In spite of all the women empowerment and emancipation in this world, I am a strong believer in the Biblical principle that a man should be the head of the home and provider for his family. Like many women (though few would say it openly), my common phrase is ‘my money is my money and his money is our money’. I get ugly stares whenever I say such things in front of men, followed by the question, ‘didn’t you ask for empowerment and don’t you claim that women should be equal to men, so why not in this case?’ My standard response to the question is that female empowerment, access to education and employment, rising incomes and all the benefits that came with it, did not mean letting men off the hook when it comes to family responsibilities.
I’ll use my friend Aggie to illustrate my point. Aggie was a very generous person, and more so to the boyfriend she was dating at any given time. The girl had a well-paying job so money was not her problem and she would practically service her boyfriend’s flashy lifestyle. She would let him sleep in her house, she would give him money to spend on himself and would even go out of her way to throw huge parties for the guy. I warned her severally that it was bad to get a guy used to living off her but she thought I was joking. At some point, the guy dumped her without warning. In many cases, that is what happens when a woman offers to ‘look’ after a man; he uses his money (plus your money) on another woman or women.
With that in mind, another friend of mine told me of the funny way she’s managed to stop boyfriends from the mere thought of spending the night at her place. She tells them that if her landlord sees them walking out of her house in the morning her rent will be increased because having a man around implies that she can now afford the extra rent. She also tells them that there’s no way they can sleep in her house (for which she pays the rent), in her bed (with beddings cleaned by soap she paid for) and sleep with her in the process…seriously, what are they bringing to the table? I want to believe her rules are not cast in stone but obviously no guy wants to hear such horror stories so I guess that is how she has survived.
My mum tells me stories from her time when girls would sneak out of their parents’ homes to spend nights at their men’s homes. In fact, many girls ended up getting married that way. They would start by sneaking and leaving their clothes there till they had enough clothes to live off without the need to return to their parents. Fast forward to our time and it is clearly the opposite. More and more men are comfortably living in houses and homes owned/rented by women and then they complain when those women act like heads of their homes (which they technically are). Men should either man up or they’ll only have themselves to blame when the family roles are completely reversed leaving them there to be seen and not to be heard.
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