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