When Kings make mistakes: the value of a woman’s voice

My Facebook timeline this week (pretty much since it came into existence but hey) had me thinking just how much we still both overtly and subtly chisel women down. It’s more overt when we do things we’ve been “taught” by the patriarchy not to do. Preferred tool of choice? Shame. Which brings me to “nagging.”

So it’s said this year the yawning emoji will be launched, and of course there’s memes about it. The one that just made me sign was the one about men sending this emoji to women who send those “stupid long paragraphs.”

Well.

I am the kind of woman who sends long paragraphs when I need someone to understand something. I am a believer of context and in removing ignorance about how I wish to be treated. And since we’re throwing shade, if I send you long paragraphs more than twice in one month, I am usually a step away from using crayons to aptly illustrate my point. I am usually, at this point, frustrated and angry. Not talking about it, ignoring it and continuing to do the same thing I brought up, to me, is a sign of disrespect.

#TimesUp

But as women we’ve been told not to nag. STILL. We are more vocal, but that’s still there, only this time different words are thrown around.

We’ve been told men don’t like long stories. Men don’t like being told when they are wrong. First seduce and feed him, then sweetly tell him what about his behavior is affecting you and what you’d like done differently. If he changes, reward him. If he doesn’t, you should still treat him like a king. Also, if you can ignore it, please do. For the sake of peace. You don’t want to be the reason he steps out of your union. If you don’t keep quiet he’ll go find another woman that appreciates him for who he is.

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Ciru Ngigi had started a conversation on Facebook many months about children and daughters specifically being angry at their mothers for the men they chose to marry. I wrote or asked something in the comment section and this lady DM me. We talked quite a bit; she made me realize that for the most part, family dynamics are toxic. But there’s something she said that pains me till today. Her husband will insist on having sex even when she doesn’t want to, and when she is in pain. She has no choice but to be quiet for the sake of her daughters. We’ve been taught, “If it’s your husband, it’s not rape. So keep quiet and don’t try to bring drama.” 

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Men can talk about your outfit, body, mothering skills, cooking, working, not working, temper, attitude, vagina size, weakness, speaking up, number of sex partners, where you’ve been, whether you deserved to be harassed or raped, menstrual cycle, how many kids you do or don’t have, character, HAIR, mental health, hormones, curves or lack there off, outfit, drinking, partying, praying, being a wife material or nah- and God forbid you tell him how communication is important to you.

I’ve been told a lot of things by male age mates that have stuck with me but for this context I’ll tell you two. 1) “Wambaire, don’t be those chicks” after calling out bad behavior. 2) Men are the head and women are the neck. Aka men are meant to think for women so we have to run decisions about OUR lives by a man first.  

I’ve been character assassinated and blue ticked for pointing out things that dishonor me. You’d think I’d tweeted “@blah your penis ain’t shit” and send a screenshot to his family group.

Before we get into the whole “that’s not a real man” narrative, let’s look at the wider context of what the woman faces. If you’re not married and with no kids (or do) in your late 20s, it’s like you’ve attracted such characters since your campus days. Not all men are like this, duh. However, these snide remarks and memes I see online let me know that there’s contempt against women who dare point out something a man does that’s making them unhappy.

Here’s the cream for me; the sketches and memes about the “crazy” chick. The one who breaks up with her man for not responding promptly? And how dare she do that? Never mind your phone is always in your hands when you two are together. And this is just one example.

What I am tired of is how women being told to shut up has morphed now more so into “humor” and gas-lighting so that men can still be mostly PC when they say “it’s just a joke”. That disclaimer is lest the feminist movement comes after them so they can say “it’s not about you, it’s about THOSE chicks.” And when you push hard enough, you’re now the problem for having no humor and maybe, just maybe, you are those chicks because look at you acting crazy.

Like, as in, it’s 2019. We haven’t grown past high school?

#metoo and #timesup are amazing, but my timeline tells me plenty of men are raising little boys like them. Boys who’ll silence my daughter if she dares say what makes her unhappy and she values. Because it’ll mean she wants and needs to be heard.

And what would be the value of her voice anyway?