Its time they started paying

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?

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  1. #1 by Pompi on June 23, 2009 - 10:34 am

    I cant agree more. Especially now that we have become the prey for simple reasons you have mention above. Woe unto you if you cant out run them..no no if you cant out think them given we have the handicap of the obligation, read silent agreement, to provide Willy with as many vertical smiles as we can. Since most (all) men are behind quota, we end up in the situation you have mentioned if we have the mustard seed believe and the mountain hope it will end up with sex, which we always imagine it will be great( sometimes it is sometimes not).In short as long as we have dicks women will always twist us on their little fingers.

  2. #2 by pinkmemoirs on June 30, 2009 - 4:17 pm

    I hear you on 50/50 and I’m a firm believer in it (and practise it too), but then, I would urge you to look at it both ways.

    Last week but one, the Saturday Mag ran an article on how women are abandoning their families to have careers and the works, and the next Saturday a rejoinder of the same. As I went through those, and after what I read on here, my conclusion is one. Balance.

    See, we all want to have our cakes and eat them.Men want a woman who works and contributes to the family’s daily bread, and at the same time, a domesticated mother, cook, cleaner etc all in one package. What does he give in return I wonder?

    If I’m expected to be a provider (which is not my traditional role), then the man has to pick up some slack in housework or whatever (my traditional roles). We’re not super human.

    • #3 by wes699 on July 1, 2009 - 9:52 am

      I fully understand your sentiment on ‘traditional roles’ and being dynamic with the changing times; I don’t pretend that, even in this age, many men will find joy in housework just as i don’t suppose that many women would like to push mkokoteni or slaughter animals for a living…. What I mean is that, 50/50 shouldn’t be literal, if a man pays for say 4 dates, it helps once in a while to surprise him by taking him out; if a man really wants to buy that plasma TV but is saddled with a mortgage and the wife has all this savings, get him the plasma…. that way at least he ‘sees’ the wife’s money and on the flipside, he might stay at home more. Otherwise, there is no denying that no matter how much we might claim to have become modernized/westernized (whatever that means) at the core, as Africans our roles stay on, we just have to find subtle ways to even out the imbalances while maintaining appearances.

  3. #4 by pink m on July 1, 2009 - 2:17 pm

    Nice one! The way you say the men won’t be too happy with housework. My problem is men want to have their cake and eat it too 🙂 A career woman who helps with rent and stuff, a housewife and a whore. Can’t happen. About gifting the man, if your girl doesn’t buy you gifts, then she is the problem not all women.

    Why maintain appearances? We should just find something that works for us and run with it.

    FYI, the pushing mkokoteni / slaughtering cows = cracking my head at Excel every day.

    I don’t want my man to do the housework (that is my role no matter how up the corporate ladder I get), but I’m just greatly disturbed by an upcoming crop of men that seem to be all needy and dependent on the woman’s income, then complain if the women disrespect them. My 2 cents.

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