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Do Women Even Have a Chance?





Last week I had a conversation with one of my friends which I terminated prematurely because I was scared that if I went further I'd ruin friendship of over fifteen years. 


Being in the village for some days my eyes have been further opened to how little importance is given to women and how women are treated like mere 'helpers' than actual people with their own minds and purposes. I expressed my distaste to my friend, I told her I hated how the men sat in the living room drinking bear or tea if there was power or outside in the shed if there wasn't, while the women stayed in the heat of the kitchen slaving away all day, by the time they were done making breakfast and washing off the dishes it was time to begin preparing lunch, and then by the time lunch was over and dishes were cleared they'd have to begin preparing dinner. So these women easily spent their entire day more of less in the kitchen. These women included both the ones who live there in the village and the ones out came from out of town and overseas. 

Don't get me wrong, they didn't seem to mind. Neither did the women in the village I went to last night to attend a Wake, where the club members of the deceased came to bid their departed friend farewell. I watched them excitedly jump around and stomp the ground in dance and watched the way they were asked to clear out when something else needed to be done, with little or no regard. I watched them sheepishly move from left to right as they were ordered to. This is normal, this is life. These women know no other way. I doubt if they'll have it any other way. 

But when I broached the topic of the insubordination of women and their roles in the home with my friend, the way she replied me shut me up "Wait! You expect the men to enter the kitchen!! You expect men to cook?!!!" She asked in shock. I replied that even if they don't cook (and why shouldn't they?) nothing should stop them from helping out. "Wait! You want men to go to the market!!!" She exclaimed incredulously. 

I don't know which annoyed me more; the reverence ascribed to men, as though they're gods and I dare not make certain demands of them, or that she sees herself as lesser than a man (I may be wrong  but that's the way it sounded to me). 

She's a wife and a very domesticated one at that and I didn't want it to sound like a personal affront, I also noticed that I'd said a few things that she might find offensive so I hurriedly changed the topic. 

We fight and struggle for equality but seriously guys, let's be honest, do you think that there will or can ever be equality between men and women? We already have this mindset set that certain roles are the women's and these roles are beneath men. I once said on this blog that I do intend to be the wife that cooks and cleans, but I also expect and would love for the man to help out. After all if I'm also out there on the grind yet I come home and tend to it, what stops him from helping out as well? After all we are BOTH on the grind. It would be different if we were still in the days when the men went out to hunt and fend for the home while the women stayed in tended to it. Isn't it only fair that in these times were the financial burden is shared by both spouses, he too should help out in the home?

I pointed out to my friend that some of the women that were slaving away in said kitchen were the sole breadwinners of their homes, were the ones singlehandedly taking care of the children's fees, yet they were still slaving away in heat while the men sat down in the cool shelter of the sheds like mini-gods just because they were men. My friend still didn't see any sense in what I was saying so I began to wonder if it's I who's out of touch with reality. 

Admittedly it would look strange to the eye if all the men and women gathered into the communal kitchen to cook but I was hardly speaking about the (village kitchen) alone. 


The Bible itself doesn't help matters with verses like:

1 Timothy 2:11-12Amplified Bible (AMP)

11 Let a woman learn in quietness, in entire submissiveness.
12 I allow no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to remain in quietness and keep silence.


It makes me wonder; is gender equality a myth? Can it ever be achieved or are we just wasting our time dreaming lofty dreams?

Comments

  1. There is no such thing as gender equality, God did not create us equal

    ReplyDelete
  2. The bible has expressly explained it and being a christian, which i suppose you are, the bible should be our standard. gender equality/inequality is created by man and in most cases has not really helped man/woman or husband/wife relationship as evidenced in happenings around us this days.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thelma it's a myth. Unfortunately. It's the way God made it be.

    ReplyDelete
  4. laughs* okay this is serious *straight face*

    Thelma let me tell you my daddy's reply to the above. *in his voice*: "But thelma what is wrong with you... what's this new craze about? Gender equality?! In this world?! In Africa?!!! Are you crazy?!!! You've let western education erase some of the very essence of our culture? You think all those nonsense you watch on TV and those silly things they portray in those rubbish books and magazines you read are real?! You think that's how life is?! Have you forgotten that it's a man's world!!!(he always says this.. lol) You better wake up and smell the coffee! This is Nigeria! This is Africa! Certain this can never change! In fact, I fear for you this child. Are you sure you can stay in a man's house with all these rubbish you've filled your head with?! What nonsense! *shakes head* I pray for a man that'll be able to "handle" you well with all these excesses and set you straight. You need to forget all this nonsense you read in mills and boons and face the reality of things........." *end of speech*

