Articles and Opinion

In the Voice of a Woman—Stereotypes Must Be Changed

“So what? I get into an argument with a man, he slaps me, I feel the pain, yet they tell me I provoked him. I should have been quiet, I should have been patient. I should apologize to him. I get into an argument with a man, I slap him, they tell me I have no respect and no home training. I should have been quiet or should have been patient. I should apologize to him.”

Because I am a woman, I don’t have a right to be angry. So, the degree of my innocence is directly proportional to the degree of my silence in the face of oppression and brutality?

“Do anger now have gender roles?”— James Amaka.

“…because I am a woman, my husband cheats on me, I am told to tolerate it to save my marriage. The barbaric and stupid excuse is that ‘it is in their nature to cheat, I should slim down, dress better, cook better, pray harder and be more pleasant to him.’ It is sheerly animalistic.”

“…but if I cheat, I am called a whore. I have committed an abomination and I have no right to look elsewhere for the love and emotional support I lack at home; I am an irresponsible mother. Hence, I am sent packing, from the house we both built with all my earthly possessions stuffed into a tiny box on my head. I am henceforth forbidden from seeing my two older children, I’m lucky to be allowed to go with my little one still a suckling on my left breast. Three years after, the little one is tagged a ‘bastard’. Now, my new name is “after-three,” because I am a woman.”

“He is 28 and runs a company. He’s tagged wonderful, hardworking, focused, career oriented and seen as being successful at a very young age, but if I attempt success at age 28 and I run a company… ‘Hmm… she is not even married, cannot order her priorities right, a hustler, loves money, let her go and get a husband oh’. ”

“I wonder if being successful has to do with gender?”

“Nonsense! … because I am a woman, I am not allowed to have wits or be a prodigy, I cannot be financially buoyant, professionally successful or be treated with respect without a man beside me. Then, I am tagged a generous leg opener, ‘a runs girl’. They never see the possibility that I actually had to go through ups and downs to get to where I am, because I am a woman.”

“A man loses his wife to death and remarries a year after; in the eyes of men, he did the right thing and he’s being praised and congratulated for moving on, after all life is for the living.”

“A woman loses her husband, but mustn’t remarry in time and even when she attempts to remarry after four years: ‘Aaah! So early? Are you sure she wasn’t sleeping with that man even when her husband was alive?… That was why she killed her husband.’ She automatically becomes a witch… because she’s a woman.

“Even as a girl, we were told to bend down to sweep well because we are feminine and will sweep our husband’s house someday; we should have been told to bend to sweep because dirt will be cleaned better by so doing.

“Why were we raised to speak in low tunes about periods? To be filled with shame if our menstrual blood stained our skirt? Periods are nothing to be ashamed of. Periods are normal and natural and the human specie would not be here if periods do not exist.”
—Chimamanda Adichie.

… and to the boys who poke-nose and make fun of ladies whose menstrual blood happened to stain their skirt, you are a product of that blood and you shall face the horror that follows it soon… except you choose not to marry a woman.

In conclusion, that a woman is a woman doesn’t make her less human!

There’s more to being a girl than becoming a wife someday.

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