Ideally, it is nice to talk with an empowered woman, and it is far better to bend low for a woman struggling to find her way in this male-dominated world.
A few months ago, a male friend paid a visit to my shop. He looked disturbed, arguably disappointed and lamenting. “Jay, what’s the problem, dude?” I asked, “why? what do you mean the problem?” A rhetorical question to answer my question, and at this point, I realized that the conversation would be a little stormy. So I continued with another line of thought, “well, we have been talking since you got here, and it is clear you are not onboard entirely. Something must be going on in your mind, I suppose.” He seemed uninterested in picking my line; I decided to let him be. Moreover, it is presumed to be men’s “thing” to take care of their problems.
I remember reading an article from the New York Times about the Rusia’s re-emerging efforts to annex the ports Crimea and the fight to take complete control of the country. Trying to bring Jay on board, I asked him, “what do you think about the genesis of this war? I mean, the history of October 1853-February 1856 should not have such devastating effects in the 21st century. why do you think Putin will not let go of the war he did not begin at all?” Looking interested, he responded, “Elsam, if history would be gold, you won’t be struggling to process peanut butter, anyway, I live in Kenya, and I don’t see how that story affects me.” Wanting not to lose him, I continued, “Okay, what about the fact that it has an impact on our economy? Kenya is a developing country that heavily relies on other capitalistic nations at war with Rusia, a communistic nation. Don’t you think it concerns us?” “Well, that’s another thing altogether.” He replied. “What do you think of marriages? Are these women to take control of their families and do as they want?” He continued.
His words got so deep into me that and changed my mood from within; I felt chills. For a moment, I thought to attack him with contrary statements. But then I realized it was my fast brain at work, and I needed to shut that machine and engage the slow brain. After all, reading Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, I’m constantly reminded that the words formed immediately after an inciting incident are wrong and should not be allowed to escape the mouth. Even though they were words that matched the definition of sexist, my feminism could not allow me to be mistaken; “they” say feminism has no place in the 21st century, right? “I know you may not agree with me, but I think the world was better when men were men at home and women were women.” I asked him what he meant, and his answer was, “my grandpa had four wives and had control over them, while every proposal I make at home is met with a lot of questions or just never done!” Concluded Jay. I politely asked him what was the matter; he mentioned that he was tired of living with his wife, “women are like children; they argue without evaluating the future; I have never seen morons,” he replied.
The talk was long, and by the end, I realized that Jay is an example of a biased sexist, something familiar with “mama’s boys.” Generalizing women as evil and later realizing it was a mistake because some people are left out is a social injustice. It also shows how someone does not do in-depth research (think slow) to speak benefits and shun ego; accept their mistakes and initiate change actions; and most importantly, treat everyone as equal and subjects of the same judgment.
Dear men, there is nothing good in disrespecting women or partially treating a girlfriend or wife. Human relationships are sustained by mutual respect; we must see everyone as needing equal treatment as ourselves. And when a problem arises, we should ask ourselves the part we played which culminated into the problem.