In Women In Politics Not End To Chivalry, make the case just because a woman decides to enter the political arena to vie for public office does not mean that’s the end to chivalry in as far as she is concerned.
Rather, women in politics yes must undergo the normal rough and tumble of political life but in the end they are still women deserving of greater sensitivity and respect than one would expect from one male politician to another.
As father of two teenage girls and a young lad, I have always known before any of them freely breathed on earth how to treat a woman or what to expect from a man is not something a father has to lecture his children about but something he simply has to teach them by example in how he treats their mother; if he ever says anything worth noting about the subject, it’s simply to reinforce the right message he has otherwise conveyed.
On the other hand, there’s the proverbial counsel to young women that if they want to know how a man would treat them in marriage, they first must observe and learn how the man treats his mother.
Thus, where one is raised in a family where the father treats his wife with respect, is never abusive and takes care of the family in every respect, then one can expect a young man emerging from such a household doing the same thing to the women in his life, especially one he takes as his pride.
However, marrying into a good family and having a perfect husband—well, as nearly a perfect husband as one can have is not all a woman would want; rather, the modern woman wants more than just bearing and raising children.
Not too long ago, we witnessed the manifestation of this notion on public TV when a woman candidate for governor was subjected to public humiliation and smear unlike any of her counterparts have ever received in Kenya leading to the question, does one need to be this much uncouth in bringing down his opponent and more so a woman?
The answer is obviously no; one can be critical of a female candidate without getting into the salacious and utterly irrelevant details of the kind we saw valid or not.
Meanwhile, when Mrs. Pasaris was savagely attacked by one of the wishful gubernatorial candidates, one Miguna Miguna, those who like this type of savagery cheered him and were all giddy oblivious of the fact they were cheering their own uncouthness and stupidity.
This is what’s wrong with our politics in Kenya where grown men and women are willing to readily accept mediocrity, incompetence and abhorrent corruption simply because the culprits are fellow tribesmen or those aligned with their tribal party much the same way they cheered Miguna.
Nobody is suggesting that women should be stuffed into positions they don’t want or nominated to legislative office they cannot get elected on their own; rather, where one is qualified to vie as Mrs. Pasaris is, there should be unanimous condemnation of those who would malign and smear a candidate just because she’s a woman.
We should judge and elect our office holders based on their leadership ability and vision not all this other nonsense such as name calling and smearing which has reached toxic levels in the country and doubly so when mixed with tribalism.
We can and must do better.