July 25, 2011 – (PAULA ODHIAMBO) Alright, my sisters… hold up, wait a minute, stop press…
Chivalry died. And for years, we’ve been trying to find the killer, but whoever said this got it right: WOMEN KILLED IT.
The blame game is old. Let’s own up and try not talk about feminism. That started decades ago, and we’ve gone over it thousands of times. Let’s talk about us, here, now.
We may not all be guilty of all I’m about to say, but please permit me to recreate the crime as I believe it happened:
In becoming more materialistic, we shortchanged ourselves
At some point in time, pride took over and we slowly started to shortchange ourselves by thinking we could do it on our own. It does not occur to us that if anybody could do it on their own, we would not exist because Adam would not have needed help. We have refused to let men provide, because supposedly, anything a man can do, a woman can do better. They try, but after being shot down, met with disdain and complaints, and feeling unappreciated, those men who are like the seed that falls on rock or get choked up by thorns, simply give up.
The more materialistic we became, the more distorted our perception of provision. Now, provision is equal to money and status. And a big “package”. If he has none, he is worth nothing. And if he has those but uji in his mind and can’t speak a coherent sentence without cursing and colouring his words, or boxing buildings Sonko-style, then he makes sense. The real man figured he would rather remain a bachelor than subject himself to lifelong misery by trying to impress she who cannot be impressed, and keep his property for that one person (who never shows up) who wants him for him. I doubt we can blame men.
So begins the vicious cycle. That woman who says “who needs men” but yet craves the things that she can only get with a man, decides to invest in a vibrator and two cats. I am not making this up. Need I go any further?
If women are equal to men, then please open your own door, change your bulbs and fix your tyre.
Many women long for a man’s company, but are too proud to admit it to themselves. “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Have we ever asked ourselves what this verse in Genesis 3 means (hint: it’s not necessarily sexual)? Things are messed up, and that’s why people can open their mouths to talk about Kshs1.2 million.
We put it all out there
I’ll remind us again that Proverbs 7:10 says, “behold, there met him a woman [with] the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.” This tells me that before the lines were blurred, there was such a thing as clothing that belonged only to prostitutes.
Upset? Well… like it or not, we identify people by their clothing. Let’s imagine you walk into a hospital and are told to have a seat and wait for the doctor. Two men walk into the waiting room. One has a red helmet, red overalls, gloves, and is holding a fire extinguisher. The other has a white coat and a stethoscope over his neck. Who is the doctor? If you walk into a convenience store holding a gun, with a black stocking mask over your face and your eyes peeking out of two holes, you can’t blame the guy at the counter for jumping out of his skin or calling the cops. So if you dress like a prostitute, who are you going to attract, and why are you angry that he’s hitting on you?
Why should a man give you his jacket and get frostbite on your account if you decided to throw a hanky over your chest and another one barely covering your behind, knowing full well it would be a cold evening, that you’d be at the movies and that cinemas are cold? Does chivalry mean someone always has to suffer for your inconsiderate behavior? Some parts of your body belong to one pair of eyes only, and it’s very bad manners to subject strangers to certain aspects of your anatomy whether it’s perfect or full of cellulite-dimples and stretch marks. I don’t care what photographer suggests what pose, what your job demands, or what century you think I’m living in. If you’re not a whore, stop putting it all out there. You can be decent and beautiful. Don’t you know your price?
No surprise, then, is it, that we want to tweet our weddings and Facebook our honeymoons and update everyone on every day of that one year of marriage before divorce rears its ugly head. The honeymoon is no fun anymore; that’s why many have time to even think about Facebooking their cruise and hotel pictures. The wedding was just to legalize the sex and make things official before the general public; the truth is you’ve experimented and are now bored.
My dears, we can’t do life by putting all our business out there. The Bible calls women to be discreet. Chaste. Keepers at home. Good. Obedient to their own husbands (Titus 2:5). Please don’t put yourself out there for someone else’s husband to use and dump. He might be single, but if he’s not married to you, technically he is someone else’s husband. Show some respect to his future wife.
Here’s a similar question: Did Jesus have to come and die for you? It’s foolish to assume that any of us deserves salvation. It is the fact that we absolutely do not deserve it that makes it so precious. The Bible tells us in Ephesians that we should submit to our husbands as we do to the Lord (Ephesians 5, 1 Peter 3). It takes a godly man to humble himself to become a servant, but even servants require gratitude. If you thank your workers, as I hope you do, then surely it is the least you can do to thank your man, and not nag his ears out when he is two seconds late or point out the one thing out of a hundred that he does wrong. Say thank you! It will not kill you! If you’d rather not, then don’t complain when you find yourself all alone.
