Heavier things

I expected more from Uhuru Kenyatta

The powers that be (our politicians) have officialized their latest commandment unto the people of Kenya: “Man, thou shalt marry many wives; woman thou shalt accept this and move on”. I would like to believe that Kenyan men are not now going to be rushing in droves to take on second, third wives, fourth wives- just because it is legal. I’d like to think that they are more reasonable than that. But I could be wrong. This law was, after all formulated, fought for and legalized by Kenyan men. The very men that we chose to represent us, protect our rights and look out for our interests. I don’t know about you but I think it takes a special kind of delusion in a man to believe that he can handle more than one woman at a time. And here I am not talking good times with side dishes. Good times are easy; side dishes are cheap. Wives on the other hand…well they are the main course. They fill up you up but they also cost more. I am talking responsibility, legitimate children, financial stability, emotional support, mutual sexual gratification…Do these men really believe they can deliver to more than one wife at any given time? But this is not even my biggest outrage. My outrage comes from the tone in which this bill was set to begin with. This law which they are referring to as ‘polygamy’ but should actually be called by its rightful name, polygyny, allows men to have as many wives as they like- without consulting an existing spouse. Traditionally, first wives were supposed to give prior approval to this arrangement. And ludicrous as that might seem, in this understanding, women at least had some power, commanded some respect. Now, Kenyan women must accept their husband’s choices without question. And I quote: “When you marry an African woman, she must know the second one is on the way, and a third wife,” one MP told the house during the debates. Really? If you are empowered enough as a woman, you wouldn’t need to put up with this kind of crap. But empowerment is still a mirage for many women in this country. Quitting the crap is not an option. And people who lack options- well, they evidently are not entitled to them. By signing this bill into law, our president told Kenyan women that they are subjects without equal dignity and respect in a relationship. This includes the women who gave him his presidency, the women in his life- his wife, his daughter and any future granddaughters he might have. Shut up and put up, we have been told. A lot of men I have spoken to about this bill are amused by it, joke about it. You will not be surprised to learn that those laughing loudest are already practicing de facto polygamy- without all the responsibilities of course. But the women, they are not laughing. And its times like these that I wish it were a man writing this piece – just so it would sound less whinny. But alas,  ‘they are not the target, it’s not their problem’. I have never expected much from Uhuru Kenyatta, but in this regard, I expected something. Maybe I was fooled by the public displays of affection for his wife- and the fact that he gives not a damn about the subsequent backlash from other men. Maybe I was fooled by the seemingly close relationship he has with his mother and daughter. I don’t know. But on the subject of issues affecting women, I expected more from president Kenyatta.

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2 thoughts on “I expected more from Uhuru Kenyatta

  1. Totally agree with you! There is a special kind of selfishness that our African men have and they really don’t think of women as people with feelings, or even a brain. Our politicians take the prize for being self serving.

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