What you need to know:
- It's almost as if you date a man, the stench of his future failures is left on your record like a permanent, putrid stain – because what other reason would people have to keep your name and his in the same mouth?
Truly, this trend that has been going on for the past week is despicable. And it isn't the first time we've seen it – every time a woman moves on from a relationship, she is vilified for it. Especially if the man is famous, or rich. We saw it in the insults to Gladys Shollei and Lilian Ng'ang'a. And now, we are seeing it with the former partners of two men who were behaving badly over this past week.
I won't even get into the weakness of their firm's press releases – sorry, relapses. What I do want to address is how these women are suddenly a trending topic because with every news item, every piece that's done about men they dated in a distant lifetime (one of them, a whole other marriage ago), their names have to be dragged in the mud. Is it clickbait? Is it madness?
It's almost as if you date a man, the stench of his future failures is left on your record like a permanent, putrid stain – because what other reason would people have to keep your name and his in the same mouth? Though people also do it when men are married—asking the wife why his socks don't match or have a hole in them, so much so that it gets in the dailies. But in cases like this, cases of alleged gender-based violence, something so much bigger than grooming and entertainment – we need to let women be.
Gender-based violence is a serious offense. Speaking up about it is even harder, because more often than not, people don't believe you, or they come up with ways to defend the men in the situation, or they start claiming that the broken side mirror was a different version of what transpired. Women are constantly expected to re-live their trauma, explain it, bear the doubt, bear the brunt of society's mockery – and do it over and over again, because women are assaulted more than once (according to INEND, one in every five women in Kenya has been assaulted in the last 12 months), and still, nothing changes. Then on top of that, a woman must also have her reputation tarnished by someone else's misdemeanors? In the words of that charismatic South African, it's too much!
More men need to talk to their fellow men. These men were not listening to women, and do not, in the present tense. The security who are supposed to step in looked overwhelmed. It felt like the kind of scene you would see when a rich spoilt brat who can't get his way suddenly realises that the outside world doesn't function like his private school universe – and then acts accordingly by throwing a tantrum. You don't get your toy? You sit and start yelling. You stand and start swinging. Apparently, in 2021, this needs to be said, once again, by yet another woman – you can't start beating up people because they reject you.
On a varied note, this is exactly why people on social media have hailed the concept of soft launching your man on these social media streets. The concept is like that of sending nudes – never send the face. In the same vein, never post his face. Do the mysterious person taking the picture, a finger besmirching the sunset every so often. No one has to see him. We don't need to know what he looks like. If he's getting married to someone who's not you, you're the only one who will ever know because your internet cousins won't be able to pick out the back of his head from an airplane picture with a tote bag next to him. The most you should put up is his shoulder, or maybe his nice shoes when you're doing an #MCM. That's Man Crush Monday for the oldies by the way.
Otherwise, keep that all to yourself because, as my high school group says, these men will embarrass you.
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