Are you a man who looks at a woman and first analyses her in terms of beauty and then in terms of what she can do? Are you a lady who thinks that how you look like will help you do what you set out to in a day? Do you think you should be treated different from a man? Are you likely to change your tone in an email because you find out that the manager you are conversing with is female? Did you answer yes to any of these questions? Yes you did. And you know why?

I have never been one to go about preaching the equality nonsense because, frankly, it makes no sense. Why would I preach it when no one clearly even knows what equality means. According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the word equality means “the fact of being equal in rights, status, advantages, etc.” (Just to make sure we have the facts right.) Equal implies similarity.

Alright, with that definition in mind, are men and women equal? Yes? No? NO. They have never been, they are not and they will never be. For one, they have different chromosomes. Two, their physical attributes are different so are their mental facilities. Society then introduces other circumstances that ensure the differences are sealed. It could hand us rights that are similar but status and advantages etc. are different.  If you ask me, men and women are a different species altogether. Well, I guess it’s possible to take a baby girl and raise her as a boy and she’ll act exactly like one, but there will always be a difference naturally (and boy will that difference show at adolescence).

Society makes our differences even more pronounced with some distinct division of labour. For instance, at home, we have duties divided by default. The females are expected to cook and keep the house clean, the males do the manly outside work like feed the dogs and lift stuff (lol). I just took myself back to a class on the culture of the Khoikhoi and San.

I can’t drive a car. Reason, I have seen how women are treated on the road. I am scared. I cannot even eat as much as I see men eating. I cannot fix electrical faults. I cannot take you out for a first date and pay. (I may pay for the second one though.) Why in the world would I do that? To prove that I can do as much as a man can? Wrong number. I am a woman. I am proud to be a woman and I will not do stuff because I want you to respect me. If you can’t respect me the way I am, I am not going to participate in a competition with you.

Then there are things I can do. I can do anything that I went to school to do. I can code. I can fix a computer. I know what goes down in the tech industry as soon as it happens. I understand all the jargon some men seem to think I don’t. Like I am the kind of chick who does not know what to do with my gadgets. So when you come over and try to imply that I do not know that Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is out or that I can’t open up the insides of a computer, I will pity you. I am not one to show off. I will sit back and listen to you explain to me how much you know, then clap for you in my head. You are so brilliant. I happen to have an ego the size of Mount Kilimanjaro, but if I don’t know something I will tell you.

English: Mt Kilimanjaro.
Mt Kilimanjaro. Now picture my ego. 😀 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, there are things I can do and things I cannot do. If I wanted to do them, I would. But because I know society is a little less harder on me than it would be to a man, I don’t do them. I am using the societal status given to me to the maximum. Now, when you imply that a man who is as qualified as I am is probably going to be better in a particular task than I am, even before we do anything, I will take a mental note.

Ahem! (Photo credit: http://brightonmanplan.wordpress.com)

I will remember that chauvinism is rife. I will remember that I am woman (or a budding one, for that matter). A woman who will always be looked at differently from her fellow man. A woman who fellow workmates will approach differently, even try to be sweeter (because essentially that is just how it is). I will not even try to make you think otherwise. All I know is that I need all the motivation I can get to be the best in what I do. You think I can’t do it? Awesome. That is all the motivation I need. I know we are not equal.

Even if I wished for us to be equal, society would never let us. For the record, I do not wish we were equal. Just don’t have preconceived assumptions about me and my abilities based on my gender. I will not even go ahead and say that what a man can do, a woman can do better. It has very little to do with your sex. It’s all about what you think you can do. By the way, all you dearies who go about screaming equality, be prepared to do all those things you expect your man to do. I’m just saying.Open the door for me, I will help you with your coat. Take me out on a date, I will cook for you. We are different. I get that. I actually love it. The word is equity. I will talk about that some other time.

 

Update: 2016. I can drive. 😀

Written by Shiku Ngigi
Mum and dad's daughter. Shouting big sister. More than a Facebook friend. Jesus Freak. Wannabe Tomboy. Mouse Potato. Earphone Junkie. Texts over calls. Writes the way she talks.

    6 Comments

  1. ekragituire June 9, 2014 at 11:24 pm Reply

    On this matter I will beg to have other sentiments when it comes to some other things. Why can’t I drive? Have I accepted to be bullied in the traffic and taken a bow? Have I let the system tell me what I should do? Why are we encouraging gender roles, when we have been brought up and nurtured in a similar way, by the same people and environment? Why can’t I feed the dogs? Why can’t I lift stuff, I have two hands, and I have strength of my own.
    Yet I agree that we were made each different. I cannot ignore women’s great ability, but at the world needs men’s ability such as their physical power.
    If the ladies feel bullied on the roads it has nothing to do with feminism, It is lack of enforcement that has led to this sorry state.
    Blame the reckless drivers, and work to make the roads more friendly for everyone (regardless of gender)
    in the future.

    • Shiku Ngigi June 10, 2014 at 7:13 am Reply

      True true, Ekra. But that’s an attitude that will remain. Men and women will always be different. PS: I’m learning to drive soon.

  2. Dickson Otieno October 1, 2014 at 1:35 pm Reply

    “I do not wish we were equal. Just don’t have preconceived assumptions about me and my abilities based on my gender. I will not even go ahead and say that what a man can do, a woman can do better. It has very little to do with your sex. It’s all about what you think you can do.”

    There!

    • Shiku Ngigi October 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm Reply

      Habari ndiyo hiyo.

  3. Winnie October 1, 2014 at 7:27 pm Reply

    Great read! I have a valid drivers license, but I am yet to drive anywhere near those Githurai buses! They harass women drivers and I am TERRIFIED of them. Thanks for reading my blog too. It seems we have mutual friends: Wanjiru Kihusa is my younger siz and Cynthia is my vey good friend. Keep writing!

    • Shiku Ngigi October 1, 2014 at 7:45 pm Reply

      My mum has a valid one too but can hardly drive! Glad to make your acquaintance online. Thanks for passing by!

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