‘The Conversation’ held at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja on 7th of June 2014. It was organized by an NGO and anchored by Joy Isi Bewaji. The aim of the program, I believe, was to get all of us talking on issues bordering on relationships between men and women.
The hall was filled to the brim. Though I expected a higher number of people than I met. I met a lot of facebook friends and as you stood up to announce your name, there was excitement from people who have been reading you. A lot of the speakers were either separated or divorced and the population that came were young people; a lot of whom were ready to enter into marriage and of course looking for answers to the many questions bothering them.
I went with my first daughter Adaeze who was covering the occasion by taking photographs and my 9 year ‘handbag’ Nedu. Nedu is an extra intelligent girl who I know understood a lot of the adult things going on. At the end of the day, I wanted to test her knowledge and asked her, Nedu what did you understand? She said I understood that divorce can be bad or good depending on the circumstances.I was happy that The Conversation held. I wish also that there will be more conversations. I wish however that there were more men than women. The average woman is already bombarded with many articles aimed at getting her to fix herself for a man who it appears from the tone of these articles does not need to do anything. The woman has to learn and accept these men warts and all. Of course the men expect she undergoes changes for him. There are so many strange headings;
- how to make a man happy?
- Want your husband not to stray do these ten things?
- The ways to reach your husband.
- A happy home depends on you doing these ten things.
Maybe at first the women were reading these things and working hard at them but now, they are beginning to question. They are beginning to wonder. Did they not say it takes two to tango? Am I not a human being too? Why do they say I can multitask and my husband cannot? Are we not from the same womb? What exactly does this submission mean? Is it slavery? Is it keeping quiet when I should talk?
I want to announce to the men including my 11 years old son Chukwu Chukwu, it is no longer business as usual.
The years of subjugation during which we left the women with no choices are no longer here. The current women now have legions of examples of women who said enough was enough and walked away and are living happily. You can call it end times or whatever you want.
Yes I am a Christian, a born again, and I recognize these things. I also know like people in the meeting remarked, submission is not subjugation or slavery. Again the bible said submit one to another. Yes. All men take note. If you are intending to marry, take note and if you are already married take note.
The women I met yesterday are a reflection of this growing army of women saying, look, we are not like some of our mothers who pined away in silence. Some of our mothers, who had many children and fed this ‘lazy, draft playing’ men. Our mothers who had scant education and little economic power. Our mothers who suffered plenty of abuse in the hands of their husbands and with no place to go and knowing they wouldnot get any sympathy from the society, stayed in their marriages, pined away and died.
We are different we are educated, we are resourceful and sometimes rich. We know our rights and we intend to stick to them. If you think that multitasking is in our blood think again. It is in your own blood too. Hey why can’t you fix a meal? Why can’t you work and make money? Why cant you take care of a home too? Why is it me that has to kneel and apologize.
These women are smoking hot. They have heard, they have read stories of battered dead women. Stories of women generously given HIV by their irresponsible husbands hiding under the cloak of African men are polygamous. They have read stories of jobless men living off their wives and still demanding to be treated like Prince Charles and they are saying, hell no. Those women died with their generation. Don’t ask me if I approve. I am just telling you what is going on. Those class of women who kneel down and serve you drinks are gone. Maybe not totally gone. They have become endangered species.
I don’t know whether you the men like it or not but while you slept and dreamt of the past, radical changes took place. You must therefore wake up from these dreams and face real life situations. It is time to listen to these women who are saying, we are going to be good wives the best you can ever have but hey, fulfill your own side of the bargain.
That image of a wife that you have in your head must be erased and forgotten because we have erased the images of the suffering women of old and replaced them with images of confident women who understand the times. Well that was the message I think I got from the conversation and the media space.
So men start your own conversation now. Hire people to write and tell you the 10 things you need to do to make your woman happy. The 30 things you need to do to satisfy your woman and the 15 things you need to do to keep your wife from straying.
My conclusion; no bi small thing.
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photos courtesy #the conversation and Bunmi Adedipe