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Needed urgently: An apology school for Kenyan wives

By Brian Guserwa | January 28th 2022 | 4 min read

If a woman ever wrongs you, just go on with the rest of your day. When that day is over, go on with the rest of your life. Take that irritation or fury, crumple it into a tight fist and toss it over your shoulder.

Because you will turn gray waiting for an apology from a woman. Your grandchildren will grow up and join university as you simmer in the corner, waiting for a simple “I am sorry”. Cristiano Ronaldo will score in the Champions League final at the age of 50… Someone will campaign to be the 8th President of Kenya… humanity will colonize Mars and build airbnbs on Neptune… all while you decay in your house, kept warm only by the indignation that a woman wronged you and refused to own up to it.

It’s one of the marvels of nature that women find the offense button with the most ease of any creature in the animal kingdom (and push it just as often), but that they would rather see off their nipples than admit to being on the wrong.

For too long, they have not had to bear the brunt of their actions for the stunning, mind blowing reason that they are attractive. How can you still be mad at her when she’s so cute? She’s pouting, look! Put away your anger, sir, what’s wrong with you?

And then there is the fact that emotional manipulation is a game they know by heart. Many married men will try and explain the rules of this game, and all of them will fail miserably.

You see, when you, the man, are wrong, you are supposed to apologize. By mouth at first, several times in the immediate aftermath of your mistake, intermittently in the following weeks, and finally, in writing, in two collated letters that will be stored for future referral. You must then apologize by wallet too. Flowers, at the least, followed by either a dinner at a fancy restaurant or a trip somewhere that isn’t your village.

When a woman is wrong, however, and this is where the rulebook gets a little fuzzy, you must also apologize. For upsetting her by allowing her to be on the wrong. For ruining her mood with all these disagreements. For letting her pout for a whole ten minutes, as if she didn’t have better things to do. Just apologize and stop asking too many questions.

Therein lies the crux of the problem. A man’s apology is never adequate, while a woman’s goes without saying. His mistake will be lorded over him for the rest of his days and narrated to his children in the future like bedtime stories. Her mistakes are to be forgotten immediately, like a slip of the tongue.

The result is usually a very quiet ten minutes, during which the woman prepares to swing her femininity like a battle axe, and the man realizes he has no recourse. Either he apologizes, or the sexual tap is cut off. Either he capitulates or he will have to live in an environment more deadly quiet and radioactive than Chernobyl.

Is it any wonder the word ‘terrorist’ has been bandied about when talking about the fairer sex? Or that the expression is ‘be the bigger man’?

A more mature conversation would be about accountability. Everyone should be held to account for their actions, for their words, for how they made others feel. It should not be lumped in with the boring gender debate we lazily throw ourselves into whenever we go down these paths. Everyone should have to hold up their hands, acknowledge their faults and seek to do better. That very long list includes parents, employers and even celebrities.

Which brings us to the forced, impatient, throwaway farce that is the “Si nimesema pole” apology. Shoved down your throat. Chucked in your general direction like a banana peel. Take it or leave it. There, I said the words. Can we move on already?

Men are never allowed to move on in the wake of a mistake. Either they apologize and are found wanting still, or they refuse to and are considered assholes. Nobody forgets, either. Maybe, in the pursuit of that fabled gender parity, we should start extending the same courtesy to women who mess up.

No batting of your lashes. No flashing of your bits, salivatory as they may be to deflect. No half-hearted, insincere apologies. Say it with your considerable chest, please, and mean it.

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