Month: February 2012

First they legalized prostitution, and we didn’t speak up…

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Social sites, twitter especially, are full of twisted individuals depending on who you follow. I (@ReneeMurrey) happen to follow some who are a few seconds away from dementia as they churn out humour and psychopathy in equal measures.

Last year during #FathersDay, many accolades were flowing in my TL for fathers who have been there for their children, for fathers raising other men’s children thinking they’re their own, hehe…some even sent S/O to #AbsenteeFathers for giving them (men) daughters with daddy issues who turned to stripping and prostitution (I warned you that they are demented!)

Sometimes, when I am idle I allow my mind to wander and I evaluate the many misfortunes that could befall someone’s (my) life – I always try not to bury my head in the sand. Chances are one day I might find myself in a precarious position that could make me desperate. Yes, my cheese could be moved, and seeing as this writing cannot earn me a single cent, I might have to resort to desperate measures to avert poverty.

When my mind wanders like that I think of all the options out there should knocking desperately on HR offices with my CV at hand bear no fruit. Options like tying my lesso and heading to marikiti to buy vegetables for sale therefore acquiring a ‘mama mboga‘ title, or offering to wash my lazy neighbors’ clothes (no underwear please!) at a fee. When the cheese moves, you move right?

When people support the legalization of prostitution, are they telling me that I should add prostitution to the list of things I could do to stay afloat during this excruciating economic times?

Women have never viewed sex as food, or air or water – It is not a basic need. That explains why since time immemorial the sexual indifference in women has been used as a guard on men who were unable to control their passion. Women will therefore, never pay for sex. To women, sex is mundane. It is cheap. Women always go for more fulfilling emotions like intimacy, love, companionship.

Women however, live with men who give so much thought and too much importance to sex. It’s their weakness and when they are thinking with their loins, the brain has a blackout that not even Kenya Power can switch their brains back on. This is where women get the opportunity to sell sex – demand is always a guarantee

Those who resort to prostitution however, do have some kind of issues; be they ‘daddy’ issues (as the twitterati put it), morality issues or self-esteem issues. They don’t seek prostitution because of desperation to make ends meet per se. They do so because they are damaged in one way, or another.

Now we have the gay prostitutes who are getting bolder by the day (did you see those two?) Ok, if you did not am sure you have no clue what I am on about, but moving on….. There are those men who still want to sell sex but because the women (read sugar mummies) want the cuddling, the faithfulness, and the ‘companionship’ (women! right?), while all they want is to get physical, get the money or upkeep and ‘poof!’ disappear. This men find themselves in the streets too trying to sell their ‘services’. But who will buy their services? Women? No, silly! Their fellow men! Hence the gay prostitutes.

When a society like ours (African and all) is considering making prostitution legal, it means it likes their women damaged because then, they can be of service to the business. As if we don’t have enough on our plate already, we want unfaithful husbands (When you think of the clients that visit prostitutes, do you think bachelors, college students, young unmarried men? Me neither!), we want broken families, moral degradation and we wouldn’t mind an HIV and STD pandemic thrown in there as well. You have heard the girls confess on camera that some clients would rather not use protection. To which I say; human stupidity truly has no limits (Enyewe, Einstein was a genius!).

When our media goes out to capture their best shots (they call it a “scoop” right?) they show the twilight girls in all their ‘semi-nude’ glory, and the clients vrooming on four-wheel drive vehicles. You can’t help but notice that these are men of prominence. Men of power.  Which begs the question, is someone paying the piper to play this ‘legalize prostitution’ tune?

Prostitution is not something that you can do and come out squeaky clean with a shower. It is not like rugby: a game for thugs played by gentlemen. No. It is a game for thugs played by thugs. Dressing the girls ‘decently’ like some people are suggesting will not change what it is. A rose by any other name…

Opening the prostitution doors paves way to other ‘evils’. Just like the Nazi and communism, first they will legalize prostitution, and then slowly we will have all manner of ills acceptable by law.

Why shun polygamy, abortion (oh, wait! That is legal now, or is it?) Why don’t we go the whole nine yards and legalize drug trafficking as well (I am told that is where the money is, great tax revenue by the way!)Say yes to Prostitution, and you say the same to vices like abuse of underage girls, where young girls will find themselves in Koinange street because money changed hands between barons. Say yes to prostitution and you say yes to crime (rape & murder) Say yes to prostitution and you say yes to gay prostitution (you don’t want to be accused of discrimination now do you?) and all acts gay; gay marriages et al.

We’re on a roll! How proud of Kenya are you now!

#NKT  #SMDH

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The meaning of wife

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I am one of those who believe that marriage has become one institution so difficult to run that divine intervention is needed, and fast!

