This is something I’ve always wanted to say, not knowing where I would find the words that could encompass everything that I wanted to say and truly express how I feel. So in a few hundred words, let me try …
The core of this is how and why men of my generation are so patriarchal that it borders on being self-serving and oppressive?
I guess my confusion stems from the fact that most of the members of what is now termed the “youth group”, aged 18-35, were raised at a time when women’s rights were recognised and the agreement was that the place of the woman was not solely in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.
I mean, women like Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Ruth First and Helen Suzman were forces to be reckoned with when they were growing up.
Through the years, dad was the head of the house and mom was the neck and hair. We knew dad was the leader but even he knew there were lines he did not cross with mom. She commanded a certain respect that even he bowed to.
It was an age when our mothers were the puppet masters but were never really vocal about their influence. Jump to 2017, when every second person is getting married because you do not want to be seen as the one who “couldn’t succeed in life”. Even those who are not equipped emotionally to share a life with another are getting married.
Alas, they forget to bring the correct etiquette along so it’s all aboard for a bumpy and uncomfortable ride.
I heard someone say to his wife the other day: “I paid lobola, I expect …”
Then we hear of men who throw their toys out of the cot because wives go and enjoy a night out with their girlfriends.
They’ve essentially done what many men do every week but it’s seen as unacceptable because she wears a bra and he doesn’t.
These are men who feel once women are married, they have a “special place” – and it is one they should know.
When can we all acknowledge that in the year 2017, there is no place for this sort of man?