Weeks or months ago, there was a social media trend all over Africa particularly between the East and West Africa. Although it was largely jokes, it is as a result of a subtle agitation against women who often see men as money bags and see those who don’t give them money as stingy.
The trend is called “Stingy Men Association” and various celebrities joined in the cruise making it even much more popular. It became a central theme of many local comedies and entertainments. I am sure Nollywood producers might have also thought of cooking up something nice with it.
Some women also started another trend in response to “Stingy Men Association” which they called “Stingy Women Association” with a closed leg as logo making a statement that says “if men won’t give us money, then there is no sex for them.”
I made a post condemning the wrong message the so-called “Stingy Women Association” passed because as someone vocal in issues that regard women, I found it as an insult to womanhood and a leaning to the culture that puts women at the mercies of men who can provide for them. It hurts every effort we have made so far to portray women as those who have much more to offer than sex. It is like saying that women are only valuable for sex, it’s the only value they have that can be exchanged for money.
While the fun was ongoing, it evolved into something much more serious for some people and conversations kept coming in here and there of which this article was written as a part of those conversations. This article was written during the period of the trend.
I want to begin by sharing a peculiar scripture and then proceed with what I want to say. Let’s read:
“Don’t spend all your energy on sex and all your money on women; they have destroyed kings.” – Proverbs 31:3 GNT
I like the rendering of GoodNews Translation which is why I used it. But there is something deeper I want to unearth from this portion of the Bible which is not necessarily where your mind went as we read.
Women are so powerful that they can make or destroy a king. Kings, in the context of proverbs, signifies men who rule the earth, men who are very influential and are relevant around the globe. It can also mean men who rule in the workplace, men who are among the elites in society. It could be your male boss in the office, it could your local government chairman, it could be your senator, governor or even president. It could also be the richest man in the world.
But as powerful as they seem, a woman who can’t match their physical strength can destroy them. If any wise man can tap from the power of women, they would rather benefit from it than be destroyed by it. The woman can destroy or make any willing man but it’s the man who harnesses the power of the woman in either destroying or building himself.
Unfortunately, many men rather invest in their destruction. When the verse we just read talks about “spending money on women”, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t spend money on women. Our wives, mothers, sisters, female friends and so on are women and we must spend money on them. However, it paints the picture of a man who puts money, not into what will benefit him but what will destroy him. An example is a married man who puts energy in a side chick, a single man who puts energy in a woman that meant bad for him but appears to mean good.
Thriving relationships are very much possible without sex, the purchasing power of money and all other sexual activities involved. We plunged humanity into a bigger problem when we sexualized relationships that were supposed to be a blessing to us. We also did this when sex became monetized, not merely by sex workers but also among married couples or sex partners. In some marriages, a woman denies her husband sex when he doesn’t bring money, yes, it’s the norm. In other marriages, women use their sexual influences to demand money from their husbands.
Let’s dwell on non-marital relationships.
Sex sometimes is actually how to destroy a friendship and not how to build it. Sometimes, we may even think the friendship still exists but it doesn’t, we are only deceiving ourselves. Some people come into our lives to help us, to offer us certain values and help bring out the best in us. They are meant to do this on the platform of friendship, but we sexualize the relationship and therefore switch the direction of the relationship.
My best of friends have always been women. I wouldn’t say I have a “best friend” as in what the word means to some people but my friends have largely been girls as a boy and ladies as a man. If I should calculate the values of each of my friends, all the female will top the list before males if there are any.
As a younger boy, many people erroneously thought I was a flirt because of how close I was with lots of girls. It was nothing more than friendship and these friendships sincerely helped me and contributed to my growth. The biggest achievements I’ve had in life were greatly made possible through my female friends and the biggest supports I’ve gotten in life were from my female friends. These are the same gender a common narrative portrays as those who have nothing to offer other than sex, yet none of my relationships has ever been sexualized. Maybe a few nearly got sexualized but didn’t because I was intentional about avoiding it.
My female friends are more committed to our friendship than their male counterparts. They are the ones who are more passionate about our friendship and they are the ones who are willing to make sacrifices. The males are just there to give you those manly cheers but mostly it has been the women who always do what friends should do.
