Why women fight over men


The reason women fight over men is simple – lack.

To many women, a single man can represent a roof over their head, food in their belly, clothes on their back and most importantly – a pride in their bearing.

...he's not yours ... he's ours!


And quite frankly, I don’t know of many people who wouldn’t fight to protect an “investment” that guarantees them most of life’s basic necessities.

I know that I would fight anyone who tried to take my shelter away, grab my food from me and snatch the sweet out of my mouth.

I would fight anyone who made the mistake of trying to leave me nude by pulling the clothes off my back or even worse, expose me to public ridicule by making me an object of pity.

I would fight any one.

The problem though is not that we want to fight for these things or indeed that we desire to have and keep them.

The problem is that not many of us (women) exert ourselves to pursuing these things for our benefit because we have been raised in a society where having a man equates to having all of the above – shelter, food, clothing and “respectability”.

...sometimes these rings are all that stand between a woman and poverty

So women fight other women because they fear to remain homeless, hungry, naked and ‘ashamed’.

I know many women who fight to have shelter, to have food, to have clothing by working damn hard to earn those things and whose sense of purpose gives them all the dignity they require – these are the empowered women; clawing their way to the top; understanding that they can succeed on their own.

I know many women; and I am one of them, who don’t summarize other human beings (read men) into shelter, food, clothes and status.

I find it irksome when women who have the potential to accomplish whatever they want in life opt to take a “short cut” by just getting a man to provide all the things they need and because they have chosen this dependency they make themselves vulnerable to abuse from their benefactor (read man).

Not only that, they find themselves obsessed with chasing off other women who will have had the same idea as they did, which is, “Let me find a man to take care of me.”

It seems clever, especially to the young 24 year old involved with a married older man; because she gets what she wants faster and easier than her age-mates who may make the sensible choice of just working hard and slowly attaining the things they wish to have.

I don’t pretend to know it all but what I am certain of is that there is nothing for free in this life – one way or the other – people pay for what they have; through sweat or tears.

...sweat or tears? The choice is yours. One way or the other - life will demand that you foot the bill

Sweat or tears.

Many women prefer to pay through tears; they prefer life’s billing system to charge them through tears of pain, suffering, abuse, rejection and misery as long as they get to drive around in flashy cars they don’t own, live in houses on whose title deeds their names don’t appear; eat food their money didn’t pay for and wear clothes they didn’t lose a cent to buy.

But men are raised differently; they are raised to expect life’s billing system to charge them in the currency called sweat; they sweat to work, to achieve because they have been told that they have to expect to “keep” someone else, to provide a shelter, food, clothing and ‘protection’ to a woman – they can even marry her so that in return she’ll wash, cook, clean and have babies.

Seems like a reasonable arrangement, right?

Well I don’t think so, I think it is unfair to expect another adult who happens to be male to carry the weight of responsibility for another adult who happens to be female by giving him the sole obligation to sweat all life-long while the role of the woman could just be to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

... some women are raised to believe they can sell themselves to the highest bidder!

It seems to be such a parasitic arrangement to me.

One way or the other, we’re gonna pay – women need to start deciding whether they want to keep settling life’s bills through tears because as long as the culture of looking for a man to “take care” of you remains, violence against women will remain a vicious cycle.

This level of one-sided dependence is unhealthy, parasitic and creates a fertile environment for women to be abused and to resort to violence when they feel their relationships are being threatened by other women.

So women fight over men because it is matter of survival for them; it is a matter of lack, of defending a relationship that guarantees the basics they desperately need – shelter, food, clothing (and because of society’s skewed patriarchal thinking) some semblance of human dignity – but this “dignity” aspect is fodder for another article.

I know of some men who abuse women and tell them “you’re nothing without me” – the sad reality is; many women truly HAVE nothing unless a man grants it to them.

Parting shot: Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds (Marcus Garvey)
This article is part of series written ahead of and in cognizance of the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence

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13 thoughts on “Why women fight over men

  1. Sharese says:

    Loving the parting shot. Marcus Garvey was an amazing human and that quote speaks so much truth! (the rest of my comments, as you saw, is on WorldPulse).

    Wonderful post as always, my friend.

    Much Peace to you throughout your week.

  2. gugu says:

    Very true, was thinking along those same lines. I like how you summarise to two methods of payment for life’s necessities; sweat or tears. I’d rather sweat any day, really. Different strokes hey, isn’t they say other women enjoy crying, eish

  3. Magubelo says:

    Lovely piece De, we need to find a way to make such pertinent literature available to teen girls, to educate them on all aspects of life. Okunye yikungazi shuwa, phela we are somehow taught as girls while growing up that our duty is to take care of our brothers and fathers and school is some annoying afterthought.

  4. Duduzile Ngwenyama says:

    Lovely piece,dear,you couldnt have said it better.Someone once said”,only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live”Whilst one is still stuck in an abusive relationship they think they are as good as dead if they leave but i have proven the contrary to be true,through personal experiences.Our lives are in our hands,choose freedom or be in that shelter and eat that meat with a tear stained face for the rest of your life.

