Modern advice for traditional men

2011-11-05 09:26

Growing up as a Zulu girl has always been tough. First you are labelled by other cultures as stubborn and a fighter because you are vocal.

Second, your life is affected by the patriarchal system where, as a woman, you have less power than a man. And finally, you have to deal with the fear of getting a husband who is a polygamist, something many women my age fear nowadays.

Thanks to my modern folks, I was never exposed to having more than one mother. But the traditional man, be he Nguni, Sotho or Tsonga, thinks it’s all fine and dandy to have more than one spouse or sexual partner.

It may be cute talking to “your boys” about being the Casanova or isoka of your kraal, but it stops being cute when you are infecting people with HIV/Aids.

From what I have read, there are an estimated 5.6?million people living with the pandemic. Surely that should be enough to change the country’s mindset? Or at the very least force a man to think twice before unzipping his pants in places other than his own home.

I oppose polygamy because it increases the risk of contracting HIV/Aids. Surely the Western concept of having one partner should also apply in our culture? I appreciate tradition, but when tradition starts posing a threat to our lives, I believe we need to change it.

When will traditional folks stop hiding behind cultures and start practising what is right? I also believe we need to stop making excuses to avoid “the condom moment”. Yes, it cramps your style, but use it! And stop using the old tale that “the condom broke”. It’s very rare for condoms to break.

To all my sisters, we need to face up to our lack of self-love. Yes, I am talking to you too, beautiful sister wearing a beautiful miniskirt, wearing your beautiful weave and shaking your booty at old men in clubs. We see you, we judge you, but mostly, we cringe at your lack of self-love.

Let’s stop taking each other’s men. Yes, you won’t always know he is married because the word “married” is not stamped on his forehead. However, make it your duty to only call it official once you have proved he’s not married.

If you carry on, shame on you and your morals. I am sure your mother raised you better. What happened to “sisterhood” and “girl power”? Did that die the day rich men came into existence?

So to you, my traditional man, let’s rethink statements like “it’s my culture”. And to you, my sister, heed the words of our parents: “Keep your legs crossed unless you have found someone who is willing to get an Aids test with you.”

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