gender equality

Women Fear Men Will Leave Them; Men Fear Women Will Leave Them

I recently had a highly interesting convo with a security guard someplace in my line of duty. On a daily basis, I can talk to quite a number of people a majority being strangers and acquaintances and this security guard was no different. So being part of my job, I suggested to him an idea of how he could make himself more money and ultimately benefit his family.

He was the skeptical type. Didn’t seem really interested in the suggestion but ended up mentioning his wife fleetingly. He thought that since she wasn’t as held up as he was, then she could probably take up the idea I had. Animatedly, I began coming up with more plans for the wife on how she could implement the idea and all of a sudden, this man grew highly uncomfortable.

His demeanor changed and in an uncertain tone, he said, “Na sasa bibi akitengeneza pesa hivyo, si ataniwacha?” (and if my wife ends up making a ton of money, won’t she leave me?) Of course the statement caught me off guard and I laughed and asked why she would leave him.

Then as if challenging me, he inquired whether I was married. I lied that I was. Then he further mentioned, that if I ended up making a lot of money from my job, then it was given that I would leave my husband. I clarified that I wouldn’t since we were working as a unit. Obviously, that didn’t sound convincing enough for him and the conversation went downhill from there.

In short, this man feared that if his wife got a financial capability of sorts, then she would see no need to stick around and no amount of convincing could I do, to get that thought out of his head.

You see, both sexes fear each other.

Women fear that men would leave them for a couple of reasons;

  • After sex. (If they do, f**k em!)
  • They are not beautiful/sexy enough.
  • They are inadequate (now this is crazy)
  • Other women are hotter and more appealing etc. etc…

Men on the other hand fear that women will leave them because of Money.

In most cases, men take a woman’s financial stability as a huge red flag of her inability to be loyal onward. As a woman, I tend to reason in terms of healthy competition but for the man, it is something that needs to be curtailed if need be.

Now I’m not suggesting that all men reason in such a manner but for those that do, I figure it is highly pegged on what society has instilled in men for generations and an insecurity of sorts on their part. It is a harsh fact that patriarchy rules in many societies the world over. Men have always been groomed to have the upper hand.

In recent times, women are now being groomed to have the upper hand. In the process, the men are being left behind. While the girl children are being encouraged to study and attain their maximum potential, the boy children are assumed to already know what is expected of them and to somehow, manage since they are in fact men.

I have encountered people in the past who argued that we spent so much time on girl power that we ended up forgetting all about the boy child. So definitely, if men know that a woman is likely to get justice for a gender injustice of some sort and the man is supposed to suck it up or get jeered at for being a weakling for a similar gender injustice, then men cannot help experiencing certain insecurities.

However, acting all mistrustful of each other isn’t going to even half solve this problem. From that conversation I had with this man, I made a conclusion that he was in a marriage that was riddled with mistrust. Getting him to give his wife my phone number, was equally a hurdle, because he mentioned that she would question him on where he had gotten acquainted with me from.

Well, we may be tempted to dismiss this couple as an exception but I beg to differ. The fear between the sexes has always been in existence. It doesn’t matter how much exposure one has had or education for that matter, women will always fear that men will leave them mainly because they are not good enough if the reasons given are anything to go by.

Men on the other hand, learned or unlearned almost, always fear that a woman’s financial stability is going to change her. Their fears may actually be real in the sense that many women with financial stability, do not seem like the type to be pinned down by the opposite sex. But why in the first place would a man want to pin down a woman?

You see, as a result of our previous conditioning, we got the whole script wrong. In a patriarchal setting, the man definitely has the say. The woman has none. But then, somewhere along the way, the woman discovered that with education and career success, then she could equally have a say and just to prove that she could, she had to act like she could.

Of course this left the men fighting for what they had since grown accustomed to as the norm. And the women on the other hand, fighting for the freedom they had since attained. But then, both sexes need each other like it or not so no matter how much a woman is learned or financially liberated, she would still yearn to feel desirable to the opposite sex.

She can’t admit this however, for fear of appearing desperate despite her status but it is an issue that sometimes gnaws at her. The men on the hand still need to feel respected and needed. So if a woman attains a level where she appears not to need a man and unfortunately in some cases act disrespectful toward the man, then the man is left reeling in shock.

And the power struggle goes on so much, to the point where both sexes have grown mistrustful of each other.

Do you agree?

Should Women Shelve Ambition For Marriage?