We cheapened ourselves by getting the definition wrong
We forgot that chivalry is not about holding the door open, pulling the chair out, or paying for the date or taking gum out of his mouth and splitting it for us (because it’s very possible for a man to do these things and still beat a woman to a pulp, for instance). So like the previous note says, when we meet one guy who calls once, holds the door open, etc, we are ready to give it all up because this one is a keeper. Right? How many keepers can one woman give herself up to? Chivalry is about PROTECTING you. It’s about BRAVERY. It’s not about paying for your dinner so he can sleep with you. That’s the same thing people do on Koinange Street.
A chivalrous man should be brave enough to ask you to wed before he tries to take you to bed. Period!!!!
“If you like it, then you should have put a ring on it,
NO, NO, NO,
NO, NO, NO,
NO, NO, NO!!!
First of all, put a ring on what? I don’t even want to know. All I know is the ring comes FIRST. Call me whatever you want, but THE RING MUST COME FIRST. Otherwise what’s the standard? Do you just sleep with him hoping he will like it and put a ring on it, and how many times can this go on before your conscience is seared with iron and your love has waxed ice-cold – and NOBODY has given you even a “Chupa Chups” lollipop ring?
For what types of goods do we get free samples? Soup. Pens. Cheap stuff. Have you ever seen the RIM or Apple or Nokia guys standing at a grocery store aisle offering free phones? If they do, what’s your first instinct? 419, anyone? “Here, take this Blackberry Torch, and if you like it, come back and pay for it later.” The first thought would be, “Ai… why is it free, what’s wrong with it?” We need to know our price and conduct ourselves like we have a clue.
No one buys a cow whose milk they can get for free. If you can get mabuyu for 2bob, you’re not gonna bother where the mabuyu tree grows or gets its water. If you think I’m lying, ask the next ten Kenyans you meet if they know how to say “mabuyu” in English.
We forgot how to take genuine compliments
To this generation, a compliment is “You look sexy when you’re mad.” Some of us would feel better if a random man on the streets said “You have such a nice booty” than we would if someone genuinely told us “You have a kind heart.” So we dress and carry ourselves in such a way as to coax such compliments out of men. On the other side of the spectrum, some of us have been so hurt that we see every compliment as an attempt to get something.
We listened to fake friends, and we’re letting our children do the same
Among the top fake friends are some of those magazines we stock up on every month. We have left the raising of our children to TV and maids we don’t know from Adam, so that we can get to the top of our careers. Why are we surprised if our boys are raised to be something we don’t recognize? Why do we act like we have no responsibility in the way men behave today? If we want to see where we are going, all we need to do is take a look at our friends. If we don’t like where they’re headed, we must change directions! Change friends if you have to!
We looked for love in all the wrong places
Men are not creatures you use to cure loneliness, lust, or an ungodly perception of self. God does all the curing in this universe. You will not find a chivalrous man in the club (especially not at 3am, and at 39 years of age). It’s very rare now that you will even find him in church. Some of these men who hide in church buildings every Sunday are the type you fast and pray about before you open your mouth to say “hey.” Double-minded, confused and using the name of God in vain. We’ve seen what’s happening to pastors. Don’t think their apprentices are too far behind. You will not find the right man until you find you, and you will not find you until you find Jesus. That, my dears, as annoying as it is, as frustrating as it is to hear especially if you’re over a certain age, is the truth.
We forgot to pray
Don’t talk about men being deadbeat if you have not prayed for them or talked to them. Don’t talk about your man being broke if you’ve never prayed for him to get a raise. You can’t just hate and do nothing. If you want a situation to change, do something about it – prayer is a wonderful place to begin. You can’t change a man. I can’t even change myself! So why bother trying? Let me tell you the secret to changing your man. This is what I tell my married friends. First of all, don’t get annoyed because then you’ll say things you might regret. Stay calm; this battle is not physical. Don’t waste your energy nagging him or repeating things he already knows. Just retreat if you can and find some time to be alone. Go into your prayer closet and fight like you have never fought before. Pray for two things: a) God, please change ME, b) God, please change HIM. Someone said don’t win the fight; win the man.
There’s a lot I’ve said between the lines, and I just hope we’ll all get it.