18+ The henpecked generation


Village Elder
Long read alert

A lot of men are gabbing about troubled relationships. I often encounter men in social dens talking openly about personal domestic difficulties with total strangers for cathartic effect. That is enough for me to consider it a worrisome emerging trend. Bars are turning into Henpecked Anonymous sessions.
Only recently, three men put the seriousness of the issue on table before I had even finished my first beer. It started with an old acquaintance. He had promised to divorce his wife and marry his mistress (men make the dumbest pledges in the throes of passion).
He still lived with his wife and a child he was extremely fond of. He quickly realised that disentanglement was a lot easier said than done. The mistress issued an ultimatum: “It’s either your wife or me!” so he had driven straight to the pub for brotherly counsel.
“Why don’t you just dump the mistress and get another?” someone suggested. He could not do that. He has a conscience and loves her to bits even though he spends a good part of his time pacifying a bothersome woman.
The second was a rather pitiful account (overheard) of a man banished from a house he owns. He crossed the line and his wife kicked him out. The cause of his grief was a receipt he forgot in the family car. His wife found it on the driver’s seat. Like a keen sleuth, she checked the address and it led to a seedy boarding and lodging facility.

He protested that he was a first-time offender who simply fell in lust and in exchange he got his kahones crushed. His wife said his offence was treasonable and he could forget about the kids. I left him at his wits’ end wondering how everything had suddenly fallen apart.
We are thus forced to ask the difficult question, are we slowly evolving into a society of henpecked men?
Well, the indicators are out there for those with eyes, even as we accept that you cannot apply a broad-brush stroke on this issue.
Today, the typical urbanised husband under 50 has conceded a lot of ground in return for the ambiguous title of either nice guy or great guy (being the euphemism for good in bed).

For the so-called independent woman, a relationship is a combat zone where the prevailing notion is that are all men are guilty until proved innocent.
This relentless pursuit of male perfection in every aspect has led to the hero worshipping of a limited and unattainable group of elite men that includes the likes of Barack Obama.
The burden of expectations on guys is so absurd, one might as well change their name to Alejandro [Sanz], the Mexican soap opera star, another poster boy fronting this feminist TV ideal. Anyone outside this A-list is at best a starter husband, a nice guy or a sperm donor.
So the sense of victimisation haunting those tens of men nursing beers in bars night after night is not exactly misplaced. Wallowing in their powerlessness, several married men succumb to peer pressure and take the easy and often precarious route of chasing cheap thrills. It compensates, albeit temporarily, for the validation that is absent at home.

The present-day urban dwelling female has learnt to manipulate, and sex is the tool. Hubbies are berated mercilessly for petty misdeeds and conjugal rights are withheld on a whim.
Like the dog in Ivan Pavlov’s classical conditioning experiment, the man discovers, learn to please and all will be well. The flip side is that one gets punished for expressing masculinity. The standard of good behaviour held up to us is entirely female-oriented. Their idea of masculinity is metro sexual. In other words, bend backwards like Becks (David Beckman).
Hardly any good attributes of manhood make the news these days. Progressively, boys are inundated with negative media messages that seem to imply that there is something fundamentally wrong with the male gene and women are the perennial victims.
Men have lost their role in childrearing. Ours is a society that sanctions fatherless families. Papa is always a rolling stone. Christianity is feminised and men are a diminishing minority in church pews.

The classic male virtues of the yesteryears such as physical might, aggression in defence of the amily, independence, decisiveness and emotional maturity no longer count much.

Of essence today is sensitivity, communication and adulation. The clearly spelt out gender roles of the past have been replaced with what can only be described as gender servitude.
Evidently, we are the losing side in the war between the sexes and believe me, it is a war.
The must-have-it-all competitiveness of younger women is taking this society down a very dangerous curve. I guess by feminising men, they become a lesser challenge to female ambition and competition is reduced.
Modern Kenyan women have turned men into high heels. As the joke goes, “Easy to walk on once you get a hang of it”. If it is any consolation, at least you can walk into a bar and say, “My name is Sam and I’m henpecked” and the chorus response will be, “Hi Sam.”
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Village Elder
Treat her like a queen and you will be her servant. Put her on a pedestal and she will look down on you.

Anyway, this whole situation makes it much easier for us who remember what it is to be a man to get these women and capture their souls.