The Boy Vs The Girl Child

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Here we are. After the girl child has received acclamation for her struggles and many efforts have gone into empowering her, those from the opposite gender begin crying fowl. Oh we have been left out. Our interests have been ignored. The girl child is being favoured. So on and so forth.

 

Where were you when this girl child was suffering? You were quiet and comfortable. That is her place, you thought. You had no same rights back then. But now the girl child is getting too much attention in this patriarchal society?

 

-We are on the verge of extinction.
-Boys disempowerment.
-The endangered human species – the boy child.
-Abandonment of the male.
-The disenfranchised in society.
-The man is under threat, the oppressed.

Their campaigns carry the fore-mentioned tags amongst many more. I’m all for equity, don’t get me wrong but are we taking the right approach?

 

I was involved in a discussion (read at loggerheads) with a particular male who felt too ‘entitled’ in saving the ‘left out’ gender. I would have hands down joined his movement but what is the point of empowering one side at the expense of the other? He had a serious challenge in comprehending the slight difference between equity and equality that makes all the difference.

 

His argument was, since girls across the country are beneficiaries of free sanitary towels, the boys too should be included in the ‘distribution’.Deserved is what he used in his wording. I was at a loss what the ignored child needed as the menstrual cycle is an exclusively female matter, until he said underwear. They deserved underwear! And I got enraged.

 

Hadn’t he heard of girls who were forced to engage in sex to raise money for their sanitary needs? Is that what they ‘deserved’? Doesn’t your heart bleed and eyes become wet when you hear this? (Lost for words).

 

It irks me that someone out there, who claims of being neglected could utter nonsense with such audacity. How many girls even have these underwears to go along with the sanitary towels?

 

I mean, what would boys be using underwear for? They skip happily around without any. Why give it to them in the first place? It would be a waste of resources which would be efficiently used in purchasing more sanitary towels. And underwear for these girls.

 

Had he more reasonable excuses, we might have agreed on at least one matter. It is unfortunate that the boy child himself had no idea what they needed. This is where the campaigns should start. Creating awareness.

 

Both genders face harassment, the bigger percentage leaning on women. This has everything to do with power and the need to dominate by men and little with sex. Why? Men assume that a lady practising in a field thought to belong to males or otherwise, is there for their disposal. They harass her. They don’t see her as an equal. They have more than work in their minds at and after work.

 

There are more literate men than women. On average, more men than women have access to information in this country everyday. Cases of early marriages remain more rampant in women that men. Please explain to me how this makes you the one under attack. I want to understand.

 

Did you know that in Kenya, many land owners are men? You probably do. In the inheritance schemes you propagate, the woman is rarely included. A girl doesn’t need land. She will get married anyway. That’s her calling. She does not need to own property. She will move into her husband’s house. How many of you men would actually move into your wife’s home? Aren’t you the ones on the frontline pushing her to sell it?

 

Let alone moving in, would you say yes if she proposed? Wouldn’t you think her to be one of those women who trap your kind into marriages yet you still want to be ‘free’ and explore goodies in the market? A man should decide on marriage otherwise it’s rushing, but why? Tell me why.

 

You claim you feel inferior and cannot perform in bed if your lady earns more than you. You don’t want her to make decisions affecting the household. Hiyo ni kukaliwa chapati, in other words kuwa mnyonge. Only matters related to the kitchen are hers. What’s with the ego? You need to tow it down!

 

A man is justified to use drugs. As I mentioned earlier, women are said to belong to the kitchen and you know where the man belongs? In a pub! That is why when a man sees a pretty lady in ‘their territory’, they close in thinking she is there for them. A woman who uses alcohol like a man is not cut out from the wife material cloth, they say. Drinking tembo is for men, kazi yako ni kulea watoto nyumbani.

 

If you keep at that attitude you might never get the children to be cared for in the first place. That ‘man’s drink’ you are drowning your belly with might affect your ability to sire. Then what will you do? You will call your partner infertile. What you fail to acknowledge is that your testosterone levels are on the low, Yours. Nothing to do with your wife.

 

Everytime you try to bring up a female related matter, you are tagged a feminist. Am I one of them, huh?

 

The gender issue is a touchy one. Everyone believes they deserve some treatment to achieve ultimate equity. We need to focus. Let each gender receive attention on the issues that affect them.

 

At the end of the day, we want to breed individuals who can look at each other with respect, each understanding that none is superior. Focusing on who is the victim won’t take us as a society forward. That is where we should head.

 

What the boy child needs is support systems he can turn to. This can only be made possible if they tone down their ‘manness’. Bottling up is what is causing this entire explosion of kuachwa nyuma. It is highlighted by big intimidating names for effect.

 

The society should eliminate the status quo a man is subjected to. There should be nothing like a man should be this way or that way. Challenges come to us on the virtue of being human. Gender is a mere specialisation. Allow men to seek help without attributing weakness to them!

 

Let this not turn to a war but a basis of mutual comprehension on each part accordingly. Stop the blame game. Represent yourself accordingly.

 

@Resh2017

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About Rehema Zuberi

Teller of 'taboo-d' tales.

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