There’s still one thing my mother says that grates on my nerves every time. I’m not so sure i’ll ever get over it. It’s that sentence she utters when i do something really good for her, those 5 words;
“oko olowo wa fe o” ( you will marry a rich husband)
Maybe I just don’t understand the wisdom of the old. But why can’t she just pray for me. Why can’t she simply say, “omo mi (my child) you will be rich.” How did my husband whom she’s yet to meet even come into the conversation. But of course if i dare voice my thoughts, she’d ask,”so you want to be richer than your husband?”And my smart mouth won’t be able to help but reply, “duh… why can’t I be?” You can imagine the look of horror on her face when she shakes her head and says “omokekere n se e.” (you are just a child)
Please don’t get me wrong. I do want my husband to be rich. What I don’t really care is which of us should be richer.
To most people, a woman is nothing more but a help- a caretaker, her “lord” will buy her the necessary things, and when he deems it fit (only when he deems it fit) bestow her with luxury. Here’s another example; on a random day, I was talking cars with a couple of friends and i remember saying my dream car was a mustang GT (the latest model at that time) and one of the guys looked at me and said “well your husband will buy it for you.” I was shocked because i never thought about it that way. I’ve was always thought ‘I’ will buy the car when i have the money. Instead, it was automatically assumed my husband will pay for it. I just don’t get it. Does he think only my husband will be able to afford? Or that my husband “should” be the one to get it for me?
What caused all this soul searching you might ask? Well, a while ago, I saw an episode of the TV series scandal where Olivia Pope was trying to convince Melany Grant to talk about why she stayed with her husband even though he had a mistress. What she said (if you are lost, please just go and watch the whole of scandal. You will thank me later.) pointed out a woman’s place in this world and actually inspired me to write this.
Let’s face it, it’s a man’s world and we all just live in it. Someone once said that, as blacks we are very low on the totem pole, but to be black and a woman is even worse. Albeit, sad but true. Most women juggle a whole lot that’s enough to drive some people crazy, but they do it without complaining. Yet we always play second fiddle; we will forever be defined by who our father is, who we date, who we marry…. God forbid we are viewed as our own selves. We are like our husbands appendages, his handbag to be seen and admired not heard, to just sit there and be pretty ( okay maybe i’m going a bit overboard. There are many women in the limelight).
I remember telling a close friend of mine, that i might keep my name and not take my husband’s last name. Oh my…. that did not go down well at all! The popular opinion is that it will be an affront to my future husband- like i’m undermining him… emasculating him blah blah blah. Is it so bad if i just want a little bit of me to remain since everything i am will cease to exist once i sign the dotted line? Is it so wrong if people stop considering how our male counterparts feel and their silly egos? Instead think of how to some women, marriage is a loss of identity.
And oh yea, I’m not leaving that out. That notion the world has, that we can’t be fulfilled until we get married or rather except we marry at a certain age 😒. I’m not saying it’s not okay to set goals or marry early, I’m only saying we should not put too much pressure on ourselves. (Although, after hearing my mum give examples of friends of hers who are not married till now, i’d say “please do marry when the opportunity presents itself”) Most of us are not even mentally prepared for it. The point is one day i will be referred to as his wife, his personal cheer leader, to hold his hand, to build him up, encourage him, care for him, referred to as someone else’s mother but never as my own individual.There are days i look forward to marriage and dream about all the beautiful babies, my husband and i will have. But there are days … (sigh).
Anyways, (after this crazy random rant) I’m calm and sitting on my bed. And I’m thinking; I have changed-I’m starting to be less of a feminist and more of a realist. I’ll just follow the crowd, at least for my mother’s peace of mind and my sanity.