We live in fast paced times where it is more of an inherent need for all genders to be gainfully employed. The times when a woman’s workplace was only within the home environment are long gone and we now have women climbing corporate ladders and actually being highly competent at it. This however creates an additional ‘hurdle’ to the lives of career women if we may address it as such. Finding the time to date, settle down and start a family.
A lot of criticism has been directed at women who prefer to concentrate on their careers instead of channeling their thoughts toward finding a husband. Single women who are highly successful in their careers have often times been scorned for ‘shunning’ marriage. Coming from an African society which places a lot of emphasis on the role of a woman as a wife and mother, we may conclude that this has mostly been the contributing factor, to the finger pointing and wagging tongues directed at this section of women.
A look at history surprisingly indicates that while there was an early emergence of the need for women to work, women hardly placed any importance on their careers as is the case in modern times. An article on the website http://www.bbc.co.uk titled Women’s Work and published on the 29th of March, 2011 states;

Urbanisation created manifold opportunities for female employment despite the regulation of hours and conditions of work for women and juveniles in certain sectors and, the coming of compulsory education after 1871. Thus most women in Victorian society, in the two thirds of the population below the upper and middle classes worked for wages…With the emphasis primarily upon their role as wives and mothers, women did not usually see their occupation as a centrally defining characteristic of their lives and therefore, failed to declare it.

The same case applies to African societies where for many years, an emphasis on educating the boy child had been placed at the expense of the girl child. It was not uncommon for fathers to anticipate the amount of dowry that their daughters would bring home therefore, hasty decisions made to marry the girl child off.
Educating the girl child not only empowered her but equally opened up her eyes to the numerous opportunities out there for the woman. With the championing of women’s rights and gender equality in work places, women were now able to earn the same amount of salaries as their male counterparts as long as they were qualified for it and competent to do the job.

thewaywomenwork.com

thewaywomenwork.com

Unlike in previous times where a woman sat pretty anticipating a knight in shining armor to sweep her off her feet and airlift her to marriageville, women began to attach their reason for being to the kind of employment they were in. Women found it necessary to dream, to actually strive for it in reality and to eventually be proud of what their efforts had yielded. The times where women shied away from stating their careers since the wage they earned, was nothing to write home about and the fact that the patriarchal societies they came from, dictated that they stay at home and raise the kids gradually faded into oblivion.
And while being consumed by career demands may tend to shift a woman’s focus away from the traditional school of thought of her roles being that of a mother or wife, it would be unfair to go all judgmental on women who chose career and ambitions before marriage or over marriage. It should be understood that marriage is a lifetime decision that may not be cut out for everyone.
Indeed, there are numerous women who successfully pursue their ambitions and in the midst of it all manage to find a husband material, settle down and surprisingly, raise well rounded children. Such women you may come to discover had highly supportive husbands who were not at all threatened by their wives’ successes. Sadly, most African men tend to be a little threatened by a woman who appears to be challenging their masculinity in all feats.

psychcentral.com

psychcentral.com

We blame this kind of thinking in men to what has been deeply entrenched in African societies for years. African societies are very guilty of parading the boy child as a savior of the community. Women on the other hand were only to be seen and not heard. It was the main reason why many fathers saw no need to educate their daughters. Daughters were not given the same intellectual view as sons were.
Unfortunately, many modern African men live by this rule to date. This could be the contributing factor for many women who are highly ambitious, failing to keep their marriages intact. We may be tempted to blame it on the fact that it is quite a daunting task to tame a woman who is successful in the house.
And while this may ring true in a couple of homes which are on the verge of breaking or broke because of a woman’s rise up the career ladder, chances are that the husband too happens to blame, for his lack of acceptance of his wives’ pursuit of ambitions.
There are successful women whose ambition did not interfere with their gentle make up yet they still find themselves single mothers or senior bachelorettes. The reason for the latter; men being intimidated by their social standing or career.
Modern times demand that all genders pursue their ambitions. Motivational books preach success. Women are more learned and willing to go to school to add onto their skills. Opportunities are aplenty for the female workforce. However, the time a woman chooses to settle or the way she views marriage should be left for her to decide. All these stereotypes we attach to ambitious women only serve to hamper the liberation of women in society.

Must You Be Gay To Work In A Hair Salon As A Male?

