Sunday, December 7, 2008

Seriously

I was out to represent my organisation at a program. It was actually a graduation ceremony of some young women and men equipped with ICT skills. On my way back home, I happened to join the Executive Director of the organisation that graduated the students and his fiancee in a taxi. The ED is a friend but I met the bright fiancee that day. I only saw her on facebook before but not in person.

We had so many discussions in the course of our long trip, all thanks to the traffic you can always count on in Lagos. Our discussion moved from poverty to the state of affairs in Lagos and Nigeria. Then our discussion shifted to Project Fame which led to the powerful principle judge on the show Joke Silva.

We didn't focus on the elegant, powerful, successful Aunty Joke for long as he mentioned a particular popular figure that is too hot for any man to handle/control in marriage. Then I asked if the intention of any man is always to get involved with someone he can control and not someone he can co-exist with and understand for who she is. He took a deep breath and said "StandTall, I have realised that a lot of men are coward, they don't have self-confidence and thereby they get threatened by powerful women and they resist these women"!

What struck me in this conversation was the fact that a lot of powerful, wonderful women are trapped with men that have unresolved issues within themselves and they see the success of thier partners as threats to them. Little wonder some men would rather die than marry a woman that will not drop her surname. Why is this an issue? Is marriage an indication of lost of identity? Even if a woman does, we are still reminded why a woman is never a complete being.

Seriously, I often meet with people in Nigeria where I was born, bread and living; how a woman has no right, how a woman has to live the lives of others and make all sacrifices without expecting anything in return. Hmmmm some advert would even justify what role a woman is expected to play. The stereotypes, the discriminations and all

As 16 days of Activism is drawing to a close, it's important that we all take a sit and reflect:

Can any society succeed without women's contribution?
Is it right for a society to undervalue women?
What have we done to achieve the MDGs goal 3 (Gender equality and women empowerment)?
Will there ever be a free society until women are free and their rights respected?
Does a man have anything to lose to see a woman being equal to him?
Is it of a greater benefit to all to live as one?

I can go on and on.... but let's think, let's act!

Remember to send me an email to me at tadonline@gmail.com if you are interested in doing something on Int'l Human Rights Day about Uzoma Okere's assault.

15 comments:

LG said...

1sttt

how far wit madam molly?

Temite said...

Food for thoughts. I only want a Man as powerful as I am or more so. I want excitement in my relationship, struggle and the like. So obviously I will need someone with a strength that matches mine otherwise there is no point. If you are afraid of powerful women then there is no point in trying to date me. My take! Everything begins with Women, so if there must be a change, it must all begin with Women. I know women who would not vote for Hillary Clinton simply because she is a woman.

doug said...

Hmm...
One reason women are stereotyped by men is because men are born into an age-old stereotype that they grow to feel buty-bound to sustain. Having said that though the relationship thing really is a matter of self-confidence. I personally am a veeeeery picky person and couldnt possibly bear a person who didn't challenge me.

About the name-changing thing. Weeeell, I'm not the most astute feminist politician, but if I were to give a simplistic vote for the name-change tradition I'd say that having a unit of people called by one name e.g the Joneses, might be more of a unifying factor than we know. Would I marry a woman who wouldn't change her name? Well I would decide by hearing her reasons.

As Temite said, men will not hand you your rights on a platter. Fortunately women have progressively come to understand this. The matter will probably be decided by a feminist adaptation of the much romanticized proletarian revolution. Or perhaps I'm just babbling...

Gattina said...

You know there are so many countries where women have or should have the same rights as a man, but they just don't use them ! it's just terrible. If you think that a woman usually starts raising a male baby how does it come that she makes a macho out of him ??

Onyeka said...

(Long comment)

Your post, for some reason, reminded me of a post I read from the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon. Let me quote some it here:

What is wrong with women?

I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? I have spent a good part of my life trying to do that math, and I’m no closer to a viable equation. And I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t buy into it. Women’s inferiority – in fact, their malevolence -- is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished. (Objectification: another tangential rant avoided.) And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable.


You can find the rest of that post here.http://whedonesque.com/comments/13271

Joss, the author, called this syndrome, a case onf 'womb envy'. Basically, here is this thing only women can do, and do very well, carrying a child and childbirth, sustaining it and being a mother figure. And with that, they still have the ability to do pretty much everything else a man can do, including providing for the family, the man's one claim to fame.

I believe, like Joss does, that many men can't handle this truth. The fact that, they are not as needed as history, and age-old cultures would have described. For them, when a woman, especially one they're with, handles both THAT and her natural and exclusive abiltity to also have children, it pushes them out of the loop. Some men, look at such women with pride and respect, many others, avoid them. People try to pin it on the Bible, that it's not a woman's place to be successful outside the home, but isn't it mentioned in Proverbs about the virtuous woman who has a business and provides for the family as well?

