#BeingFemaleInNigeria: What’s the story?

#BeingFemaleInNigeria: What’s the story?

Joy Bewaji

Whilst we are lamenting the patriarchal system in Nigeria with the hashtag: ‪#‎BeingFemaleInNigeria‬

Let us remember (and be responsible for) the utterances and actions we take, as women, to show that we have been trained first-hand by patriarchy.

We have become that which we despise, and I maintain we will first start the unlearning process before society will follow…

Hear yourself speak:

“I want to marry a man with a big car. I already drive a brand new car, so his car has to be top notch.”

“The man is trying to get your attention because you look slutty.”

“It’s not about the makeup you wear, if you like pack pancake on your face, some of us are born beautiful.”

“A lot of men believe women who speak their minds are useless.”

“I had to take permission from my parents to buy this car.”

“I cannot start furnishing my house because I might get married soon and move to another city or continent, who knows?”

“I have a degree in medicine but I don’t know if I will practice. Let me marry first, then I can plan my life.”

“My first child is a boy, now my leg is firmly on the ground.”

“That woman has endured in her marriage for 25 years; a true woman of worth.”

“When you get to a certain age, you have to slow down, so it won’t look like you are chasing everyone away.”

“Don’t call me aunty; am I older than you?!”

“They said I wont marry, but ‪#‎godwin‬”

I went to a neighbourhood boutique a while back and the sales attendant had a bad stitch to her nose, down to her upper lip.

What happened?

“The okada I entered fell into a pit; the next thing I knew I was in a hospital, then my face…ah! My face!”

She starts weeping and I feel genuine worry for her.

“Ah! Aunty, who will marry me now?”

I let it sink in for just two seconds and burst out into spasms of laughter.

“If getting a man is the only worry to this tack on your nose and lip, then you have no worries at all,” I said, wiping laughter tears.

Her worry for a spouse is valid, of course. But it is so mundane, it doesn’t deserve my pity.

Think of another reason. Nigerian women, think of another damn reason why you need to be alive, besides having a man in your life.

We only just sound like leaking roofs when we cannot first FIX, unlearn and drop our own deal with patriarchy.

Happenings Media