By Ese Ark
This world is our home, all of us, men and women. And there is no amount of empowering that we can give one gender while ignoring the other that will suffice. Men need help. The entitlement mentality was instilled in them at 5 while the girl was told she is a modern slave. Real change will start there.
The insecurity felt like I was born with it. It showed up all the time and especially when I was trying to hide it.
Because of all the talk I heard about marriage growing up, I thought that once I got married it will fly out the window and I’d be this secured, happy girl.
I remember looking at my own finger to admire the wedding bands. I thought it looked good but I also believed it made it better than other women who weren’t married.
This was strange as it was coming from somebody who didn’t have dreams of being married. I couldn’t care much about asoebi or wedding colours (mother did all that.) I also couldn’t care less about the hall or my dress. The best man picked the dress and the wedding planner was free to do as her heart desired for the hall et al.
But here I was, feeling like a superstar because I ‘had a ring on it.’ Finally I could “show” those people who said I won’t ever marry.lol. Typing this I am almost ashamed of the girl I was then but ain’t no shame in my game just truth and lessons.
The girl child is taught to aspire to marriage. From the formative years when people ought to be setting their brains on things that will make them more human, we are taught how to take care of a man.We are told if we do not clean the house properly we wouldn’t know how to clean the man’s house. We are shamed for forgetting to put salt in the rice. At 8 the little brain is fascinated by many things, how can one not forget to put salt in rice?
The boy child? Raised to feel entitled. In my first book NAKED, I have a chapter titled, “BOYS: Am I inferior to them?” I talked about how being raised with two boys impacted me (and them). I was told to lay beds and stay in the kitchen with mum to learn to cook for my future while the brothers were left to chill because somewhere in the Universe another mother was training her daughter to cater to them. Even though I thought there was something wrong with that arrangement, I didn’t know how to express that until I got married and found full expression for all the suppressed beef.
I don’t know what the full solution is, but I do know that bashing women is not the answer. If somebody has been trained from the formative years to be a certain way, telling her to “wake up” when she is in her 30s or 40s will not cut it. Cursing her out about her choices or shaming her won’t cut it either.
This world is our home, all of us, men and women. And there is no amount of empowering that we can give one gender while ignoring the other that will suffice. Men need help. The entitlement mentality was instilled in them at 5 while the girl was told she is a modern slave. Real change will start there. Real change will start with the children. This is one of the reasons I am glad I have a son. And should I have another baby, I will hope it’s a boy too. We will start to turn things around by teaching the children how to be human. Parents will teach their boys and girls the importance of being human, of equality, of respect, honor, trust and dignity.
We cannot tell boys (or men for that matter) to ‘man up’ while we form groups to pat women on the back. The man will continue to abuse and the woman will continue to enable because in the foundation there is something terribly off.
Society/Culture is evolving. We are society. We will make the shift. It’s the only hope we have if we are to change.
And marriage doesn’t cure anyone of anything. If you are insecure, mentally challenged, lonely, depressed, etc, marriage will only expose that not fix it. I went 5 months without a wedding band before my brain reset on the ‘unimportance’ of a band. There were times I walked into places with boobman with no band and I felt people were judging me. As though being a single mom was something to be ashamed of. All of that was part of my insecurity marriage didn’t deliver me from. All of that was part of the need to fit into what society said was normal.
I am free from those shackles. Now I understand the place of marriage for me. I will like to add to the husband’s life as he adds to mine all the while raising our child the best we can so he doesn’t repeat plenty of the nonsense we learnt the hard way. I know now that marriage doesn’t make me better than anyone else, marriage doesn’t give me privileges, marriage doesn’t take away any of my struggles I had as a single person.
And do you know that the time we expend writing or defending thesis about marriage, for and against, the more we neglect the important things that are before us every single moment? If you want to be married, do so, if you want out of a marriage, do so, if you want to remain single, do so, if you only want to partner up, do so. This society is not governed by set rules in your bible or quoran. It’s nice that you think that but thats not the reality. Let people be. And if you find you can’t let people be, take a look inside. Something in you is crying for attention.
May the peace be with you.
Love + Light,
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