She stands in front of me, hands over her hips. With a brow raised, her eyes pierce through my soul and I try to read her mind.
“Equality” she keeps saying to me. Equality between the sexes.
She insists on splitting the bill. She thinks she should pay, but she doesn’t understand that it’s the man’s job to provide for his woman, to pamper her with dinner outside once in a blue moon for all the dinners she cooks at home. But she can’t cook, and she wants to split the bill. She hates the kitchen but she loves that office, and says she’s capable of contributing into building a home, with her career growth in the past years.
She insists on working long hours and going on tours to strange cities with strange people. She doesn’t understand that the outside world is designed to harm her, that those men she calls colleagues are wolves and the cities she loves are all traps waiting to consume her. I just want her to stay home so I can protect my woman and never see a scratch on the beautiful body of hers. As is the case, women don’t understand business outside of buying vegetables anyway. Her boss wants her to advise him only because she wears those clothes.
She insists on wearing that shirt that gives a peek into her cleavage, the cleavage that is meant for me and nobody else. She walks past me and through the door everyday in those heels, wearing those shirts. She grabs her keys and insists that she can make it on her own, and doesn’t let me give her a ride. She doesn’t understand, she can buy a car but her hands are meant to stir the curry and not steer the wheel.
“Rights” she says to me, and I look at her. She’s sitting in the other corner of the room, quoting laws and talking about the legislation.
She has her rights as a woman, yes she does. Nothing makes me happier than to know that the mother of my children is educated, so she can inculcate good values in them and teach them maths and science and file for my taxes. But she doesn’t want children, not so soon. She wants children when she’s ready and not before that. She needs her time, or so she claims, to live her life the way she wants to and experience everything the world has to provide. But she refuses to accept the world as it is.
She refuses to see that she shouldn’t be fuming about the men who cat call her. They do so because she’s young and she works and she wears those shirts and walks alone without a ring on her finger. The men can’t control themselves, and I don’t blame them. She’s so beautiful, everyone wants her. But she’s mine. I insist she stays at home and I will work and buy her the diamond ring she must have on, but she shakes her head and calls the cops. Everyone now knows, my woman’s honour has been lost. I look down in shame.
She wants to be equal to me and have the same rights as me but how do I explain what I feel about her? I love her from the bottom of my heart and I pity her for her fragility. My little princess needs me to keep her away from the world, tucked away from their evil eyes. It’s for her own good that I want her to follow my word and do what I say without a question but she keeps yelling and throwing around fancy words.
Equality, she says.
Rights, she says.