Tuesday, August 2

male housewives or househusbands.

Yesterday morning, like most of the days, I woke up feeling blessed and very active to execute my work task.  The morning was bright and calm. My assignments were not more than I couldn’t handle.  Everything was going on fine, until the moment I took a walk to a colleague’s desk. This was around midday.  On her desk, there was a pullout from the Standard newspaper tagged ‘CRAZY MONDAY’.  The Standard is one of the most read newspapers in Kenya. 

Unconsciously, I picked up the paper from her desk to have a glance on what makes news.   In the process of flipping through, I came across this caption ‘Male housewives’, an article written by Nyumu, Monday, August 1st, 2011/The Standard; page8-9/CRAZY MONDAY. 

The title of the article was very shocking and overwhelming the moment I set eyes on it. I tried to imagine why in an attempt by the author in redefining masculinity and feminism (mascu-feminism), the word male +housewives were used as a single term in describing a state where a man stays at home and does the domestic chore.  It was  frustrating to the extend that  I had to checked on my Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary, New 8th Edition, for the definition of  ‘housewives’ , whether ‘housewives is a fixed term which can only be prefixed or suffixed, and if that should not be the case, what actually motivated the author to refer to househusbands as male housewives. 

According to Nyumu, it is a nightmare comes true for women to pursuit high paid jobs while men take charge of the house works.  In this regard, the author highlighted couple of reasons to this effect following the interviewees’ response. For brevity, I picked out just three of the author’s highlighted points which I found to be shocking.  These include;

  1. The fact that majority of men enjoy the comfort of staying at home, in order words to becoming the supposedly male housewives while their wives do the career jobs, and definitely take charge of the family.   
  2.   The fact that most men think it is of no used receiving peanuts salary which is later all spent on fare and lunch whereas he can invest all his time taking care of the household affairs while the wife, who earns more, becomes the breadwinner.  
     3. Despite being the househusbands, a lot of men demonstrated a strong conviction that the role of the woman will never change and the kitchen remains the woman’s territory. 
However, articles and reactions like these explain the level of ignorant and misconception about the global struggle for gender equality. It therefore implies, there is need for intense and continual enlightenment centered around the global debate on gender issues. The media sectors should definitely not be exempted. It is obvious that the media serves as a key source for information to many people. Therefore, it is imperative the media sectors became very knowledgeable with the gender discourse in order to minimize promoting such gender misconception.  

Link to Nyumu's Article here