Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Republic of Femnia

Republic of Femnia

As I sat opposite her in one of the plush armchairs of her huge office, I thought she looked a bit masculine. After all, she was wearing a trouser suit, collar and tie. What’s more, her face was rather hairy. I had come to interview the rather fearsome Minister for Propaganda in the Republic of Femnia, Ms Lysistrata.

‘Kalaki,’ she said, rather accusingly, ‘that doesn’t sound like a female name!’

‘Oh it is,’ I assured her. ‘In my language Kalak means ‘collect’. I was named after my maternal grandmother who was called Kalaki, meaning the collector, because she collected so many husbands.’

‘So what brings you here, all the way from Zambia?’

‘I’m writing an article for Femnet News, which is publishing an issue on gender equality for Women’s Day,’ I explained. ‘They suggested I come here, where women are in charge, to see how the system works. Would you say you have gender equality here?’

‘Very much so,’ she said, as she lit a cigar. ‘I’m pleased to say that here in Femnia we treat our men very well.’

Your men?’

‘Oh yes, we give our men equal opportunity with women. So if they happen not to do well, it’s entirely their own fault.’

As she was talking, in came her secretary, wearing a see-through blouse and a short frilly skirt. As he bent down to put a tray of tea on the table, the Minister slipped her hand up his skirt. ‘Ooh you naughty boy,’ she said, giving him a little kiss, ‘you’ve forgotten to put your panties on again!’

‘That’s my boy Fluff,’ she said, as the secretary left, swinging his hips from side to side.’

‘I was just wondering,’ I said, ‘with women in charge, whether you have any problems with sexual harassment in the workplace?’

‘Never,’ she said, as she tenderly stroked her cigar.

‘So women and men get equal treatment?’


‘Then why do you think that women have all the top positions?’

‘These men are just not serious. They are more interested in lipstick and mascara, straightening their hair, shaving their faces and legs, painting their nails, and trying to look sexually attractive.’

‘Why? Is it difficult for a man to find a wife?’

‘That’s the problem,’ said Lysistrata. ‘You see, Kalaki, here in Femnia, prosperous women like a bit of young stuff, still full of sexual energy. Even then, he’ll probably be divorced by thirty when she goes for something younger. After that, he’ll be lucky to find a poor widowed grandmother.’

‘But why can’t men get jobs and earn their own money?’

‘We give them all the chances, but they’re too playful. They leave school early, trying to find rich older women. And some of these rich old women will pay a fat lobola for a young stallion.’

‘Nonetheless, you do have a few men in government. How did that happen?’

‘Because of the UN Convention on Gender Equality,’ she sighed. ‘We have to let in a few token men.’

‘So where do you put them?’

‘In the Ministry for Men, which was started especially for them. They organize small loans for men to start football clubs and hair salons, and that sort of thing. The programme is called Partners in Development, funded entirely by Sweden.’

‘So men can’t really get into mainstream politics?’

‘Not usually. But sometimes, when a famous woman dies without leaving a daughter as her heir, we may consider a widower or son to inherit the position. We dress him up in a suit and tie and he becomes an honorary female.’

‘But what about men who can’t inherit from their mothers?’

‘Then obviously they have to achieve it for themselves.’ she laughed. ‘They have equal opportunity with women, so if they fail then they have only themselves to blame. We can’t give them positions just because they are men, we can only appoint on merit. The problem with most of our men is that they’re too interested in sex, drink and football. It’s difficult enough to get them to behave responsibly in the home, never mind letting them into government!’

I leant forward and said confidentially into her ear ‘Look, we’re sisters here together, you can tell me. You keep them out, don’t you?’

‘Between you and me,’ she said, lowering her voice, ‘We have to. You see, it’s our tradition. Once a woman has chosen a husband, he’s supposed to stay at home, be available to fertilize his wife, and look after her children. This is how it was ordained by God when She made Eve, and then fashioned Adam from Eve’s rib so that she would have a helper.’

‘Are men not suited for government?’

‘They’re biologically unsuited. Their brains are too small and their genitals are too large, and when they get sexually excited then all the blood rushes from their brains to their genitals. Of course we love them for that, but we can’t have that sort of thing in government.’

‘And do the men also accept this?’ I wondered.

‘Of course they do,’ she replied. ‘Our men are well educated to know their place. That’s what schools and churches are for.’

‘But supposing one day they rebel?’

‘Between you and me,’ she said confidentially, ‘if they ever get into government, it would be a disaster.’

‘Yes,’ I said. ‘I know what you mean.’


  1. Hi Kalaki,
    Equality is something we must all strive for in modern Zambian politics. Are you saying women aren't interested in politics but only in sex, entertainment and mascara?

  2. We have to get intrested in what is in their minds for national development than their gender false notions which retard development.