    Okay so.. from years of experience.. years of hearing my dad shut me down whenever I try to broach the subject of gender equality... iv almost come to believe that it's quite impossible... and even if it is possible.. it won't happen in the next (I think it's safe to say) 30years.
    As much as my father agrees that it's really not so bad for a man to enter the kitchen(for only romantic reasons.. lol) by romantic.. to be closer to your wife and make her happy cuz apparently they know things like that make us happy... he never ever helps in the kitchen! Lol!
    Anyway... I grew up in a house where my father never entered the kitchen to help cook, hold a broom to sweep, or wash anything... (he claims he is not domesticated and is very unapologetic about it) so i'm used to seeing things that way and won't have a problem if SO does the same. Cuz in my head that's how all men are. I have come to a conclusion that it's easier not to expect it of them than it is to actually do and then SO now falls short...
    That's not to say there are no men that do o! Last year, I went to a friend's guardian's house... I woke up the next morning to see the wife in the kitchen preparing breakfast for her husband, whilst he was outside washing their cars... when he was done he wanted to start sweeping dried leaves around the house.. the wife tried to stop him(because of me) and he just gave her this strange look and was like *kilode...* and then he noticed she was uncomfortable. he looked at me and went *ooh.. okay* and left the broom. in my entire life! I have never seen or dreamt that kind of scene! Lol! When I told my dad, he laughed! And then said she has jazzed her husband(jokingly tho) and I was like Nooo.. it's just love and common sense(i didn't add the latter tho) :D

    It gave me hope sha that there are still men out there that do not subscribe to the ideology that women belong to the kitchen or its an abomination or a taboo for men to enter the kitchen or help with chores!

    Chai! See long epistle! Ko buru. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If not that this is the internet and everybody seems to be hiding, we should be friends or acquaintances or whatever.
      I so much admire your dad's thoughts and I like the way you have taking some of the issues, I see wisdom in your analysis above and that's all that should matter to everybody.

      Delete
    2. Lol.. thanks Wale. Meanwhile, I think iv told you before that you and my popsy think alike. Lol... I can just picture you guys over drinks... talking and agreeing on matters! Lol!

      Delete
  5. I think even if gender equality can b achieved not in Nigeria,there r a lot of people out there lyk your friend who might never get to understand things like this thus making men seem like Mini gods that should b pleased all the time, a man shuld help sometimes its only logical

    ReplyDelete
  6. Worse practices are seen in some cultures. Go read on the Ovahimba and Ovazemba tribes in Namibia where husbands are allowed to swap their wives with their friends for sex sake. The wives have no say in the matter and it's actually about to become a law in the country.

    These practises in no way justifies these treatments though because same bible says husbands and wives should submit to each other.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Apostle Paul wrote that book of Timothy, the words are not Jesus'.......but I don't want to go into unnecessary arguments about its appropriateness or otherwise. However, I wonder what would change if the Bible were to be written in this era.....Are Churches even conforming to the advice?

    I don't think there would be an equality of the genders (for a lot of reasons we had previously addressed on this blog) especially in our dear country where men are traditionally and culturally 'forbidden' to partake in some domestic functions. However, I don't think there should be a sharp division between the roles of men and women in marriage.

    Don't blame your friend; her reaction and this article generally, give credence to the fact that cultural influences can be greater than those of exposure. When you are in Rome........

    -F

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God bless U for pointing out who exactly wrote that part of the bible. U saved me the repetition and also went spot on the rest of the way. E hugs jare!

      Delete
  8. Society to a large extent shapes how individuals in that society think. However ones' personality is also determined by other factors asides the norm of the society. So it's down to individual personality and orientation. In my house and even in my village pounding is reserved for the guys. growing up my father washed his underwears singlets etc till date. My Mum said after they got married my father continued doing it and a couple of times she tried he told her not to worry cos he has been doing it all his life. Only time he let us wash for him is when he is sick and my father is rarely sick.

    My mother did her university education when I was in primary school in Nsukka. During the time she is in school, my father will pick us from school, prepare our lunch and then go back to work.

    Most of my Uni days I went from the house, my sibblings were in Uni in other states. Just me and the last boy with our parents left in the house. Some morning my mum will be hurrying to meet up with work, me for lectures ,my younger brother for school and my father may be in court that day and it is a tradition to always have breakfast,my father will help himself with his breakfast. My father always helps out in one way or the other.

    A man that leaves his wife to slave away just because she is a woman has no conscience. Luckily for me I married a man like my father so I have no problem. My husband even helps out much more than my father and he is not ashamed of it. J

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gender equality in what? Cooking, sweeping, making the bed, carrying pregnancy, nursing the baby?? Not sure what the equality is all about, are some women not giving themselves headache over nothing? Yes, some men don't go into the kitchen, so what? You cannot legislate these things, and in a society that allow more than one woman, the odds are already stacked against women. So the first fight should be to make bigamy an issue.

