Equal human rights? I don't disagree

Couple Sofa Loved Up File photo of a couple

Sun, 21 Mar 2021 Source: Kofi Pratt

Folks over the last 48 hours, I have had a debate with myself. I think I must share my thoughts with you without going too deep.

I have been reflecting on some conversations and conference topics, restaurant conversations and in flight chit chats with lots of women of academia, proffesionals business and politics and realise that in Africa more than anywhere else, our arguments for and against this "equal rights" for men and women are just in the wrong direction and most of the time totally misplaced.

Are men and women human beings? Yes! As human beings do they have the same rights, some guaranteed by constitutions like freedom of association, meetings, religion, speech, etc and some rights by universal suffrage and declarations? Yes.

But truly, as the different genders of the human race, do we naturally have equal rights which are same and total? This is where the difficulty arise. Yes both men and women have equal rights but the rights are different from gender to gender. I was chatting on a plane with one female foreign minister of an African country and another who later became the president of her country.

That was long ago but they taught me a valuable lesson. One told me, Comrade Pratt, Do you know why some women like me, very intelligent, highly educated, with letters to my name and riches sometimes can’t find a fuck? I looked at her in disbelief. Then she continued, it’s because in our blind quest to be ferminists and women liberation movement leaders, we have forgotten our real role in society and in the homes as wives and mothers.

The other laughed and said as for her she has given up that role because, after two failed marriages, she does not see herself ever settling down. She would rather occasionally bully a driver or some good looking gardener for a fuck or take liberties with starved married men at international conferences for “hide sways” in a conference hotel room.

She added that it would be a far fetched luxury to expect a decent sex with a husband in a marital home given how she has lived her life in the past deceiving herself that a man and a woman had equal rights which are the same.

Then I remembered a talk by her Ladyship Georgina Woode, a former Chief Justice in Ghana to some women activists and feminists about fifteen years ago on a university campus. She said high flying, executive professional and academic women like her could have perfectly good decent and lasting marriages and family homes if they realised that out there in society, there can be no limits to what they can achieve and that they could have it all and also have decent, peaceful and loving husbands, children and homes to go back to if they remembered that back home, they were mothers and wives and not just women lawyers, women judges, women entrepreneurs etc etc.

She told a story where she said that anytime she was returning home, as soon as she got to her gate, she did a purely mental action of removing all her mighty judicial and executive robes, leaving it in the car and putting on her wife and mother garment right outside the gate before entering the house. She was a perfect mother and had a normal beautiful peaceful marriage home and husband throughout her career and had a wonderful supportive and loving husband.

There are some women who will never surrender their rights as women in pursuit of a mirage of some abiding “equal rights” with her partner just to show that they have “arrived” they know they have same equal rights with their men but in somehow biologically and emotionally different from that of a man. That does not mean playing a subservient role to the man, or becoming his servant or loosing control to the man or somehow being deaf and dumb at home.

But taking their rightful place with proud shoulders by the side of her man, walking shoulder to shoulder, toe to toe subslimally happy in love for the total development of the home and society which includes all, the Man, the woman and the children. THE FAMILY!

What are we fighting for? The same right with the husband who is sitting on the couch in the porch on Sunday afternoon with a glass of beer in his right hand and a newspaper in his left hand while watching a football match on the sports channel on TV, while there is plenty of work to be done including getting the kids clothing and other things ready for school on Monday morning or preparing dishes and sorting out food for the week? Come on.!!!

That is not a man exercising his right. That is a lazy man being irresponsible. If you want to join him, be my guest. Please don’t equate that to some rights being denied you. Who is stopping you anyway ?

So why do we fight it? By fighting it we claim that there is somehow inequality of rights. No I say that men and women have equal rights much as inside the house as is outside the house. But we, both men and women must understand that though these rights are equal, they are different. And must be exercised to compliment each other.

Have a good week all.

Columnist: Kofi Pratt