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Month: October 2016

I Stand with the Little Boys of Today

We live in a society where the custodians of patriarchy have dominated and oppressed women for too long. Women have been subjugated for ages. There is a war brewing; raging like a volcano at the brink of eruption and the consequence is going to splatter on all and sundry. I am a mother, and I fear for my little boy. The war on gender equality is not new; as a gender equality advocate, I have seen some men fight violently to hold onto their power of dominance. They view feminism as an affront on their manhood and entitlements. An Ogun (god of iron) and Sango (god of thunder) worshiper suddenly becomes a Bible thumping preacher, screaming like prophet Isaiah in the wilderness and condemning every woman to a life of submission and silence –  even at the glaring face of oppression.

Oppression is sweet for a person who has been used to power, hence I do not blame them so much. They were groomed to see women as objects of subjugation, objectifying every woman and expecting  submission from every woman they come in contact with. They get angry at any woman who dares have a voice and a functioning alert brain.

Do not get me wrong, this abhorrence for gender equality is not displayed  by the male gender alone; even females are also custodians of patriarchy. The old matriarchs endorsed patriarchy hook line and sinker. They bore their pains of living a life of subjugation, with heads bowed, waiting for the time when they would be in control and exercise their repressed anger and bitterness as a form of control on the young women coming after them.

They taught their sons never to give way to any woman, nor allow her have a voice where he is. They shut their daughters and daughters-in-law up, when their sons are talking. They treat their sons like kings riddled with every form of entitlement mentality. Yet I do not blame them because habits, believes, imbibed characters and addiction is a difficult cycle to break. The little boys of yesterday, saw yesterday’s fathers live a life of dominance, power and control over women,  hence they followed their footsteps and became a chip of the old block. But enough of the blames on the doorsteps of the old patriarchs and matriarchs!

Our generation has to change the narratives. We have to accept gender equality wholeheartedly and teach our little boys right from when they begin to assimilate their environment that a female is never inferior to them. We have to create a society for our little girls which enables them to view gender equality as a normal way of life, they need not grow up with bitterness, so as not to position them on the path of resentment against the male gender.

As a father who resents the idea of gender equality, are you going to be able to stand tomorrow and watch your daughter being subjugated by a man? Be it at the work place, her marriage or the society in general? Are you going to be able to watch your son in law turn your daughter to a haggard, old shrew due to being left alone with child care, house chores and also a huge chunk of the bills? Isn’t that going to break your heart to pieces? You might not get my drift now nor envisage it  because you are revelling in the dividends of patriarchy and dominance at the moment, but I tell you I have seen father’s go ballistic with anger and pain at how their daughters are being maltreated today, yet they maltreated their wives and other women yesterday.

I am a mother, and I am scared, scared of the society and the venom patriarchy has created in the heart of women. Girls are now being raised to be hard, independent and no nonsense. Majority of women of today have broken out from the chains of subjugation. We are not ready to be cowered by patriarchy anymore. We have found our voices and we are grooming our girls never to lose theirs.

While we train the girls to be hard and independent, we groom the boys to be tolerant, loving and responsible. Are these little boys going to have a life of peace despite the training we are going to give to them? Are they not going to be judged and adjudged for any little mistake by a society which has succeeded in breeding and creating mean matriarchs who views the majority of the male gender as an entitled lots? Are these boys not going to be given black eyes, broken heads and torn lips at any little misunderstanding by our learned kung fu and taekwando trained daughters? Ohhh patriarchy what have you done to our little boys of today whom we are training not to follow your steps? What future of happiness do these little boys have?

Come all and sundry, let us go back to the drawing board, let us create a balanced world. Let us teach our little boys and girls that every gender is equal and should be treated equally. Let us teach them through our ways of life and homely gesticulation that mutual respect is key in this condescending world. Let us raise our little ones to grow up without any form of resentment towards any gender. Only then can we have a balanced world, filled with people of humane hearts who dwell together in peace and harmony.

I am Oluwatosin Olajumoke Arodudu and I stand with the little boys of today.

This article was first published on www.bellanaija.com

 

 

 

 

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Who is going to pray for her?

Right from when I was a young girl I had this uncomfortable feeling whenever I go for weddings and I hear the new wife being thoroughly admonished on how she must be a good and a praying wife for her husband and how that is the only thing that can make her marriage work. Listening to these messages created an aversion in my spirit against marriage back then.

I began to wonder why men were given a pass as regards praying for their families, I began to wonder why place such a huge burden on a young woman and excuse the man? I began to wonder why allow a new fresh bride metamorphose  into a shrew just because she feels the whole world of the survival of her marriage rests on her shoulders?  I was always depressed after each marriage ceremony I attended, the patriarchy being reeled out from the altar usually drained me of all energy, I only get lifted afterwards by the sumptuous “jollof rice” and the jollification of the reception lol.

