BY VIVIANE OUYA
Wife material” is not a compliment, sisters. Stop oooing and aaawwing looking like damned broken records when a man describes you so.
The chances are he has spotted a way to benefit from your labour, physical, emotional or otherwise and he is congratulating you for fitting into his domestication agenda.
Nothing excites a man more than seeing a woman labour, whether it is cooking, cleaning, childcare, tilling the land – your labour will draw a man to you like a moth to a light bulb, and he will then call you wife material and you will be excited and start getting ready to serve your king of patriarchy.
He will then be entitled to your labour and when you fail to meet this expectation, you sure are going to learn real lessons. So save yourselves sisters. Married or not, you don’t owe anyone labour.
You don’t have to do anything for your significant other. It is not written in any handbook. Arrangements like marriage or any other form of relationship between a man and woman should come with mutual respect, zero entitlements and certainly not a to-do list.
What do the women out there think?
“There is a general societal perspective on who is wife material. It is that particular stereotyping that we want to get rid of. No one will call you wife material because you can dismantle and assemble an engine. They will never call you wife material because you are a bull in the boardroom,” says Irene, who adds, “But they will call you wife material because you know how to cook, clean or entertain visitors.”
“Like someone said, calling you wife material is a polite way of calling you a housemaid and sex doll,” Desie Jean adds on Facebook.
Ongachi says she makes it a point to protest every time she is described as “wife material”.
“I hate the term wife material being used on me because most of the time it implies that they think I am somehow domesticable and breakable. 100% of the time someone tells me I try to disapprove by listing all the ways I am unwifeable,” she says.
Mildred Awino takes it a notch higher, saying, “If a man calls you wife material, he knows it will get you all giddy for making it to the quarter-finals. He will then proceed to sit back and watch you do the most to earn the finals.”
Yet, Mildred argues, it should be the men doing their best to win a woman over, but by unleashing the wife material card, “they flip the tables so you end up courting them instead.
Going forward, we are flipping them tables RIGHT back.” So if a guy ever describes you as wife material, it might be the cue to roll your eyes and say to him, “Thanks, but no thanks”.