Imagine my joy when I read about this lady, who had dedicated her life to coaching marriages – we don’t have enough marriage counselors, methinks. My enthusiasm dwindled off though when I realized that she ran a school for brides & wives; Brides for life, Wives for life.  Why ‘Brides and Wives’? The men don’t need these lessons? (I am really tempted to roll my eyes right about now)

Once again, the woman is shortchanged. She is bombarded with lessons on how to get better for the man while the man is not bothered.  I’ve known so many women who tried so hard to be terrific wives, great mothers and still found themselves abused, or divorced. That is why I have never believed that a smiling, curtsying, and subservient wife makes a perfect marriage.

During the 19th Century, there was a system in America called “The cult of True Womanhood” which established ‘proper’ codes of conduct that every respectable woman should follow. One of its major components was the Cult of Domesticity which stipulated that a woman’s place was in the home where her nurturing capabilities were most needed, and nowhere else. Piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity were defining qualities of true womanhood. Woman’s perfection was believed to be discovered in her role as wife and mother. She was therefore expected to find her fulfillment and contribution to society strictly in the home through, birthing, cooking, cleaning, making beds, needlework, tending flowers, you know,  the ‘bare-foot and pregnant’ yada yada

Family

Closer home, the story was the same with our African forefathers. A wife was subsumed within a husband’s legal standing and control, quite literally – an existence not far from slavery. The husband provided for the family and he single-handedly made decisions affecting the home. Men had the final word, the only word. There were very clearly defined roles and expectations of a wife for which a woman was taught from her childhood. Career options for women did not exist like today.

But so much has happened since the 19th century, won’t you agree? With the onslaught of civilization things changed. Women sought education and they expanded their responsibilities to go beyond that of taking care of the home. Lo and behold! A career woman could still tend to the home and be a ‘wife’, of sorts.

Women today are told “You can have it all” while back then they were told “This is all you get”. While the woman changed, the definition of a wife remained the same; that of domestication. Then the rain started beating us when society was reluctant to rid itself of those same roles ergo, marriages couldn’t find the middle ground.

Men’s perception on the roles of a wife, is still skewed like it was centuries ago, while the woman’s perception changed with her. Most married women feel trapped when they are expected to conduct themselves like the 19th Century woman and yet she has a 21st Century mindset. She is educated. She already knows too much. She already found her voice. The damage, so to speak, has already been done. We’re not that far from the day when women were nothing but property and yet no woman wants the traditional house wife role. How do we reconcile the two?

Men on their part, feel shortchanged. They saw their fathers in their marriage glory and they admired the reverence they commanded; he would talk, and their mothers would listen. She would tend to his every need without once complaining or even arguing with him. Their fathers would have more than one wife, and their mothers learned to live with it; they handled it like a wife should! So they ask themselves; why can’t their wives be like their mothers? Why won’t’ they revere him? Why isn’t his word law?

The world of today has no wives to offer our poor men; at least none to sit pretty and wait to be told what to do. The world of today holds confused women who are educated but expected to act as if they have nothing between their ears. These women hold degrees from Ivy League colleges where they are encouraged to compete head to head with men because ‘a woman can do anything that a man can’, they are told. They Stomp law firm corridors in high heels and perform surgery with their manicured hands. The same women want to raise families but they cannot bring themselves to be good wives. Not if being a wife means to be timid and tolerant while they have been encouraged to be bold and assertive.

Women of the 21st Century act just like men – think of them as men with lady parts. You want to be respected; she too expects the same from you. If you can drink like a fish, she can do that too while puffing away at a cigarette, for good measure. If you can jump in bed with a stranger for a one-night stand, she can do so too and take the ‘walk of shame’ in the morning, with her head held high. For every sin you commit against your matrimonial bed, expecting your wife to be the epitome of domesticity; docile and permissive like the women of yore, is delusional. So, how do we deal?

The wife needs to be appeased. While this happens something will be sacrificed; a goat, a cow, OR (here’s an idea!) a man’s inflated ego! This does not mean we want to see men with their offspring strapped to their backs, nothing that drastic -wouldn’t that be a spectacle though (hehe). It means that men should change their archaic expectations and stop fantasizing about a wife as the ‘angel’ assigned to slave for him and make his life comfortable while he is his usual obnoxious self because it is a woman’s wifely duty to endure without complaining.

Women have been going the whole nine yards to hold together (hopeless) relationships. It wouldn’t hurt if men took a teeny-weeny step too.

The concept of being a wife, both socially and legally, has undergone considerable examination and change. Think about it; if being a wife is strictly synonymous to four-letter words like tend, cook, wash, dust, wipe, iron while being a husband is synonymous to pompous words like control, dominate, respect, in this day of modern feminism, who really wants to be a wife? Ah! There’s the rub, innit?

