Let me talk about girls. They are finer. They are smarter. They have ten times better sense of touch and they just never forget. But it’s not that.
I’m talking about stuff that’s a little uncomfortable and that I prognosticate a lot of them won’t like very much.
Now a few weeks ago I dispensed of avocado peelings and remains of Ugali that my friend and I had taken for supper into a dustbin. My female neighbours then laughed and blatantly blurted, ‘ona vitu wanakula’. It startled me. It had never occurred to me that someone could actually laugh down at me for eating real, cheap, healthy food-which I have a penchant for. It certainly wasn’t amusing.
So then I started keeping tabs on their dustbin and rightly so. Occasionally I could make out box wrappings of pizza, whisky bottles, juice bottles…And you can really deduce what their menu looks like. It’s then I got to understand the backdrop of the indiscreet, distasteful burst.
It was an evening when my friend told me what I would imagine to her was a liprolling story. She had gone to a shopping center just out of campus. Then there was this strange guy -at least to her-who had withdrawn just 150 bob from Mpesa and she made a fuse outta it: In her own phrasing, ‘wanaume wengine ni stingy sana. ‘
She has never dated him. She didn’t know him but she just branded this guy stingy. Not stingy like a bee. Stingy like mean. Mkono gum.
Some guys that’s what they actually get from home.
I was irked. I still am.
Another girl told me she won’t shake hands with some chap because you know he is lowly, he doesn’t know how to dress (that’s not the point though. He just doesn’t have the money to clad or to be exact his parents are poor). He is far below her class.
An alumnus of some local university related an account of a girl who came to ask for forgiveness from him after he graduated with first class honors. I don’t remember the nuances of this tale but the girl had relegated and despised him.
This alumnus came from a destitute background. He said he could not afford even a lace of a shoe.
These stories and the girl characters in them are a microcosm of the wider society, of what’s really going on and people won’t talk about it.
A lot of disparaging things are done and said to and about men (sadly including street children) by some young women of about my age. Some of them treat men like scum whether they are hitting on them or not. .
What’s important though about these stories is that they are reflective of a skunked girl society of misplaced class and expensive taste what with the fantasised obsession with pizza inn, chicken inn, Villa Rosa Kempinski… The good life of course.
If a girl comes from a well heeled family and can afford that I don’t take issue with that. But if she hails from a struggling family, like a lot of them are, and she wants posh stuff way above what her parents can really afford, and she insists on calling her broke boyfriend stingy, and she lets an older monieyed men bang her ,and she laughs down at me for eating sukuma wiki, then that’s an identity crisis.
It just doesn’t make for perfect sense why women our age will want to size us up, just why they want the expensive things we can’t afford after all we are only students, just why they will sneer at us, just why they would only hug me when I’m in a suit or something, just why they would call back to engage in a diatribe and insult the man on the other side of the line on loudspeaker for hitting on them.
To wrap it off.
Now don’t think I don’t like women. Please believe me I really do. And I know there is a bunch of respectful, ambitious, chivalrous women out there who treat everyone with dignity. Hail to them.
But rudeness, immoderate expensive taste, man-trashing is increasingly becoming a trend among young women. I hope we can begin the discussion of how that can get to end.