A Hair Salon. en.wikipedia.org

A Hair Salon. en.wikipedia.org

My  current employment entails a lot of moving around. Just the other day, I walked into a hair salon for non-hair related errands. As I was chatting with the female employees, mostly explaining why I was there and what I wanted, in sauntered a girlish looking male. I could have been forgiven to think he was a woman with a quick glance at him, judging by his equally very female walking style and demeanor. I had to look again just to be sure that he was indeed a man. And yep, he happened to be one of the employees at the salon.

Encountering this man made me look back at all the other instances where I had walked into a salon and met a male employee who by all means acted female and looked female. I do not wish to jump into conclusions but such occurrences are usually attributed to the fact that these kinds of men, who act all girlish definitely have to be gay, in my country.

True to the assumption, some of them are indeed gay and not ashamed of that fact. It could also be a contributing reason for them to have a preference to work in the salon industry, seeing that their girlish tendencies could not be accommodated in the tough, male dominated fields.To be honest, rarely would you find a male with girlish tendencies working kazi ya mjengo (construction work in Swahili) or in the Jua Kali sector (informal sector) mainly a preserve for male workers.

But are we indeed right in dismissing all the men in the salon industry as gay “weak” men??

A few years back, there is a salon I loved to frequent. Two of the workers happened to be every inch the Meru (a Kenyan ethnic group they both belonged to) men. Both of them were married with a child each yet these same men, could give you the best nail services you would have ever wished for. I remember one of them sharing tips with me, on how I should file my nails so that they wouldn’t break easily if they were long and I had to do house chores. Eventually, they moved away and opened their own salon.

Seeing how Meru men in my country are considered males deeply in touch with their masculinity, would we then have been justified in concluding that these two men of the same community were gay? Better yet, do we consider the woman fraternity so fickle to the extent where people of the opposite sex, who choose to work in fields where there is a lot of interaction with women, are considered weak or having an abnormality of sorts?

If you ask me, I would prefer male hairdressers, manicurists and pedicurists any time over their female counterparts. I find men more sincere with their work and thorough than a couple of women in the salon industry.

In recent times, we have seen the word metrosexual being thrown around. Again this reminds me of an incident in the same salon where the two men I have talked about worked. One weekend, I decided to get a pedicure done. Lo and behold, just sitting opposite me was a father who had brought his lovely daughter to the salon, with really long natural hair which caught my attention the minute I walked in, to have it braided. Instead of leaving her in the capable hands of the hairdresser, this dad had decided to keep her company and while away the time getting a full pedicure done. He had even rolled up his trousers to the knees for the exercise!

And while I was a bit taken aback then, I really admired his parenting style. I mean, this was a typical African man, Black man even, for those who are more comfortable with that term, who had opted to do what has for years been reserved for the mothers and wives and that was, accompany his daughter to the salon and actually keep her company! I felt like other fathers could learn a thing or two from him. And so what if he was getting a full pedicure done?! Couldn’t a man be allowed to pamper himself at times?! Can we confidently call this man a metrosexual or gay even?!

I find the idea behind assuming all men in the salon industry to be gays as stereotypical and bordering on the homophobic. I’m no advocate for gays, don’t get me wrong. However, I wouldn’t spend my time hating on them and lumping them together in a category, I assume is befitting for them like working in a hair salon for example. As much as we would like to live in denial as Kenyans, the gay community is in fact in most of the fields in our country. Some of them we can’t even easily tell that they are gays yet they are bankers, economists, lawyers, businessmen, your cab guy, you name it.

Just because a section of men tend to be inclined to act more of female than male does not automatically translate to them being gay. And no, it is not a requirement to be gay in order to handle women in a salon. As a matter of fact, it would be insulting to insinuate that women matters such as hair dos, manicures and pedicures have to  be done by men who are “out of ordinary” in their sexual orientation. And if we would like to stick to that stereotypical thought, then would it equally be in order to state that women in the matatu (public transport) industry are lesbians as well?

Being a rough, male dominated field, these women have to literally discard their femininity in order to fit in. They have to dress in trousers, have their voices transformed into a hoarse rasp just from all that yelling for commuters on a daily basis and actually act tough to be able to compete effectively with the men in the same field. Why doesn’t anyone feel inclined to call them lesbians for acting male and for choosing a field, that for years was reserved exclusively for men? Is it because we come from a society where everything associated with men is more serious, as opposed to what is associated with women and therefore, women who venture into it are meant to be applauded for it not branded?

