on a date then wow me. Show me you are a man who can provide. Of course I would love to have my own money as it gives me the power to make my own financial decisions rather than constantly depending on the man to make them for me.
      However if we are in a marriage I expect the man to provide what his part is which we would have discussed before the union. I don’t think that such expectations contradict our being feminists and that’s where I find the whole misunderstanding of feminism.

      Liked by 1 person

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