It was a bright, sunny afternoon in the city of Chaka. As lunch time arrived, all busy workers in the city breathed a sigh of relief and took a well-deserved break. In a particular office, located in the centre of the city, were three co-workers Sadman, Sakib and Rahman. They sat at their lunch table and politely argued over whom among them was the most feminist man.
"I always encourage my wife to be as independent as I," said Sadman, while wearing the clothes his wife ironed and eating the lunch his wife made. "I also inspire her to work harder, which is why I let her handle her day-time job, parenting the kids and the household chores all on her own. This will allow her to truly live up to her potential, you know?" he continued.
"You're absolutely right! In this modern day and age, a woman's place is not just in the kitchen, it's all over the house. It only makes sense to let her manage all the tasks around the house," chimed in Sakib. "Being a feminist has made me realise that society does not respect women enough. This is why I'm forcing my wife to dress the way I deem appropriate and giving her the chance to earn my respect," he added.
"Really? How is she taking it?" asked Sadman.
"She curses at me at times and says silly things such as 'Why did I settle for you?' or 'You're such a misogynist' and other little jokes, but it's no big deal. I understand that change can be difficult," said Sakib.
Everybody nodded in agreement.
"My wife is extremely important to me, which is why I sat my family down to have a talk about this before getting married. I made sure they knew that none of that old-timey 'control and oppress the daughter-in-law' mentality will fly with me. After the talk, they all agreed to treat my wife like royalty… like the Duchess of Sussex to be specific," said Rahman.
"We're all such great allies, I wish more men acknowledged the hardships women face and actively tried to do their part in attaining equality for all," said Sakib, shaking his head in disappointment.
Just as the gentlemen were about to declare a tie among themselves and conclude that they are all equally feminist, the new employee, Farhan, joined the lunch table.
"Hey, what are you guys talking about?" asked Farhan. Upon being briefed on the dilemma in hand, Farhan spoke up, "Guess what, I once made a cup of tea for my wife."
Everyone at the table shuddered in disbelief. Bloodshot and wide-eyed, jaws on the floor, they screamed in unison, "WHAT???"
"Yup," Farhan replied with a smug look on his face. He knew they were no competition to him.
The three men looked at each other, and without saying a word, agreed that Farhan was the clear winner. Proudly, they picked up Farhan for his Lion King moment and held him in the sun's rays, like Rafiki held Simba upon his birth. They chanted "Alpha male! Alpha male! Alpha male!" and crowned him as the feminist icon of the office.
Nuzhat Hassan Chowdhury is a student of Economics and Finance from North South University.