Why we need a ministry of gender by @EstellaMz

Cross-posted from: Uncultured Sisterhood
Originally published: 11.02.15

When men are denied sex by women, to the point that the poor fellas have to rape and/or kill their wives, it is time for the Minister of Gender to step forward and remind women to refrain from such dangerous behaviour and return to the true path. To warn them that denying their husbands sex breeds domestic violence. And that they risk meeting the same fate as the woman who was recently hacked to death by her husband of 20-something years for committing the crime of refusing access to her body.

This is the advice that was generously given to female constituents by the Minister of Gender, who also happens to be a women’s representative in the parliament of Uganda. Only a fool could fail to understand where she was coming from with that dose of wisdom. It is one thing to live in the city, somewhat self-reliant, and scoff at such advice. Screaming about the need for women to assert their rights without taking stock of their material realities is unhelpful, even endangering, especially to those with minimal to no way out – be they constrained by the shackles of bride practice, lack of formal education and skills, and outright poverty going back generations.

But one shouldn’t be distracted by those minor socio-economic issues facing women. Instead, we must stand in solidarity with the honorable and see to it that the men are catered to, both in the kitchen and in the bedroom. As we were taught by our Ssengas: A hungry man is an angry one. Why tempt the devil’s fist by shunning one’s divinely gender-given duty to satisfy the toes off members of the stronger sex?! Why forget that the only reason that you even have a body to carry you around is because your master was kind enough to spare a rib for you? It seems as if whenever things are going smoothly, one is bound to find a few scatter-brains losing their way and taking us steps behind.

That is why it makes sense to put these recalcitrant women in line before the fish rots any further. Policing… oops! rather, ministering “gender,” that gospel which tells of the glorious inherent superiority of one sex over the other, is a sacred duty that requires a national office to enforce. If gender wasn’t ministered, how else would men have known of their rights to sex and of a woman’s duty to give it without limit? How would we separate those who were born to sell it from the ones who can’t help themselves but do the buying? How else would we know who is supposed to own the land and multiple spouses? Who heads the family, from who is meant to do all the unpaid “domestic” labour in the home? Who is to be feared; who is raped and who does the raping? Who must be controlled in nearly every aspect of their life from childhood to “protect” them from the predatory other who can’t help but be that way, poor thing?

Seriously, without ministering gender, how shall we identify those who have a God-given right to walk around bare-chested from those who must be stripped naked at the mere show of their knees? Those who play with toy cars from those who must only be interested in playing with dolls? The ones of high heels from those of flat, firmly grounded footwear? How shall we know who must be respected by default and who can only earn respect, if ever, by being passive and subordinate and beholden in their place, however oppressive? Most importantly, how can society continue to exist if we can’t tell the baby in club pink from the one in blue?

The day women adhere to their roles and stop this foolishness of plotting for “liberation” and wasting time gossiping about these selfish, unAfrican “rights” will be the day we no longer have need for a Ministry of Gender.

Until that day, there’s work to be done.

Uncultured Sisterhood:  I am a Ugandan feminist, based in Uganda. The blog, unculturedsisterhood, started out of extreme personal frustration with the state of affairs for women in my country, outside of it, in pretty much every area of life. From a feminist theory perspective, I critique topical, community, and cultural issues in Uganda (and the wider continent) as they relate to women. Hoping one or two sisters read/engage and join in as we work toward liberation. Category: Feminism; AfroFeminism; Radical Feminism Twitter: @EstellaMz

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