THE concept of men being providers has been taken to a whole new level with the emergence of slay queens. A slay queen is a young woman who does not have money, but portrays living a luxurious lifestyle. Life coach, Irvin Letswara, and counsellor, Portia Majola, share their thoughts with Move! on this new lifestyle that has turned the world of dating upside down.

THE ROOT OF IT ALL

According to Irvin, it’s parents who have planted the seed of being a gold digger that leads to their children being slay queens. He says some parents gladly admit that they would never allow or be happy with their daughters marrying a man who doesn't have money. He further says that these parents don’t want their daughters to be exposed to poverty and want some assurance that she would be taken care of once she is married. “The problem here is that most parents are not talking to their daughters about having values and self-development. One way to protect someone from poverty is for you to teach them how to sustain themselves,” says Irvin.

THE MEASURE OF A MAN

Irvin says in the African culture, the man’s ability to bring cows is the family’s only measure of determining whether or not he is suitable to marry their child. “The emphasis is on the number of cows or money he can afford to pay for the daughter without even looking at his character. And this system has actually been abused to a point where it is now treated as a sales transaction which is entered into with no interest whatsoever about the two people who are starting a family.” Irvin says a man’s worth is sometimes measured by the material things he has or his family name.  “There’s an argument that because of this, women have to spend a lot of money to maintain their looks so they can impress or be approved by men. This includes doing their hair, nails, make-up and wearing expensive clothes. The argument is that it costs a big deal of money and all these are merely done for men and therefore the man needs to fund that lifestyle,” he says.

THE EMERGENCE OF SLAY QUEENS 

Irvin says slay queens were created by men, but are embraced by women. “The typical scenario of gold digging is young women going after older men with money purely for financial gain. Most men pretend to find slay queens revolting, yet they have no problem using them for sex or disrespecting them,” says Irvin.   Portia explains that the notion that men are providers and women shouldn’t pay their own bills has been around for ages, but this has now been taken to a whole new level. “Instead of raising boys to be men of character and stature, we have ignored them to a point where we have a lot of men with very low self-esteems. The key targets of slay queens are often insecure guys who go out of their way to flaunt their wealth or pay their way into relationships to cover up their lack of self-esteem,” he says.

IT'S ALL A COVER-UP

Portia says on the other hand, there are women who have been badly raised to believe that men must pay for everything to win their affection and attention and that the notion of entitlement and instant gratification are often at play here. “These women put their value on material possessions over substance or character. Some of these men and women feel empty and flaunt what money can buy to cover up their emptiness. We know that sex sells because of the way it is displayed through social media, TV adverts, movies, music videos and fashion trends. We have put more emphasis on how a woman looks on the outside rather than on what kind of a person she truly is on the inside.”

SOCIETAL PRESSURE

Portia explains that the pressure that comes with the standards that society has set for us is so heavy that we have forgotten about values and morals. “Society has put value on material things and this makes some people feel that they are better than others because they have large bank accounts,” says Portia. “We all want to belong to a certain group in society, especially the upper class because we have this notion that being rich or seen as rich is the way of life. This leads to situations where men struggle to get themselves good women or women get trapped in loveless relationships or marriages purely for financial gain.”