Throughout the history of humanity; there has always been the issue of gender inequality which is always to the detriment of women. Misogyny has been going on for a very long time and it does not make Earth a better place. Due to culture and because a Bible verse said women are weaker vessels that has given the society and men (not all men though) the chance to use and abuse women. For example, before now in Nigeria; women are not recognized as fit for education. They see women as people who are meant for the kitchen.
Women have always relegated and put at the backburner. I am not a woman but I understand what it means for those women who have been used abused, maltreated and discriminated against because of their gender. It is quite unfortunate. Some people take refuge in that Bible verse that says men are the head of the house and women are the weaker vessel—with this belief in mind; they go ahead and do all sorts of injustices against women. But I am not trying to deny the fact that men are the head of the family. In fact, man was the first creation in humanity. But that should not be a license to encourage misogyny. Do not even get me started with the École Massacre and Marc Lepine!! That was really a TERRIBLE and INHUMAN event!! And in Nigeria we had the issues of kidnapping of Chibok girls by the Boko Haram.
Contrary to the wrong beliefs about women that culture has taught. Most women have proven themselves as forces to be reckoned with. Women such as: Miriam Makeba (aka Mama Africa), Brenda Fassie (Queen of Africa), Yvonne Chaka Chaka, (aka Princess of Africa) Angelique Kidjo (aka Lioness of Africa), Oprah Winfrey, Onyeka Onwenu, Christy Essien Igbokwe, Queen Amina of Zaria, Queen Sheba of Ethiopia, Agbani Darego, Madonna, Mother Theresa, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Ladi Kwali, Malala etc. In some countries women are their president. In every areas of life, women have proven themselves as able and capable.
Let me tell you my experience few days on a bike. I stopped a bike-man (in Nigeria we call bike-man Okada). The bike-man told me that he would carry me for
N300 (three hundred naira). I was going on an errand to a nearby town. It was N150 before now but due to the inflation and bad economy; everything has skyrocketed. I was begging the bike-man to carry me for N200 or N250 but he insisted N300. He said he cannot carry only me for N200 that if we were two he could take N250 or N200. In the midst of the bargaining, he saw a girl walking past us; he called the girl if she wanted to take bike. The girl said no.
Then the bike-man decided to carry me with the intention that if he sees any person on the road he will carry the person in addition to me—and then he asked me something that left me dumbfounded: “Would you like me to carry you alongside with a girl”? I was like, “Why do you ask me that”? He told me that sometimes if he wants to carry a girl in his bike and the boy is already sitting on the bike that some boys do not want. They would ask him to carry only them that they do not want being carried alongside a girl. “That is nonsense!! The last time I checked girls are human being. By the way those boys you have had this experience were they not born by a woman? Did they not stay in a woman’s womb for nine months”? I responded. He said he does not understand their reason and I told him that those boys needed rearrangement of their life orientation because they are living in ignorance.
My joy is that some women who faced this gender discrimination and misogyny was able to change their narrative. For example, the celebrated award-winning Nigerian author Buchi Emecheta was denied the right to education because she was a girl—that she would get married to a man and end up in the kitchen and her brother was sent to school. But because the passion was there, she would hide to school when her father was not around and her mother would cover up for her. Sometimes if she was caught; she would face punishment and scolding from her father. I read this in her book Second Class Citizen—a very wonderful, inspiring, gut-wrenching and epic book.
The misogyny did not end there; when she later moved to London her husband Francis burnt her script because he had the belief that Buchi was a woman who was meant for the kitchen hence should not and cannot be above him. But Buchi would later divorce Francis and continue her life—becoming an award-winning author!! Thanks to her London friends who helped her with her in bringing her books to reality and encouraging her to write and thanks to London because that was where Buchi’s dream and destiny became a reality. Buchi Emecheta is from my state (Delta State, Nigeria). She is very influential to me; she is among my favorite authors!! We used her book in high school.
Now, I am going to share a story with you; a true life story. This story was told to me by my brother Bright. I could not believe my ears when I heard the story. One day Bright came back from the town. It was a weekend so he said he went to a burial of a man. The story of the man whom Bright attended his burial is what I am sharing with you below.
There was a man who had three children; two girls and a boy. The boy was the eldest. So this man called his wife and told her that he was never going to train any of the two girls in school because women are prostitutes and there is no need to train the girls because they would get married and stop answering his name; plus once the girls got married they would forget about him as they would just focus on their husband and children. He said he was going to train his son; that the son would bear his name and take care of him.
Like something that look like a joke; when the children have grown up this man took his son to a welding shop and registered him as an apprentice to learn welding skills. Then he told his wife that she should go and fend for the girls that he was not going to train them because training the girls was a waste of time and money. So the wife and girls began struggling and suffering; the woman and the girls started farming in the hinterlands. This was how they continued to farm to enable them raise money for their education they were willing to go to school. Plus they are intelligent too.
Eventually, the girls entered college and the boy has already finished his welding apprenticeship. The father helped him establish his own shop with all the required equipment and he began working. The girls were in college; during holidays they would come and help their mother with farm work. This was how they did it till they graduated from college.
After college, the girls got jobs as teachers in government schools. The boy was a welder. By this time, the man has grown old. Then something happened; the boy whom he put all his hope on does not care about him! He does not visit him and when he does; it was just to take what he has from him and dash out of the house. Whether the father was sick or healthy was not his concern. All he knows was to demand and demand.
The man has already grown old so he became sick. Throughout his sickness; the boy never visited nor called. In fact, the boy constituted nuisance for him. It was the girls he abandoned and discriminated that took him to the hospital, bought him drugs and took care of him with their mother. The boy never showed up. Even when they called him that the father was sick; he did not care!!! At last the man died, and it was girl that helped to organize the burial well and put things in order. All the boy was after was to put the father in the grave and take over his properties. You see, things did not work out the way the man expected.
When Bright finished telling me this story I was like, this world is wonder-full. I was so touched by this story so I wanted to share with you. Though I lacked behind a bit in writing this blogpost; I once scheduled it for the mother’s/women’s day. But I could not meet up with that date. The fact remains; both genders are important (male and female). I wish that those men who are misogynistic would change from that behaviour because that is a place of powerlessness and lower consciousness. Let love lead, live and let others live.
For women who have been used, abuse and experience misogyny. We are all equal in the eyes of God. You have the power to take your power back!! And yes, you have the power to change the narrative! You have got this!!