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My Reply To Ikechukwu Onyemelukwe (On Taking Down The Bride Price App)

Take down the app that promotes objectification and misogyny towards women.

Petition by Ikechukwu Onyemelukwe; Loughborough, United Kingdom

"Misogyny is a central part of sexist prejudice and ideology and, as such, is an important basis for the oppression of females in male-dominated societies. Misogyny is manifested in many different ways, from jokes to pornography to violence to the self-contempt women may be taught to feel toward their own bodies." - Allan Johnson

Bridepricecheck is a web app that assigns virtual monetary value (in Naira) to women in an attempt to calculate their bride price based on factors such as their level of education, skin colour, nationality, weight, beauty, physical features, spoken accents, country of residence, employment status etc.

A bride price is a practice popular in many Asian and African cultures, which involves the payment of an amount of money, or property, or wealth by the groom or his family to the parents of a woman as a symbolic 'token' upon the marriage of their daughter to the groom. It is a cultural heritage that has always been used as a gesture of good faith and support, and a way for the groom to demonstrate his ability to maintain the bride in marriage. The amount paid as bride price can vary from a small token to a great sum. In recent times however, there have been concerns about the effect that payment of bride price has on gender equality, early or forced marriage, as well as domestic violence towards women.

The Bridepricecheck app promotes racism, sexism, discrimination against women. By assigning a price tag it devalues the true worth of a woman; it promotes the ideology that women are the lesser gender, and are expected to please men. The app assigns a lesser monetary value for having darker skin and a greater value for being mixed-race/ lighter. The app assigns greater value for being tall, having no tribal marks, and deducts value for having a particular accent. It even goes as far as limiting the level of ambition and education women are expected to have (by deducting monetary value for women who obtain a PhD degree). This is not in anyway different from the mentality that the terrorist group Boko Haram have towards women, and how they have demonstrated this with the kidnapping of over 200 Chibok school girls. The world is still dealing with the actions that ensue from such repressive mentality, and on a daily basis we get reports of rape, violence, oppression, and harassment of women.

Please join me in raising a voice against such a repressive mentality being subtly spread by an app in the name of harmless fun, and to ensure this app is taken down permanently.

Thank you.


Dear Ikechukwu Onyemelukwe. 


Tell me to sign a petition abolishing Bride Price in its entirety then I just might pay you some attention. Creating a mountain out of a molehill and raising dust over an app that seeks to amuse makes me wonder at your motive. 

I understand where you are coming from, in all honesty I do. But come back and speak when you have petitioned the following:

*Nigerian companies and multinationals that give preference to job seekers with degrees from Western countries, those organizations where you're immediately disqualified when your resume boasts a degree from a Nigerian University. 
*Companies that give preference to light skinned girls over dark skinned girls, especially in the banking sector. 
*Aristos who favour light skinned (runs) girls over dark skinned (runs) girls and as such pay them twice as much after a roll in the sack. Oh, sometimes there's no roll in the sack, she gets something just for being yellow. 
*Those radio and TV stations that grant you an interview for a job only if you speak with a foreign accent. 
*Employers that refuse to employ an overweight person because they just don't "reflect the image of the company".
The makers of this App took a hint from the life they see around them and not the other way around (make no mistake about it) only aiming to amuse and humour. You, dear sir, direct your annoyance at the wrong persons. 

To liken the app to the principles of Boko Haram (an incendiary accusation) is just plain amusing.

I did the test, I'm dark skinned, have no foreign accent, I've been described as fat, no foreign degree, yet the only way I felt after taking that test was humored and lighthearted, and not in anyway devalued or objectified. Because I'm able to recognize a joke when I see one, and also because my sense of self-worth is not one that can be shaken by a mere comedic app. If anything, it only served to remind me of the ills of our society and how far much work we have left to do. 

Now after you've petitioned the afore-mentioned persons, you might want to consider instead seeking to abolish the Bride Price culture in itself, if you take a little more time you'll find that it's the Bride Price that's somewhat misogynistic and not the app which like art imitates life (and not the other way around, I must repeat).


Ps: I don't deny that the issues you raised are very real and saddening, and seriously need to be dealt with. I think your goals are necessary, noble, right and just. I merely think your angst is targeted at the wrong party. 

