This is an open challenge.
Yesterday, renowned athlete, Agnes Tirop, was laid to rest. Allegedly, she was killed by his partner and coach who fled but was later arrested. At the burial, there were calls by family to reclaim her wealth that apparently the man had taken over.
Agnes is a sad statistic of a worrying trend where spouses and partners murder the other, often the murderer committing suicide, and sometimes kills even the children before taking their own lives.
There are simply too many murders in families, especially between spouses. Almost always, there’s property or finances at the centre of the gory happenings, and especially where it’s the woman who is more endowed materially. It’s a terribly sad affair.
I have a theory about this, and someone needs to empiricize it with sufficient scientific data; mine is a cursory, yet pointed, look at several undeniable common denominators in most of these cases.
The average man in todays society is fighting for redefinition and relevance, especially in the face of an empowered woman who literally needs nothing from him. Well, apart from that conception bit, and even then there are reserve banks and science to sort that small matter.
The traditional set up was clearly defined. The man owned everything, including the women and children. He was largely the sole provider, even as the women and children remained the main factors of production towards what he owned.
His authority was unchallenged, and things generally ran smoothly.
The modern day man is an almost opposite of his yester years predecessor ‘strong man’. He is faced with shifted and shifting domestic power and authority, especially where financial independence is concerned.
There are many living under the shadows of their wives who along the way made such huge strides in their careers and business journeys that the man is struggling to catch up and/or adjust to this phenomenal woman.
In a bid to maintain the unsustainable status quo, a lot of conflict ensues. When poorly handled, which is rather too often, this has led to a lot of strife and to some of the extreme cases we are witnessing today.
I don’t know who needs to take this up, but someone (if not all of us) needs to take remedial steps, and urgently so.
The scenario is not changing. Indeed, we can only have more empowered women and even more economic parity across genders.
So how do we harmonize this at the family front and ensure more understanding between couples?
How does the man still remain the head of the family even when economic wherewithal has shifted? And how does the woman remain submissive even when she is the main bread winner?
Hard questions, right?
True, there are women i know who has covered that bit so well you won’t even tell she has the financial upper hand in the family. Sadly, they are in the minority. Many women demand the ‘trousers’ in the family in such cases with their deeds if not words.
Predictably, conflict is inevitable.
Similarly, there are men who have made it easier for their women to flourish even as they do their bit and play their leadership and provider role in the family. Sadly, again, they are in the minority.
Many of them have chosen the path of war in exerting themselves as family heads, even as they self destruct in such senseless proving of points. Others have taken the shameless highway, deliberately taking the backseat simply because their women can handle the bills! Listen men: no woman will respect you if you ever did this, regardless of how much she is earning over you.
This is the disconnect am convinced needs to be addressed.
As i pointed above, i don’t exactly know who will spearhead this conversation and come up with long term solutions, or even the how to do it. But between you and me, we need to do something.
Let’s talk. The floor is open.
Have a reflective Sunday, and a great week ahead.
By George Kimando