It was a warm afternoon. The perfect weather made it possible to enjoy two of my favourite things, ice cream, and a book. I went to a somewhat isolated corner of the restaurant. I was engrossed in my book when he asked to join me at the table. After a quick, “sure,” I was back to enjoying my pages.
I didn’t even realize that I was smiling so hard until I looked up and found the stranger at my table smiling at me.
“That good, huh?” he asked.
“Yes, it is.”
“What’s happening to make you smile that much if you don’t mind me interrupting you?”
“It’s not one thing but there is a kick-ass detective. She is strong and vulnerable in equal measures and keeping the men on their toes,” I responded.
“Just a wild guess, a feminist?”
“Definitely,” I nodded.
“Had to be,” he said.
“You say it like it’s a bad thing.”
“Well, two sides could be argued but that’s a discussion for another time. What book are you reading?” He asked.
“Simple Genius by David Baldacci and you can’t just leave it at that. What two sides?”
“I’ll tell you if you let me buy you early dinner. I’m Martin by the way.”
That was how the stranger at my table became a friend and later on a boyfriend. For the next couple of weeks, we talked nonstop. Martin was well-read, smart, and had travelled a bit so he was knowledgeable enough in many subjects. In fact, in the beginning, I enjoyed having gender debates only I mistook a red flag for charm.
Martin was a manager at a firm so many of our interactions involved meeting up after work. This meant that we would both show up for dinner or a snack on the way home in our work attires. Due to convenience, I felt more comfortable in trouser suits than in dresses or skirts. One evening I went to meet him after work and I was in a dress. He made interesting remarks.
“Finally! This is how you should dress daily.”
“Huh?” I asked in confusion.
“In dresses. It brings out that femininity. If I could, I would prohibit women from wearing pants at the workplace.”
“Why?” I asked Martin.
“Not everyone was meant to wear pants if you know what I mean,” Martin said winking.
At first, I thought it was a matter of preference but his explanation suggested otherwise. Nevertheless, I mounted a strong defence on why women wear trousers to the workplace and anywhere else. A part of me couldn’t believe I had to justify it but I liked this guy.
A couple of weeks later, Martin asked me to accompany him to a friend’s event. I was excited. It would be a road trip with him. Three of his friends were also present at the event. One of the friends had come with his wife.
Everything was going well. We were all enjoying the festive mood. Soon it was time to have a meal. Typical of many events, they used the buffet system to serve people their food. I didn’t even notice that Martin wasn’t in the queue with us until I went back to the table. He had no food and was looking at me.
“You should have gotten me less rice and more chapatis,” he said looking at the plate of food I was holding.
“Oh, this is my food,” I said. I thought it was obvious since I was holding one plate of food.
“Okay, then you can get another with my preferences,” he said as a matter of fact.
Not wanting to cause a scene, I went back to get him food.
“The next time, you get your man food before getting yours,” he remarked when I brought his food.
Later that evening we had our first major fight.
“I don’t understand why you had me serving you at your friend’s event.”
“You should always serve your man, even in public,” he said.
“Everyone was queuing for food, even your friend with the wife lined up,” I said.
“Oh, leave that one alone. He claims he doesn’t mind it but we all know the wife is the man in that household,” Martin said firmly.
“So he is a weak man because he performed the basic act of getting his own food?” I asked in shock.
“Your feminism movement has given women funny ideas but a woman should serve the man at all times.”
“That is a matter of personal preference which a couple should discuss beforehand,” I argued.
“There’s a term I often hear you people use every time you go against the social order. Serving a man should not be a matter of personal preference. Every woman should know that’s how it was meant to be. I have so much to teach you.”
Exhausted, I decided to drop the issue until another incident triggered me. We had been seeing each other for a couple of months when we decided I should go over to his place. I asked him if I should buy anything to eat on the way there, to which he responded that he had bought everything we needed.
When I got there, we spent a few hours talking before it was time to have late lunch.
“I think I’m getting hungry, what are we having?” I asked.
“I bought wheat flour so that you can make some chapatis,” Martin responded.
“I don’t know how to make that.”
“What kind of woman can’t make chapatis? Let me guess, growing up, your house help did all the cooking?” Martin said in an annoying tone.
“The kind of woman who has had no interest in learning to make chapatis. Secondly, we had no house help.”
“Then this is your chance to learn. You can thank me.”
“Martin, can we have something else?”
“No, I bought the wheat flour because you were coming to cook for me.”
“You should have informed me of your plans beforehand. You would have known that I can’t make that particular meal. I asked you what I should bring.”
“Every woman should know how to cook such basic meals.”
“Then you should make it if it’s basic,” I told him.
“I said every woman. My work is to provide.”
I offered to go buy some chapatis from a restaurant but he refused. The argument escalated when I asked why he was acting like I should have known it was my duty to cook when I was going to his place. After what felt like an eternity of arguing, I left his house. He would later call me to tell me that I needed to apologize for overreacting. We didn’t talk for a couple of days.
After things cooled down we decided to meet up for early dinner after work. I was a bit nervous because I was preparing for an interview in a few days that would see me get a promotion at work. It only felt right to ask him for pointers because he was a manager at his firm.
“Any pointers?” I asked him.
“Just don’t forget that you’re a woman,” said Martin.
“What does that mean?”
“Keep your emotions in check, nobody likes emotional leaders.”
Later he would add that having women in leadership had a negative impact on the family.
“How?” I asked.
“They spend more time at the workplace instead of nurturing their homes.”
“The extra income helps the family too,” I said.
“The man can take care of that.”
“There are women who do both. It’s also unfair that men don’t have to choose between family and a career.”
“Very women can balance both. Most women get arrogant once they start making more money. It’s not unfair, that’s the world order.”
“How are they arrogant?”
“Let me put it this way. You could be the president of a great country but in the house, you should be a wife. Many women get big-headed with a little power, forgetting how to be wives.”
He went on to quote different people and scriptures to defend his position. Eventually, he said that if his wife had to work long hours, she would have to quit that position to focus on family. He argued that only selfish women prioritize work over family. After that last interaction, it was clear that he had little regard for women’s choices and rights. I decided to end things with him.
I Went On A Date With A Sexist Guy – Sema Disaster!
Her Date Asked Her Out For Lunch Only For Him To Show Up At Her House With Ingredients For Her To Cook
He Dumped Her Claiming She Was Lazy Because She Suggested Using Easier Ways To Do Household Chores
Her Husband Demeaning Her For Not Having A Normal Delivery Was The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back
The Perfect Gentleman Turned Out To Be A Rude Freeloading Guest
The Singlehood Series: My Date Was An Andrew Tate Superfan
He Kept Sending Me Anti-Feminism Content Thinking It Would Win Me Over