That said, I cannot care less if the Bride Price app is taken down or kept on. 


...
These are my thoughts, I don't seek to influence the thoughts of any, and I would like to hear yours. 

Comments

  1. Uhmmm...dis is totally off topic but I really need help...I'll be in lagos soon to write ecobank test and I want to know the affordable hotels there in VI...please help a sister out...a hotel not more that 10k for a night...thanks a lot. Preferrably a hotel close to ecobank training school at Plot 7, Imam Dauda Street, Off Eric Moore Road, Surulere, Lagos....thanks a lot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you want to stay in VI or Surulere?

      Delete
    2. I thought surulere was in VI o..lol..my bad...i'd like to stay in surulere...but how far is surulere from lekki because abc transport company is in lekki...i dont want to stay far from the test venue and the transport company so that movement will be east...because i heard that cab fares are high in lagos...thanks 4 the reply Thelma...i really appreciate

      Delete
    3. ABC transport company has a terminal at Jibowu, Yaba. Yaba is real close to Surulere. Unless you have any other business at Lekki or VI, I think you can find affordable hotels and guest houses at Yaba within the 10k range. ABC can also help you with accommodation.

      Delete
    4. Like Memphis said. Don't bother stoping at Lekki with ABC. Stop at Jibonwu and ask d ABC receptionist for assitant as per hotel within your range. A cab der shudnt be expensive, sha price wella. After the test and stay, simple go back to the park and off you go. Lekki is not wr u want to stop if ur test is in Surulere.

      Delete
    5. I think you should stop at Jibowu and take a cab to Surulere, should be about 700-1k. There are plenty guest houses within your price range in that area; off Bode Thomas and off Adeniran Ogunsanya.

      In the alternative look for hotels around the bus park (I don't know of any sha but I guess you can ask around, it's Surulere I'm sure of. If you would rather stay in Surulere close to the venue mail me and I would ask around for guest houses around the vicinity.)

      Delete
  2. I thought the app was a joke! We cannot laugh or make fun of each other anymore? What is the world turning to these days where you really must be careful what you say or write! Too many sensitive and depressed people inhabiting the earth now.

    And no, you cannot eliminate bride price and destroy the culture of our people without creating another round of wahala.
    I don't care whether the app is taken down or not but it is sickening reading the nonsense coming out from some people these days.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Honestly, I believe this app is For fun and nothing more...but I don't see wat is wrong in the essence of 'Bride price' only that some cultures in nigeria(esp. The East) have abused it. Just cos of the abuse, some may see it surprising that the Benin Kingdom has kept with that 22naira 50kobo for Bride price. I don't think they don't like money but I believe they understand the essence of 'Brideprice' how I wish the whole nation would follow suit though.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ikechukwu failed to even point out the main "disturbing" factor about this app that is so much fun by the way; the fact that Northern Nigerian traits were mostly excluded from the criteria of bride-pricing. Even as I noticed that it didn't dent my sense of humor. So I'm shocked that he's sweating from a non-issue. It's pure FUN. The Asia he even refers to is not confirmed in all countries, because majority of the tribes in India and Bangladesh pay bridegroom price (if the word exists). Please, dear Ikechukwu, what do you say about that?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thelma, how I wish u were in my office yesterday when married guys were falling over each other to do for their wives, come and see serious laffta everywhere, we had so much fun. Some of dem went home and told dr wives, who ordered dem to either go back and retake d test to make sure dey score over 1 million or come and pay d balance of d bride price dey initially paid. We laffed so hard 2day. That guy speaking massive grammar, with is akpas town dat we cannot pronounce shuld go to d jump off London bridge. He's obviously as dry as dried kolanut.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I lost a dear friend in the Jos bomb blast @terminus market. She's also my Pastors daughter. Oludolapo Lydia Kolawole. This evening was the memorial service. There's no burial cos her body wasn't found. A foundation was founded on her behalf to propagate her beliefs-a safer and healthier Nigeria. Its Lydia Kolawole foundation. All we need you do is tweet with this hash tag on her behalf.....#lifeistoosacredto....play politics with, to play religion, to continue with wanton killings,.....Just add yours. May her soul rest in perfect peace.

