1. It starts from home
Gender discrimination starts from the home right out into society. Until we successfully tackle gender discriminations in the home, we may never successfully eradicate it in society. Believe me, I am not trying to say that men must know how to do just everything their wives do or that women must know how to do everything their husbands do in the home but until we realize that keeping the home isn’t gender-based, we will be unable to appreciate anyone who does it better because we may think after all “she is born to do this.”
2. We don’t treat our boys and girls equal
How do we train boys to stay in the sitting room playing games while the girls spend all their days in the kitchen in a bid to make time great wife materials? We end up raising boys who believe that any man who enters the kitchen to do the dishes isn’t man enough. I have no issues with a man not knowing how to cook as much as I have no issues with a woman not knowing how to cook. I don’t care how couples agree to run their homes. I am only concerned when the opinions guiding the wife’s role in the home is not about what they agree for themselves but about what has been termed out there in the society as “duties of women”. My problem is with those general rules we put out there which makes women “bad” if they can’t do certain things. Why have we made it all exclusively a woman’s job while a man who ever tries doing them is only helping out?
3. Patriarch-centric counseling
We always encourage women never to let money be the motivation for marrying a man. In other words, they shouldn’t turn down a man’s proposals even if he isn’t rich but we tell men never to marry a woman who cannot cook and cannot pray non-stop for 7 hours. What kind of society are we breeding with this sort of “patriarch-centric sermon”? Of a truth, I wish I can always avoid talking about this, I wish it can stop being my issues but I can’t help it and I can’t keep quiet about it. It doesn’t matter how folks see me; I have been insulted by men, women, friends and colleagues at different levels because of my stand on gender issues but I just can’t help it.
4. We raise boys to abuse girls unintentionally
You keep hearing of girl-child abuse, negligence on the female gender in some countries and so many other stuff out there! It is because the whole problem started at home. The way we raise our boys today and the way we shape their perception about the opposite gender will determine how they treat the woman in the future. We have given the men so much power that doesn’t even belong to them! It is an abomination to try having dominion over another person. This may not make sense to you because you aren’t the one experiencing it or because life appears very beautiful to you to the point that you don’t even notice any of this but a lot of women out there live in pains and can’t even make decisions for themselves because “they have no say!”
5. We make relationship look like help to women
It hurts me when all the marriage advice and resources flying all over the place keep emphasizing on how women should try to please the man with her dressing, cooking skills, home keeping, and sexual skills and so on! We keep emphasizing on how their men will run to another woman if they don’t cook well, dress well, respect men, and take exclusive responsibility of caring for the home! Every relationship advice out there is about “attracting your man” and “keeping your man”. Personally, I am becoming very angry with all these developments because we keep painting a picture that says women are only being helped by men with marriage. We are simply passing the wrong message that says the women should live their lives only for the men. It is unfortunate that this is the life a lot of women have made up their mind to live because this is the falsehood they have grown into.
6. We don’t talk about mutual submission
I keep hearing teachings like “men have an inherent ego, just learn to massage it and never talk when he talks. Hide your success behind him and give him all the credit so that he doesn’t feel insecure.” I don’t understand why we keep teaching women how to be stupid in the name of being humble and how to swallow even death threats in the name of trying to keep their homes. We teach women not to desire success or desire to go extra miles with their careers just so that their men do not feel insecure and inferior! We also teach this to young girls in relationships and we think we are raising potential Sarahs who will call their “Abraham” “my Lord!” But is there any indication where Abraham treated his wife inferior? Abraham built with his wife and did nothing on his own! Sarah had a say and was willingly loyal to Abraham because there were love and mutual submission.
7. We only talk about girls respecting boys
We teach women that if they can’t cook they are not good enough for a man but we don’t teach men the same! How did this whole thing come about? How did we arrive here? We want men to be the almighty providers so that the women can always never have a say because they are dependent. Is that it? There is never a time we talk to the men about massaging the egos of their women, there is never a time we talk to men about staying attractive to their women and there is never a time we train men to be domestic. And there goes another talk show! And all you hear is “no matter what he does, just bear it because he is the man. Prayer harder, trust God and do nothing even if he beats you up every night” and we end up telling men “you are the special breed. You are doing women a favour.” Enough of that nonsense!
