When two or three women are gathered, there must be gist in their midst.
And salon gist is the best.
“Some women have ‘mouth’. Even if a man does not want to beat them, they will push him to,” a woman said.
“My neighbour is a very quiet man. He was my husband’s classmate. His wife is a troublesome woman. We find ourselves wondering why he married her,” another woman added.
I had an urge to jump into the argument with both feet and win it. But I held off.
Biodun camdan and wait for her to finish. I know you want to say, I told my self. “Violence is not something anyone deserves.” Don’t wait to hear any yeye story, whatever happened is irrelevant the moment someone turns violent.
But because my middle-almost-name is Pay-chence I just listened.
“She heckles him every single day and he keeps quiet. We can hear her voice, they stay upstairs. One Sunday morning, we were about to get into the car to go to church when the wife flies past us in her nightgown and closely behind her is her husband carrying a knife and wearing just his boxers. She dashed across the street and a car almost knocked her down. My husband and other neighbours gave chase and caught this man. He was shaking with rage. He was ready to kill her and face the police.”
Now I am curious, what on earth led to that?
“Later when he was calm, he said he had been playing with his baby on the balcony. His wife came climbing the stairs and made a remark about him not throwing her child down. He was irritated and asked her if she thought she loved the children more than he. She started name calling as was her usual MO. He decided not to say a word. That got her even more riled up. She began to taunt him and then she dropped the big one.”
Ok, so what was the proverbial straw?
“She said, mumu man, stay there and be paying someone children’s school fees.”
Did you get that? She just implied that his children were not biologically his. That flipped the switch of reasoning off. He became mad and the only cure for that was to kill the source of the madness, his wife. Luckily, he was prevented from doing this and when he was calm, he realised she just wanted to provoke him. ALL the children looked particularly like him.
I did not immediately give my “violence in a marriage is wrong” speech. I had to think first.
If this story was true, why would she say what she did? Was she trying to commit suicide?
But I launched into my speech. In a room full of women, to say violence is deserved is a dangerous ember to fan. The solution to a ‘razor mouth’ or ‘castrating tongue’ is not a knife, or a fist or a cane.
If a man can get no peace in his home, violence can get him time for killing the mother of his BIOLOGICAL children because she said they were not his children.
A heckled man is a verbally abused man and the solution just like in physical abuse is to first of all remove himself from the situation.
You know those people that advise women to remain in domestic violence and they tell them to try and avoid provoking the abuser… they are as ludicrous as those that tell men to remain with women that drive them up the wall with incessant badgering.
In both situations, the potential of one person killing the other person is very real.
You are 5ft2 and you forget your home training and gather the shirt of a 6ft tall man in your puny fist jumping and hissing like a queen King Cobra. The chances of not getting a kiss in return is very high. I am not justifying violence and by jove I will not justify provocation.
Dear man, she makes blood rush to your fists with her words, take a break before you kill someone.
Dear woman, he beats you up, take a break before he kills you or you kill him.
And to the special people, yes the ‘I have been married for 100 years and I overcame’ people. The ones that sit, mostly, women down and tell them triumphant tales of years of collecting slaps, enduring infidelity, embracing seeds spawn in adultery. The ones that say “He only slapped you two hundred times, my own slapped me two million times” The ones that think they have finally gained the reward of bearing abuse because the no-good old Dauda the sexy guy has retired and is at home because he had a stroke and can finally be faithful to them because it is biologically impossible to be unfaithful. The ones that clean the dribble of liquid food he is allowed to take and change his diapers. The women that have wasted decades of their lives literally pounding their self-worth and confidence into invisible dust. The ones that tell you to chop your ‘slaps’ like a good Christian woman and pray that he will change or have a stroke. To these women, I despise you the most. You are responsible for the shadows of abused women all over. Responsible for the deaths that have occurred because women were praying for their abusers. If you are willing to sacrifice your hearts and bodies loving men that have no regard for you, then silently carry your cross and do not ask young women to do the same.
Just to reiterate, men can be and are abused in relationships too. It may not be physical but it may equally be brutal. Apply same treatment as with a woman, remove him from a situation that can damage him.
Finally, God hates divorce and I hate it too.
But I am kind of high key partial to curative separations…