Nairobi County Woman Representative aspirant on Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket, Esther Passaris, has advised women, especially those in African setting, on how to deal with men’s egos, which many have deemed to be larger than life.
Speaking on Citizen Television’s Monday Special show, on May 1, Passaris advised that women should make men believe that an idea originated from them – even if it did not – in order to get things done fast and effectively.
“Make him believe that the idea is his. Believe you me, if you turn it around and make him believe that (what you are implementing is his idea), and you actually agree with him, and then you find a way to go round,… This is the thing, a man would not want to implement an idea that is not his; he would not want to implement an idea where you don’t make him feel respected and needed. If you read books such as the Bible, you have submission as the main thing (sic). I think God knew that these men have egos and so submission is a very big thing to a man,” she said.
Asked whether she will submit to her male counterparts in Parliament – that is, if she gets there –, Ms Passaris, said yes; but with a disclaimer.
“When I talk about submission I don’t mean submission to the point where you are stupid. I mean submission to the point where you recognise that men will always want to be the head in everything. So, you go around it in a different way. We are in an African country, where it is even worse. If it was in a Scandinavian country, I wouldn’t have to deal with that issue (male ego) because they already view women as equals. But in Africa? No we don’t, we don’t. Women are not yet equal to men,” said Ms Passaris.
The businesswoman said the patriarchal setting in Africa places men at a perceived superior platform hence the men’s fragile ego, which, according to her, is easy to deal with for women in politics.
“A woman has to almost understand that you are probably dealing with a man who is narcissistic, who has an ego, who has a position; and he doesn’t understand what you are doing in this space (politics). This (politics) is men’s domain.
“A lot of men have a lot of respect for me because of what I have achieved. But it still does not stop them from seeing me as a woman who is supposed to be inferior. I think respect is earned gradually and slowly and I don’t want to push it. The majority that will be in Parliament will be men. And we will need to sit down and agree; come on, look at the reality – our people are suffering, our people are poor. I think people are beginning to understand that Kenyans are tired, they want leadership,” she said.
Monday Special host, Anne Kiguta, chimed in and enquired if Ms Passaris, would go on dinner dates with male politicians to try talk them in a certain way so as to get them lower their egos and support women legislators on certain crucial bills, which (probably) had been rejected in a previous attempt.
Ms Passaris responded: “I don’t think I will be doing the dinner dates because I have to get home to my husband.”
Esther Passaris, who won the ODM’s Woman Representative ticket on Monday, May 1, with 65,104 votes against Beatrice Kwamboka who garnered 11,296, will face off with Jubilee Party candidate Rachel Shebesh, among other aspirants on August 8 general election.