PS: I’M CURRENTLY TOYING WITH THE IDEA OF A SECOND BLOG ,WHICH WILL BE A LOT LESS SELF ABSORBED THAN HAPYGYPSY AND MORE RADICAL AND TINS. OR I MIGHT JUST DO THAT ON HERE. THIS PIECE WILL BE ONE OF SUCH ARTICLES FOR “SELEKE” (TENTATIVE TITLE FOR NEW BLOG) IF I GO ON WITH IT.PARDON ME IF I AM NOT AS WITTY AS USUAL, I’M A LITTLE TOO BALLISTIC FOR THAT. DO DROP YOUR COMMENTS.ABOUT THE ARTICLE AND WHETHER OR NOT I SHOULD START A SECOND BLOG.
After sharing the grace in church today I remained in my seat, seething and barely able to keep still. This was usually the part where the whole congregation bowed their heads and thanked God for the word they had just heard and asked for the grace to obey and all. I bowed my head, but no such words could come out. The only thing I could blurt out was “God you can’t possibly mean this can you? I stood up and was walking towards the door when the usher tried to stop me, asking that I at least let the ministers file out. Everyone else was still seated and basking in piousness.
A few months ago I had come home angry as well. We’d had an interactive session that somehow degenerated into a men versus women debate and in listing the uses of women; everyone who talked kept listing bathing the kids, cooking, etc. not one reference to the fact that women too worked. That was just foreplay. Today we had something like that, the topic was “strengthening a marriage’’. The anchor was a rather successful businesswoman. You know; the type that everyone always invited to their events so that if nothing else, they would receive some money as an apology for her absence. The one whose children everyone gave treats so they could be in mommy’s good books.
She had been a sort of role model to me because she dressed well and quite frankly, I never saw her with her husband. I actually at a point thought she was a widow or separated. That Sunday months ago it took a bit of nudging to recall my jaw when she’d taken the mic and said same as everyone else. After I came home that day though, my brother said something which I thought was very wise in response to my anger. “If men really treated women as they should, there wouldn’t really be any need for women like me to have to react this way to every perceived chauvinistic statement because in actual fact there wouldn’t be any”. But then, the most important word in that sentence is the first.
Anyway, career woman began to give her two kobo on the matter and each point she made just made me want to rocket out of my chair and hang her for all crimes against womenfolk. Please find below counts I hereby bring against her.
1 Her opening statement was that to make a marriage work, there should be a 70-30 ratio. 70 of course, being the woman’s thanks for being saved from the evil clutches of spinsterhood and upgraded to domestic/sexual staff.
2 Next was that the man is the head and the woman is the neck and a woman should never try to be the head or make the big decisions. I.e even if he is incapable of making a decision on which hand to wipe his butt with. “a woman is made to be under a man” she said, finishing the good old mantra with “I don’t believe in all that women liberation stuff”. I refuse to even comment.
3 On stoking the fire in the loins. Women should stop tying wrapper, should wear sexy underwear and not go to hug him with the smell of onions and pepper if they are still in the kitchen cooking his dinner when he comes back from work. Because you know, it puts off a man to smell what he’s going to eat in a few minutes and even when he expands to almost three times his initial weight and looks like one huge blob of cellulite slouching in the chair, it is still her duty to look like Beyonce and smell like Chanel Noir. i.e after arriving from work and taking care of the kids and cooking and bathing, before he comes. Because if you don’t do these, it will be YOUR fault when he cheats, NATURALLY. At this point I was wondering if at the end she was going to tell us this was all an ad for a super wife drug.
4 On conflict resolution: Do not dare argue during an argument, for he is the head. Wait till he calms down, prepare his favorite meal then give him a good backrub and apply to be heard. This way she informed us, women too can get to make decisions. Let us break out the celebratory drums people. I’ll have a glass of Champagne.
THE PIECE DE RESISTANCE:
Someone asked what you should do if your husband tells you to shut up. Her reply and I quote “if your husband tells you to shut up, I myself am telling you to shut up. Didn’t I say you should not argue with him? If you tell him shut up back and he slaps you don’t come and report to pastor o!” I mean, because obviously you caused it. Look what you did. Now go put an icepack on your black eye and think on your sins.
Incase you are of the incorrect notion she was attacking women alone, she did drop a few nuggets for the men :
1 Obviously its her duty to always apologize but try to apologize some times, behind closed doors of course, so your manly pride is intact. She did say this. She really did.
2 Appreciate her, don’t tear her down with your words. For the same reasons you’re nice to a housegirl, so she doesn’t spit in your food, obvi.
I should note that this talk was punctuated and ended with enormous applause, even from where the single youths were sitted. So I mean, our future is secure. I live in a very rural part of Lagos, Nigeria. So a good number of the women listening to this aren’t educated or learned. Thus career woman is an icon of sorts. Many of these women are probably being mistreated and this is the guidance they get, from a woman who in their eyes has it all, with the full import of religion behind her. The mistreatment of women as dictated by our tradition is being endorsed and reinforced by the only solace of the common man : religion.
How, does one begin to combat the many layers that have made this sacrilege sacrosanct? The helplessness I felt was the reason for my rage. The knowledge that such religiously enforced misleading is happening virtually everywhere in the country, and millions of women are not allowed to consider having it otherwise.
The knowledge that there was nothing I could do about it, being neither married nor a pastor, thus I could neither claim having experience nor God on my speed dial so I could call him in their presence to answer the question that is the title of one of my latest books : “does God hate women?”. I think not, but in this court, I have no evidence. So I rant.
Follow me @hapygypsy on twitter.
Follow me @hapygypsy on twitter.