Double standards when it comes to gender

A few days ago Tusker project fame winner Ruth Matete lost her husband in a trajic fire accident. They had just celebrated their wedding in November last year. I first want to give my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the late Pst. John Apewajoye. May God give them strength and comfort in this painful time.

Kenyans on twitter always find a way to bring more pain, or to shame or to bring people down. So in the midst of this mournful time for Ruth, they had to bring back her past and the fact that she was married to Pst. John after he divorced his wife whom they had two children. Some saying that she was now paying for snatching someone’s husband.

One must wonder whether a husband is a handbag to be snatched away from a wife. What sucks more is the fact that only the woman is blamed for these kind of situations. Like the man never has a choice or a mind of his own.

For this situation Pst. John knew very well that he had a wife and two kids. Yet he chose to divorce her and marry Ruth. Now why should she take all the blame for her husband leaving his kids and wife? Am sure he was not held at gunpoint as he said “I do” on their wedding day.

I don’t entirely blame those ignorant ‘kot’. Society has always made women wholly responsible for the survival and thrive of their marriages. From a young age, girls are brought up to look forward to their wedding day which is totally different for boys. As a result women to cherish this institution than men.

When a husband cheats or even a boyfriend somehow the wife or girlfriend is responsible. Somehow men are even expected to cheat, to have a mistress somewhere in case he is ‘denied’. And the wife is expected to forgive and forget like a ‘good wife’ should, you know, for the kids and all.

On the other hand when a woman cheats, in this case a wife, hell breaks lose. From the husband, to the family, to the community, she becomes an outcast. All kind of profane names are thrown at her. Tell me this is not about gender.

The eighth commandment clearly states, “Do not commit adultery” not “Wives, do not commit adultery”. In the bible, there is also a story about a woman who had committed adultery and was about to be Stoned by the vindictive crowd. She was only saved by Jesus who told the crowd that whoever had not committed any sin to cast the first stone.

I keep asking myself where the men she had committed adultery with were, weren’t they accountable for sleeping with a married woman? So it’s safe to assume that even then, women were expected to be more morally upright than men.

There was this debate we were having the other day about a certain public male figure who had a child with another woman while he was still married. My aunt and I were very agitated on behalf of the wife for having to endure that humiliation especially because they are a famous couple.

On the other hand my brother and uncle could not see anything wrong with that. Claiming that the mistress was most probably a second wife. They went on to praise this man for providing child support.

Let me just say that anyone responsible for bringing a human being into this world, has no business being praised for taking responsibility as a parent should. Somehow when fathers of kids born from cheating take responsibility, they are seen as heroes. Which is very ambiguous.

Men are expected to be the head of the family. Shouldn’t they then be expected to lead in all matters morality, instead of slacking off and expecting women to be the upholders of morals and sanctity of marriage?

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