Category Archives: writing

The inequality in Gender Equality: A simply case of “Ladies First”

Gender inequality is as old as time itself and although great effort has been exerted over the decades to end, or at least minimize it, there exists subtle nuances that underscore its presence. I don’t want to go in-depth in to the literature of gender bias, quite frankly I haven’t got the time and plus I believe I can still make a compelling case even without literal back up. There are certain social conventions that have been ingrained in the minds of people which are supposed to engender equality among the sexes, but sometimes the very nature of them makes you wonder if their purpose is in tandem with intrinsic meaning.

Some might argue that gender equality has been greatly diminished and that we currently live in a society of greater freedom for women. On the surface of it, it might appear so because we see more women in the workforce, more women in leadership roles, for one thing; women in America at least can now vote. From an aerial view all seems to be at place, but the truth is that much like other problems that challenges the human race, gender inequality has evolved alongside the species. This evolution has also meant that the way it is perpetuated has also evolved as well, that its current state of sophistication makes it that much harder to detect.

There is a phrase that is very pervasive in human social interaction, especially interactions involving both sexes. This phase is seen as sign of respect and decorum that is “ought” to be accorded by one sex to the other. That phrase is “Ladies First.”

I have often said this phrase without giving it much thought, because like I said it is what is expected of you as a respectable member of any civil society where people have mutual respect for each other. Recently though I was somewhat accosted for not obliging with the usual “Ladies First” when I was at a door.

This got me thinking, when men say “Ladies first” to a lady is it because they see her as an equal (hence gender equality) or do they see her as a lesser being that needs to be given an advantage to progress for fear of being trumped? Men are naturally very competitive animals and when you want him to see another creature as an equal in competition, it doesn’t help to make him give that “competitor” an advantage. This is because then you have made him to see that creature as obviously being weak in some regard therefore needing to be given support to come to par with him in competition. It is very easy to say “Ladies First”, but then it is hard to see beneath the surface to catch a glimpse of what is really happening.

My hope isn’t to come-off as chauvinistic or anything of that nature, but I just would like people to think carefully about certain social conventions and see if they truly mean what they stand for. As an educated individual your number one priority is to challenge statics or dogmas as they come your way. The aim isn’t to win arguments or shove agendas in peoples face, on the contrary I would like to be intelligently challenged in ways that would give me a better understanding and if possible change my own views in some way.

(This is one of the things I was most scared of doing, writing a piece that might come off chauvinistic Frightening )

CONTROL: Inspired By Tom Ford

Over the years, as early as when I could clearly understand the language of humans; I have been rather fascinated by the notion of control. That urge to want to direct the path/course of movement or progression of a thing or person or whatever the case maybe. You can either be on the receiving end of the brunt of control or on the exerting end. There are billions of people who fervently support the idea of control; some have even gone to make huge thriving careers from teaching people how to be in control. As much as I would like to subscribe to the idea that there are people who are in control of everything, and some who go the extra mile to forcefully exert this control on people and things ( hence the term “control freak”), I have to know: are those people really in control?

Every year a ton of people are admitted into business schools with the aim of mastering CONTROL. Firstly, in business and then in other facets of life. Some of them emerge with success others maybe not so much, but really who can truly say that they are in control of everything around them? The human body for one has a natural process which resumes work at birth and is retired at death. We age regardless of how much money we own and put towards fads that pummel us with vain hope of being young forever. But the really wise ones know that this is absolutely ridiculous. It has always been my personal belief that the Plastic Surgery Industry will completely collapse if all the “control freaks” suddenly all died. Think about it, which type of woman is more likely to want to go under the knife to pull together the loose skin around her abdominal area? I will tell you who she isn’t. She isn’t the confident woman who understanding the biology of child bearing and knows that the expansion of the abdominal is a natural occurring incident in child bearing which cannot be stopped. It is the overly controlling woman who wants to cajole her body into looking like it has never been through the joyful ordeal of child bearing.

Some might argue that such a woman is driven mostly by Low Self-esteem. As tempting as that suggestion might be, I think not completely. I think being over controlling breeds Low Self-esteem when the individual in question is met with the harsh reality that some things are just out of their scope of control.

