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#Zimbabwe men must shape or ship out!

Zimbabwean men must shape or ship out!

Kindly allow me to say something about this most exiting story I have just read from Bulawayo24 news media: My wife want to make me maid. Firstly I would like to let readers know that I am a feminist and a radical one for that matter: many painful issues in our societies drove me to become one and look at social problems through the gender optic. Considering the fact that women are always on the receiving end I tend to scrutinize anything that has gender element in it with absolute interest and attention.

If I were to comment on this issue on Bulawayo24 news media: “Wife wants to make me a maid,” it would not be fair at all. I would think that the writer (the husband) only gave us what he wanted us to know: he actually chose those issues he wanted the public courts must hear. As someone who was in a marriage relationship as well, when you seek advice, oftentimes what you give as evidences you provide of your case just amount to 30% the rest you leave because it can play against you badly. This hubby has given facts that will make him a complete victim in our societies: and what you want from the advice you are craving for is sympathy from the onset. If you are a man and you make such complaints about your wedded wife to a wholly conservative society: public courts of our Zimbabwe: so many men and women will come to HIS side and condemn the poor WIFE to death by firing squad. How dare she! (firing squad means here they could kill her)

Firstly: we really do not know the indepth of your accusations you have towards your wife. We shall never know everything for sure. What you are telling us is just the tip if the iceberg perhaps, who knows. A lot remains in the fine print. So many issues have been left out obviously from your article just by reading it, to protect your dignity or any other reasons that are surely private: I should respect this too. Your complaints about your wife boarder around your role as a houseman: you do not like this role at all because in our Zimbabwe societies there are no housemen per se but husbands who do not do housework as it is considered women’s obligations: a very low occupation.

Your wife must be saying to you “please if you are not working, then do some work” that house work she could do if the husband was working. You resent this to the extent of going to the social media to solve issues of gender imbalance and expose your wife to the media: “this is what I am coping with at home” and you know too that you will get 94% approval ratings of an abused husband by this wife who is now the bread winner and of unquestionable professionalism. At the first reaction of the article I would say in Shona: “hauna nyaya yekutaura apa” But knowing that it can happen too that women can be abusive to their men: we have seen it in most marriages whereby the abusive roles interchanged when one or the other started winning bread and the other was housewife or houseman.

This man is complaining because the role he has been now subjected to does not define his role as a man in our misogynistic/men-chauvinistic societies. He is crying loud for help because he indeed feels lesser than the man he thought he was just by not winning the “bread and butter” and the wife is now in the commanding seat. This man: instead of being grateful in the first place that at least one of us is working: it could be worse than the situation he finds himself in: he is actually scornful. You need to ask those men/husbands in the Diaspora who learnt very quickly that they cannot afford the lives they lived in Zimbabwe whereby a man was the unquestionable boss in the home. You cannot afford to live lives of absoluteness: men behave as if they are above the law of the land. The times they are changing; said Bob Dylan; you will sink if you do not cope. Men will need to socially cope with the tide. Honesty is one of the elements that make women watch out for men- dishonesty. Our men in Zimbabwe are dishonest and deceitful most of the time. This particular woman is checking the accounts: if she did not do it, her money will start paying small houses out there: this is how irresponsible our Zimbabwean men are. He has no money to himself to live the life he lived while he was working.

I do applaud this woman for her vigilance. If the man does not want his present role as a houseman then he should pack and go back to her parents. I know too that so many women will come to the emotional rescue of this man who has just given us scant reasons of his “misery” in his marriage. He is crying for help, he will get many people on his side condemning this woman who is now a “bread winner” and a control-freak at the same time. I doubt too if I could cope with a man who refuses to do some work to complement this professional woman who is actually making the home tick: he is not grateful: Dear “professional wife of this ungrateful hubby” chuck this man out of your household if he is not comfortable to do housework to compliment your bread-winning position, you will cope better without him.

This man is inviting us to cry together with him because he has lost his Zimbabwean men-hood- dominant persona at home. When you wrote this plea you knew too how the response was going to be like: Sympathy with the “abused hubby” who is now having to be content by assuming the role of a “mere woman” he is really crying loud. (How do I sink so low and do woman job at home) In German I would have said: “Hilfeschreir: Hilferuf” a help he knows he will get anywhere: a positive feedback that will be on his favour, that he will like to hear, because our societies are men/masculine centred: the man is the head of the family.

There is need for our societies to change: Gender equalities are here to stay: the buzz-word in all international conventions is GENDER EQUALITIES: The sustainable development goals emphasize the major role women have to make yes but they deserve respect when they head those family institutions: and never to be shouted at in social media. Equality of women and men in our societies will take us into a higher level than to nurse those backward roles of man the boss and the woman the subservient in the social institution. This wife is saying it loud: I cannot play the second persona, a subservient role if I am the bread winner. Sure I do not know all that has transpired in this particular situation: what I am dead sure about is that this “wife” has her own story to tell too: why she is doing what she is doing to this man called hubby and father to her children. We know too that men will not part with their gender domination easily: we women will have to fight for it tooth and nail to get it: nothing will be given to us on a silver plate.

There is need for women and mothers to bring up our children in an environment that uplifts the gender equalities: this should be emphasized already in home institutions. Most of our men get the horror in social settings like marriage social institutions when they find that their wives cannot cope with men who think they are bosses in the home: Men and women are equal before the law: this is enshrined and codified in our Zimbabwean constitution. The boy-children should learn this at growing ages: formidable times of their growing up. Respect for another human is of absolute importance in a marriage yes: it does not work and it will not work when a man thinks he is the better of the two in the home for whatever reasons.

My feedback is however not complete until I got to know the other side of this story: One will have listened to both cases: one could come out with a better feedback. My own feedback is generalized, based on the experience with Zimbabwean men: they are Machos in their world view with chauvinistic optic lenses, misogynistic, think they are the better of the two in the marriage, men think a woman has respect if she is married and they can do anything knowing the desperation of women to stay in marriages. Here is an intelligent, professional woman who knows her rights well: broods not nonsense from an ungrateful hubby, she has a power position at home to tell the man to shape or ship out! Bold for change is the Motto all global International women adopted in Match the 8th 2017. We all women-of-colour must be bold to change our circumstances for the betterment of ourselves and our offspring!

Source :

Nomazulu Thata

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