Olivia Pope courtesy of ABC
Sometimes my mind goes out to a spinster acquaintance of mine. It’s been four years since we first met and I quickly learnt that this pretty lady’s strategy at getting married was to put it all out, without apologies…if you get what I mean.
Still unmarried and now in her mid-thirties, Oreola (not her real name) belongs to an emerging group of female neophytes—who have schooled abroad, or caught the ‘Olivia Pope’ women-should-be-in-charge complex from binge watching the American TV series, Scandal—locked in a cultural battle with patriarchy. These young women, many of them in their late-twenties–seem hell-bent on importing the concurrent version of women liberationism, which juxtaposes men and women as equals in all facets including, courtship and marriage; that ladies can pick up and dump guys at will, just like men do; that women can take the driver’s seat in their relationships with men and not have to wait for a man to court them; that women have a right to unbridled expression in the way that men do.
The thing with this philosophy though, is that it also encapsulates a form of sexual liberation meaning many of these young women are more willing have sex—not just as a social experiment, but as a way of appealing to men who may eventually become their husbands. After all, Chrissy Tiegen for whom husband, John Legend wrote the song, All of Me slept with him on their first date and later got married to him, some would say.
In Nigeria though, patriarchy trumps this thinking. Many girls that think sexual benevolence is the road to marriage are finding it doesn’t work here for reason that this gimmick doesn’t even work abroad. The mystery of sex more than sex itself is what is likely to get you married girl so consider a change in strategy.
The truth is, Nigerian men are more likely to view a ‘Friend with Benefits’ as unmarriageable for the simple reason that she is an easy conquest and there is no mystery to her. See, men are always intrigued by mystery so be personable enough to keep him enthralled and modest enough to keep yourself a mystery.
Many a guy have besmirched the reputation of ‘easy ladies’ by jesting about them among friends or posting sleazy pictures and videos of them online, however immature that is.
While I understand that many young women like Oreola would bash this article as being sexist and male chauvinistic, it remains an unarguable fact that men in our society still have the undue advantage when it comes to courtship and marriage, and it is a trend that may never change because of our religious beliefs; the recent failure of the Gender Equality Bill testifying to this.
Personally, I believe that men and women are equal in a lot of ways. They have the same intellectual, social and spiritual capacities. But in a relationship, they are complements. Women who think that ‘wearing the trousers’ in a relationship is a prerogative they can exercise defy the natural order of complementing which is the essence of man-woman relationships in the first place.
Methinks for ladies: focus on complementing rather than competing. It should be ‘what a man can do, a woman can do better.’ But rather, ‘what a man can do, a woman can do differently,’ but again…I don’t know everything…