My dating life has been a conundrum of false pretenses and conspiracies of silence; mostly this has had to do with my own determination to beat my own path in what are the uncharted waters of sex and emotions. The one notion that I have questioned over and over, often to my own detriment, is the so called accepted norm of ‘a man takes care of his wife’
My gripe with this has got nothing to do with any illusions about the role of a man in a relationship, it has to do with the selective application of the rules in these heady days of women liberation and the fight for gender equality as well as an argument that the raison d’être for some of the unspoken laws have been by-passed by time and we must start to raise questions and hack at the roots of these antiquated conventions until new rules are forged.
In the days of hunting and gathering, society had defined roles for boys and girls, men and women; the men were the hunters and the women would often be gatherers or tend to vegetable patches. This set-up meant that eating was often directly dependent on a man’s ability to trap and/or hunt game; this basically made the title provider to have meaning in the given context. Before the 70s, women generally were denied the opportunity to work formally and were wholly dependent on men, the term provider applied then as well. But now women are first rising up the job market and taking on, what were in the past, ‘macho’ male dominated fields, they are taking on men dollar for dollar and pound for pound.
My question is; is it fair that if a wife works, probably earning more than the man, is it the sole responsibility of the man to provide for her and her offspring while she feathers her nest for the day she gets tired of him and gives him the boot? I know of the 50/50 date rule in the developed world, and even here in Nairobi we have a few (very very few) women who do 50/50, the rest will, even when they are employed, dump the entire burden of life on the man they ‘love’, is it acceptable in this day and age that the woman’s money is hers, and the man’s is everyone’s. I certainly don’t agree; the moment both men and women had the ability to bring home the bacon is the day they should share the responsibility for dates, rents, children’s upkeep, fuel, at 50/50.
I also want to know why men have to pay for gratification, and am not even talking commercially; I’m talking about the fact that all men are basically given a shake down in the pursuit of carnal pleasures; it could take the shape of a million dates with hanger-on expenses inclusive, exclusive getaways, or even outright demands for upkeep money; why is this the case? Often the prevalent reasoning is that the man is ‘given’… given what? Doesn’t he give too and what if the man ‘gives’ better than he ‘gets’ shouldn’t he demand to be paid too?