I have quite a number of friends. Yet, one thing remains constant; we all lament about mediocre fathers/ father figures. Always. This is an observation that has spiked a keen interest in trying to discover why exactly our feisty mothers fell for these cliché types of men. Honestly, I find it interesting but also disheartening. I find myself wallowing in thoughts of how happy our mothers would be if they were properly loved, and treated with care by men of their stature, men who fit their colossal shoes and not having to bend over backwards to ensure their husbands’ unexceptional egos are not remotely hurt.
Firstly, the reactions I get when I state the things I will not compromise in a relationship with a man totally irk me. I’ve probably been told that I have standards set too high for marriage countless times. I still roll my eyes though, because I cannot wrap my head around the fact that I can choose to want a decent partner and actually get one. Why aren’t we women allowed to want a certain calibre of men without being called names?
Considering women are usually at the forefront of this idea that being too independent, too smart and unapologetically having strong perspectives on sensitive matters is a guarantee of a lonely life with no man by your side depicts thriving internalized misogyny. I, however, back off from blaming their thought process as this perspective has been cultivated since they were young girls. You need to learn to cook because no man wants to come from work on an empty stomach and find the house help preparing dinner for him. Our mothers were taught to package themselves for marriage: wife material is what they call it. Submission in the marriage context is really misused in African households. What exactly is wife material?
If your mum has called you for a meeting after consistently sending your wedding and ruracio invites, you know what’s up! Getting married has always been a big deal in our society. It’s a right of passage go figure! However, there has been a wrong and overrated perspective on a woman getting married. Don’t get me wrong, marriage can be beautiful. This being said though, women have always been advised to get married young whilst still beautiful and energetic to start a family.
There has been so much pressure put on girls to start families with men in spite of their character. As long as a man can pay dowry, he is seen fit to marry a feisty girl. Sigh. You can imagine that your mum probably ended up getting married to the first man who hit on her, a man who barely knew himself and made a decision to hang around his mediocrity all his life. Females are taught that if someone offers you a hand in marriage, you should be intrigued and say yes immediately. Settling has been the talk of the day. You might realize later on in the marriage that you made a terrible mistake but it’s too late to just pack your bags and walk away. Single Lady In Nairobi: I Settled For The Wrong Guy Because My Clock Was Ticking And It Cost Me!
Affirmation plays quite a vital role in girls’ development, especially during puberty. This is when a girl gets to understand who she really is. Instead of ensuring holistic growth and self-awareness in our mothers, the grown-ups instead instilled skills that they thought were important in bringing up a home. Rather than teaching girls how to cook because they need to feed themselves, girls are taught how to keep a man.
There is a huge disconnect between the teachings and realities of life. A woman is way more than a wife. That is a foreign concept to most of our mothers. They accept physical and emotional abuse because they have harnessed that skill since birth. Their strength is measured by the number of blows they can receive.
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