Discard gender stereotypes

Editor, Refer to the story, "Are men intimidated by affluent independent women?" (The New Times, December 5)
A female motorcyclist at work with her male counterparts in Kigali in 2012. (File)
A female motorcyclist at work with her male counterparts in Kigali in 2012. (File)

Editor,

Refer to the story, “Are men intimidated by affluent independent women?” (The New Times, December 5)

In truth a man who wants a woman to act subordinately, in order to avoid outshining him, is chasing after the wrong partner. There are enough women out there willing to let the man be their master—or at least does a good job of making him believe to be so—in order to hook and keep the man of their choice.

A pity really, in my view, as this requires a woman to be what she is not and deprives her of living and contributing to her full potential. It is akin to demanding and expecting a first-class football team to play at well below its capacity when it meets another from the boondocks in order to avoid exposing the glaring flaws in their adversary’s game.

There is no reason for a man not to be happy in a relationship with a high-flying partner and supporting her in every way to help her to succeed. Her success is equally the man’s, unless they look at each other as rivals instead of full-fledged partners.

Of course for this to be truly possible both the man and the woman must treasure, love and respect each other, and their relationship must not be based on calculations of the material or ego-amplifying benefits that can be derived from the relationship.

It is a source of never-ending amazement to me that today, in the 21st century, we still have young, educated, civilised people who are still slaves to the gender stereotypes of yore in which men, as the “bread-earner” must draw in a higher income than his wife/partner.

And this sin is not only male; it seems there are also females who remain stuck in that gendered division of roles.

Please get out of that anachronistic patriarchy. For gender equality to be real, ditch those established gender stereotypes and accept that the right relationship between a real man and a true woman should be one of equal partnership, no matter the respective earning power and your hierarchical levels in your respective employments.

Mwene Kalinda

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