by Joy Isi Bewaji
People assume that the “other room” signifies the bedroom; not always.
For many women, it is a different truth. The “other room” could mean:
1. Laundry room: where all the family clothes are washed with bare hands; a pile of mess that is the pride of every woman *ahem!
2. War room: where she prays against her husband’s shortcomings! She goes down on her knees, hands clutched and prays that God blesses her husband. Not such a bad deal, abi? Ok.
But in many cases this is a prayer that requests for blessings the woman believes she is not entitled to because of her gender. Gender specific blessings from a God she sees as misogynistic as society, and she is ok with it. Amen!
The “male blessings” for a husband includes: owning a car, buying a house, getting a promotion, winning the lottery, paying rent (depending on social status). It would be an abomination for a wife to pray herself to such lofty achievements. God forbid!
There is a problem in a home where the woman succeeds above the man. The situation can be likened to some kind of devil embarrassing the man of the house with wretchedness. That devil could be the wife. So to take the snigger away from her home, and cruel scrutiny from extended family, judging and spitting on her success… she prays to God to rid her of wealth and bless the man instead. Phew!
3. Elbow room: The latitude to let the man in her life do whatever he wants without questioning. The power and freedom conferred on him as Male, to sit on Patriarchy’s seat; and the authority over every other being with total gender exclusion for women of everything remotely appealing.
So, which room do you belong?
Buhari was obviously referring to the bedroom in his faux pas, no doubt. A much nicer form of, err, subjugation for the woman.
But your misogynistic boyfriend/husband with ugly ideas on what a-woman-should-be may be referring to some other room in this scenario.
Don’t take off your lingerie just yet.