By Winnie Kabintie
The sentiments made by a female legislator early this week that men should marry several wives in a bid to curtail the rising number of single mothers in the country, which has created a lot of buzz on social media regarding the polygamy debate, have left me shaking my head primarily for one main reason;
There are various reasons for the rise in the number of women raising children single-handedly and It’s absurd and myopic for MP Gathoni Wamuchomba to narrow down the single mums issue to one challenge “shortage of men”.
There has been a lot of advancement in women empowerment especially in the African set up and arguably this is one of the key reasons why the number of single mothers is on the rise in the country, no one is teaching the modern man how to handle today’s woman.
The modern women has become so empowered that she knows she doesn’t have to conform to societal expectations and prescribed traditional gender roles that have been passed from generation to generation to qualify as “marriage material”. Yes she might have that desire to get hitched, but marriage is just a necessary milestone in her life and not an ultimate goal or the epitome her success should pegged on.
She is her own person, she has a life going on for her, she has a mind of her own and she knows exactly what she wants in a man.
She won’t settle for a man just because, well, he’s a man and he’s interested and that’s just all about it; she won’t settle just because her biological clock is ticking, she won’t settle just because he pays the bills and neither will she settle because it’s what the society requires of her.
A good man
You can call her a toxic feminist but the modern empowered woman will settle for a man because; she is ready for one, she will settle because he is a GOOD man by her standards, she will settle because he is a good father and he values and treats her right and when she does settle;
She will not be afraid to pack and leave the day you lay your hands on her, forgive her because unlike her mother and the women of their generation she doesn’t ascribe to the old good song of “vumilia” (hang in there). She will not be afraid to walk if she doesn’t feel the impact of your influence or your responsibility as a man over her and your children especially. She will not condone infidelity and a myriad of other atrocities just because she has to stay married. She will do an audit of her marriage and when she realizes she’s getting a raw deal all together not even a delegation from the MCAs in your region will convince her to stay.
So when a leader, a female one for that matter wakes up one day and in the full glare of the media brazenly retorts that polygamy is the answer to bringing up well cultured children, control unruly youth and put an end to single mothers, I almost jumped out of my skin.
Polygamy will not put an end to an abusive man, infidelity and general irresponsibility that are pushing women away.
Married But Single parents
You will be amazed by the number of women who are married but are actually raising their children alone because parenting is more than just paying bills.
A married woman who is always the one helping kids with the homework, going to school functions and the one to call in sick at work when the children are ill because her husband is not hands on these matters is not any better from that single mother raising her kids alone.
So how does such an absentee father make an impact in his children lives!! By marrying another two or three wives and having another set of kids!!
What the society needs is not for just for men to marry but for men to be responsible, firm and to rise to the occasion.