I, for one, cannot be with a man, that cannot appreciate that there's more to me than being a cooking, cleaning baby-making machine. Such men are cowards, and have self-esteem issues. Luckily, I'm glad to see it's slowly becoming unfashionable, elsewhere, if not much here, to not want a successful wife. Viva la revolution!

I believe men and women have the ability to live as equals. Question is, when?

Standtall said...

LG: Haba, leave proper comment on the issue at hand now. I am begining to suspect you usually avoid getting into issues of women's rights and all. Don't worry, contrary opinion is welcome at least we can brainstorm together on this. Cheers

Temite: Good point dearie, even in Nigeria I know of a lot of women that would not vote for women politicians and thier reasons are always associated with the way we are brought up. The way we have being socialised and what they have being told is expected of women in the bible or Qur'an. I came across this.http://hugoboy.typepad.com/hugo_schwyzer/2006/08/ive_been_asked__1.html

Doug: Beautiful contribution! Temite never said what you claim here. But i really dont think it's the right of the men to even hand over the women's rights to them. Remember how it is when pple think they give you something. Issue of rights is a universal thing and it's not about a man handling it over to a woman whether on a platter of gold or not. A man has no right to control the fundamental human right of another being. It's what they both have and should have access to. This has always being an issue, men thinking they have the right to make a woman have her right. On surname issue, though it looks so convienent like you said for a name to be uniform. If so, a man should not find it difficult to change to her woman's name na. It will be uniform that way to. Really a woman need not give you any reason to wanting to retain her surname. She has a right to her identity. All these have links with the stereotypes and dominations

Gattina: good question about women that raise male children. I have observed here in Nigeria that if a woman is not strong enough to make her own decisions, she will still have to give in to what the culture demand of her as if the children didnt turn out the way the family expect, she will be blamed for it.
Do you ever find out the underlying factors of those women that don't use thier rights as the male? I am really interested in why this is so

Onyeka: your question got me thinking. when? hmmm, remember how Mandela didnt not give up on his believe and he became the SA president in his 90's. When should really scare us as to how. How do we make sure we exercise our rights and how do we make sure that all the instruments that protects the rights of women are in use? You as an individual has even decided not to be with a man that can't respect your right. That is another way we can ensure our rights be respected and acknowleged. Thanks for the link, I am checking itr out now. Check this out too http://hugoboy.typepad.com/hugo_schwyzer/2006/08/ive_been_asked__1.html

Standtall said...

LG: Haba, leave proper comment on the issue at hand now. I am begining to suspect you usually avoid getting into issues of women's rights and all. Don't worry, contrary opinion is welcome at least we can brainstorm together on this. Cheers

Temite: Good point dearie, even in Nigeria I know of a lot of women that would not vote for women politicians and thier reasons are always associated with the way we are brought up. The way we have being socialised and what they have being told is expected of women in the bible or Qur'an. I came across this.http://hugoboy.typepad.com/hugo_schwyzer/2006/08/ive_been_asked__1.html

Doug: Beautiful contribution! Temite never said what you claim here. But i really dont think it's the right of the men to even hand over the women's rights to them. Remember how it is when pple think they give you something. Issue of rights is a universal thing and it's not about a man handling it over to a woman whether on a platter of gold or not. A man has no right to control the fundamental human right of another being. It's what they both have and should have access to. This has always being an issue, men thinking they have the right to make a woman have her right. On surname issue, though it looks so convienent like you said for a name to be uniform. If so, a man should not find it difficult to change to her woman's name na. It will be uniform that way to. Really a woman need not give you any reason to wanting to retain her surname. She has a right to her identity. All these have links with the stereotypes and dominations

Gattina: good question about women that raise male children. I have observed here in Nigeria that if a woman is not strong enough to make her own decisions, she will still have to give in to what the culture demand of her as if the children didnt turn out the way the family expect, she will be blamed for it.
Do you ever find out the underlying factors of those women that don't use thier rights as the male? I am really interested in why this is so

Onyeka: your question got me thinking. when? hmmm, remember how Mandela didnt not give up on his believe and he became the SA president in his 90's. "When" shouldnt really scare us as to how. How do we make sure we exercise our rights and how do we make sure that all the instruments that protects the rights of women are in use? You as an individual has even decided not to be with a man that can't respect your right. That is another way we can ensure our rights be respected and acknowleged. Thanks for the link, I am checking itr out now. Check this out too http://hugoboy.typepad.com/hugo_schwyzer/2006/08/ive

doug said...

@Standtall: hmmm. I stand corrected.

P.S: You're still a total mystery to me Standtall.

Grahamn Kracker said...