    I had a fun life as a bachelor, going to the market and cooking my meals. Was I abused by the market women to go and marry! The abuses were crazy! Will I enter a market again, not so sure, maybe malls and supermarket.
    And every time I buy like yam and bring home, I get queried and almost sanctioned for paying too much for just 3 tubers of yam! And by the same woman you are supporting. How many times have I been told I use too much water when I wash things in the kitchen?? Uncountable!
    I am comfortable putting the money down now, I am not going near that kitchen except if I want to fix me a meal. Bring the roof down if you want to..

    I still clean the compound, don't expect my wife to mow the lawn or trim the trees. Will continue to handle the maintenance of the vehicles too and many other tasks that are considered dirty for a woman.

    We should all focus on what we can do and stop worrying about what our partners won't do. And I always write that the singles have a huge advantage here, feel free to leave a guy that won't enter the kitchen when you are dating; it spares you the agony of worries in the future.

    No we are not equal, we were not created equal. Bet people would have carried placards and protested the non-inclusion of a woman among the disciples if it were to happen now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gbam! Women should learn to pick their battles!

      Delete
    2. Bet people would have carried placards and protested the non-inclusion of a woman among the disciples if it were to happen now.
      ... Well said, I'm not so sure if some women of present days aren't revolting cos dere were no women disciples.

      Delete
  10. @ j, as if you read my mind. In my house, pounded yam wasn't a regular food but I remember when I was young anytime daddy wanted pound yam, my mum made the soup while dad did the pounding. And I grow up seeing my dad doing some house chores, he doesn't think its a woman thing. Like few months ago, I, mum and brothers travelled...on our arrival, dad has prepared this delicious meal for his family. I think its depends on the individual, how they are tot from childhood...if you make a male child believe in some certain things that's how it will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ur dad's kind is a rare breed. Ur mum and u guys are lucky and blessed!
      My extra 2cents on this topic is this: if it worked for ur ancestors,it might not work for u. Man was made to adapt and evolve. So i'll say,adapt to the changes facing our generation and quit winning bourrit!

      Delete
  11. Hmmm

    Sadly, Most men treat women. As second class citizen.

    But as Wale said we singles have an edge in that you can decide what are deal breakers for you. Personally I cannot marry a man that would always leave me to be only one to do everything around the house(cook,wash dishes,sweep,wash clothes,iron them etc) while he just sits around watching TV.

    For me, this is not even something to have a discussion about. It doesn't even make sense, how can you claim to love me & you can't find a way to make things better for me.

    And NO, a man helping his woman around the house isn't a western idea. I have an Auntie who married a Yoruba man and I can remember her husband sweeping the house during one of my visits,my attempt to take the broom from him was politely turned down. He swept on while I looked on & am silently thinking,men like you still exist?

    The couple above has been married for over a decade and theirs is one of the most peaceful home I have come across

    ReplyDelete
  12. Even in the western countries, is there really gender equality? What I see is the system being so skewed to protect the woman and deal with the man before even hearing the man's side of the story.A few days ago, I watched an experiment on youtube conducted by some anti-domestic violence group. A man was beating up a woman in public and everyone around them jumped in to intervene. The roles were later switched and it was the woman beating up the man and people just walked past. Where is the equality in that?
    As sad as it sounds, gender equality, my dear Thelma, is a myth that cannot be achieved. We were made to complement each other and that is God's grand design. If as a married man, you cannot help your wife out in the house, then something is seriously wrong.
    Women have this quiet power that they should utilise and not be shouting about equality. Like my father used to say, even if the head wants to turn and the neck refuses, what do you think will happen?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Am on same page with Mr wale. So I rest my case

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm team pull-ur-weight-round-the-house so I'm respect to this topic,il find it irritating watching a man aka the husband,laze around the house all in the name of being the man. I served in a village and I watched the average men drink away their day and lives while their wives/women worked the farm and carried firewood for miles...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gender equality is a myth my dear and can never be attained. But men helping out around the house isn't a myth cause I see my step-dad do it all the time (bless his heart). If he gets home before us, he makes dinner for everyone. Some Saturdays that he's home, he sweeps house even if someone has swept it before, he will lift chairs and do it thoroughly. We women shouldn't expect men to be equal to us, that's big deception on our part cos it aint ever gonna happen but rather, the expectation to get men to be helpmates shouldn't be snuffed out.

    ReplyDelete

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