Robbery with a smile and a bible

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The mayor of Nairobi has been drumming up support lately for the legalization of prostitution. One comment from one of the readers reacting to the same on an online newspaper was “It’s about time! It should have been legal like yesterday. It’s an overlooked good source of the needed revenues. I’m sure the religious freaks will come out in drones screaming how unethical it is but my question to them would be, are they willing to share the loot they collect from their congregates within the city? If not, shut it up!”
Religious freaks? Share the loot? You know that a nation has gone to the dogs when a citizen compares the business of prostitution, to the ‘business’ of the church.
Think about it though, aren’t most of our Churches today just about making money? If you are not really sure whether you are a congregant of a bona fide church that seeks to lead stray souls to the Lord, or whether you are helping someone build and expand their business empire, ask yourself the following questions;

  1.  Is every sentence coming out of the preacher’s mouth laced with glorification of materialism? “You will get that car! You will build that house! You will have plenty!” The preacher yells… (Not forgetting….) “…. in the name of Jesus!” Don’t you just love hearing that?
  2.  Does it seem to be a bizarre coincidence that every sermon picked from the bible talks about prosperity? That there are hardly any ‘downers’ or reprehension for evil behavior? Could it be that your preacher is more interested in winning your favor than teaching you right from wrong?
  3. Do you get the distinct feeling that when your lady preacher or the preacher’s wife is preaching she is doing more catwalks at the pulpit than is necessary? Do you see how she twirls around in her dress, tosses her hair, as if she is selling a dream to you? Do you perhaps, wonder how to become just like her?
  4.  Are you made to believe that to be a good Christian, you have to support your preacher and his family’s financial needs? Do they seem to have unreasonably expensive lifestyles unbefitting a ‘servant’ of the people; a palatial house, four wheel drive vehicles etc….do their demands seem unending?
  5. Are you made to feel like an ‘outcast’ if you cannot part with monetary contributions when called upon to do so, and in other instances, when you cannot give anything close to the defined one thousand shillings minimum?
  6. Have you been made to believe that any services (e.g. Weddings and Funerals) presided over by the preacher should be paid for? They won’t call it ‘payment’ of course, but will use euphemisms like “gratitude”
  7. Do you get the general impression that the money you give to ‘plant a seed’, is directly proportional to your chances at having St.Peter call your name from the book of eternity?
  8.  Does your preacher seem to care more about your financial contribution than your spiritual growth? You will know this if he asks you to send money electronically via M-pesa while showing no concern that you did not go to church, to get spiritual nourishment – and make that contribution personally!
  9. Does your church visit the loneliest, the most sinful, the sickest and the most in need of encouragement or do they judge them and consider them outcasts? Do they clothe the naked? Do they meet their congregation where they are and not according to their tastes and preferences?
  10. Does your preacher live like a king? Does he know the meaning of humility? Is he aware that there is a huge gap between the rich man and God’s kingdom and that his wealth stands between the two?

If your church is guilty of the above, then you might as well claim shares because you are helping to build a flourishing business empire. You are dealing with people who have realized that you can steal far more with a smile and a bible in your hands, than with a gun.
The preachers are however not entirely to blame because there are members of the congregation who are so materialistic that they believe that by ‘planting a seed’ as they like to call it, they will get more wealth in three-folds. Pyramid scheme anyone? When dealing with such members, the preacher is simply exploiting their vanity. If you are too impressionable that you are easily charmed, too trusting, too greedy, and too gullible you will fall into their trap. You need to do some soul searching – Are you going to church to find God or to find wealth?
Opportunists strike in many forms. You will come across posters advertising other ‘services’ ‘Mganga wa jadi kutoka Sumbawanga (Or Arusha, Or Tanga, Or Moshi – wherever the crème de la crème of waganga come from) kiboko ya wachawi, majini, mapenzi, boma, mwili…” … a solution to all your worldly problems.
When you visit the waganga, you will be told that it is your fault, or your mother’s or your neighbor who doesn’t like you very much. Your attention will be drawn to a quarrel you had some time back and she will conclude that your problems must have started right after the argument, or the fight. It will be deduced that a spell was cast upon you and she needs ‘something’ (ahem!) to unlock the spell. Come with shopping they will say. Your underwear, your neighbor’s lock of hair (or other paraphernalia) plus the money of course. Maybe they will be enticed to even make the culprit to eat grass like an herbivore.
There is no difference between that preacher who is out to extort money from you and that ‘mganga’. It’s the same script of making all your problems vanish, with a different cast. Are we entirely dumb? Are we that naïve, or is it that we are too lazy to look for the right answers in the right place and expect other human beings to fix our problems?
Clearly, we are a desperate people and when nothing else works, we are left only with our faith. Unfortunately, we are looking for God in all the wrong places, the wrong way and  among thieves the wrong people.