There is nothing like the boy-child being under threat.
By Gab Oguda
If girls are posting admirable results and getting assertive at the workplace, it means they have been nurtured well, and it is not at the expense of anyone.
An empowered girl is good for society, whichever society. The difference in gender roles among boys and girls is not supposed to make any of them lesser. A boy hunting wild game in the forest and a girl bending down the river to draw drinking water all are doing so because the people under their care need food for survival and water to hydrate their bodies. No one said the guy who brings meat home is superior to the lady who fetches water by the pond.
When you join Anthropology School, the first course unit on the board is always the subject of Early Man. Archeology teaches us, and there is evidence to back this up, that the only reason we can always brag to other animals that we are more advanced than them is because our ancestors discovered fire, and their ancestors did not.
The discovery of fire meant that humans could now stop hunting with sticks and stones and start blacksmithing lethal bows and arrows (it killed game faster, and spared us more time for other things). Fire meant that we could now stop eating raw food and start cooking it (our diet became diverse as a result and our dental formula stopped having more canines and could now reflect an omnivore’s lineup). Fire provided a source of warmth (we could now curb mortality from frost-bite), fire meant that we could now secure our homes from wild animals. Fire made man more brave, highly protected, and culturally superior.
These cultural advancements allowed for human geographic dispersal, cultural innovations, and changes to diet and behavior. Additionally, creating fire allowed the expansion of human activity to proceed into the dark and colder hours of the morning. The guys who discovered fire, and set humanity through this unprecedented technological advancement, are Homo Erectus, who, as your history already taught you, came from the area around Lake Turkana. The fossil of the ‘Turkana Boy’ (the earliest human known to the world) is inside the National Museums of Kenya for you people to go and marvel at.
Yet, if anyone of you needed a matchbox to go and light a barbecue grill with, you will probably look for it in the kitchen. If patriarchy placed the woman inside the kitchen and the man outside it, then why is the girl-child still inferior in our society yet she has in her powers the greatest technological innovation known to mankind?
Your answer lies in the mindset.
My father has a million children yet there is no day he treated his sons differently from his daughters. I have ventured in my village bushes to pick firewood when my sisters were not around, I even sold firewood in Akado Market, down there on the border of Asembo and Seme – yet picking firewood was supposed to be a woman’s job. In my mother’s house, I was sent to the posho mill more times than any of my sisters, yet grinding maize was supposed to be a woman’s job.
In my father’s homestead, the child who was trusted with greasing his bikes was a girl, my sisters knew how to balance a wheelbarrow on a steep slope better than all of us combined. They almost threatened to teach us how to use the ox-plough, until we went on hunger-strike pleading with them not to run us out of gender roles.
Being assertive is a survival trait adopted by humans to avoid extinction – if you read Charles Darwin and his evolutionary theories. If being assertive helps the boy-child to get into a corner office, surely it can help the girl-child too, and there shouldn’t be any harm with that.
There is nowhere in our syllabus that said Home-Science was exclusive for Girls and Physics for Boys. All of us went into secondary school with the same career choices at our disposal. We have as many boys who chose religious education as there are girls who picked physics and dropped music. If society places stigma on men who cook, then why are there as many male chefs in our hotels as are female bikers in our nature trails?
If you do not want to date a girl with a PhD, that is your individual burden and you shouldn’t lump it on other men. Some of us come from villages where the least-schooled girlchild has a Masters in Nuclear Science, and you haven’t heard us complain a single bit. Women will continue to roar, and not at the expense of anyone.
And there shouldn’t be a problem with that.