Tuesday, October 27, 2020

‘Small houses’ may be factor in rise of HIV/AIDS

He wakes with a start to find the sun’s rays already streaming through the window. Next to him, the woman wakes up at the same time. They both start to panic.

He dashes to where he parked his bicycle, for he has to make it home before his wife realizes he had been gone all night and give him a grilling. The woman whose house he has just slept in watches him, a bundle of nerves, terrified that people have seen the bicycle, so they probably know he slept there.

She knows he is a married man, but she has been involved with him for longer than a year.
Growing up, we all heard stories of how cheating men were often caught at their lovers’ places back in the days. Some of us didn’t believe that situations like those existed until we grew older. Unfortunately the cheating trend has worsened with time, in most cases where there is sexual contact, it’s usually unprotected.

Some of the men in our country feel they are entitled to more than one woman, while some women have submitted to them, supposedly because of their inferiority complexes.

You can spot the woman who has dated a married man with two kids. The tell tale sign? He only visits at weekends. Everyone who knows the woman ÔÇô peers and family ÔÇô have advised her to leave him because for her, it is a doomed relationship. But she won’t let go because ‘she’s in love with him’ and believes that one day he will leave his family for her.

You see this type of woman everywhere ÔÇô the social ‘disease’ she carries appears contagious, with girls in universities and colleges catching it too. How can we not have a country that is infested with the HIV/AIDS virus when our line of thinking is so warped?

The men who are in relationships and continue to see other people on the side refer to these women as “small houses.” The purpose of this article is to find out reasons why these women stick around to be treated as second best.

In the age where the HIV/AIDS viruses as well as STIs are on a rampage, people still take the concept of being faithful to one’s partner for granted, especially men. Now we as women have a tendency of blaming men for all that goes wrong in the world without looking at what we could be doing wrong.

The men in our country have this belief that Botswana has too many women and there are less men so every man would be doing the women a favor by dating as many of them as he possibly could. Some even use the excuse that having more than one woman is “our culture” because it has always been practiced for a very long time.

The power is in our hands as women because we are the ones that let them violate us in the first place. We never think about karma and the feelings of hurt we are causing the other woman by being selfish. Some of these women who are involved with attached men will tell you that when you get to a certain age all the men are either in a serious relationship or they are married and you have no choice but to displace the woman you found.

What has the world come to, when nothing is no longer sacred. Marriage used to be a big deal. These days it’s just a piece of paper. People take monogamy for granted, and out of those who practice it, only a few make it. What can we do to empower our women to a point where they stop feeling inferior? Maybe the answers can reduce the spread of AIDS?

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The Telegraph October 28

Digital edition of The Telegraph, October 28, 2020.