8. We teach “virtuous women” but not “virtuous men”
Oh! Because there is “Proverbs 31 woman”, we don’t think there should be Proverbs 31 man? The word “virtuous” now sounds feminine and have nothing to do with men. Women who cheat commit abomination but when a man cheats, he is simply wired to be like that! How did we arrive here? Am I sure I am not living among aliens? Every day, I wake up and remember a lot of us still think this is men’s world and my heart misses stable beats because I will have a daughter who will still go out there into the society. But guess what? I will train my daughter to be annoyingly opinionated, I will train them to stand shoulder high in society and never be carried away by the “false submission” mentality in society. I will train my sons to respect the women too and also be good “husband materials!” My boys will also have turns in the kitchen and learn to do the laundry too. They will respect the opinion of their sisters without murmuring those popular lines like “women and light brain.” I refuse to key into the stupid and inhumane ideas people have out there about women.
9. We have raised women to see themselves as afterthoughts
Unfortunately, most women are comfortable with it and will even insult you when you question some of those things because they have been told that accepting that extreme patriarchy as a woman makes them “wife material.” We have ended up raising women who think less of themselves and we have helped the devil in making the woman’s desire to just be all about pleasing the men by allowing them to use her as a foot mat. It has never been God’s plan for the women.
10. We discourage women from being more
It hurts me to see women being encouraged not to strive for more and even if it mistakenly happens that they shouldn’t make it obvious to people that they achieved it themselves! I was in a meeting where a woman taught our young girls that if they eventually get married, it will be wrong to buy cars in their own names or have any investment in their own names. God! But men can have whatever they want in their own names, right? Men can build houses and not even tell their wives about it but when a woman does that she ceases to be a “good wife.” This is terrible!
11. We blame women for men’s promiscuity
Talk about dressing! Talk about morality… Moral decadence is always blamed on women. When a man rapes a woman, the first thing she is asked is “what were you wearing? Did you visit him at his house? What were you doing with him?” Decency isn’t a general word, according to those stupid opinions, only women can make the world decent. It is easy to hear a preacher tell men “avoid those Jezebels, those young girls who go about breaking homes.” And we don’t have young boys who sleep with married women right? We don’t have married men who have decided to break their own homes right? Those married men, are they babies? When a man allows his marriage or home to break up because of marital unfaithfulness from him to his wife, he is to blame; he allowed his home break up! Must women or girls be blamed for everything?
12. We teach women that the ring is their essence of living
The women have been made to believe that getting the ring is the most important thing in their life and that they should do all things possible to get that ring including trampling on their own self-esteem! We create all the rules in this world telling the woman how to get the ring and keep the ring but we don’t tell men anything because probably, this is men’s world and they can run it any way they want. They can abuse the woman, cheat on their wives and still have their own way.
13. We encourage women not to be opinionated or bold
God blessed human to multiply and take dominion of the earth and not to take dominion of anybody. Both men and women can take dominion of society, both men and women can lead and be the best they can be. A man who can’t deal with an opinionated woman or woman who has achieved some kind of success should stay away from such woman instead of looking for whose life he will frustrate just to keep his ego high! The ego he shouldn’t have had but the world has ended up creating it into his consciousness. We make it look bad to be bold as a woman because we have painted a picture that this is men’s world while the women are just here to serve the men as they run the world.
14. Religions and traditions suppress the voice of women
I weep for my country Nigeria when I see how many men sound towards these issues. Our men still believe that home duties are still gender-based, they still believe it is wrong to apologize to a woman, they still believe a woman doesn’t have a say and no wonder girl-child marriage still thrive in some part of Africa and Asia where religion has been used to suppress the voice of women. It hurts me and pains my heart! Religion and traditions have been designed to please the men and disregard the women. Traditionally, in some parts of Africa, a woman who commits adultery deserves death or humiliation but the man have right to commit adultery and the women are regarded as his “concubine”.
15. We discourage women from being independent as singles
A female friend of mine once called me and complained to me how her relatives consider her as a sell out because she is living in her own home all by herself and they tell her “a woman doesn’t live alone. A woman doesn’t own a house if she is not a prostitute. Only prostitutes live in their own house.” This I the stupid opinion many people have grown up with. I weep for the women who have bought into these lies and have decided to just live with it. I weep for the girl who is working so hard towards achieving that “wife material” status by being the least of themselves. I weep for those ladies who are afraid of being called “proud feminist” and want to be all men’s favourite. I just weep.
SUMMARY: Women have been convinced to enjoy hell
I am sober, a lot needs to be done and I wish there is more I could do! You may be having it all smooth in the United States, United Kingdom and other places in the Western world but in Africa, Asia and some other parts of the world… Women are seeing hell and some of them are now very comfortable in hell that when you try to educate them, they curse you and see you as the devil’s staff on “Ministry of Home Breaking.”
Being anti-women is being inhumane. It is devilish!
~ George O.N