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The Other Side Of Gender Equality By Simon Abah - barrister.com.ng is for sale 08064950565

Simon Abah

Ada was in a relationship with Adams. One day, she visited our neighbourhood to see him but he wasn’t in and we powwowed to kill time whilst waiting for him. Out of the blue, she let drop that he (Adams), was not her kind of man. I wondered – why she told me, for we were years apart. She was older than me. Her kind – should be a man, who is in control of a relationship but he was not. He was the type without initiative and drive, and must be prodded by a woman to do manly things.

This conversation gave me an inkling into the working of a woman’s mind. Not long after that – I read and copied a speech-mark by Jay Benson snr from a James Hadley Chase series, “Treat women with kid gloves if you want to get along with them, and there will come a time when you will want to get along with one particular woman. The right woman will be the pivot of your life. You’ll find everything important revolves around her. A woman has different ideas from yours, but her ideas should be respected. But there comes a time when you know you are right, when you know you have to do this or that and she might not agree.

You either do one of two things: you either spend a lot of time persuading her to see it your way or else you stamp over her. Either way works. The first way tells her you respect her opinion…… The second way tells her you’re the boss……and make no mistake about it, provided you are on the level, a woman wants her man to be the boss.”

For sure, Ada would have wanted Adams to be the boss but not Queen Beatrix, the former monarch of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, who was quoted to have said this,

“It is very unfortunate that some of our educated women or women generally have fallen prey to the whims and caprices of some men.”

The supremacy battle between men and women the world over wouldn’t be, if both follow the laws of naturalism. Men and women aren’t created equal, both were created to fill a void and fulfill a purpose. Both were to live as a full moon and not as a crescent.

At the Jos Zoo years ago, I saw how a pride of lions was fed. The zoo keeper let in a live small goat. The male lion went after it while the lionesses stayed back. When the male lion had finished, the keeper let in other goats, bigger ones this time and the females went after them, with the male staring at them in confusion. If there can be order there, why isn’t there order here?

From observances, I have noticed that many educated women take issues with men for the wrong reasons. The reasons for which women should take issues with men are legion. For instance, inheritances for women must be fought by women folk. Men aren’t created in special ways than women. Young girls must not be herded into marriage before they are ready, which is why there is the prevalence of VVF. Women shouldn’t be denied employment and promotion at work places because of their gender. Our girls must not be sent to the farms while men go to school. Women must fight and campaign against the trafficking of girls. The impossible demands placed on female marketers to bring in money to companies irrespective of how they do so, even if it means being coquettish, widows’ rights and the barbaric practices against widows before the burial rites of deceased husbands. Where I live, I see the first girl children in families, breeding for different men while living in their girlhood homes. I hear it is a culture for the first girl children to remain unmarried and breed for different men. Women should fight such retrograde culture, etc. etc.,

Unlike in the lion’s den, gone are the days when efforts made homes the core for the stability of societies; those days when men were in charge of homes and there was order. The days when men did not subordinate authority wholesale to women? I worry when men allow women to run all affairs including all decisions. Should that be the natural order of things?

I wish women who champion the case for equality that are not issue-based but the type to downplay the importance of men, know how powerful they are. Women are the builders of lives, the foremost most important thing on earth and in a man’s life. A wise woman drives her man to success but a foolish woman competes with him, and makes merchandise of his faults.

And today, educated couples fail to appreciate each other and find fault instead of celebrate one another, including the differences. They assume that the grass is greener somewhere else. They fail to keep romance and friendship alive. They only enjoy the marriage institute when milk and honey flows; the union loses appeal at times of drought.

No wonder marriage now is only a symbolic institution but it shouldn’t be. A “woman is made out of a man’s ribs, not from his head to top him, neither from his feet to be walked upon, she is made from his side to be his partner, from under his arm to be cuddled, protected and from his heart to be caressed and loved affectionately.”

Loyalty between the sexes is an essential commodity which is frequently subject to barter. Sometimes the selling price is cheap and at other times it can be purchased only with gold. Infrequently with superior ideas, like that of Margaret Thatcher, who challenged Sir Edward Heath, the Conservative Prime Minister from 1970 to 1974 to a joust for leader of party. Heath rubbished her as just a woman not to be taken seriously. To his surprise she unseated him as party leader and went ahead to become the first ever prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Maybe if we have women to the type like Thatcher with conviction for the common good and men like Edward Heath to give women a chance to vitrine their skills in Nigeria, ideological space would expand and not diminish.

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Simon Abah sent in this peice from Abuja

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