In my family and culture, when I was a child, women were held on pedestals. They were angelic, saintly, better than men; good women outnumbered good men by a huge ratio. They were treasures.

But what men were was physically strong, able to fight the wars and do the hard labor tasks and provide for the family. In this, the wife was expected to be the man's helpmate.

I never heard the husband referred to as the woman's helpmate - this at once made the man the leader and the weaker.

It was largely my mother that taught me these things and I believed them until society began to change around me and women began to speak up.

I realized then that, even holding a woman on a pedestal was a way to hold her down.

Here is a sincere thought, though. In pushing for the just rights of women, some feel it necessary to denigrate men as a sex.

We are both here, equal in virtue and fault, together.

Standtall said...

Doug: Lol. Mystery ke?

Grahamn Kracker: Powerful sincere thought really. helpmates r not usually used in Nigeria but it's contactly drummed on women's heads that the husbands are leaders. And this gave them an egde, it never made them feel weak

Denigate men? That isn't right. 2 wrong dont make a right.

There is nothing as true as saying we are BOTH Equal in virtue and fault. But in my society women have all the fault. Thanks for this insight

Standtall said...

GM: Infact the @head" in place leaders

poeticallytinted said...

Dear Standtall,

Sorry I haven't been as regular as I should have been on your blog, I have been overwhelmed. Please forgive me.

You know how I feel about this issue already. I won't drop my name simply because it is mine! Why should I change an identity I have been building for so long, does it mean everything I have done till date is inconsequential. My life before I met and married a man has been without meaning. I am a person. You must address me for who I am and not for who my husband or my father is by the way. Like I keep saying I am not fiercely feminist or anything I am just a person who wants to be recognised as such and not someone's branch or offshoot. If a man isn't comfortable with my name, my job, my life, my achievements, my beliefs, my attitude, my character... then it is simple, we are NOT compatible.

I told someone at work last week, I don't do things because it is the practice, I do things because they make sense to me. So if you are trying to ever change my views on anything ensure you've got one helluva superior argument.

Everyone can read the PMS series again for my views on gender issues.

:)

Standtall said...

Poeticallytinted: Good to see you here after such a long time sis. I understand, just relax and rest well well this Xmas

You know we have being socialised to believing that a woman that refused to drop her identity or that feel she is independent and all is either arrongant or is trying not to get a husband to marry her!

I wonder why we can't desire things that we want and implement things that are meaningful to our lives.

But the past is gone dearie, the now is for us to resist all oppressions that belittle our existence

Buttercup said...

I think it all stems from the Bible, where it is written that wives must be submissive to their husbands. It is a well-known fact that this portion of the Bible has been and will probably forever be misinterpreted.

It's wonderful to see women such as Condoleezza Rice and Hilary Clinton being on par with men. I don't think it's a case of women competing to be equal to or better than men(some men seem to think so), it's more of them shedding the woman's-place-is-in-the-kitchen stereotype and making a difference in the world. Men can't do it all on their own, if we are capable, why should we sit on our asses and let them get all the action??

Standtall said...

Buttercup: good point sis. They always qoute the submission part andf not where men were commanded to love their wives the way Jesus loves the church. hypocrisy!

Even submission has nothing to do with denying them their fundamental human rights as Jesus urges us to submit to God so we can be good to ourselves and our neighbours....

And why can't men be in the kitchen? Kitchen is where food comes from. So he who knows how to eat should see nothing wrong in cooking too. We all can work togehter in every aspect of lives...

