Since the empowerment of women has been prioritised in South Africa, the role of women in the workplace, at home and in society in general has changed dramatically. Gone are the days when women were expected to be glued to the kitchen stove or only bear children . . . or so we thought.
A book titled I Wish My Wife Was A Woman, written by Mainganye Raymond Neluvhalani had our team debating its relevance in an age when men should not have unreasonable expectations of their partners. What we all agreed on, however, was that many of the ideas expressed in this book drag women back 20 or 30 years.
Neluvhalani’s sole focus is on how women can best serve their men and make him look good. At no point does he acknowledge that a woman’s needs, ambitions and desires are just as important as those of a man. Reading this, we almost forgot what century we were living in!
Here are Neluvhalani’s views on a number of issues, quoted directly from the book:
1. On meeting his every need: “When he leaves his socks everywhere: Come on, embrace the difference! Pick them up with joy. Make it a plus to feel better because you are neater then him. He is not the only one in the world who does it. He is not the only man in the world who does it. He knows and enjoys it when at the back of his mind he has the assurance that someone is there to take care of such little things. That is why even when he knows where they are packed, he will still call you to ask for them. I also have to tell you that it is not such a good idea for the nanny to wash his underwear. They wrap his genitals; don’t you think the nanny may be tempted and decide to see what they wrap?”
2. On parenting: “Don’t embarrass him by sending a child to him with something that you know very well he cannot solve, as if you are mocking him. In my case my kids know for sure that they don’t come to Daddy for anything that has to do with calculations. If she sends them to me with math homework, that will not be involving me, but mocking me.”
3. On your career: “Bringing home work also steals attention from a man. When you are finishing up or preparing for the next day, you keep your husband waiting, hoping that you will be finished in a while.”
4. On keeping his attention: “Every little discussion can turn into an argument. Arguments make you to drift away from each other. Your husband may therefore resort not to disturbing you when you are busy with your work and get used to the fact that you are a career woman with a lot of work demands. That is a bad sign that you are losing his attention. If it becomes so normal to the two of you that your career takes over your womanhood, know that you may remain his successful wife, but he might enjoy the attention of a real woman somewhere.”
5. On keeping him happy in public: “Even when you see a couple holding hands, you will hear comments that they can’t be husband and wife. That must be some other woman. If I were you I would choose to be like some other woman. It seems as if all the nice, enjoyable things are associated with concubines and not husband and wife:
Let me tell you what to do because it is your husband’s wish that you do this:
* Hold his hand and please allow him to hold you or touch him, hold his ears and his chin and cheeks or hug him in public.
* Kiss him in public: don’t ask what people will say. Unbutton his shirt and unzip his pants.
* Spank his butt or brush his back.”
6. On resolving conflict: Men don’t like a wife who is forever angry and has to be begged for forgiveness for every little thing that goes wrong. The tendency of packing your bags over a small argument proves that you are challenged in terms of emotional intelligence. Each time this happens, the wife has to come back after a family hearing has taken place. That has a negative effect on the relationship and is a serious embarrassment to the husband.
7. On looking at other women: When he turns his head to look at another woman . . . I know this is annoying to all wives. It is intimidating. It makes you feel ignored or neglected if he is staring at some woman. You don’t want him to see anything that catches his attention, as if you are saying loving you made him blind. Instead of fighting about it, check the profiles of the ones you have noticed turning his head. I remember those years when I was a naughty boy in class at school. A boy would drop a pen so that when he picked it up he could peep between the lady teacher’s legs to see her underwear. It was something to enjoy telling the other boys: that the teacher was wearing white panties. It was not even erotic, just a game influenced by curiosity. It is therefore not such a big deal for him to turn his head to look at the behind of a passing woman. It is just embarrassing in your presence, but it still happens when you are not there. Believe me, there is no harm in it unless your man is one of those without control.
8. On keeping up appearances: Dance . . . There is something that is not easy to explain about a man watching a woman dance. It’s an effect that refreshes the mind and works on the brain as simple entertainment. Dancing makes the audience smile, laugh and involuntarily clap hands. It triggers the spirit of joy and makes the audience excited. Despite the message in the music or song, the dance plays its own pivotal role. . . So when the chance is favourable for a dance, sitting down while everyone is getting involved may communicate different things to different people.
“It may be interpreted as:
* you were forced to come to the function
* you are having differences and this is showing in front of other people
* you are stubborn since you refuse to dance
* You don’t like what is going on or the people who are attending the function.”
* you are lazy
* you like opposing others, especially when they are happy
* you are upset.”