Even among strangers, the females have tremendously been of help than the males. I remember a few times that I was stranded, it was always either a female friend or a female stranger that has been of help to me. I’ve had those moments I have to beg a random person online for money to come out of a problem, most male folks either do not respond or disappoint you but the female folks will go the extra mile to ask around even if they do not have it with them.
Yet, not at any time in my entire existence have I taken a sexual leaning towards any of them, not once have I tried taking advantage of anyone’s emotions at any time. I value friendship so much that I don’t let anything including sex ruin it. Not because I don’t get tempted at times but I have always known that friendships are usually ruined by sex except it’s a relationship defined only for the purpose of sex.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not claiming to be perfect in my endeavours but this is one part of my life I have always been very intentional about. And yes, let me admit it for another time, on some occasions I have been tempted! Everyone gets tempted after all.
Look at the ministry of Jesus. From both genders, it was the female that was particularly popular for helping Jesus meet his material needs. They helped and served Jesus out of their substance. I don’t think women are only help-meet for their husbands, I believe they are help-meet for humanity. That is how I see it.
Now, coming back to the verse I quoted, the problem is that sometimes men do not give women the opportunity to manifest their true self. We often ruin everything on the altar of sex. Our current society believes that the only value a man could get from a woman is sex, we believe that friendship between opposite sex is not possible without sex.
So we waste all the energy meant for friendship on sex, we waste every resource meant to build friendship in having a ‘taste’ of who was supposed to be of help to us. Afterwards, we shift to the next available girl. This way, we are destroying our chances and the possible values that would have come from the relationship.
I am not particularly trying to say that men are the problem, I am just saying it as it is. It is the failure of our culture, a culture that made it seem wrong for a woman to be ambitious, a culture that makes women see less of themselves and see themselves as sex tools.
Unfortunately, more women than men see themselves as objects of sex, they see their body as something worth some cash and they are ready to thread it for cash. Our society lost it’s balance when it defined women as inferior and men as superior. We are still struggling with the mess today on a global scale.
Many women depend on men for survival, not because it is how they wanted it but because of a culture that made humanity evolve in the absurd way it has done. Yes, many women are regaining their voices, social status, money and so on but it will still take much more time for this wrong to be completely rewritten.
When we ask women “aside sex, what can you offer?” We should remember that our culture made them think it was only sex and handling the results of sex that they could only offer. They can offer so much more than sex, sex is so far from the values of women. The strength of a woman begins where the strength of the man has failed. The woman was designed to fill a vacuum.
What was the society thinking when it defined the beauty of women by mere curves, looks and domestic character but defined the beauty of men by how much money they have and how much women they can put under them?
Sometimes we think it didn’t happen this way but to date, an Igbo adage says “mma nwoke bu ego mana mma nwanyi bu omume ya” which means “the beauty of a man is in his wealth but the beauty of a woman is in her character.” What happened to women being both wealthy and good looking?
The worst is that people try to defend these anomaly with the Bible and I ask, what happened to the Biblical virtuous woman? She owns her business, she is a successful entrepreneur and she still isn’t lacking in virtue.
You don’t raise women with the mindset that their prosperity is dependent on a man and you expect them not to depend on men for money. It then becomes a loophole that makes them vulnerable and willing to trade their bodies for money. As we continue to emphasize personal developments and pursuit of ambition, I believe that more and more girls will grow out of this anomaly.
We all have a role to play. As a man, I am much more interested in leaving ladies better than I meet them, I am more interested in seeing them succeed. When we keep pressuring ladies who come into our lives into sex other than valuable friendships or when we keep taking advantage of their vulnerabilities, we are contributing to the mess. It is entirely a different case when the purpose of a relationship was defined with sex inclusive.
When we look at Jesus, all he did with women was protect them, heal them emotionally, strengthen them spiritually and teach them! Whatever resources (not necessarily material) that we invest in making a woman better comes back as a reward.
Jesus made these women better, he saw something great in them and return, they were loyal to Jesus, committed to his life and contributing financially! If we think we have done so much for women, I think they have done so much more for us.
Of all the women I have met in my life, the majority clearly shows that women are not actually what society defined them as. I for one do not have any right to say that women have only taken from me.
While I have had my fair share of being taken advantage of for my love for a woman, I have also seen women being taken advantage of. It’s not a women’s problem, it’s a human problem. I have been tremendously supported and helped by women on the platform of friendship. If you think otherwise, then you’ve only been attracting your kind.
Women are saviours!