Have we actually taken time to understand the motivation behind these women choosing to work in the matatu industry? Have we thought of something to do for them in order to uplift them and in the process get them back in touch with their femininity? Most of these women are single mothers fending for their children and with the non-employment issue in our country, even a male dominated field could do for them. For some, being in this industry is actually a passion. Something they love to do.

Isn’t it time that we also thought of viewing men working in the salon industry as people of the opposite sex who were passionate with everything beauty related? Perhaps it could have been the only thing that they are really good at and if at all it puts food on the table, why not?

 

 

 

Demystifying The “Bitter Woman”

I once came across this meme that someone had posted on Social Media;

Stop Taking Relationship Advice From Bitter Women

Well, I was naturally curious to see the comments so I scrolled down. Outrageously, several women had liked and equally commented agreeing with the whole idea. There were comments from women like “Yeah, these women are bitter that’s why they give these kinds of relationship advice”, ” Yes! Tell them” blah, blah, blah kind of crap.

It is not uncommon for women to sometimes tear each other apart so despite my slight outrage, I knew this was kind of expected.

But then I chose to look at it this way; There are women who have been so lucky, blessed even, to meet and date wonderful men who pampered them, respected them, protected them and married them. Such women have fortunately been spared the games that a section of men play in the dating world. Some of them do not even know the pain of being cheated on. Well, I have nothing against these particular category of women. In fact, they are my inspiration.

However, there are quite a number of women who have been unfortunate enough to date every Tom, Dick and Harry who came in tow with a bagful of lies and tricks. Some of these women happen to be bloggers or writers, let’s say. And they decided to share their experiences with their readers. I must admit that some of their posts may come out a little too blunt or direct or sarcastic. I do not blame them.

All those ‘no good men’ they have encountered in their dating lives have taught them quite a number of lessons. Sorry to say this, but these women are way savvier in relationship matters, than the former category I have spoken about because they have not only tasted the good, but the ugly too. They are better versed at giving practical relationship advice to other women in similar predicaments.

Does that make them bitter because they seem to be settling scores with men? To many, yes! And so we brand them “bitter women”.

1a4ad0ceded1c18e7803b67ebe1f7bc0Apparently, I ought to cower in shame for identifying as a Feminist. Why?

Because over time, Feminists have been branded bitter women, who have failed at love and marriage and therefore, are out to spew their toxins to other sober minded women in successful marriages and relationships. They may be successful in their careers as a result of their confidence and assertiveness but deep down, they are crying torrents as they mourn their f***d up love lives and messy divorces, from husbands who wouldn’t put up with their shenanigans. They are women who ought to be avoided at all costs.

Let us try and understand Feminism.

Who is truly a Feminist?

Is she the woman who protests down the street, with female underwear against some sort of injustice committed by the government, that has no relation whatsoever to multicolored undergarments? Is she the woman who dresses skimpily and hangs onto a bus while enacting some form of sexual activity, all in the name of preaching that women should be allowed to dress the way they want to? Is she the woman who kills her own infant son because she claims that she is a feminist therefore desired a girl for a child and not a boy?

Indeed, there are acts which have been committed by self proclaimed feminists, that have actually led society to brand them “bitter, disgraceful women” who do not give a hoot about what others will say or do about them. However, we know for a fact that acts of feminism in the past, have changed some of the deeply rooted oppressive mentalities toward women.

A true feminist;

  • Speaks up against sexual violation of women
  • Asserts for the right of a woman to vote in an election and to actually own a driver’s license
  • Emphasizes on the need to educate girls in the society
  • Will not take oppression in marriage coated with claims of “submission” to the husband
  • Pushes for gender equality in the workplace and country
  • Speaks up against detrimental practices to the girl child such as FGM
  • Opposes early marriages of the girl child to older men
  • Has strong views on matters relationships, marriage and career development
  • Cannot stand to hear the opposite sex trashing the woman
  • Knows the rights of women and their contribution to society
  • Will clearly state her desire not to participate in tradition, that does not favor the woman and may put her at risk of even getting infected with HIV…

And the list is endless.

So for all those branding feminists as bitter women, are you indeed justified in doing so?

For all those branding women who have had their fair share of troubles in dating and marriage as bitter women, are you indeed justified in doing so?

Before you embark on finger pointing and stereotyping of a fellow woman, take a minute and ask yourself what you would have done had you faced a similar situation?
Nobody chooses to be bitter. Everybody reacts to situations differently. Women ought to uplift one another so much that in the process, the bitterness of one is dissolved. Men on the other hand need to spare a thought for the woman. Branding never helped anyone.

