Thursday May 15 2014

Today’s man is yesterday’s woman


By Mike Ssegawa

I am risking the wrath of women. But before I am branded a chauvinist, let me add, I don’t really care.
I speak on behalf of my fellow men.

So on a normal evening my boys and I often end the evening at Legends Club, in Lugogo discussing over a cold beer; about how to make more money and live a good life. This particular day, though, the three of us were taking water - yes Rwenzori.

It was not a mid-month cash crisis, No! In fact, our wallets were heavy that day. Thing is, we were mourning the death of someone very dear to us. He is called Manhood.

“What happened to men?” Mwine asked as we mauled about women who step on men’s heads, with their muddy shoes.

If my grandfather came back to life, I thought to myself, he would be disappointed in the crop of men we have today. He would suggest we put on skirts and make it clear.

Men are a joke! A man makes a girl pregnant and denies responsibility, another is not meeting his obligations as a bread winner, while somewhere one does not take care of his wife and children, yet another drinks himself silly while his family is home sleeping hungry. Guys, tuswala!
But that is not what got me here today. I am here to mourn, not express anger.

Today’s man is unmanly. No wonder even when hit by a woman, he cannot respond in equal measure. Oh yeah, wife battering is wrong, but who says women have a licence to hit men?
When a woman assaults us, society expects you to look on, or walk away after all; even reporting to police may not help. And women know it too.

If she insults, returns home late, fails to prepare breakfast or supper – which was madam’s job yesterday, men don’t complain. They have no right. “Don’t you have hands?” she may ask. Argument settled.

Men can’t talk in the house. She controls the remote, determines the groceries, may suspend you from the bedroom if she wishes, and you spend the night on the sofa. And in case you came back home late, you may sleep out because she has decided to lock you out of the house.

Not to respond to such “abuse”, is being a “gentleman”. It is here that Tony chipped in: “Whoever invented this women emancipation thing, will return in less than 10 years to roll out men emancipation.” We need it.

We are an endangered species, the law is just against us, even when it is separation or a divorce we need - she takes half, or more of your hard-earned assets. Seriously, I know a lady who made a fortune after divorcing four partners. Well, one of them died, leaving her a widow.
Nowhere is it heard of that partners fell out, and a woman’s fortune was divided and given to a man? Why?

Even child custody, where a society like ours clearly gives the right to “own” the children to men, women get the first consideration. And, we are told to pay for their upkeep, even after the madam remarries! Isn’t this society unfair to us? This is getting away with murder, it’s woman’s world.

Hamza, for instance, has been seeing this girl for nine months. He was a happy fellow before he met her. They moved in together. What happened? Hamza, who never had the anger to kill a mosquito, today, reports to work with scratches from his woman’s nails.

If he restrained her by force, his options are limited; jail or a huge fine - the police cannot believe a woman can assault a man!
May be I look at my father’s time with nostalgia. Just yesterday, women complained about being kept in the kitchen. Men were not bad, we allowed women to share the table.

Phew! Today, it is us who are pushed to the kitchen, doing house chores, baby sitting or dropping babies to school. Someone is asking, “And what is wrong with that?”
I ask: “What is right about that?”