Between Women And Men

by Uche Nworah

I am not sure that Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde quite realises the trouble she wants to start in people’s homes, else she wouldn’t have written the Gettysburg war declaration that she did a while ago.

Now I can imagine hordes of Nigerian women getting ready to hang her ‘speech’ in golden frames as reference points during future family feuds. Brothers, better get ready. If you need lessons in kung-Fu and Kick boxing to enable you bring down the hung frames from their weak pedestals, just let me know. I’m sure I can easily link you up with the nearest expert in your area. We must be ready to claim or rather re-claim our turf. If they want to play rough, sure we will meet them at the turf. Let’s see who will back down first.

The last time we experienced such ‘effrontery’ was in the days of May Ellen-Ezekiel (MEE) when she used her MEE column in Quality and later Classique magazine to propagate women liberation and feminist ideals. As if on cue, Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD), her husband at the time wrote a counter column in his Mister Magazine aptly titled women we hate, a parody of sorts of his wife and her ilk whom their professional success seemed to be getting into their heads.

MEE’s unfortunate death carried with it and swept aside her women revolution and the men ruled again. We were also helped by the fact that Amma Ogan (the editor of the Guardian on Sunday) at the time had in pursuit of love, and also in the spirit of time – honoured tradition followed her husband (Dele Olojede) and migrated to America, Folake Doherty, another MEE disciple, MEE-ist and foot soldier succumbed to the charms of a Nobel prize and was harvested by the Kongi (Wole Soyinka), she rightfully claimed her place in his kitchen and there was peace in the land. Helen Obviagele, the weather – beaten agony aunt of the Vanguard newspaper just couldn’t fight the battles alone. The other women at this time who ventured but were obviously relegated to their places included Julia Oku (creative director and co-founder of SO & U), The NTA big girls notably Jennifer Madike who succumbed to Abubakar Atiku’s ‘charms’, Ruth Benamaisa-Opia who married the fugitive billionaire Prof. Eric Opia.

Grace Alele-Williams (ex – Vice Chancellor of Uniben) and ‘double chief’ Mrs. Kuforiji Olubi (former UBA chairman) stood miles apart, obviously because they were from a different generation and still cherished their womanly roles and values. They sure didn’t want those female chauvinists to stop by their different homes on the way to their protest rally knowing what Oga would say.

See who is complaining of oppression and marginalization, if anything it is Nigerian men that should indeed be considering a class action suit against women at the United Nations Court of Human Rights, for all the decades of ‘abuse’, manipulation and emotional blackmail; they are the ones that have been marginalizing us. All these talk about oppression don’t hold water with me.

We all know how far Nigerian men would have all gotten in life if not for the devilish ways that our women have tempted us and diverted our attention away from pursuing more important matters aided by their bottom power. How many meetings have we cancelled, how many football games have we missed, how many girls’ telephone numbers have we passed, how many boys night out have we given up to please them? I don’t even want to recount all the investments we have sunk in their bottomless well, more than enough to complete a 5 storey building in the village.

You guys have played us enough; you pick and choose when to fly either your weaker sex or equality argument, when in reality you have always been operating in the shadows, shaping and manipulating men, and by so doing the course of history. No thanks to you, Man almost lost his destiny through your serpentine relationships, and you claim that we don’t consult you when taking decisions nor listen to your counsel, the few occasions in history when we did, see where that left us.

Which man has not fallen under your wicked charms and spell? Name them: Samson had Delilah on his heels, Hitler had Eva Braun, Solomon had Bathsheba, closer home Jennifer Madike became Fidelis Oyakhilome’s archiles heel, what of Oga Sani Abacha? The dark goggled one allegedly met his doom on top of a Russian prostitute.

How sly can women be? With their pretences and stories, oh! I need to fix my hair, oh! I need to recharge my phone, oh! this, oh! that. How come they don’t throw in the equality argument at such occasions? And to think that we used to forgo our lunch or dinner back in the university to please them, opting rather to go for the innovative 0-1-0 feeding formula, and see what we are getting back from them, what nonsense. They should start getting ready to pay us back our money if they want peace.

So you see why we are the ones that should be attempting to free ourselves from your paws and claws, you are indeed living up to your woman calling, which have been variously interpreted to also mean ‘to woo man’ or woe unto man forever’.

And should all the dowry and stuffs we spent to marry them be in vain, so on that day when they were jiggling their waist to traditional music, accented by the jigida tied around their waist and rejoicing at their new status and change of name, why didn’t they throw in the equality argument before the elders, let them do that and then we shall see how the marriage expenses will be worked out, equally then.

I am chivalrous and would gladly champion women causes but still I am one to know as a traditional Igbo man, (a titled one at that) that men and women have their traditional roles. I have accepted with gladness my own role, based on my understanding of it, as handed down by my tradition, forefathers and religion. I will continue to work hard to provide for my family. The same way I expect my wife to also fulfill her ordained roles. This argument is beyond who cooks food for the family, that I think is trivializing it, rather I think it is about the wider issue of attitude and motives wh

ich both the man and woman bring into the relationship.

Any rebellious and selfish up-front gung-ho attitude smacking of suspicion and mistrust from day one is obviously brewing a recipe for disaster. Any day a woman’s salary, professional or social standing starts getting in the way of her other commitments to her family and at home, such that the man now suddenly seems so little, and becomes simply Mr X, and the honey/darling prefix/suffix flies out of the window, that day the woman should as well call her mother in the village and ask her to make place for her in her husband’s (the girl’s father’s) house because she is coming home that day.

To all the sisters feeling empowered by Folasayo’s article, not so fast. Remember that you are still women and not men, unless you are all contemplating sex change operations. Sure you can buy sperms, toy boys, sex toys and all that, but you still need a man to ruffle those hairs that you have spent hours and a fortune fixing at the salon, paid for by the brother usually.

This new war of the sexes obviously is on. The men, where are you?

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Ormis66 December 3, 2007 - 10:08 pm

Uche! I enjoy reading your articles but sometimes e be like say you wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

Anna April 11, 2007 - 2:24 pm

Hahahahahaha this sounds more like a ranting of a man who could never hold onto a strong, independent and intelligent woman. There is no 'place' for gender….period. And it is pretty ignorant to think that narrow mindedly, for both you and Folasayo. Hehehe I have to forward this one

Reply March 31, 2006 - 6:30 pm

Uche, are you #@!ing kidding me? Are so afraid of having your balls so shriveled up by your wife (or other women) that you would resort to this disguised misogynist write-up? I have always enjoyed your thoughtful articles. Please go back to doing what you do best – be an insightful person and not one who makes sweeping generalizations.

Anonymous March 28, 2006 - 9:11 am

We are here o my broda! Thank you Ojare- I have suffered enuf listening to all these jagbajantis. God Have mercy. When women start doing hard labor at the ports, taking bullets at the war front, toast and propose to men then we can start having discussion of equality. Until them, alas the traditional role of the women is firmly in place. Sure we can compromise here and there to make you get that extra degree or that pay raise,but we cannot sacrifice the well being of the future generation (our children) on the altar of temporary feministic enjoyment or gratitude. Woe Betide those who think otherwise.



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