Last week I had a conversation with one of my friends which I terminated prematurely because I was scared that if I went further I'd ruin friendship of over fifteen years.
Being in the village for some days my eyes have been further opened to how little importance is given to women and how women are treated like mere 'helpers' than actual people with their own minds and purposes. I expressed my distaste to my friend, I told her I hated how the men sat in the living room drinking bear or tea if there was power or outside in the shed if there wasn't, while the women stayed in the heat of the kitchen slaving away all day, by the time they were done making breakfast and washing off the dishes it was time to begin preparing lunch, and then by the time lunch was over and dishes were cleared they'd have to begin preparing dinner. So these women easily spent their entire day more of less in the kitchen. These women included both the ones who live there in the village and the ones out came from out of town and overseas.
Don't get me wrong, they didn't seem to mind. Neither did the women in the village I went to last night to attend a Wake, where the club members of the deceased came to bid their departed friend farewell. I watched them excitedly jump around and stomp the ground in dance and watched the way they were asked to clear out when something else needed to be done, with little or no regard. I watched them sheepishly move from left to right as they were ordered to. This is normal, this is life. These women know no other way. I doubt if they'll have it any other way.
But when I broached the topic of the insubordination of women and their roles in the home with my friend, the way she replied me shut me up "Wait! You expect the men to enter the kitchen!! You expect men to cook?!!!" She asked in shock. I replied that even if they don't cook (and why shouldn't they?) nothing should stop them from helping out. "Wait! You want men to go to the market!!!" She exclaimed incredulously.
I don't know which annoyed me more; the reverence ascribed to men, as though they're gods and I dare not make certain demands of them, or that she sees herself as lesser than a man (I may be wrong but that's the way it sounded to me).
She's a wife and a very domesticated one at that and I didn't want it to sound like a personal affront, I also noticed that I'd said a few things that she might find offensive so I hurriedly changed the topic.
We fight and struggle for equality but seriously guys, let's be honest, do you think that there will or can ever be equality between men and women? We already have this mindset set that certain roles are the women's and these roles are beneath men. I once said on this blog that I do intend to be the wife that cooks and cleans, but I also expect and would love for the man to help out. After all if I'm also out there on the grind yet I come home and tend to it, what stops him from helping out as well? After all we are BOTH on the grind. It would be different if we were still in the days when the men went out to hunt and fend for the home while the women stayed in tended to it. Isn't it only fair that in these times were the financial burden is shared by both spouses, he too should help out in the home?
I pointed out to my friend that some of the women that were slaving away in said kitchen were the sole breadwinners of their homes, were the ones singlehandedly taking care of the children's fees, yet they were still slaving away in heat while the men sat down in the cool shelter of the sheds like mini-gods just because they were men. My friend still didn't see any sense in what I was saying so I began to wonder if it's I who's out of touch with reality.
Admittedly it would look strange to the eye if all the men and women gathered into the communal kitchen to cook but I was hardly speaking about the (village kitchen) alone.
The Bible itself doesn't help matters with verses like: