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WHERE DID WE GO WRONG?

Women are their own worst enemies

We would do so much better if we had each other's backs.

In Summary

• Once a woman’s husband dies, the leader of the hyenas wanting whatever the dead man left is usually his mother, or his sisters.

• It baffles how they can allow their dead relative’s children to suffer.

I really used to hate hearing “women are their own worst enemies”. I always thought society was conditioning us to think of each other as enemies. As I grow older and wiser I dare say, I’m saddened by the truth that saying denotes.

Women, what did you do to the gods surely?

So this past weekend was International Widows Day. (I wonder if widows in waiting also get a day? Anyway!) The harrowing stories young widows had to tell. Wacha tu! We used to be told that as long as there were women somewhere, you could expect compassion. Seems we were being told a fair bit of fairy-tales.

Once a woman’s husband dies, the leader of the hyenas wanting whatever little or much the dead man left is usually his mother. If she is not there, his sisters. How can women, who have carried children and given birth, allow their dead kin’s children to suffer? It is usually justified with the “she killed him” nonsense. You know African men do not just die, their wives kill them. They usually have sophisticated methods these wives. For example, car accidents, cancer, heart attack caused by Viagra, to mention but a few.

Let us just say for argument's sake that she managed to kill him by giving him a young girlfriend whom he died on top of, because these things happen. What about his children? Your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews? Do they stop being your blood?

It is usually justified with the “she killed him” nonsense. You know African men do not just die, their wives kill them. They usually have sophisticated methods these wives. For example, car accidents, cancer, heart attack caused by Viagra, to mention but a few.

A woman will be suffering in a marriage. Domestic abuse. She will suffer neglect. Her first point of recourse will be her mother-in-law, if she is unfortunate or fortunate (pick your struggle) to have one. You know these days mothers-in-law are their son’s sidekicks. Of course, she will get no help.

She will be lucky if the woman pretends to be shocked and promises to reprimand her son. In most cases her in-laws, mostly the womenfolk, will fault her for her woes. These women never think of the children. These women who have had their own children and know what it means to be a mother, to be a woman.

A story is told of a woman who helps her son mistreat his wife and eventually chase her out of her home. With her children in tow. The woman then welcomes with open arms another woman while refusing to recognise the first woman or her children. The children struggle through life and manage to make something of themselves.

Then guess what? Their grandmother, now sick and old, wants her grandchildren. Not only that, she decides that her dying wish is for those very grandchildren to bury her. It is not enough that she had a hand in their tough childhood, she now wants to make them undertakers!

A woman will be suffering in a marriage. Domestic abuse. She will suffer neglect. Her first point of recourse will be her mother-in-law, if she is unfortunate or fortunate (pick your struggle) to have one. You know these days mothers-in-law are their son’s sidekicks. Of course, she will get no help.

Listen, as a woman, do not put another woman, or her children, through problems. The gods usually do not take long to dispense karma. Yes, you think you are younger and more beautiful. You have been told you give the best time in bed and your cooking is unrivalled. You may think you know how to look after a man. All this is good; whether it is true or imagined.

Please though, do not mistreat the woman you have found there. Please believe me, that man is just being himself. You cannot sit on a table and insist it is a chair. Just take your place at a corner or in the shadows quietly and let that woman be. Whatever you do to her children, shall be done to you. Yes, I know he took you to his mother and she ran after a chicken and slaughtered it for you. She also called you her daughter. That woman has many daughters. As many as her son brings. Stay woke. She is not on your side.

When we just got Facebook groups a few years back, there was one group for Kenyan women. Before the Kilimani Mums and other such questionable outfits. We used to spend countless hours on the group reading comments from our tiny screens while food burnt in the kitchen. This was a group for women to vent, mostly about their men. Mr Man. It started off well, until women started printing their friends' ‘tantrums’ from the group and delivering them to their husbands, ‘anonymously’.

I do not know who taught us to mistreat each other. Maybe that stupid saying conditioned us. We would do so much better if we had each other's backs. That woman is not your enemy.