Friday, November 14, 2014

Infidelity Double Standards Through The Eyes Of A Non-Feminist

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By Onyinye Orabuike

I have never been accused of being a feminist, neither do I hope to be mistaken for one.

In truth I am not particularly passionate about the plight of women. I found out early that my sentiments are painfully unpopular among girls my age whose goals were either to get married to a very wealthy man and live a life of ease, or ditch men altogether and make their own way in life.

For me, all I ever wanted was to develop myself, and at the right time marry a man that respect me, and I didn’t see anything wrong in giving my money to a friend in need, even if that friend was a boy.

This was as far back as secondary school days. I often feel compelled to disagree with the sentiments of core feminists who are constantly on the assault and see gender discrimination in almost every issue under the sun.

When I hear women say that men are bad, I know this is not true because I have a real wonderful brother, and as you can easily guess, he happens to be a man. And if that was not enough, I have yet another incredible man as my husband. And when I hear men say women are terrible, I also know it’s a lie because I have come across some amazing women who are not any of those things they attribute to women, yes, in my own eyes at least.

As a Christian for instance I know that I am subject to my husband, but to him alone, not to any man I meet on the street.

Coming right down to it, this may be a me thing but I can’t help depicting insecurity and fear in the desire to huddle together and fight as a group. I don’t know where I got this but I think that the very idea of coming together to fight is a reflection of a deep rooted sense of inferiority on the part of the proclaimed feminists. The weak always huddle together looking around for who is oppressing them while the real strong characters are hardly bothered about how the next person perceives him.

My opinion is this; women should start working more on commanding respect and earning relevance instead of demanding it.

Having said all these, I do know that double standard exist. Women will continue to be marginalised for a long time to come, just as I know that there will always be discrimination between blacks and whites. There would always be anger and hate between the Igbo man and the Hausa man, as sure as there will always be distrust between the Yoruba man and his Igbo brother. I know that marginalization against women will continue for a long time, just the way I can’t help wondering if there is something condescending or a patronising in a comment made by a friend that is white.
The fact that we know that these ills exist does not make them any less painful or bearable. I came across a post on Facebook yesterday where a woman told how she came back from church and met her husband in bed with their house help. She reported the matter to counsellors in the church and they asked her not send the house help away, but to pray. Pray? As if this was not ridiculous enough some ladies that commented actually wanted to know if she had not somehow contributed to her husband s unfaithfulness by perhaps not satisfying him sexually enough.

It is so bad, especially in Africa. Her pastor will ask her to fast and pray.

Her mother will tell her, about another girl whose husband apart from sleeping around does not even give her money and beats her up in addition.

Her father would ask, “Does he beat you? Well, we will talk to his family, don’t worry he will stop.” 

Her sister will say. “Ah! What will happen to the children, please because of junior and the sister...” 

Her friends will share their stories and warn her that there are many girls out there that will be eager to get her man.

Even me, I suspect I would have asked her to find a way to forgive, didn’t the bible say to forgive always...... she will weigh her options and lick her wounds.

But if where to be the other way round, and the Woman was the one caught in the act, what?

His mother will go like.... “Is she still in your house, doing what? I said it, when they were about to marry that woman but no one would listen. Her people are promiscuous and diabolical... I will kill her myself if I meet her in that house.

His friends will be like, “well my wife will never do that, I will strangle her myself.”

 His brothers would be like, “have you not sent her away yet, please keep the children away from her...”

And I asked myself, what I will say if God forbid my brother’s wife is caught in bed with their houseboy! A tough one right? I would certainly wonder if the children were safe with her. I would wonder if she would not sort of be a bad influence on the children.

I feel silly sometimes about being neither here nor there.

I feel guilty just thinking about it but the truth is we are all guilty of marginalising women in one form or the other. It is something that has been handed down through several cultures and it will take deliberate efforts and time for it be completely eradicated.

I wish to commend those bold women and some wonderful men who have been fighting passionately for the right of women. I have benefited significantly from their effort.

1 comment:

  1. You are just confused. It is better to pick a side than sit on the fence so you can chop from both sides of your mouth.


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