We all know Jackson Biko for weaving the best stories that get everyone reading and feeling each intended emotion. Overnight Stranger is loaded with these emotions, albeit skewed!
Many are those that rush to put their “first to comment” or “first to read and comment” as soon as a new post is uploaded on the blog without necessarily reading the post. We all love him for his mastery of the art and some of us even dream of attending his Creative Writing Master Class.
However, I read his latest piece titled “Overnight Stranger” with a lot of discontentment at how the piece is one-sided. The story is about a man who was ostensibly cheated on by his wife and only discovered his wife’s philandering ways by chance.
While the story captures what may be happening in society today, I feel like it normalized cheating for men while treating cheating from women as a taboo. From the title of the story all the way to the last sentence, the story has patriarchy written allover it.
However, a quick scroll on Twitter reveals I am not alone! Many readers took the story with a lot of exception at how it demonized the lady.
“Why is it when a man is cheated on by the wife, you feel so bad and woiye for him, but if it’s a woman you’ll feel bad but it’s kinda normal so it’s whatever. Weird!!!” Twitted @Mwihaki and I agree with her 100%. Both Biko and everyone who rushed to comment are not addressing the reasons why the lady might have strayed.
Not to sanitize the lady or apportion blames but it seems like the man in the story was not emotionally available to his wife! Women are sensual beings with emotions that must be satisfied. As a man, you need to provide emotional needs to your woman if you don’t want her to seek for alternatives!
Some of the people who rushed to comment on the article also got an opportunity to further their chauvinistic agendas.
Take this comment by one Collins Sakwah for instance:
“How this man is not behind bars yet is beyond my mind! I wouldn’t have hired a detective to investigate screenshots, For what? I would have lashed at her while she was basking in the sun, probably rewinding the moans with one of her male licentious acquaintances.
No, I wouldn’t have done that because I am not married yet. Jeez, honestly though, I can take my wife or girl cheating, but waking up to find that one of my Children has someone else’ blood? Like, how now? My child with someone else’ blood?”
This was rightfully noted by @EdnahJacksons in her tweet: “Some people are going to try use that Biko Zulu article Overnight Stranger to further their agenda of dismissing women who try to speak up on abuse and other inhumane things men do. Lol.”
Biko should have done more with his article and not just seek for sympathy for the guy while demonizing the woman.