The first time I heard this statement I'm sure if I could I would have given the speaker a knock on the head, but hey I couldn't. I've often found myself feeling enraged or indignant when I heard those derogatory statements some men make about women when they generalize, when they say things like women have fish brain, or all women have a price, or if money grows on trees, women will date monkeys. Where did they get the idea from? Why would they talk like that, what gives them the right?
Well, as it turns out it's us women that sometimes gives them the right. I mean, last night I saw some extremely beautiful, well educated, supposedly classy ladies pander to a MONKEY! At first I couldn't believe my eyes... Ok, lemme backtrack a bit.
So last night at the close of work I knew it would be suicidal to get into that traffic and head on home, on a whim I decided to go to The Place and buy myself a soda and some time, which I did. I got my drink, opened my ipad and started on an assignment. Then I noticed this very scraggy, very unkempt, very rugged looking boy, yes boy, come and sit on the table adjacent to mine, so he was facing me. It wasn't an issue so I continued to work. Then I noticed that he came with about four other boys. Now these guys must have all been in their twenties, I suppose, and they all hustled around him like a swarm of bees, running helter skelter to do his bidding.
The first thing that caught my interest was that he sat down with this pompous smug look on his face, a look of entitlement. Then, one of the guys, wearing a white Senegalese came and placed before him a tray of food, another came and brought a tray of water and drinks. The reason this was most unusual is because anyone who's familiar with The Place knows that you stand on the queue and wait your turn and get your food. I've seen really important people stand on that queue, I've seen wealthy old(er) men stand on that queue, I've seen some very rich, generous aristos stand on that queue, I've seen really accomplished successful career women stand on that queue, so who was this rug rat that felt too important to stand and buy his own food? What kind of alert had he just received on his phone that suddenly bestowed upon him this kind of self-importance (yes, the alert must have just come, people accustomed to money do not behave like this). I wondered, as I divided my attention between my ipad and watching the boy. My ear piece was in my ears so up until that point I was watching without hearing.
Next thing I knew the very brightly lit bukka suddenly got brighter. Three very "yellow" babes walked towards our tables and before I could say STOP they were at his table, one, playfully stroking the hair on his chin, the other flirting and teasing him. At this point I brought out my ear piece. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they were just good looking women but cut from the same cloth as him. No, these girls were no ashanas, they sounded very polish, posh if you will. These were obviously educated and refined ladies. For a second I couldn't believe my eyes; what kind of money did this guy, whom they ordinarily wouldn't comfortably sit in the same room with, have to offer them. They spent some time with him and after a while he brought out a bundle of 1000 naira notes and handed to the one standing closest to him. A few minutes later the giggling ladies left and the boy's grin became even more smug.
I stuffed my ear piece back into my ears and decided to focus on my work, but it wasn't to be. Some minutes later someone tapped my shoulder and I looked up to see the otimkpu (that's what we call these cronies/sycophants that follow their fellow man around because of his money) standing by my side.
I tried to make out what he was saying and then I realized my ear piece was still in my ears. It turned out the boy was calling me, the cronie pointed to him; "He is calling you". I looked at him and he flashed his stained yellow teeth at me; "eat something". He said, nay, ordered. I smiled and said no thanks. "Don't worry, am paying" he said, self-assured and benevolent. I'm fine, I said, trying to get back to work. "Are you waiting for somebody?" He asked and I shook my head no. "Oya come and sit down with me", he gestured to the other sit on his table. I looked up and saw that his cronies were all standing, they weren't allowed to sit, or eat. I smiled back and promptly ignored him, I gingerly put my ear piece back in my ears, dismissing him and discouraging any further communication.
The cronie in white stood awkwardly by my side unsure what to do next, then slowly he left me.
I was amused to see that "The Don" was a bit taken aback by my dismissal.
I read a quote on Instagram earlier today; Females don't realize that we treat them how we perceive them. You set your own values, we act accordingly.
Unfortunately, while some women place too much value on themselves that the money of a man alone cannot impress them, some others have the words value, self-worth, pride and dignity completely deleted from their vocabulary, and these are the ones that have led men to believe that we all come with price tags.
That said, to these men who always claim all women have a price, women have fish brain, if money grows on trees women will date monkeys, if these are the kind of women in your circle, if these are the kind of women you continue to attract, then please take a good look at yourself, the problem obviously is YOU.
Some weeks back my darling friend whom I call the Ambitious Entrepreneur said to me "The last thing on my mind right now is women. I want to make my billions first and then I wouldn't chase after women, they will chase me. The only women I might 'chase' then are Beyonce or Rihanna". I rolled my eyes and told him he was a dreamer, to which he responded with seriousness and conviction; "All women have a price, some women's prices are just a lot higher than others. But all do". My friend is extremely bright, very enlightened, very educated and has never come across to me as sexist, misogynistic or chauvinistic. This made me wonder; am I naive or idealistic? Or do women really have price tags, all the man need do is find the right price?