Women exist in relation to the whole society ,not in relation to men.Anonymous
If I asked you today ,whats a woman’s and man’s role in the society? ,how would you answer. I think this is the most unanswered question and we go all throughout our lives trying to figure it out as well as answer it ,the way you answer It may determine a lot about your beliefs,values and I guess the mark that you will live in the world .But most of the the time or majority of the time, society answers that question for us ,without giving the room to be disputed or to question it.
So a few days ago ,I was having this heated conversation with a friend of mine,and It was mostly based on gender roles ,the conversation was about why should a man wash utensils and cook while its the work of a woman? Am going to answer this question the way I argued my point to him.
From the day we are born to the day we leave our parent’s/guardian’s house we try to acquire skills that will enable us to survive in the world when we go out there, and to me cleaning,cooking and washing is a skill that each and every adult should have or atleast try to learn,so my friend’s argument was based on the logic that according to assigned gender roles ,men are not supposed to cook or clean at all.
Times are really changing ,and what worked for us 50years ago is no longer working now or such traditional expectations are irrational and holding unto them can even derail you as a person, and I think most of young kenyan men try to hide behind the statement ‘according to tradition’ by masking their irresponsibility. Majority of the men will likely defend themselves during breakups by saying ‘huyo dem hakuwa wife material’ which generally means ,she didn’t cook ,clean or wash for me ,which led to such women being referred to as ‘slay queen’ .
Such statements have led to women being dragged throughout social media by being made to feel inadequate for who they are. The idea surrounding gender roles has led to men looking for substitute maids rather than a partner ,the man wants someone who can take care of him ,similarly the way his mother did. Such negativity surrounding women who are not ready to be used as substitute maids in a relationship or marriage ,doesn’t address the traditional roles for men. When I was arguing with my friend ,I told him ,”if you are thinking in terms of traditional roles of women ,you should also think in terms of your traditional roles as a man ,because your role as a man traditionally is to provide a stable home .”
Societal expectations pressures a woman to immediately perform her role when in a relationship, which generally means cooking and cleaning but what it doesn’t address is the role of a man . I asked my friend how would he react when he starts dating a lady and immediately the 1st month of the relationship she tells him to pay her rent or grocery ( I think he immediately came into his senses after this statement) ,I continued by telling him that most men will react by calling the woman a ‘golddigger’
What am trying to drive at ,is that gender roles should be shared between men and women 50/50 ,when a husband loses his job ,its the wife’s duty to provide for the family by covering the husband’s 50% ,when the wife is sick ,its the husband’s duty to care for the family by covering the wife’s 50% of house chores.
The society is built around a man’s world by promoting patriarchal mentality ,but we also have to realise its our duty to question the society as well as critic it by not surrendering on our beliefs.
The idea of there being a right kind of woman is both unfair and false .The truth is that any individual who has been assigned the female gender is a real womanAnonymous