Young Women Need To Change Their Mentality First In Order To Succeed.

So everything is now back to normal, I presume, after a weekend’s visit to our country, from the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

I particularly liked something he said concerning women yesterday, when he addressed the nation from the Safaricom Indoor Arena. He cautioned us against treating women as second class citizens. Something that many feminists are very familiar with in their common quest for gender equality. He further mentioned that when you educate a woman, then her offspring will surely be educated.

It was indeed very refreshing to hear someone speak so passionately about the need for women to be respected and protected from FGM, early marriages, Sexual Assault as well as Domestic Violence. These are injustices that happen on nearly a daily basis in several parts of the world. I have read chilling stories of women from the DRC who have had to endure continuous gang rape from soldiers.

One particular story stood out for me, of a Female Activist from the same country, who got gang raped as a result of her Activism. She is currently in one of the refugee camps in our country. It was heartbreaking to read about the kind of horrors that women from war torn countries have to endure.And especially women trying to advocate for change.

Indeed, I felt very lucky to be a Kenyan and from a country that has endured relative peace since Independence. And as much as ethnic clashes happen in certain parts of our country, as well as the 2007 post-election violence, majority of the women in Kenya have been safe.

I believe that the President of the United States had a very strong point in suggesting that the rights of women should be respected. He seemed particularly impressed by the young women in our country, with an entrepreneurial spirit as well as a zeal to champion for women’s rights. As a father to daughters himself and the president of a Superpower, he indeed understands perfectly the contribution of all genders to a society.

However, I think that the young women of this generation in our country, need to first change their mentality in order to be successful. When compared to other nations in the world where oppression of women is rampant, it is evident that Kenya is way ahead on matters gender equality.

Nowadays, literally every home in Kenya would love to have educated daughters. Educating daughters in more recent times has stopped being seen as a waste of time. And educated women in our country, have gone ahead to do amazing things as evidenced by the likes of, Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai, The Honorable Phoebe Asiyo and the first Kenyan woman judge, Lady Justice Effie Owuor among many others.

With changing times though and an over emphasis on vanity at the expense of intellect, an ever increasing number of young women, is no longer interested in being recognized for their extraordinary strides and contributions they have made to the society. This phenomenon is worsened further by the emergence of the socialite trend as well as the excessive glorification of celebrities.

Young women of this generation, whether educated or not, have been led to firmly believe that with the right looks and physique, then instant success will land at their doorsteps. Focusing on a specific area of specialization in their quest for success is dismissed as drab and uninspiring. This outlook has become deeply entrenched in the young women of today, that they do not imagine themselves taking up a venture that is considered for the “lower, uneducated class”.

It is evident in our country at the moment, that unemployment levels are particularly high. Most of the lecturers who taught me a couple of units in Campus, would occasionally encourage us not to anticipate for employment as soon as we graduated. Each one of us is gifted in certain areas and according to one Myles Monroe, we go to school to perfect our giftings. Our lecturers’ point was to utilize our giftings as well as the knowledge we have since acquired in school, to be able to gainfully employ ourselves.

But who wants to work so hard at self employment, when a sexy body, further perfected at the gym, numerous invitations to social events, a rich boyfriend as well as a horde of selfies on social media, can make you the money you would like to have. The society of recent years, teaches young women to exploit their vanity to their maximum benefit. It teaches young women that sitting behind a desk in the corporate world, driving the latest car model and living the good life is all that entails to be accorded the “successful” status.

Many young women have since ceased to exploit their talents. They would rather stay in uninspiring jobs than take up a business venture, that may need them to start low, may be unpredictable financially in the initial stages and may demand a lot of dedication from their part. Most of these successful entrepreneurs we see today started from somewhere. And if you follow up on their stories, they may have started from the lowest point that you could ever imagine. It only took a step of faith and zeal on their part, to be where they are today.

World leaders such as President Barack Obama and the likes, may ramble about the need for young women to be empowered and educated day and night, to no avail if at all the mentality is still the same. If young women are not willing to stop viewing other occupations as those reserved for the classless and uneducated in society. If young women want to take the easy route to success by using their bodies and looks to that effect. And if young women decide to pay attention to what other young women think of them.

As a young woman, I believe that the path to success starts when we are willing to focus on something we know we are good at, no matter how challenging it may seem. When we stop bothering with what society says about women in general. And when we open our minds to other different, possible prospects other than what is being portrayed to us as the trend.

