Saturday, May 5, 2007

A Sad Saturday

There is no Mystery Date in today’s The New Vision. I can only leave you with an excerpt from the Dr Love column by Hilary Bainemigisha:

“I was stuck in a traffic jam when this gorgeous woman approached me with a CHOGM [Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting, to take place in Uganda in November] smile, asking if I could help her do something on her car…So I parked and followed her bouncing bums to a 2000 model VW Golf.

The problem was that the car’s battery was down and she wanted to jump-start the engine, but did not know how and did not want to trust ‘anybody’ with her car. To her amazement, I cranked the beauty into life and came out a ‘thank you very much’ richer.

So, she was not a con-woman after all, but a peace loving citizen like you and me, except that she was not smart enough. Smart not in clothes, but wit—and that was why we never exchanged business cards.

If ladies are going to drive cars only men used to drive, they must learn the survival instincts that come as a package for all drivers.

There is nothing unladylike about a female changing a tyre…Modernity has evolved into a system where work and roles have to cut across gender prescription.

Women used to cook for us, but go to hotels and tell me if most cooks are not male. In the army, there are female field commanders. Cab (taxi) drivers do not have to be male. Even in sports, football, boxing, netball and car rallies stopped being gender-exclusive long time ago.

When I grew up, the system did not allow me to enter our kitchen. But today, I cannot demarcate my house into go and no-go areas for either sex.

A boy, who can cook, do laundry, cultivate, tend to livestock, navigate computers and find his way easily around relationships is an all rounder with success printed all over his face.

So, ladies who do not know how to jump-start your cars, return next week when you know what lies in your car’s bonnet and what it does.

Do not allow your mechanic to give you a seat and a soda when he is working on your car. Be there with him asking why he is doing what he is doing.

You may not take me seriously now but when you grow wiser, you will look for my number and thank me.”

Hilary makes some fair arguments, to be sure. I agree that women should know how to change a tire and jump start their car. But I don't believe every male driver in this country knows how do both of those things. Frankly, they hardly know how to drive at all. And I don't think it's fair to judge a woman's whole intelligence on whether or not she can do them. Maybe the particular female Hilary ran into was too busy learning from her mechanic because she was studying to become a doctor, or running a bank, or something else that only men used to be allowed to do.