“A truly equal world would be one where women ran half of our countries and companies; and men ran half of our homes.”- Sheryl Sandberg
The natural progression in modern society runs distinctively against dogged traditions- as stubborn as a goat.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook, lost her husband, 47 year old Dave, recently. It was sudden and sad. I grieved with her because Sheryl, through her talks and her book, identifies with roles played by her husband in ensuring she puts in quality time into the things she loves, away from domestic responsibilities.
And that excerpt above is from her book, ‘Lean In’.
It’s an extract that I agree with; and if the Nigerian society, for instance, with all its marital drudgery can reflect on it a little deeper, we would find the diamond in the rough.
A major part of the problem in our homes is the weariness of a wife countered by the demands of the husband.
Society may have started with the man tiling the land. Life according to the Bible was shaped in the form of the go-getter male and the domesticated female.
No problems with that. Roles are well defined and there was no need for ambitious equal rights movement.
If the man can come home with spoils, then the woman can turn that dead antelope into a pot of soup.
But things have changed. Life is a sophisticated and diverse institution where roles are closing in faster than the speed of light. Women, to build more rewarding lives which will in turn inspire their children, have launched out into the “world of men”.
It might not be arrows and bows anymore, but with corporate interests and positions and business ideas marked with discernible goals, women are lurched into new interests in terrains that was once meant for only men.
So if we see that obvious shift- where women close by 10pm from work, after spending hours in the corporate jungle with arrows, dodging obstacles and targeting prospects; isn’t it only sensible to request that men do the same- take many bold steps into the “world of women”?
In a home where the woman comes back from work by 10pm, and a husband is sprawled on the couch, waiting for dinner… that equation is inaccurate and will crack in no time.
Men need to be involved in domestic matters just as much as women are involved in career/business matters.
That is the balance, and that simple truth can save your home.
If I have to work as hard as any man, then I am a partner not a help-meet.
You support my hustle, I support yours. You wash your socks, I wash my bra.
You fix your dinner when you are hungry (and fix the children’s too), and I’ll fix mine when I’m back by midnight after bloody hours at work and in traffic.
And if you want to be nice, order Chinese and put a bottle of wine in the fridge for you to serenade me with.
As partners, whoever arrives home first should take on the chores that present themselves.
Patriarchy is going to fight back, of course, and insist a man should never come close to a washing machine or the kitchen; but it is necessary to note that patriarchy, like some god of the Philistines, will not be there to fill your stomach when hunger hits you and your wife is still in a gridlock situation on Third mainland bridge…or your child is crying because of a messy diaper and the nanny has closed for the day.
Would it be fair to watch the kids go hungry just because daddy is largely ignorant of the changing times?
Many situations have buckled under the pressure of role disputes; and it usually begins and ends with the anxiety of domesticating men.
“Why can’t you wash the dishes? Change the baby’s diapers? Sweep the floor? Clean the damn table after your meal?” women argue. “After all I am running a business, as a top manager of a company, following corporate briefs, and getting new clients.”
If the woman has moved into your sphere, it is only reasonable that you take big steps into hers.
It is preposterous to expect a woman who works just as long and hard as you to come home and become the cook, the cleaner, the dishwasher, waste dispenser and stripper.
Same principle as love and submission. You cannot be asking for a “submissive wife” when you are yet to love her like Christ did- willing, without question, to DIE for her; sacrifice your life and everything in between.
If you believe it is impossible to love another human being like that, you are right.
It is also near impossible to submit to any human being in totality.
The balance comes in again, because life is about partnerships; and you can only truly make demands when you have fulfilled the rules of partnership.
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