Men Working With Women
The atmosphere was tense, thick and cloudy literally, I was unperturbed because I was not expecting any pat on my back for daring to challenge the socio-cultural believes. I was the only woman in their midst as I tried fruitlessly at educating some men about the reality of Gender Based Violence, that it is not an attempt to turn it the other way round, we do not want them to suffer as we did or do, No just to be free as they are, so men are actually afraid to work in our shoes!
An adamant one among the men wants me to explain what a bride's father means by handing over the bride on her wedding day and allowing her to change her name to her husband's. I thought it means she wants you and today I hand her over to the love of her life, to cherish her and to love her, but alas! they have a different meaning, that it means, I erase myself from the picture and wholeheartedly swap position with you, therefore, she is yours, for keep just as you hand over a lost child to her parents or an erring student to her teacher she automatically becomes your first child.
I will never accept that but he said why is every bride's heart thumbing and rumbling, why do they weep on their wedding day if they knew they would be cherished and loved? He said the female was protected by her father, when the father dies, her brother protects her and when she gets married, her husband protects her and when her husband dies her sons protects her. My question is the same as yours friends, Protect her from whom? From predators of course and Who Are These predators?. I waited for few seconds, yet No answer, then after a long silence, he said whosoever wants to predate...Who is afraid of predators then? Men protect women from men...That must be the simple answer. I helped him out.
This was a new idea to me, how can a man believe that he would become my father in a day, with no mother or what? Then I am now the problem, believing that my husband is not my father, what or who will my father be then? what is my father to me? does it means that because my father became the father of my mother, he shamefacedly accepted the tradition? Is that the reason why a husband trashes his wife the way a father does in Africa? There was no answer and my questions but it show that I have no fear of God in me and a isrespectful a woman other women must not emulate. The arguments went on, but sometime it is better to allow some people to know that not all men are Yes sis Yes sir, and there is nothing wrong to have an opposing view and not a crime to express it either.
I calmed down because someone had to shift, not by force. Who is your husband, why will a man allow you to degenerate this far? Definitely, your man has poured water in his mouth and unable to swallow it, you are a bone in his throat! I remain quiet and began to wonder what men supporting their women will face when they discuss these issues. How will they maneuver their ways among friends who are so hostile to women who thought they could be liberated from oppression, the man who said I am a bone in my husbands' throat has been looking for a job for more than four years now and the wife is employed, paying all the bliss, making all the babies and still performing all the domestic works alone while our Dear daddy browses everyday on the internet searching for American jobs while the children are growing gracefully courtesy of their mother's sweat. I know that the wife remained in the marriage because she wants to bear Mrs. Another typical African man who has glued subordinate, submission, silence and helpmate to his tongue was quick to burst out of the cafe, education has not erased the stereotypes from his medula oblongata, he is a medical doctor seeking opportunities only in Paris. He kept on wondering if this wire of a pulse has not turned me into an aberration.
I smiled sheepishly as I remembered the words of Prof Sheshadri, he said definitely we have lost the battle with our men, but we can still see salvage the boys....in Africa, I still believe we can still gather some remnant, we have to encourage the men working with us and save the boys by winning them, because take it or leave, we are liberated already, and never to go back to slavery again, one after the other, we will win our women over too.....