I read a comment by a very wise young man who was recently married. He complained that everyone they told they have just gotten married advised the woman on how to look after him, it’s either make sure you feed him, satisfy him in bed so he doesn’t look outside, submit to him, obey and respect him and so on. This young man intelligently observed that not one person male or female advised him on how to make his wife happy, how to make her stay so she doesn’t stray in the marriage.
This is the society we live in, a society so biased that men and women are held morally accountable using different parameters. Everyday women are put on a very high moral pedestal, judged and condemned in the very partial court of public opinion for offences that may not even be noticed if a man is involved. This hypocrisy has mentally modified women, we now have female warriors who have taken it upon themselves to champion all sorts of women liberation and gender equality struggles.
As a result of this disparity in judgement and the resultant resistance, the marriage institution has suffered tremendously, women now go into marriage with a mindset of fighting victimization and subjugation even where they don’t exist, this has made many of them stubborn and unable to maintain the level headedness required for marriage to work.
Things have to change as the world evolves for balance and peace to be maintained, there was a time when twins were abhorred and killed because of ignorance, but as knowledge improved, the perception of twins as evil has changed dramatically, these days twins are celebrated as double blessings from God. We cannot continue to dwell on the perception of women handed to us by our forefathers, times have changed, women have come of age and have demonstrated that they can be as much an asset as their male counterparts.
Women have been forced to accept many vices which seem ok if a man owns them but considered a taboo if a woman even as much thinks about them. A man cheats, his wife gets upset and moves back to her father’s house, her friends and even her parents insist that she must go back to her husband, playing down the offence and looking at it as the norm, this is done not maliciously but ignorantly. The husband’s family blames her for not being patient enough and crying wolf when it’s just a cat, the society expects her to sweep it under the carpet, forgive him and move on.
Switch places and put a woman in the cheating position, her husband sends her home for cheating, she will be lucky if her parents do not send her away for disgracing the family. Her inlaws will need to be pacified if ever she is forgiven, her husband is hailed as a hero for forgiving her if he ever does, she will probably leave the rest of her life proving her fidelity to him, her friends vilify her and sometimes ostracize her from their circle. This is the different standards our society uses to judge women .
Even in death a woman is faced with these disparities in judgement. When a woman dies her husband is immediately pressured into remarrying after the mourning period of 6-12 months, the reason is that he needs a woman to help train the children and look after him. On the other hand when a man dies, the society forgets that his widow also needs a man to help train the children, for companionship and to take care her, she is expected to mourn him for the rest of her life. When she attempts to date or remarry she is looked upon as loose or wayward and sometimes even accused of killing her husband to be free. Even children are in on this, it is easier for children to accept a new mum than it is for them to tolerate a new dad.
This gaping hypocrisy is giving birth to a generation of men who are too entitled, they feel they can do anything and get away it, their father and uncles did so why shouldn’t they. The next generation of women will grow up bitter, angry and in self defence mode, these women who are now more enlightened and emboldened by the stark reality of the injustices meted out on them everyday will end up marrying this new generation of men, your guess is as good as mine as to what will become of the marriage institution in just a few years from now. it has already started happening and will only get worse, women are beginning to question this disparity, they are standing up to us and demanding equality everywhere.
What we need is a paradigm shift from the mentality of entitlement and hypocrisy currently in a place. We need to begin to teach the next generation that everyone regardless of sex or status is equally responsible for their actions especially in marriage and relationships. We need to teach them that each gender possesses definite attributes which makes them special and equally important. They must understand that the relationship between a man and a woman must be mutually beneficial for it to make sense – Sir Stanley Ekezie