    My own confidant and friend. The one who pulls us up when we are behind. We miss you already. I love you dearly...now and forever. Foursquare Abuja district misses you and will keep your memory as long as God keeps us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend Aniella, I'm really sorry. I pray her soul rests in peace. And I hope you're not holding up too badly?

      Delete
    2. Mehn...its not easy. Things like this brings you to the realisation that "death is real"...not like I did not know before. Being a good, precious, holy and righteous person does not save you from death.

      Like we always say,:::::It is well, even in the well. *Komolafe.#lifeistoosacredtoplaygameswith.

      Delete
  7. Na wa sha. The app is meant for laughs! Yet portraying some wrong-placed values of the society.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sorry about the loss of your friend, may her soul rest in peace.
    #lifeistoosacredtomakethenorthaslaughterhouse!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Awww, Anniella,am sorry about your friend dolapo,the medical student at Unijos,Chai, this BH menace.may her soul RIP.

    Seriously, Mr Ikechukwu the app is a joke for real, something to laugh about.chikena!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Some people are so stiff!! Gosh!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Silly attention. He should go to Sambisa and bring back ours girls and stop making noise. He is misdirecting this his vexation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I get it when ppl say women, we are our own worst problems. So Thelma the fact that the app amuses u and the fact that the writer wasn't the one who started the whole bride price saga means that he has no right to address a wrong in the society? Please think carefully and go back and read what u wrote as well as what he wrote. He is very RIGHT on all levels. Why r we all so myopic? Change starts from somewhere. And all those examples u gave just don't cut it for me I'm sorry. Two wrongs don't make a right. Because society already does so many things that objectify and look down on women does not mean that one man cannot speak against a 'mere' app which does the same. Change starts from somewhere. Frankly, quite disapointed in u Thelma. Again, now I understand when ppl say women are their own worst enemies. *oh well now we have all accepted the app, let the objectification and 'looking down on' continue!*

      Delete
    2. 4:37am comment. Would you please, not be quick to take sides here and view this argument from this angle?
      The writer has points that are valid but directing the arrow to the app isn't the way forward in addressing those points. The way forward should be a write up which says "oh! See what this app says, doesn't it portray what is done in these parts of the world? It isn't right to place price tags just by mere physical attributes..."
      You, fellow blog visitor knows that's what is obtainable in our society today. My friend and I took the app test, and she said "it's partial jo, Nigeria-0. And I said, 'babe, isn't that what most people do? The more foreign you are, the higher the grade they give you". Sad, but true.
      What better way to draw attention to this wrong, than a "mere app" which supposedly entertains yet reminds the conscious person of the problem.
      The person(s) who made the app are merely pointing out the wrong-placed values the majority of Nigerians have and not promoting it.
      The app is mainly TONGUE-IN-CHEEK and SATIRICAL.
      Would you please, look at the other side of the coin?

      Delete
    3. I liken it a story about a corrupt country. Isn't it silly to criticize the characters in the story instead of the real people the story is about? This to me is like criticizing the writer and the story while ignoring the corrupt people in the corrupt country which the story was actually written about. Just doesn't make sense.

      Delete
  12. The guy isnt a reasonable fellow. Isn't it the actual practice that objectifies bride price? He is busy making noise about an app that was created for laughs.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You are all still saying the same thing. YES there are greater wrongs than the app but it does not still mean that the app is justified. Thats the point that anon 4.37 is trying to make.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes!!!! The app is justified.Open your. Dictionary and look up the word SATIRE.it's only a fool that will critize a medium which is used to pont at the ills of a society.Is it the app that makes bank prefer fair gals to dark girls,it is th app that employs phone speaking people in our media houses as against people with one accent or the other,abi the app makes parents quiz their sons where the intended bride works and her level of education.
    Let also look at it from this angle,will taking down the app stop any of the issues it raised?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sorry for all the typos*

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm able to recognize a joke when I see one, and also because my sense of self-worth is not one that can be shaken by a mere comedic app- EXACTLY!

    People need to just see the lighter side of life. All this sensitivity to the most trivial things/jokes isnt healthy abeg. Ahn Ahn

    ReplyDelete

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