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

Label Cloud

Gender (72) Feminism (46) Interview Thursday (46) Gender Equality (38) Gender and Development (29) Cat lover (24) Poem (24) Cat Tuesday (22) Women's Human Rights (19) Cats World (16) 16 Days of Activism (11) Africa (11) Violence Against Women (8) Information Sharing (7) Music (7) Nigeria Development (7) Women and Leadership (7) Children Rights (6) Exprience (6) Leadership (6) Rest in Peace (6) Change and Development (5) Corruption (5) Day to Day Exprience (5) Events (5) Governance (5) MDGs (5) Peace and Security Fellowship for African Women (5) Relationship (5) Security and Development (5) Women (5) Call for Application (4) Change Maker (4) Dairy (4) Mistake (4) Navy abuse of Uzoma Okere (4) Nigeria in Focus (4) Relationship and Marriage (4) The Feminist Cats (4) BlogHer (3) Chicago July Trip (3) Children (3) Discrimination Against Women (3) Domestic Violence (3) Injustice (3) King;s College Fellowship (3) Lessons (3) Niger Delta Crisis (3) Online Community (3) Religion Matters (3) Travelling (3) Wedding (3) Women Activists (3) Women Empowerment (3) Women in Governance (3) Youth (3) democracy in Nigeria (3) 2009 Edition (2) A girl-Soldier (2) Activism (2) Annivesary (2) BlogHer Conference Scholarship (2) Bloggers for life (2) Democracy and its Struggle (2) Female writers (2) Forced Marriage (2) IAC09 (2) ICT4D (2) International Wome's Rights Day 2008 (2) Journey to London (2) LGBTI (2) Lack of respect for other people's perspectives. (2) Life from Cape Town in South Africa (2) Lovely Cats (2) Male Child Preference (2) Male Child and Domestic Chores (2) Memories (2) My Boss (2) My life in London (2) Nigerian Youth and Development (2) Nigerianstalk (2) No to VAW (2) Rape (2) Sexual Violence and GBV (2) Taking Peace and Security (2) Technology Camp for Girls (2) The Admired Female Bloggers (2) The Changemakers (2) The Future of Nigerian children (2) The Late Kudirat Abiola's Remembrance (2) The Martyr of Democracy (2) The girl child and her chanllenges (2) Untimely death (2) Uzoma Okere court hearing (2) V-Monologues (2) Violation of Human Rights (2) Women making a difference (2) 10 years remembrance for the O.A.U 5. (1) 1in 9 Campaign (1) 2010 self-surfacing resolutions (1) A Ride with my Father (1) A just world with God (1) ALF Program (1) AWID Forum 2008 (1) Activism Scholarship (1) Adaeze Experience (1) African Sexualities (1) Aspiring Filmmaker (1) Bad Leaders (1) Beating by a mad man (1) Becoming my Cats (1) CSDG (1) Career (1) Child Marriage (1) Children without education (1) Children without future (1) Climate Change (1) Conflicts (1) Corrpution and Hooliganism (1) Court System (1) DLTW for Young Female Doctors (1) Democracy Day (1) Divorce and Marriage (1) Dupe In Kenya (1) ECOSAP (1) Evangelist Taye Ajiboye (1) Extreme poverty (1) Female Circumcision (1) Female Film-Makers (1) Girls in Technology (1) Global Warming (1) Government (1) Hafsat Abiola and KIND (1) Human Behaviour and attitudes (1) I didn't do it for you by Michela Wrong (1) ICT and Women (1) Images from Mali (1) Incest (1) Indecent Dressing Bill (1) Info -Activism (1) Internattional Bloggers Community Award (1) Job Search (1) Journey across Africa (1) June 8 and Abacha’s death (1) Kenya July Trip (1) Knowing our continent (1) Lagos State Government (1) MOBILIZATION (1) Mali (1) Marriage (1) Michela Wrong book on Eritrea (1) Mother 6th Remembrance (1) Movement Building. AWID Forum 2008 (1) My first post from London (1) My health (1) NDQ Interview (1) Naija Blogger Awards 2009 (1) Natural Hair (1) Negative quotation on women (1) Newspaper review (1) Nigeria Media (1) Nigerian Sporting Activities (1) Nigerians and Abacha’s death (1) No light (1) No to FGM (1) Obama Prank (1) Outsanding Ore (1) PHCN and Nigeria Government (1) Passing though Ghana (1) Passing through Burkina Security and Development (1) Pastor Kehinde Ajiboye (1) Peace and Secuirty issues in the Horn (1) Police Force (1) Polygamist (1) Pregnancy and child bearing in marriage (1) Punishment of an elderly woman in Saudi (1) Rape Victim (1) Road and Bus Evangelism (1) Road trip to Mali (1) SOLIDARITY WTH WOMEN WHO SPEAK OUT (1) Self Defence for Women (1) Senseless killing by armed robbers (1) Serious Issues (1) Standtall Adevnture (1) Suicide bombing (1) Summit (1) Tactical Tech (1) Take Back the Tech (1) Tell Magazine (1) Terrorist Attack (1) The Uncoventional Clergy woman (1) The Bauchi Killings (1) The EU Summit Report (1) The Eritrea history (1) The July 10 Martyr (1) The Liberian Women peace building effort (1) The O.A.U 5 (1) The PM Tabloid (1) The danger of a single story (1) The late social Crusader (1) The meeting with London Bloggers (1) The rescued kitten (1) This Violence must stop (1) Tips to having a Happy Relationship (1) Traditional Role (1) Transforming Nigeria (1) Travelling through Africa by Road (1) Tribute to Chief Gani Fawehinmi (1) Tyranny (1) Umar Mutallab (1) Understanding Security (1) Uzoma's Justice (1) Verastically Vera (1) WORLD AIDS DAY (1) We need peace in our land (1) Women E-Campaigners` Training (1) Women In Technology. ICT4D (1) Wrong Culture and Belief (1) Yar'adua (1) Youth as agents of Change (1) meeting US bloggers (1) my love (1)