Return of the Ironman…

Humans! I acknowledge that it has indeed been a while since our last literary correspondence, so forgive my absence, I’ve been… about. I warn you in advance that the rant I am going to shout-write may get a bit personal, so many of you might enjoy it since you so frequently claim that I am a stubborn, closed book. Bleugh.
See a few weeks ago, a girl quite close to me was harassed by a group of idle men. (Gasp!) Yes yes. I am not exactly a feminist but I am an egalitarian in the sense that I believe in giving women an equal platform to the ones we provide to men, not necessarily to prove that women can do a task better than a man, but simply to remind women that men are circumstantially better-placed to lead, provide and protect naturally compared to women. However, I digress. I believe that men are meant to protect women because in truth, women are the weaker sex whether they want to admit it or not. That means when a lady behind you is in a hurry, stand aside and let her pass through. If she is coming from the opposite goddamn direction and y’all arrive at the door at the same time, look her right in the eye and stand aside so that she knows you are doing this deliberately and in case she is beautiful, you get that whole eye contact vibe going on. Score. I believe that guys do not need money to protect any woman, whether or not she is a stranger; it comes as part of the package of having the golden bells hanging between these legs. So enough of all this background pish-posh. What really happened to necessitate this rant?
I’ll ask you to take this empathic journey with me, and fit yourself into this girl’s shoes; let’s call her Chastity (the irony). So Chastity is walking from Denis Pritt Road coming up towards the intersection that gets onto Chaka Road, and a light drizzle has began. Luckily, she has this grey top-hat that was initially for fashion purposes, and she fits it tighter around her black mane of medium-sized natural hair. So the drizzle breaks into a full-on storm that batters without mercy and pounds against the dust and pavements and glass windows of the towering buildings around her; the pathways clear of human beings who have run into buildings to avoid being drenched but Chastity does not know this area too well so she cannot risk running to seek shelter inside a random building. So she continues walking really fast, even breaks into a full-on jog because she really does not want her phone to stop functioning because it was exposed to a bucket-load of rain. God knows instagram has become like her bread and butter. As she is running to get to Yaya Center at least, she spots some men in red overalls and yellow helmets shacking under a small dilapidated wooden kibanda trying to seek shelter from the rain. This is normal, I mean, everyone is trying to run away from the rain, so a group of men hurdled together should be no biggie. However, one of the men shouts, “Weh! Unaitwa hapa!”(Weh! You are being called to come here!) So Chastity continues walking because these were strangers and she clearly knew none of them so they possibly couldn’t be summoning her. The problem with this reasoning was that there was nobody else on the street, so they could ONLY mean her. She increased her pace and looked straight ahead. “Oya! Unakuja ama tukukujie msupa?” (Excuse! Are you going to come willingly or do we come to get you by force?) So Chastity pulled her sweater closer to her body, not a doubt in her mind that they were talking to her. From the corner of her eye, she saw two of the men break away from the marauding gang of hot-blooded mongrels and start walking really fast towards where she was. Chastity began running, propelled by fear and fuelled by a desire for self-preservation. The rain was already a problem and the men who were supposed to be offering her an umbrella or escorting her to her intended destination had instead turned on her and made her a meal to be savored before ravishing. Chastity crossed the intersection without glancing at the road and she could have been knocked down had the oncoming driver been in some real hurry. She turned back and saw that two more men had joined in the chase, only interrupted by the crossing of the driver who was meant to have knocked her down. She did not look behind again firstly because the tears had started streaming down her cheeks involuntarily and secondly because she could not bear to see how much ground they had gained on her. So she ran and even surprised herself because of how far she had reached without them catching up. She should have been caught by now; she should have been on the ground by now, with one of the scoundrels obscenely straddling her, another rummaging through her purse and another slapping her to stop her from weeping or screaming but she wasn’t. She chanced a glance behind her and they were gone. There was nothing except for the panoramic view of falling rain, bright lights as cars zoomed across the intersection and the murky brown of dust transforming into an overflow of mud. By this time Chastity was picking up the pieces of her dignity and shattered smithereens of her femininity as I pulled up and let her into the car. Now, she was safe.
For a guy, having sisters makes one intrinsically protective, whether a brother chooses to express it or not. Even the most irresponsible of guys actually has spasms and little fractions of moments when they show that they care about the women in their lives. Therefore I was quite pissed off when she narrated the story amidst tears from beet-red eyes and rain-inspired shivering. I was angry because I could not find those men; because they were the ones who were meant to help Chastity when neither myself nor another man close to her is not present because they are men, the providers, leaders and protectors of society and they were the same ones causing harm to the gems of our society. Women should not have to go through some of these unnecessary hurdles of life. Let them struggle with child-birth, self-esteem issues (no offence), raising children and looking after the men in their lives, not running away from the same men who are meant to be protecting them. A woman should never see the back-hand of a man and feel the sting of it landing on her face, or shed tears because she has been harassed by a man.
My call is to any man who is reading this right now: it is your duty to take care of any woman you come across even with the little things. Random cat-calls, harassment, screaming at them and such-like behavior only serve to degrade ourselves and make women lose that hard-earned trust in us. I will share some advice that my father gave me when I was seven years old and he found me insulting my sister as we played with other kids in the estate: he said, “If the other kids hear you talking to your sister like that, how do you think they will talk to her? If they see you raise a hand to hit her and you are her family, how will they treat her and they are not her family?” Think about it.


2 thoughts on “Return of the Ironman…”

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