At the Ibadan edition of #TheConversation hosted by Joy Isi Bewaji, I realized the topic of the day, Patriarchy, is something that happens every other day in Nigeria: sometimes without the knowledge of the perpetrators. After the event, I inquired from the guests if they had experienced patriarchy and I got really interesting responses:
Off course it has. I’m a woman too. But my experience was when I was younger not now because I rebuke them anytime such things come up. I was raped at 16 and I lived with the pain for years while the rapist (my neighbor) lived his life. I gained my freedom just 5 years ago by speaking about and against it. Patriarchy exist. It lives and breeds in our society; which is why more women need to speak up.
My experience is with the guys. They just want to touch you anyhow and talk to you anyhow they like. They wouldn’t respect you because you’re a woman and I always caution them. It is something I hated even before I became a feminist. However, I know as we continue to enlighten people via platforms like this, Nigeria will be a better place.
It is even happening now. We have women as Presidents, Vice Chancellors and so on.
One thing that people don’t realise is how girls are favoured in the society. When I was in SS 2, I bought a new calculator and this big girl in my class asked for it. I refused and she wanted to bully me to get it. We started dragging for it. The funny thing about the situation was she used only one hand to hold the calculator while I was using two. My classmates started laughing at me, so, with the annoyance I held the calculator with my left hand and used my right hand to hit her on the face. I injured her, blood started coming out; then she fainted. The next thing I heard was “Ah! Tola, you have killed someone”.
Everybody blamed me for the situation forgetting that she started it and the calculator was actually mine. The principal expelled me from the school while the girl continued. So, you see that girls gain more favours than the men.
I have this thing against religion being the bed rock of patriarchy. I want to believe African women are strong women. But when we talk about religion, like the issue of rape portrayed in Leviticus for instance, It states that ‘rape’ is a crime against the father instead of the girl which is not fair. So, from day one, the society have been against the women and promoting the men.
I wouldn’t consider myself a patriarch or a feminist because those are just nomenclature. I am a Christian and the roles of a man and a woman have been defined. So, because I was brought up as a Christian, I grew with that kind of information and the reason we have this platform is for us to unlearn the things that we have learnt when we were younger. It does not mean that I subscribe to the idea of anti-patriarchy rather I feel whatever situation fits you, follow it. I wouldn’t dictate what you should be or do.
I was brought up by my mom and I’ll always love and respect the feminine gender because of the examples my mom set for me. You’ll never find me maltreat or be violent to a woman.
No. I grew up with a lot of women, so, I learnt what it is to be a female very early and how to treat them properly.
I’ve always loved and respected women, so, I don’t think I have at any point in time treated any woman badly. But I have heard stories and seen ladies been abused. It doesn’t have to be physical; it can be emotional abuse. Like when I was in school, I had a lady friend who said if there is a next life she would come back as a man: because her boyfriend was just using her. He wasn’t beating her. He was cheating on her and was threaten to leave their relationship. Yet, this girl wash, cooks and clean for him every time.
It is an everyday thing in our society. That is why I appreciate events like this because just being a woman alone comes with trouble. The last one that happened to me was a guy who was trying to get my attention. I refused to give him audience and he started abusing me for that; like it is his right to be heard.