I don’t like La Patrona.
I don’t think she likes me that much either.
But if one day you end up with her in a bar, you will be confused if the tall, beautiful, delightful, demure, gracious young woman seated across you is the mother of chaos online, where she has both male and female admirers. And detractors.
A few years back, La Patrona’s name would be mentioned in my circles by my female acquaintances with so much pride and honor. She was saying things that most women lack the courage to say. From what I heard, I didn’t want to ever read anything she wrote.
When my book, 50 Memos to Men, Vol.1 came out, a gentleman in Meru bought her the book as a gift. I looked for her number, called her, introduced myself, and told her some gentleman had bought her my book.
“I know my content is not exactly your cup of tea, but this is a gift, you have to receive it,” I told her.
“Well, I can take it, but I don’t guarantee that I will read it,” she said, in a calm, almost sarcastic tone. Zero enthusiasm. She gave me her real name and address. Her name sounded very Luoish, yet I knew she was as Meru as they come.
I sent her the book. She read it. And she told me it was the best book she had ever read, and I was right in virtually every single memo.
Well, that is not exactly what she said. To date, I don’t know if she ever read my book, or if she used it to light a blunt, assuming she smokes marijuana.
Then I started reading her online. I found her work to be erudite, and well-argued (we can always disagree on the facts and contexts, but well, she can spin her argument with delight, conviction, and humour), but I drew the line where she started insulting men in their 30s. You know that thing they say about old women and dry bones? Yeah.
I am in my 30s. The last thing you want is a woman in her early 20s calling you unmoisturized and a retired field marshal. I hated her for it. As much as men sometimes determine how women dress, makeup and such, women too dictate how men should look and dress. And La calling men unmoisturized is as ghetto as it comes. However, it was an intelligent insult, and it made me laugh. I have had to check if my elbows, my back, and my legs are well moisturized before I venture out of the house. Most men have confessed to me that they never used to be keen on moisturizing their skin but because of her insults, now they have to stock up on Vaseline jelly and lotion.
Because she can go ham on men, sometimes unhinged, sometimes for fun, she is hated by a section of men. Because I tell women uncomfortable truths about themselves and remind men what female nature is, a section of women hates me. In some men’s eyes, she is a misandrist, in the same way, I am a misogynist in the eyes of women, who think I need to heal and get laid regularly.
She has been told she is thin because feminists don’t eat well. This made her start eating, though she doesn’t like food that much. She can go a whole day without eating before she remembers she is supposed to eat. There are men who think that she ‘hates’ men because she is sexually starved. That she needs children and that can make her calm down. Standard misogyny, much.
Over the course of the last year, we have had our debates. All too frequently, we agree. All too frequently we disagree, and vehemently so. To settle this, I invited her for a drink at a cocktail bar.
She arrived wearing a floral, bluish, backless romper. She has one of the best legs you can see on a Thursday evening, though she warned me to stop sexualizing women. But I like legs, the whole world and its mother know this. For someone who identifies as a feminist, in and out, I was expecting dreadlocks, thick black jeans, and everything that downplays her femininity. Alas! The feminist who showed up was more feminine than all women in the bar. With a romper, a black jacket, and heels, she looked perfect for the night. I wish she was my date. She turned heads as we walked into Number 7, on Koinange St. I have never dated a tall woman, and walking in with her feels good. Note to self: Next time go for a tall woman, they are a vibe.
It is happy hour, but she doesn’t feel like drinking anything hard for the night. So, she orders a mojito which comes in jugfuls. The thing tastes like water, but that is what she ordered, so that is what we settle to have, though I would have wished for something strong.
“What is the worst insult you ever received from a man?”
“Some men say that I am intolerant towards misogyny because I don’t get fu**d enough. Male logic is weird,” she tells me.
I can’t argue against that. La Patrona is at the centre of the gender wars online. The gender wars have gotten murkier and murkier. In the 2010s, women ruled and men had no voice. Cyprian Nyakundi started it out for men a few years back, but now, so many men out here speak their truth and some of the most vocal women have gone silent, swimming in NGO cash somewhere in Kilimani or Ngong’ Road, some lost to motherhood and its discontents, and some just fell off the map, probably wrestling a Ph.D. in Gender Studies somewhere in Oslo. Into that void they left, La Patrona ably stepped in, and what a run she has had! She is unafraid, though she says she has earned male enemies, it is female enemies that worry her, sometimes.
She champions reproductive health rights for women and has made it her mission to end the orgasm gap between men and women. Turns out that men are always sexually satisfied because men can orgasm easily and quickly, but most women can go on forever without an orgasm. And men don’t care or they lack the critical skills of ensuring that their women are satisfied in bed. It is a sensitive subject.
“I don’t think it is that bad,” I tell her. She is vehement, it is. That is why she has even used her platforms to market female sex toys, which is the bravest thing anyone, let alone a young woman can do. But we live in a free world.
“So, what can we do to bridge the orgasm gap?” I ask her.
“Be less eager about penetration. A lot of women do not orgasm through penetrative sex and yet men think the penis is the Alpha and Omega of sex,” she says.
Tied to this is the thorny issue of contraception. Women still carry the heaviest burden of contraception, which comes with immense side effects.
“Can men take the initiative to wear condoms?” she asks me. I don’t have an answer, partly because I am a celibate priest, and I don’t know much about what people do in their bedrooms and who should do what during sex. I plead the fifth.
“You don’t have to be reminded always and sometimes when a woman is young, they struggle to voice their demands,” she says in defense of the power differences when an older man sleeps with a younger woman.
Well, I find her demands to be sensible. But is there room for women to also be accountable for some of their choices and actions?
Eventually, we discuss the elephant in the room: The sex toys she has marketed on her page, often eliciting some of the meanest comments from women towards men and their ability to perform in bed. Should men be worried about toys?
“Toys can never outperform a man who is actually good in bed. The only people who should be worried about them are the men who think the clit is a small village in Kazakhstan,” she says and sips her mojito.
I never thought in the name of Mekatilili wa Menza, this is what freedom meant.
Since it is running late, we have to leave. Two last questions.
Can men and women get along? Why is there so much bile in the streets?
“Tell men that women are not the enemy. Capitalism is. Bad governance is,” she says matter-of-factly.
I have so much to tell her about what women have done for men. But I realize, I will not get far with that argument.
Time to leave, but there is a female acquittance from back in the day, who insists we sit at her table. For those who have read my book, Man About Town, she is the lawyer who tried to sell me ugly boxers. We sit there, I down a beer, and La downs a glass of wine, to empty chit-chat with the lawyer, whom it suddenly dawns on me, she is not a lawyer after all. But that is neither here nor there.