  5. stanford chiwanga says:

    The problem with women is that most see men as the saviour, the figurehead, the legs that give them stability and the ultimate answer to their problems. And i am sorry to say that will never change, admittedly now and then a few women with destiny in their own hands will rise … only a few

  6. Setor says:

    There is no short cut in this life.Really, i find it difficult to understand why some people always wanted to depend on others,for simple things that they knew they can devote their time and energy to achieve.It is high time people learn to do things by themselves.I’m not against people helping others, but we should do it in a manner that, those whom we are helping do not see it as we will be there for them always.I will teach my daughter to sweat to make it life, than any other method of short-cutting to make it.

  7. My sister – as true as your argument is, I must mention that you did miss out that all-important demographic of women who are forced to rely on men; women with no education and no hope of getting any, women who are rapes, beaten, molested but cannot go anywhere.

    It is well and good for us the eloquent and erudite to demean other women who just latch onto men (and yes, there many women like that) but let’s be fair and say that we are darn lucky that God has looked favourably upon us and given us the means to liberate ourselves.

    Some of these women are emancipated from mentale slavery, but sadly not from the economic shackles that the world wraps around their bodies.

  8. Khanyile Joseph Mlotshwa says:

    I love this article mostly because it is multifaceted and looks at the issue from various viewpoints. I agree with you mostly when you say some women are raised to sell themselves to the highest bidder. It is such an embarrassing reality, especially on our side of the country where Ndebele man are seen as abantu abawomelayo. I have an acquaintance who always asks ukuthi kanti osisi bethu bathengisani besithi siyawomela. That mentality is a mystery to me and I always wonder what our sisters will achieve. As you put it women should learn to work hard and have their own and enter marriages as equals not as some ‘grown up kids’ who have to be looked after by men. And things as simple as that are what will make the Beijing resolutions come into fruition…

  9. robin says:

    its unfortunate how we fight for some one else’s possessions.this is what kills us. we mus try and drift away from ancient practices, we end up in bondage and cant set our selves free.we are a new breed that can stand up fro themselves.Get up and work ladies, its easy to be your own boss and take care of your self.this dependency syndrome must be flushed out as a matter of urgency.

  10. yolanda says:

    yah i certainly agree with you coz the miniute you let them control and define who shld be then therez a problem. Uplifting ourselves by working for it will jus pay off all the pain nad miseries so yah viva women lets work our way to independence and freeing ourselves from mental slavery

  11. Chiedza says:

    Hi Delta, this is a very interesting question which to me does not have one answer. Firstly, I think it is critical to ask ourselves why some women resort to men for resources in the first place? The tendency has been to look at this paradoxical issue on the individual level that a woman chooses to be dependent on a man at the expense of her capabilities by choice or ‘independent’ by pursuing her purpose by choice too. And I prescribe to this school of thought, to a certain extent. Sometimes I feel this independent discourse is just misinterpreted more so by some married women. I do not think it is all about being ‘independent’ but, recognizing your purpose as a woman and using that to complement your spouse’s. But, we have to admit that, realistically speaking, that’s not how it is; there is a lot of competition with spouses or so much dependency on a man, which to me is just crippling.

    On another level, I think sometimes we miss it when the argument stops at the individual analysis and fails to disentangle the underpinnings of structural issues as causing some women to take the route of men as ‘resource dispensaries’ or worse fight over men. To me, one of the reasons for this, which we cannot ignore, is the inherent hierarchical nature of patriarchal norms that perpetuate the confinement of women into private spaces away from public spaces. Patriarchy is not necessarily those traditional practices that divided and disadvantaged women over men but, it is very much a construction with the power of ‘othering’ the woman. This without doubt silences a woman’s voice especially in critical decision making processes. Also and most importantly (at least for me), the other possible explanation as to why women make men this ‘welfare state’ is very much structural at the political level. We see this time and again how women (and I am generalizing) are being used to legitimize states/governments. While there is so much advocacy and support to have women take up political positions, we should question such initiatives if they keep women away from benefiting from economic empowerment opportunities. How can you empower someone without creating opportunities for economic sustainability? It gives power to men and hence some women become vulnerable and end up looking for men to meet their needs.

    But, having said all this, this does not mean women are powerless, and cant do anything, not at all! One thing we can continue to do is creating those spaces of resistance to challenge these structural manipulations affecting women at the very top and especially those at the bottom of the societal structure. This is what I think and of course, I don’t expect anyone to agree with me :)

  12. mthulisi says:

    enlightening as always . we may say we are living in the 21st century but our minds are still in the primitive era were women are merely child bearers, women must now realise that lack of an o level certificate is no excuse for lazing around as there are a lot of sekf help projects that they can undertake .

  13. one can argue that it can go both ways

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