By Kathryn Kazibwe, Uganda:
Men are very blessed creatures. They are the ultimate creation. Made to protect, provide, encourage, lead… They are the epitome of God's creative vision. A woman is never complete without a man. That is why females remain girls until they are wifed; only then can they be referred to as women.
No matter which way you look at it, women are meant to be below men, under them if you will, in every way. From the biblical creation story, Eve was created both for and from Adam, using one of his ribs, no less. She was practically his subject. Even from the scientific point of view, after the Big Bang, there were only male organisms. After some time of being awesome they thought, “Why don't we create ourselves a less cool opposite sex to copulate with and thus procreate, spreading our awesomeness over generations?” So they orchestrated another (not so big) bang and voila! Women appeared*.
Given the above background, I was shocked recently when a friend of mine, Raha, engaged me in a very disturbing discussion. That is not her real name, by the way. I am protecting her identity because many of you might have the uncontrollable urge to make a Bukedde headline of her when you hear what she told me.
I was busy minding my own business, wearing my shoes out looking for someone to employ me, unfairly or otherwise, and save me from Mom's sheepish looks every time I sit at her table for meals. I wasn't making much progress, which is why I was glad to hear a car honk behind me as I walked along Bombo Road. I thought it was a man that would offer me a ride while eyeing me up lustfully, and then two weeks and a few commandment breaches down the road offer me a job at his big, big company. I love such situations. To my disappointment, however, it was a woman I vaguely recognized, driving a harrier. She motioned me over, and on a closer look, it came to me; Raha, from school, one of those super brilliant girls that made your parents ask you awkward 'why' questions at the end of every term. Lucky for me, she had been two classes ahead of me. Judging by her car and appearance, those brains had done a lot for her in choosing the right man.
She drove us to Javas in Kamwokya with an, “I was on my way to lunch anyway.” That is where we got to talking about her family.
Raha told me that she was freshly married and had twin two year old daughters. I expressed my joy for her at having achieved the highest rank; that of a woman; an honest family woman. She scoffed at me, and a dramatic frown marred her perfectly made up face.
“What does that even mean? I was a woman long before I met Mark!”
Her short manicured nails tapped the table impatiently as she spat out this statement. I almost ducked under the table in embarrassment.
Her frown grew even deeper as she went on to narrate to me how her husband Mark was 'an inconsiderate self-centered brute'. According to her, he had objected to her continuing with her job after their wedding. He expected her to stay at home and raise his children (she called them hers, but who're we kidding?) When she dared defy him on the matter, he relented, but told her to find a way to make sure his girls had their mother at all times.
“Then he wants me to cook, clean and do the laundry, all while I work my ass off to build my career, pay half the bills and secure my babies' future! He, however, can stay out as long as he wants, and when he comes back, he sits around like I'm his servant. I'm having none of it. I served him papers last week.”
I stared at Raha. She stared back triumphantly. How dare she, I wondered, rubbish her husband like that? Did she not know that a woman is supposed to do all that and even more to keep her home running? She seemed not to understand that if Mark asked her to live without breathing, she had to find a way of looking pretty while holding her breath. How dare she even expect him to help with household chores? God forbid it! A man! Doing the dishes! Even the devil cowers at the thought.
I left that evening with my tummy happy about the creamy Javas chicken and my head swirling with confusion about how any woman could act like that. Women! We can be such a puzzle. As a proactive measure, I've decided to stop searching for a job and instead wait meekly for my future husband to find me. Far be it from me to become a successful professional yet husband-less woman** like Raha.
- * You will not find this in any science records. It is top secret information.
- ** Term 'woman' used liberally here. Raha is back to girlhood.
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