CITY GIRL: Clinging to an abusive hubby just plain idiocy
The story I am about to tell is a work of fiction. Names, characters, events, places and incidents are products of my own (very fertile) imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or even actual events is purely coincidental.
There is a young woman, probably 38, strutting the streets of Nairobi. She is ruthlessly ambitious and incredibly successful. For argument’s sake, let’s assume she is an advocate. She is a mother of one, a five-year-old boy. She is also married to an equally successful man, whom we will assume is also a lawyer.
From a distance, they look like the picture-perfect couple, but who are we kidding? The husband beats the living daylights out of her, and to be honest, that fringe she has attached to her weave is not a hairstyle. It covers a huge scar she got when her husband threw something at her one drunken night.
I don’t like to write about painful things like domestic violence. I am a happy-go-lucky girl with a devil-may-care attitude and a ready smile. Few things stress me mostly because I don’t take life seriously and nobody takes me seriously anyway, so why bother?
But today, we’ll talk about domestic violence. And a little about abusive relationships. And then next week, I’ll return to insulting bloggers and feminists — one of my favourite pastimes.
Why, I keep asking myself, would an upwardly mobile, forward-looking, successful career woman stay in a relationship with a man who has no respect for her? Why would a lawyer who kicks ass in court, a politician who topples men in elections, a marketing manager who surpasses targets or a business lady who’s making history stay with a man who belittles her so much?
Now, I am not the sister-nice kind of girl who’ll furnish you with motivational quotes and mushy Bible verses from Proverbs 31. That I’ll leave to your mommy pastor on Forest Road.
What I’ll do, though, is tell you the truth.
Why successful women stay in unhappy, abusive relationships could only have one sound explanation. Stupidity. It is true. Why else would a woman take back a man who left her for another woman and even had a baby with her?
Why else would a woman, who impresses in the boardroom, allow a man — her husband to slap her a second time? Simple. She’s a complete idiot. Why else, would a woman, with unmatched ambition and education credentials, be with a cad of a husband who is known more for his philandering ways than what he has achieved? Easy. The lights are on, but there is no one at home.
Feminists with nondescript blogs will say that I am being insensitive to victims of domestic violence and calling them names. Absolutely not! Okay, maybe a little name-calling here and there, but tell me, what is a woman running a multi-million company doing in an abusive relationship if not for complete idiocy?
I can understand why women who have no jobs, no papers and no education will stay on. It is straightforward. They leave, they suffer. But a woman who earns a good salary, has a serious job and an educated brain? Please, if you ask me, they need one last slap back to reality so that they are shaken out of that foolish stupor they are stuck in.
I am no marriage expert and do not wish to be one. My experience in relationships is nothing to waste newspaper space on and, you are right, I have no moral ground to discuss the topic. I should be talking about Subaru boys my age and shisha.
But what these educated, high-flying women with their expensive shoes and bags need is not marital advice. They need a dose of common sense.
It makes no sense for you, dear lady in an expensive Peruvian weave, to boss people around the office and go home to a flurry of blows and kicks. We know you. We see you in the lifts, in the streets and behind the windows of your heavily tinted cars.
We see how you avoid eye contact and how puffy your eyes are in the morning. We see the marks on your face and arms. Especially the brown ‘yellow-yellow’ girls. We see you!
We see how you style that weave to cover your right eye so we don’t see the scar you are hiding. We know how you use too much foundation and concealer to conceal those scars. How you try to cover that black eye hurriedly before you come to the office. Most of all, we hear the painful truths about that relationship.
They sympathise with you, but I don’t. I think you know what you are supposed to do, you are just too lazy to start your life all over again. That excuse of ‘ooh, I stay for the kids’ is such a threadbare cliché. Plus, it is a silly excuse. You are just too lazy to get out. And you need some tough love.
I may know nothing marriage, but I know what you are in, that little situation, is not marriage. It is a death trap. Who cares if you are not married? So what if you leave that man?