Isn’t it interesting how people want to be understood, and they’ll never bear that bitter taste of patience to understand another? Developing from my teenage days, my years of naiveté as a girl, I had licked the brunt of male chauvinism and drank the wine of sadness to mourn Gender-equality that I was not born when it died. All I wanted was to be treated with dignity, not because I’m a woman, but because I’m human created in the image of God.
I hated how daddy treated mum like she was a little child whose opinion never counted. “Shot up your mouth, you’re just a woman, what do you know?” Daddy would say to mum each time she tried to oppose his decisions which directly affected the family. At so many times at night, I pondered over this; “So, even if I grow up I still would have no say in matters that affects the family and the society?” I wanted to impact positively on the world and change lives positively. But as the society continued drumming the drums of inequality and playing the bells which commonize women, I started to think that the reason for women’s existence is to warm men’s bed, give birth to children and do home chores. There should be more to a woman’s life, and I was desperate to find out. As I tried, I realised that women have imbibed the notion that women are restricted in life, as they (women) never stopped to join blocks with the men to stop me.
“Regina, don’t you know you’re a woman? You’re not to talk when men are talking.” The women told me. Oh really? Even when what they talk about what affects the women? Oh what a society! There came a time when I thought perhaps God gave the men a special brain that’s more supreme than that of women, and that women have empty heads, because I couldn’t figure out why even the women believed that men are supreme to us.
I went to school, got better grades and even taught my male friends and helped them understand certain courses they found difficult. I graduated as the best in my class with a strong first class grade. Yet, these guys I taught still opened their mouth and told me that I was only a woman.
What’s a woman really? What’s her role on earth? I asked so many questions that only silence answered.
Then as nature would always play the drums for the human race, I fell in love and got married. Chinedu was so kind and gentle. The egoistic-beast never shown in him, until we got married. We were both working before we got married. I had a better job and earned more than he did. A week after our marriage, he told me to quit my job to be a full house wife. That was when trouble started to grow in our marriage. There was no way I was ever going to quit my job. I wanted to build a solid career, become influential in the society and give hope to the hopeless and helpless women. We quarrelled and fought, time after time, in-laws came to settle us. But then, nothing changed. At last he gave up the ideal because I was ready to quit the marriage and he wasn’t ready to bear the shame of divorce after such a short period of marriage. “After-all I could get a man to impregnate me and be a single mother” I thought, but I never prayed for that. I desired a beautiful family.
A year later, after I had my first child, Chinedu asked me to quit my job for another job. He applied for another job for me, but their offer was very low compared to what I was earning, so I decided to continue with my good job. And then he said to me one night; “Regina, you can’t be earning more than I earn as salary.” I was shocked!
“Why? Why that?” I asked him.
“I’m your husband. I’m the man. A woman shouldn’t earn more than her husband.” He said.
For months, we argued and had so much altercation over that issue. He started to beat me. This time I was heavily pregnant, waiting for my second child. Then he started having extra-marital affairs. I confronted him and he didn’t deny it.
“Regina, you should understand that I’m a man. I can carry women as I want. Besides, you’re pregnant and you can’t satisfy me sexually like I want. Understand that?” He said. These words broke me down. I sat on the bed and wept. And then he said; “Gina, I love you. But please try to understand me, I’m a man.” This hurt me the more. He never bothered to understand the pain I felt, the emotional trauma and what it took me to carry a baby in my womb and gave birth.
A year later, our marriage came crawling to its ending date. This time, he started to bring women to our matrimonial bed.
Today, I’m a single mother, and I’m happy. Very happy!
Why do men always think they’re superior to us, women? Perhaps because they’re the ones who pay the bride price and marry women into their houses. What really can men do that women cannot do? Or is it because they have paddles in-between their legs? Don’t we, women have the river in-between our legs? Of what use is the paddle without the river? If indeed we all need each other, why do some think they are more superior to the others?