Khaya Dlanga

Guys will not marry women with kids

2011-05-11 10:40

Khaya Dlanga

Most young guys will not marry a woman with a child. I am talking about people between the ages of 18 - 35 here. Some guys may not admit publicly that they are highly unlikely to marry a woman with a child (not everyone is Joseph who married a pregnant Mary) even though they may have a child themselves. Therein lays the hypocrisy.

But that is not the issue at play here. The discussion is about women who have children with other men out of wedlock, and then end up breaking up with those men and get left with babies to raise.

Now, before you chew my head off, I know that there are some guys who have married women who have children with another man - sometimes women with children not from just one man. Interestingly, women will marry a guy with as many children from as different women as Steve Hofmeyr.

The hypocrisy of the whole situation is that women don’t have the problem that men have. They will marry a guy with a child without much pause (yes, I am aware of the generalisation I am making. Women are more likely to have no problem with marrying a guy with a child than guys.)

A week or so ago, I asked the following question on my Facebook status: “How do you ladies feel about the fact that most guys won't marry a woman with another man's child?” I did not anticipate the debate that would go on the page. Men were in general agreement that they were unlikely to marry a woman with a child. The women were horrified.

Men don’t want to compete with another man. Funny enough, this has nothing to do with the child in most instances. Of course this may not make sense to women. Understandably - because it doesn’t make sense. But it makes perfect sense to guys. There is a lot of ego involved. Logic does not apply to ego.  The ego has its own rules. The ego wants what it wants in whatever way it wants it. And that’s that.

But this raises a fundamental issue in our society. First of all, you have the issue of children growing up without fathers because they are unwilling to take responsibility for the children they were very actively involved in making. And their involvement was not just that of a spectator. Oh no. It was a very active, sweaty, heavy-breathing and funny face-making moment. They were very, very involved. Now these women and children get punished for something two people were involved in.

What this means is that we have to be responsible. All of us. Men and women must stop thinking about temporary pleasure. Sometimes temporary pleasure leads to a lifetime of unplanned responsibility. And we know how many of us can’t stand responsibility, even when we’ve planned for it. Imagine one that we didn’t plan for. We all watched Intersexions people. We know what towning does, and Aids is just one of them. (To get an explanation on what "towning" is, please see this blog).

The real issue here is not the woman with children out of wedlock, the issue is the men who leave them after making them pregnant. Then when it comes to the abortion issue, women are the ones who get the side-eye for going to abortion clinics when there were two parties involved. Men don’t want to tell women to go for abortions because they would rather not carry the burden of the guilt, so they won’t suggest it, all they will say is, “Do what you think you should do.” If she keeps the child, he leaves anyway. It’s tough out there for women.

Widows on the other hand are a different story. A lot of guys would consider marrying one because the woman won’t have “two” men in her life to deal with. There will be no politics with the father. There will just be a child that is one’s own now. The issue is never really about the child. It is about the father who still roams the streets.

We need to be a responsible generation. Many of us know what it’s like not to grow up with absent fathers. We know what it’s like to be raised by a single mother. Let us not do unto children what was done to some of us. We have choices and we are smarter than that. Since women are the ones who are often left with the burden of responsibility, I think that women should be extra vigilant about who gets into her pants with no rubber.

- Follow Khaya on Twitter.

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