In my journey through spinsterhood, marital proposals came but I couldn’t settle, something was always off, there was one particular one decked with the promise of care, love, devotion,glitz and glamour. He was even very religious but I couldn’t settle, something didn’t quite connect in my spirit, almost everyone around me thought I was mad, and that I had missed a rare opportunity.

Little did I know in my subconscious I was looking for a man who was not a pretentious christian, a man who does not have the slightest feeling that a woman was beneath him and has to wait on him hands and feet.  I didn’t understand this myself, I just knew when my husband came, I was swept off my feet without any doubt or waste of time.

In the African society, a huge responsibility lies on a woman in  marriage, women are expected to keep and maintain the home, women are to have regular sex with their husbands anyhow or  anywhere he wants it,lest he becomes a cheat ( as if the man is a baby without self control) even if the woman is sick some people would still quote the scripture of how she has no authority over her body, and how she shouldn’t have denied her husband, when I hear things like this I stop to wonder where our humanity is, as Africans.

I digress, the other day, a man told me he does not believe in taking his wife on outings. He said the woman’s place was to stay at home and PRAY for her husband.  I was like, excuse me, pray for you while you gallivant around town believing your wife is praying you out of STD’s, accidents or whatever evil could befall an irresponsible night crawling man? Why are women so burdened? What kind of mentality is this? Who did this to some of our men  and even women? I sighed and just concluded some women are also guilty of  aiding and abetting a man to the point of death. They are so scared of their husbands that they can’t caution him when he’s on a destructive path. All they do is pray pray pray till the man ends up harming himself through his careless life style and thereby bringing doom to the family. Do not get me wrong, prayers are good, very very good, but woman, know when to draw the line, know when to go into action, know when to be firm and say NO to anything that can bring harm to your family.

While we are on the subject, women conceive and give birth to life, we are expected to nurture and care for these kids, going through the rigors of training them with little or no input from the typical African man, after all if the child turns out bad it is your headache as a mother!  Women must manage all these, coupled with having a career  and being a help meet to your husband, and like some people would say, “a humble maid to her husband”, and to cap it all she must be a prayer warrior to keep her home.  Let me tell you something friends, a woman has a lot to deal with, we have so much to process externally and internally and there are times we want to disappear  from it all. We get tired of being wives and mothers at times that we want to disappear into a cocoon never to be found again, our lives get so disorganized at times that we want to just quit and go back to the times of spinsterhood where we had no one to care for, aside ourselves.

We get so swamped with love and emotions for our families that we begin to wonder why we had to start a family to incur such raw and deep emotions.  We get so tired of our daily routine of hustle and bustle in and outside the home that we just want to put our feet up and watch everything slide. I am an introvert, and this is how I feel at times, and even more, there are times I shut down from the whole world and just move through each day like a zombie.  Despite all these feelings at times, there is a joy that bursts forth within me and I find that energy to keep moving and enjoying life and what God has given me once again, what is the source of this?  A praying and a supportive husband, if  I am left to do all the praying alone, I would have caved or bowed to pressure or just become resentful of my family and life in general.

Dear christian men, do not leave the duty of praying for your marriage only on your wives, infact you have a greater role to play please, women go through a lot of internal and physical changes that affects our moods and outlook, it is only your prayers, and your position as being supportive and prayerful, constantly interceding for us that will make us amenable, sweeter, comelier, homelier and to cap it all a better wife and woman who would achieve all her potentials and make you and herself proud of what she has become.
Dear Christian sister, do not marry a man who cannot pray for himself not to talk of you and your children when you get married, listen to him speak as regards praying for the home, runaway from any potential suitor that believes that it is your sole responsibility as a woman to pray for your home!  I tell you there are days as a wife that you would not be able to muster the energy to pray, what becomes of you then as a christian? Of course the marriage begins to spiral into a deep end of unending issues. The list of the disaster that can occur being married to a non praying man as a christian is endless.

You are not a machine sister, do not brain wash yourself into settling, do not think you can manage it anyhow and rough it, the reality of marriage is greater than any calculation you have made or are making, be watchful and be wise please.

Have a lovely week ahead.

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Understanding Post Natal Depression for a Nigerian Mother.

Postnatal depression as defined by Oxford Living Dictionary can be defined as the:

“Depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue”

Postnatal depression is very common amongst new moms, but due to the kind of society we are, and live in, we tend to cover up a whole lot of things by putting up a brave face.

The arrival of a new born should bring joy and happiness into a home, but sadly in most Nigerian marriages, this usually becomes the season of family duels.     Continue reading

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