“I am sick and tired of you. You never seem to appreciate the things I do. The idea that you can easily get it for yourself has corrupted your mind. Even when I put in some effort and do something simple for you, you don’t react like you used to. Neither does your face light up. Instead, all you do is say you can get yourself this or that. Jackie, I’m tired,” he says as he storms out of the room. Jackie turns to the sink and closes the tap that has been running since Ben started talking. She takes a deep breath and whispers to herself, “I am a strong independent woman. I deserve the best in this life. I am an asset to him and at this point in life a man should only shower me with the best things life has to offer. He doesn’t understand the far I have come and how hard I have worked. Why would he equate me to a Ksh.350 gift? (Sighing) No, I am right and he is wrong.”
If you were born in the 80’s or 90’s, this is a conversation you’re familiar to. Either you’ve been in the shoes of Jackie or Ben or you’ve heard it happen to someone else. If not and you’re a woman, then you are most probably working towards getting to that point in life where you are strong and independent or wishing that at some point you’ll be in a position to tell your man that you can get something for yourself. If you’re a man in this era then your chances of holding a similar conversation are higher. Why? Because of the disease this generation is suffering from.
They call it feminism. Stress that it is women empowerment. At first it was for a good cause. It was meant to strengthen women. Push them to think and do more than the traditional society had said they were capable of. Boost their self-confidence and self-love and bring out the best in them. All for a good cause. Then one concept was introduced. A simple concept that seems to have now become engraved in each and every woman’s mind. Equality. Surprisingly, it has caused more harm than good. Isn’t it funny, that nowadays when you ask a woman what the difference between her and a man is, she’ll say nothing? Others will specify that the difference is only evident in their physical structures. Sarcastically, the same woman might not be able to change her car wheel or defend herself when she’s attacked. Keyword, might not. Some women will while others will not.
Society has done a great deal by working towards modernization. Values, norms and traditions have changed all over the globe. However, things like the relationships between people have become constrained. Especially those between men and women. The concept of equality has created a false sense of confidence among a large number of women. Most of them have come to believe that they do not need any help from a man. Others believe that a man should not order or direct them. Others argue that they are capable of everything that a man is capable of (even fixing sewers). Not only that, some believe they can provide as much as a man can. You find them paying bills when they go on dates, buying men who have not committed themselves to them extravagant gifts, financially providing for their spouses and doing most if not all the duties that a man should. It doesn’t end there. Due to this concept, most women have become financially stable. That’s a positive thing, right? The negative side to this is that most women have neglected their feminine duties. They don’t cook for their men no more (some do not even know how to prepare a simple meal like Ugali). Others have no idea what their children are up to, they no longer tie their husbands ties each morning nor tell their men, ‘honey, I need this’. Now they are busy doing it all for themselves and screaming to the world “I own this sh*t.” If asked, some would have these words inscribed on their number plates. The mediocrity in this is that, as much as women are getting uplifted, they are still their own enemies. A large number of them still compete against each other, are envious of each other and back-bite their own friends.
It’s not all bad. Especially since the world has changed, needs and demands have increased, the state of the economy is constantly fluctuating and we all need to have something for ourselves. Quite a number of women have used women empowerment to their advantage. Most have made their marks in different fields and also in their homes. Gone are the days when women only attended to house chores. Now they do most if not all. As much as this is the case. Most of these women who have used this to their advantage have managed to strike a balance between their careers and their feminine duties. As powerful and ambitious as they may seem, they still lower their pride to accept help. They uplift and empower their fellow women while commanding respect with their actions.
Equality. A term that has misled us and blinded us from seeing that we are powerful and strong in our own ways. Women empowerment. A term that has contributed to a large number of women rising above the expected standards while others have lost themselves. Maybe that’s the destiny of our generation; that anything created and expected to be for a good cause will somehow have a negative impact that will take a great toll on us. Maybe all we need is to find a balance in everything. Question is, who will be the first to implement a happy medium?