UTIs and unkempt nails: The shocking truth about men's hands

A man biting his nails. (Courtesy/iStock)

What is it with men and being allergic to lotion? Two things happen whenever we have general elections in Kenya. One: The electorate votes for their new leaders, and two: Kenyan men show us they are brave enough to walk around looking like people who have just stepped out of a posho mill.

They post their hands on social media and when we see their fingernails, we finally understood why Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are such a common occurrence for women.

If they washed their hands more regularly, they would kill the UTI medication industry but they prefer to do the unpaid dirty work of bringing them clients. After all, masculinity dictates that men’s hands have to be a little dirty or they are not manly enough.

Apart from the fingers being a total health hazard to the women they sleep with, their hands were also extremely ashy, and dry. You could tell that moisturizing is a myth to them. That the only time they get into contact with oil is when they are using Arimis to have sex with themselves, aka “kunyonga.”

Self care is such a big issue with heterosexual men because of the socialisation they got while growing up. They believe that self care is inherently feminine or gay and that is why you will find them on socials getting into debates about whether it is acceptable for a man to wipe his ass. It should not be a topic of discussion but it is because they adhere to restrictive societal norms related to manhood that do not allow them to be.

Moreover, gender norms have long dictated and reaffirmed that heterosexual relationships are based by how much the woman can clean up after the men in her life and it is a cycle that has been accepted as the way of life.

Mothers clean after their sons who later marry women who clean up after them. Sisters clean up after their brothers and they later graduate into wives and girlfriends who clean after their intimate partners.

At some point, men have to accept that they are just dirty, not masculine. There is nothing masculine about walking around with dirty, ashy hands, and crusty skin that looks more reptilian than human because you were last oiled by your mother. Putting on some lotion has never killed anyone.

At some point, they also have to admit that they just lack the necessary life skills that an adult should have. Not being able to clean after yourself is not a masculine trait. It is just basic hogwash that contributes to the vast population of men children who cannot exist on their own without having women by their side.

Men marry because cooking is so stressful to them. They marry because they hate doing laundry, and dishes. This stuff is normalised that when people see a man with a dirty house, they recommend getting a wife without realising that these norms have a direct implication to men’s health and their life expectancy.

Research suggests that men who stay single have a 32 per cent chance of dying up to 17 years earlier than men who find life partners. The quality of our lives depends on the care we receive from ourselves or others and men are so negligent when it comes to self care. They get sick and you have to force them to go to the hospital. They actually only go to the hospital when they are on the verge of dying.

The lack of care towards self is one of the reasons why widowers and divorced men are hit with loss harder than their female counterparts, and why they are usually in a hurry to remarry. In retrospect, marriage to men is more about having a primary caregiver, and an unpaid personal assistant who makes sure they are well fed, well dressed, and they are living in a conducive environment that allow them to thrive.

Research again suggests that partnered men experience improved mental health and a lower risk of depression and I wouldn’t dispute it. Staying in a dirty house that has a stinking odour from last week’s utensils can send anyone into depression.

Society needs to define masculinity and what it means to be a manly man but before it does let us get one thing clear. Being comfortable with ashy, rough hands and dirty nails is not it. Cut your nails and stop giving women UTIs.



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