It’s a man’s world. That is the famous line many have grown up hearing, internalizing and believing. One evening, in a matatu, I had the chance to listen to one phone call that made me terribly uncomfortable. A conversation between a radio presenter and a caller. It went something like this,
“Mwanamke ni kama kuku ya broiler. Akifika miaka 30, ni wa kutupwa. Unafanya nini na yeye?”
Did that make you uncomfortable? No? Not even in the slightest? Well, it made me uncomfortable.
The voice (going by my wonderful skill of putting an age to a voice) was that of a man in his late forties. Pot belly, sweaty armpits, scruffy beard that was always unkempt, probably a lover of beer. I pictured this man, using these words in reference to women and it sickened me. A son of a woman, probably a brother, probably a husband, probably a father to daughters still found it interesting to use these words.
The presenter? Well, he was laughing his throat out. These words were the funniest he had heard in a long time. That says a lot about his humor. They then ‘seg-wayed’ into a break where that computer voice said something to the tune of, ‘the fun keeps on coming’ or such like balderdash. So, this is what fun is all about?
When your mother tells you, ‘have fun’ she supposedly means, go out and enjoy objectifying women and comparing them to chicken? I don’t know about you, but my mother will smack the living day lights out of me if such words even dreamed of coming out of my mouth. I can’t be eating her food with such. I would probably have to wash my mouth first, with detergent and add a little flowery fabric softener.
If these are the statements being made in 2018, decades after women marched to police stations to demand the release of the likes of Harry Thuku and his cronies. Several years after a group of women were ready to strip naked for the sake of the environment and their detained sons in Uhuru Park. Months after women have been elected into gubernatorial seats by both men and women alike. After an eternity of women birthing these men, feeding them with milk from their breasts, the same that are now a subject of comparison to a broiler chicken, then, I honestly am sorry for the race that was The Human Race.
After graduation, the next step is stepping into the real world where you will have to knock on doors and wait in hopes of a positive answer. At times the doors will be slammed in your face, at other times, the door will be open a slight crack, wide enough for the man on the other side of the door to take a long look at you and wide enough for you to spit in his face and say, “Mimi si kuku ya broiler.”