Have a thoughtful week!

When women are treated as lesser beings because they are the weaker sex.

I have come to realize over time that this word submission has been highly misused. I think some cultures assume that women being the weaker sex should submit to the husband no matter what kind of treatment is being meted unto them by that same husband. If he is the philandering type, then the woman should turn a blind eye to his actions and not question him about the women he has been spotted with, going into a lodging at daytime or having drinks with at a bar somewhere when purporting to be working late. That she should accept the blame when the husband infects her with an STI as a result of his `can’t keep my zipper closed’ ways and actually denies being the one who infected her with it. Or worst case scenario, if he infects her with the deadly HIV virus and unfairly makes her carry the cross never mind that the woman has only had one sexual partner (her husband) ever since she got married.

That women should still respect a man who beats the daylights out of them on a daily basis often times over imaginary mistakes. And should they gather enough courage to stand up for themselves then they should be prepared for another beating for being hardheaded bold. That women should only follow the husband’s instructions and decisions and never chip in because the husband being the head of the family, is a know it all and deserves total obedience even when he is being downright unreasonable.  And even if the husband is a potato couch who does nothing, his wife should never complain despite the pressure he is putting upon her to be the sole provider for the family. If she happens to complain then she is dismissed as being haughty as a result of her increasing financial independence and immediately branded a no good wife. In fact, the money she makes should be given to the husband whether he has contributed in the business or not.

I know some sensitive men out there reading this will definitely go `also women cheat and act unfairly toward the men in their lives. It’s not only men.’ As a matter of fact, when i started this blog, i had to contend with a commenter who chose to take everything i posted personally like i was directly hitting at him when in the real sense, i didn’t even know him. I don’t dispute that fact by the way that women can also be abusers and cheaters. I know for a fact that there are women out there who still sleep around while married and take their husbands for granted. However, the nature of my blog favors the woman and for those who may be feeling a little aggrieved that i am not addressing the women who are putting the men in their lives through untold stress by their philandering or evil ways, kindly bear with me.

Patriarchal societies have ensured that women have been thoroughly oppressed and men given the upper hand never mind that some don’t even deserve it. There are communities in my country in this 21st century which would not allow women to mix with the men during a meeting. In fact, the women are relegated to the very back, a distance from the men. Does this mean that since women are the weaker sex then they are also equally stupid and have nothing of value whatsoever to contribute in a community meeting? Does this mean that women who carry babies in their wombs for 9 months, bring them forth into this world in excruciating pain, nurture those children until they become adults, till the land, carry firewood, cook, build houses (in some cultures in my country), have absolutely nothing to offer in the society except total submission to men who do not value them? As if that is not enough, some women have to endure FGM and suffer all their lives sexually as a result of the distortion of their genitals then still be treated as if their only mission in this world is to please the man sexually in marriage.

According to me, i believe that submission is earned and while i totally agree with submission to the husband in marriage, i know that a man who hardly places any value on a woman in his life makes it very hard for this woman to truly respect and obey him. I know that a woman equally deserves her respect no matter her level of exposure and literacy. It is women who keep the family together and running when the husbands are caught up in this fast paced world trying to eke a living and better themselves. Women have this hidden strength in them that enables them to persevere in situations like widowhood. For most men, they are known to marry immediately or a bit later after a wife’s death. For a sizable number of women in my country for example, they opt to raise their kids as widows and do not remarry. Mostly because society sometimes frowns upon a woman who remarries after her husband’s death. And even though it may not be easy raising children singlehandedly without the support of a husband, these women persevere. If at all the men did not really need the women in their lives and considered them an unnecessary bother, why then do they remarry after the death of a spouse or a divorce for that matter?

When this word submission is misused, then we have men treating women carelessly while reveling in the fact that since they are men and the heads of the family, the women will automatically submit to them. And should they show other signs not related to submission, then the men have a right to force them into submission. But what these men seem to fail to understand is that a very thin line separates submission from oppression. If you as a man is giving your bare minimum to a woman in your life and expecting submission in return or forcing it out of her, then that is oppression. All these other words such as culture, tradition, society are only being used to try and sugar coat the oppression of women by men who think they can get away with being tyrannical. And sadly, the women who deserve love and good treatment from their men end up suffering gravely largely because they are equally the weaker sex. In patriarchal societies, men bullying women is acceptable. Women standing up to the bullies is an abomination.