Is male entitlement a little knob on one’s DNA?
Are men born entitled?
Or do they come and learn of how so much more special they are to women and they flow with it?
I am feeling a bit vexed.
Or a lot sef.
I was giving my 6-year-old son a bath. I was using Joy Soap. Then the old Joy soap advert, when I was a child, popped into my head.
“Hey! Joy girl, No matter where you going, everywhere your fame is growing and your skin is glowing radiantly…you’ve got that joy girl quality…. All the guys can’t help to stop and see….you’ve got that joy girl quality.”
I may have mixed it up a bit but the above is the general idea of the jingle.
When an old memory pops in my head, I always share it with my kids. It is my way of passing down the bits of life I have experienced. So I tell my son that in the advert, a man is reversing his car and he knocks down some items and almost hit a man on a bicycle because he lost concentration because he was looking at the joy girl. Some men were talking while one man was trying to open a can of Soda but as joy girl passes by they lose their concentration and the guy opens the soda which sprays all over the shirt of one of the men. That is apparently how stunning joy girl is.
But my son got upset.
He did not like the thought of men having accidents because they were staring at a beautiful woman.
So he looked at me and said
“Why did she have to be so beautiful? Is it fair that all the men are getting hurt because she is so beautiful?”
Where was that coming from?
So I asked him incredulously
”So you think it is her fault? What do you want her to do?”
He pouted and said
“I am not saying that she should be ugly. Let her just be normal so that people can go about what they are doing.”
Men are the same.
I have no idea where this all is coming from. I have only sons. I don’t believe I treat them like they are better than girls. I also would like to believe that my husband and I are not so conventional in how we interact that it seems he is more important than I am.
Male entitlement is such a subtle devil. It seeps in somehow.
It is that thing that makes men feel that women ought to dress in a certain way so that they will not rape them.
A man’s sexual desire is so ardent and urgent that apparently how he handles it is not his fault.
I remember a friend that had large hips. A normal knee-length skirt sent married women in church in fits. How would the men handle all this sexiness being displayed? So they asked the girl to be mindful of how she dresses.
The women are always at fault. We are always at fault when a man behaves badly. So we have to adjust, we have to dim our lights or in this case be less beautiful so that men can focus.
It is always a woman’s fault.
I was marvelled at how normal it was for my son to reason in such a manner.
So I gently told him that an individual is responsible for what he allows to affect him. They should never have looked at her to the point that they put themselves in harm’s way. That is not her fault. Even if she was strutting naked on the street, an individual’s safety remains on him.
He reluctantly agreed.
No matter how I train these boys, I am only responsible in part for who they will be. Societal conditioning is a huge part of how a person turns out.
My neighbours were talking about their culture (they are Igbo Men) and I was stunned at how men who are very educated and below 40 are reasoning.
“How can my wife give my child a name? It is not done.”
“A man doesn’t shift or change for a woman. It is her that must do all the adjusting. A man is like a tree. He stands in one place.”
This brings to mind a thing I have heard over and over again since I was a teenager.
“When you want to talk to your husband, you must make sure you watch his mood. Feed him his favourite food and approach with care…”
That is what women are on this earth for. Tiptoeing around and pandering to men. They have to consider their egos and walk on eggshells because of how fragile our big strong patriarchs are.
Dear woman, do not dim your light because you think it will blind any man. Do not play down that drop dead figure because you should not make him think of sex.
Strut in your beauty and power. If he walks into a wall, he should go and drink Panadol.