Calm down, my people. This is not a feminist manifesto or the soundtrack to angry women walking down the street chanting “men are scum”. Its funny how, when the subject of gender comes up, people tend to assume you’re going to go off on how women are suffering and all but this is not about that.
Something happened the other day that got me wondering. I had some official duties to perform at a certain parastatal and as things go in Nigeria, the buses provided to convey all and sundry were not enough. When a new bus arrives, it becomes a remake of the World War -survival of the fittest and a lot of people that had the most might pushed their way in, mostly the menfolk.
This went on for hours -a new bus would come and the hustle continued till it was late in the night. So, this particular bus was about to leave, it was filled with men and while the bus was preparing to take off, this tiny, feminine voice came on.
“so una dey happy as una dey inside bus and me wey be woman Dey outside and night don reach”
I can’t decide now, if I was amused or shocked, but I tell you for a fact, I was disturbed. This young woman made no move for the bus all the while and started playing the gender card when it was about to move.
You see, I’m not really bothered about what people choose to do with their lives unless it directly affects me, but this scenario plays out in our everyday lives. I’ve been told to swap seats with passengers in the bus for whatever reason pleases the driver, and I always put my foot down. If you want it, get it first. Be there first, grab that seat first, that parking slot first, that line in the banking hall. Basically, for anything you want in life, get it, work for it. People should not have to feel entitled to things, especially not on gender basis.
Ladies, the world owes you nothing by virtue of you being female. I mean, this is one of the things we have to let go with the stone age. If you want something, go get it. Don’t let someone get it and then demand it be handed down to you because, of course.
It upsets me to hear things like All the men come down make women go first or the flip offhand statement of someone saying na woman na ,in what they assume is a cajoling manner enough to make you give up your space. So what happens to a man who got there first? give up his seat, not because you’re sick or disabled, but because you’re a woman? Miss me with the bs already.
I have a friend who never sees eye to eye with me on gender issues. He believes in the Dutch thing, bringing something to the table and being an independent woman Bla Bla. Great, right? Problem is, he never sees anything wrong ever in a man, you’ll never see him criticize a man, ever. That old school belief that a man is never wrong? Yeah, that’s my friend.
I remember when I would say flippantly of how my brothers would not do house chores and he will announce to me that they are men and it was my job to do. He believes a man is allowed to cheat and the wife can go after the side chick, he believes women are not supposed to be stubborn or angry ,he believes rape is always the consequences of a girl’s action although the jury is still out on why babies get raped. So when discussions like these come up, he would call me feminist in the derogatory manner one would describe an Ill-behaved child, and I will call him misogynist, and we would fight and In the morning, act like nothing happened.
This is not a mantra, don’t dwell on the analogy I gave of my friend. Look more at the mentality. An instance is some people believing they deserve first position in class because they are men and not necessarily because they deserve it, but because it is an insult for a woman to beat them at anything. This is just like the girl believing she should have been on the bus because of her gender.
I’m just saying, that no one should ever have to feel entitled to something because of their gender. How about you, what are you saying?