12 September 2013

Move on - or suck it up?

I find the concept of forgiveness difficult. Not, perhaps, over small things, but when it comes to massive wrongdoings. If, say, you watched your family being butchered. If you have been violated, raped, cut. I guess the bottom line for me is that nobody can tell a person who had been so severely wronged, so horrendously hurt, to forgive – if that person finds it in herself or himself, fine, that’s their decision, and hopefully their ability to do so. But no-one else can ask them, or even order them, to forgive. Or to move on.

So on Kenya moving on - I’d believe this if:

We could stop this endless (agonizingly slow, riddled with corruption) talk about compensation and resettlement. What for? Mr Kenyatta was recently at the coast handing out land titles. I’d like to know from him and Mr Ruto why the people who had been chased away from the Rift Valley can’t go back to the land and to their houses they owned. Rule of law, right?

And if there were prosecutions. It’s almost as is the post election violence never happened – even under Kenya’s old constitution, rape, murder, grievous bodily harm, all those were illegal. 1,500 people dead? Many many more raped, beaten, butchered, burnt? Where, in this sleek new Kenya, are the court cases to prosecute the perpetrators? Rule of law, right?

As long as these are rhetorical questions, there is no moving on. There is only sucking it up.

As long as these are rhetorical questions, none of the screeching over the ICC is valid.

09 September 2013

Are you a man or a mouse?

My housemate and I always have a good laugh about those people who, according to the ‘A day in the life of (insert name)’, inevitably get up at 4.30, do their devotions, and then get on with all sorts of other incredibly commendable things (I mean, who does that??)

But more worrying to me is that standard bit that comes after the devotions where the woman portrayed ‘gets her husband ready for work’. Her husband? Who, obviously, on account of being married and all that, surely is an adult, no? What exactly does this involve? But how do you get a grown man ‘ready for work’?

So I was really pleased that the editorial in the Saturday Nation magazine picked up exactly that issue: What kind of man are you if you need to be gotten ready for work? And what if a woman who refuses to do that won’t be eligible for marriage? Cool beans, I say – that’s really not my idea of marriage. Not that I mind making coffee or breakfast for someone I care about, but getting a grown man ready for work?

More along those lines from today’s newspapers:

Chauvinist in the Standard’s Crazy Monday argues that a man who has a dirty, untidy house is just that – a man. Natural state of affairs. In contrast, a woman who has a dirty, untidy house is a slut and certainly not marriage material. I don’t know about you, heterosexual ladies, but I’d run a mile plus some if a guy roughly around my age (or, in fact, even 20 years younger) isn’t able to look after himself and his bachelor household. Those are basic life skills, whether you’re male or female. I’m looking for a partner, not a small child. My friend Nthenya’s two boys at age 14 and eight can cook three course dinners and know how to clean the bathroom. That’s because she’s a sensible person raising two sensible human beings.

Seriously. Every day, we get endless blablabla in the Kenyan media men being natural leaders and heads of this and that – and they can’t keep themselves clean and dressed and fed? I wouldn’t even accept such a person as my equal.

Man up. Grow a pair.