And reading Zoe Strimpel’s The Man Diet just helped reinforce it. I had never really analysed why not getting married had never really bothered me. It never happened and I just moved on with my life and did the things I had always wanted to do, including having children.
The reality is that any woman can get married if they set their hearts and minds to it. In most cases not many men walk to the altar willingly — they are usually nudged towards it. I have never been the type of woman to seduce a man to marry me.
I am not saying it never occurred to me to nudge a man towards commitment. It did but every time it did I simply asked myself if I wanted to spend more than 20 years with that particular person. I have also always had it at the back of my mind that some men stop bathing and changing their underwear regularly once they are in a committed relationship. And that puts me off big time!
Women are very good at giving men a controlling stake in their hearts. No man has yet been born who deserves what we Zimbabweans call an empowerment stake in your life — 51% is way too much to give up. If you are a Christian, the only man worth giving 100% is Jesus Christ — but from what I have seen even the so-called Christians are not giving up the empowerment shares either.
And from what I have heard on a local radio chat programme, some of the men are so disgusting I would not even want to give up 0,1% of my heart for them. They are not worth loving.
Apparently some of you brothers get so drunk and pee and poop in your pants and expect your wives to clean up after you!
There is a lot to be said for couples that have separate bedrooms. You do not have to sleep next to an unwashed stinky body. If your man cannot control his bodily functions, you do not have to endure the stench. From what I gather you do not miss anything by sleeping in a separate bed — especially as some sisters complain that their men do not even hold them after sex.
All I am saying is that sometimes an empowerment stake is way too much to give up if you weigh it against the benefits.
The man diet and how to swing things in your favour
Working on my novel and reading Strimpel have made me really look at male/female relationships more closely.
The Man Diet is a wise book about being a feminist in a non-destructive way. You do not have to hate men but you can have relationships with them that will benefit you. Most relationships are weighed in favour of the man but the book looks at how you can swing the tables.
It looks at lives of single women, some of whom believe high sexual mobility automatically translates into female empowerment. This leads the women to rely on “junk love” or sex with unworthy men. You cut off emotions and attachment and have a mechanical physical relationship.
It would be fine if it made you feel good about yourself, but sex with an unworthy person will always leave one emotionally scarred. Men might be able to sleep with anything that moves but women have an emotional side that requires constant feeding.
The Man Diet has techniques to help you step away not just from unhealthy relationships with men but also those things that leave you feeling empty. At times women get railroaded into activities with people they can barely stand or people who do not like them but accept them because they come as a package deal.
Like the author of The Man Diet, I do not believe that indiscriminate sex is a tool that proves you are an empowered feminist. I agree that as women we need to find ourselves first before we allow other people into our lives. We can love but we need to retain a controlling stake in our emotions.
I agree with her too that we have allowed the social networks to run our lives. People spend way too much time posting pictures to convince others just how happy they are.
We do not read or do more meaningful things often enough. Some people believe everything that is posted on Facebook. In the past two months I have changed my relationship status about four times and every time I had reactions that showed some of my friends believed it. I have been single, in an open relationship, in a complicated relationship and have also been married.
When I posted that I was now married you should have seen the number of congratulatory messages I got. I got private messages asking me for full details. I wonder what messages I will get when I announce my “divorce” or maybe I should just go into overkill and go for “widowed” this week.
All I know is that by the time I finish writing my novel I will fully understand why I never tried to get married. I did get some offers but they were not exciting — I would have died of boredom. So far I have admitted in this column that some men disgust me and I am getting closer to the root of my fear of being trapped in a relationship with someone for more than 20 years. It is a real fear and one day some doctor somewhere will come up with findings to back up my “disorder” or ailment.