The new Maendeleo ya Wanaume (development organization for men in Kenya) are really working hard and want to catch up for being in the dark for many years when women have moved far with Maendeleo ya Wanawake (development organization for women in Kenya), FIDA and other organizations that support development and rights of women in Kenya. This week they came up with an interesting finding, that over 1.5 million men in Kenya are battered by their wives. Many people could not believe this because it is believed men are physically stronger than women and so this is impossible. I also laughed it off and said this is another of their get-famous-gimmicks.
However having looked at the issue again and read the story in the news, I realize they could be right on some issues, many men get abused and in some cases battered by their wives when the woman is many years older, financially stable than the man and especially when the husband is jobless, the wife is the breadwinner amongst many other reasons. It is true just like their research revealed roles are reversed so the jobless men are made to cook, wash clothes, clean the house, clean utensils and baby-sit. This is very common because the working woman does not see the need to employ a house help while the man is just in the house doing nothing. The other reason is many women would not trust a jobless idle man with a house girl in the house and because many rarely employ houseboys so the man would be forced to do all the work in the house.
On the issue of physical battering I believe men are physically stronger than women, in fact many can even kill a woman who tries to beat them. Even if a man is a few years younger they are still stronger. The only way a woman can succeed in battering a man physically is by using a weapon like the case of a man from Eldoret Town who came up in the open after these findings to show how the wife had inflicted injuries on his body with a knife. A man who can put up with such a woman is very desperate because of their kids or financial support he may be getting from the woman, but not for love. The other opportunity is when a man comes home very drunk his wife can use the opportunity to beat him.
I know there are men who are very annoying like the promiscuous ones, drunkards, lazy, mean etc… who if women can get an opportunity to teach them a lesson through battering than the number would be higher. However there are women who are very good at cruelty on men who are quiet or vulnerable, they use abusive language, it is not only to jobless men but also working men who marry the wrong women, ending up in miserable relationships they stick to because of kids and what the society will say when they part ways (social stigma). I have realized that many widowers who re-marry end up with abusive women. I know people who suffer in such abusive marriage because the new wife comes with different ways and ideas from what the man was used to, the man may be desperate for a wife and mother for his kids so he puts up with the woman even when she is abusive, the woman also takes advantage of the man’s situation to fulfill her demands. The man ends up depressed remembering his dead spouse and regret why they married again. I must say not all of them are bad but majority of the cases I have seen are bad.
It is good Maendeleo Ya Wanaume have come up with this issue to save men who are suffering in silence. Innocent men should open up to shame such women.