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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.....

Comments

zoneziwoh's picture

Re:Men working with Women

Dear Olutosin, I can image how annoying those men were.

you know what I see those men are adamant to change and are so stereotype and ignore to the extend that they argue with no proper based so as to intimidate you. what a shame! you embarrassed and I am sure they will have to rethink over what you people had discussed.

I agree with Prof Sheshadri's view

Nice reading from you
Zoneziwoh

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

olutosin's picture

Annoying

Yes I agreee, you imagine a man saying he thanked God that is wife was brought up by a good mother, that was why she will sit when he asked her to sit and stand whenever he wants her to stand up...I said so you mean I was not brought up properly? He said no but he thoguht I did not have the fear or respect of my parents and fear of God...Do you see any new meaning in his rephrasing the satement?....We are nto discouraged by their name calling all we want is equality....it has no second name...just one name...equality...
Thanks for reading friend...

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

sateig's picture

Men who believe

Dear Tosin,

I smiled as i read your account of the conversation you had with your friend.I must admit that it is not uncommon for that scenario to play out often in Nigeria and indeed Africa. However, i have learnt just as you said that to end violence against women, the process needs to be all-inclusive and yes basically most of the violence against women is perpetrated by men so we have to find ways to include them.

Having said that, even though they are rare, there are men in Africa who do respect women and treat them as equals and you know if a man wants to see his wife as his daughter, has he ever taught of the fact that good fathers love their daughters to bits and ensure that NOTHING harms them, good fathers provide for their families, good fathers are a source of wisdom and encouragement, good fathers believe in their daughters,good fathers always inspire their daughters to reach for the stars, dream big and go for their dreams.

It is interesting to see how much misinterpretation has been given to our faiths as it applies to women and equality and just like several other things in life, with better enlightenment and understanding, things become clearer.

We need to reach out and find men like these, they will be invaluable to the cause. It doesn't take long to identify them. We can also help the cause by teaching the right values both to girls and boys. Enlightening girls about the fact that violence against them isn't "permissible" for whatever reason as is sometimes taught them even by their own mothers and family members.

If we find non-confrontational ways to pass our message across we can begin to make a difference, little by little. And you know what, things are changing and if we keep at it, we can surely perhaps slowly, but definitely surely bring about an end to gender based violence.

Safiya Ibn Garba
www.ewei.wetpaint.com

olutosin's picture

CONTINUE WORKING

Yes dear friend, we will continue working especially with cooperating men and boys too, I still reserve huge hope for the boys and we will empower our girls.
Thanks darling for stopping by to read and pass beautiful comments and advise.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

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