As I scrolled through twitter this week — when I really should have been studying for my looming exams — I stumbled upon a trend #MasculinityKE.
In a long Twitter “thread”, a young man called Mariga W. Thoithi narrated how he was invited for drinks by a bevy of beauties who ordered expensive beverages, thinking that he would pay. Knowing that he was broke at the time, he only had two beers throughout the night and proudly declared how shocked his friends were when he told the waiter that he would only be paying for his drinks and the ladies would foot their own bills.
He then went on to harp about how women should not intimidate a man into footing bills in the name of “masculinity” and being a “gentleman”. He also encouraged fellow young men to resist being “used” by broke women who want to hang out with men just so they can pay their bills.
“My emancipation from viewing my masculinity based on what I can afford means that I can’t be shamed into paying bills I wasn’t planning on,” he said.
That made me sit up. First of all, I am not sure Thoithi would recognise “masculinity” if it sneaked up on him in the streets. But I have to give it to him for sparking a conversation on Twitter because what followed after his viral story was a barrage of similar stories by young men who were allegedly intimidated into paying bills by young women who allegedly go out without money.
I have this to say Thoithi and his sacco of similarly-minded young men. I want you to listen to me very carefully because I will say this only once; if you cannot afford to take a woman out on a proper date, please stay at home. If you cannot pay for your woman’s drinks, food and whatever else she might want, switch off your phone and play video games all night or whatever it is that young men do.
If you think that the stunning young woman is too expensive or too high maintenance, then my friend, you are not the target market. Repeat after me, if she is too expensive, she is out of my league. Nobody has forced you to go out with the high maintenance ladies. There are plenty of girls who would be happy to share one drink with you and love you anyway. Stay in your lane; leave the expensive girls to the men with the money. It is nothing personal. You will get there one day!
I am also going to ask you to desist from portraying women as gold-diggers. Let the men with the gold complain about gold diggers.
If your few coins are what will make you go ham on social media, throwing around big words like “masculinity” -- which you probably know nothing about— please save us your drama and don’t show up when real men are turning up.
Now that the issue of masculinity has come up, allow me revisit it. If you were so keen on masculinity, then you would not have showed up to a date with a bevy of beauties with only Sh500 in your pocket in the first place. Because, Thoithi, masculinity is responsibility. It is about taking charge of the situation. When you are finally no longer broke — and I pray that the day comes sooner — you will realise how important it is for a man to feel in charge. Also, I mean, what kind of a man goes out on a date with no money?
Number two; masculinity is about doing the honourable thing. Twenty years from now, when you will be a middle-aged, married father of several with a bit more money, you will look back and realise how petty all this was. Being a “gentleman” is not just about upholding your dignity but also the dignity of the gracious lady who asked you out. Real men do not embarrass women over a few coins. You may have felt disenfranchised, taken advantage of and carried for a fool, but what is money? Money is not something you embarrass people over. You can always make more.
So next time, my good friends, if she calls you and you know for sure that you are broke, please, the masculine thing to do is to say; “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Next week, if I am inspired enough, perhaps I could say a thing or two about the naughty women who go out without money!