Humans are born with varying degrees of control, which explains why even the meekest of individuals can at least direct where the steps taken by the feet leads him to. If there is anything to be learned from the lives of wealth and successful people who have gained for themselves, for the most part, the luxuries of life which everyone clamors for is that control isn’t really the purpose of life. I watched an interview of Tom Ford the designer where he talked about the making of his movie “The Single Man”. He had just left Gucci when he was struck by this feeling of emptiness. He began to think about his life, where he had been and where he was headed and then it dawned on him that he was having a mid-life crisis. I believe he defined mid-life crisis as “placing a ladder on a wall, climbing it to the top only to get to the peak and realize that you had the ladder on the wrong wall the whole time” or something like that. Tom Ford had been in “control” of everything as he said, raising from the bottom to becoming the Creative Director at Gucci one of the biggest brands in the fashion business. But was it enough? Upon leaving the job, he was quick to realize how fleeting it all was. He realized that even though he had manage to control and steer his life and career in the path it went, he could not shake the way he was feeling. It’s like youth. Youth is beautiful, it is sexy it is hypnotizing, it is strong, but ultimately it is fleeting. And as much as we try to control its tenor, it eventually fades and withers-off.

We as a people are not in control of everything as most have deluded themselves into thinking. We are in control of few things, but for the most part we are left to chance as a being. For example, you choose to eat a loaf of bread (In our control), and then our digestive system takes over and begins to extract what it needs from the bread and tossing the unwanted ones out (Out of our control). We cannot control what the digestive system picks up or what it throws away. All we want to achieve is the feeling of being fed and how this is done internally shouldn’t really bother us.

I think that as an individual, the ultimate purpose is to apply the utmost wisdom and care in making the decisions in our control and hoping optimistically that the rest will go as we have occasioned in our minds. It is the reason why the religious pray.

Towards the end of the Interview, Tom Ford continued to emphasize a certain point. “Nothing, nothing lasts, that the beauty of it all” was what he said and I could not agree with him more. If we can be patient enough to let ourselves comprehend the point that Nothing Lasts, then we can see how pointless it is to try and control everything.

LIFE

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Que Sera Sera.”

How Much Do “Ivy Leagues” Figure?

As someone who just recently went through the daunting process of Grad School application (and succeeded, I might add), the whole experience got me thinking. Is it the school that makes the students, or the students make the school?

Most of the schools regarded as “Ivy-League” get tonnes of applications from students every year, which in turn gives them the privilege of picking the brightest and best students before any other school does. So when I see that students from those “Ivy-League” schools test better on standardized tests and tend to get employed faster than others, the question nags me; is it really the school who is to be thanked or the individual students themselves? “Ivy-League” schools pride themselves on having the best faculty and resources etc. but I hardly think that is the real reason for the success of such schools. If you ask me, I think that such schools already have half or more of their jobs (educating) already done for them. If an “Ivy-League” school really wants to prove to me that it has got the best of the best when it comes to faculties and other resources, let it go ahead and pick up the average Joe and make him a superstar in the eyes of employers and then I would start to believe them somewhat.

Just a thought.

Sight As A Burden

“Be Blind To Be Focused”

That was the concluding remark made by Cobhams Asuquo in the speech he gave at the TEDxEuston Conference. To better appreciate this bog post I strongly recommend that you watch this video of Cobhams giving the speech at the event.

VIDEO:

The sense of sight is one of the five most important senses for humans and many other creatures. The human senses are fed by stimuli from the surrounding environment, transmitted via sensory organs of the body. Arguably most of our perceptions about people, places and things are formed largely from the data our brain processes from information received from sensory organs. I could go on about sensory organs and messages but the focus of this piece is on the sense of sight.

While listening to Cobhams speak I could see his visionless eyes roll around in their sockets as his finger stroked the paper with Braille inscriptions placed before him. In that moment the saying “you never know the value of what you have until you lose it” flashed in my mind. As a person with all my sensory organs in relatively good working condition, it dawned on me how easy it is to become jaded about the importance of sight. As he went on with his speech I began to think to myself how different my life would be if I were blind. Would I have graduated? Let alone get a job? Or even be able to write this blog post. It is true that modern technology has done its very best, and still is, in including people of various handicaps into the rest of the society. These days we have blind poets and writers, lame drivers etc. That notwithstanding, I could not help but ponder the implications of what he said. BE BLIND TO BE FOCUSED. Throughout his speech I kept looking out for something, something I am a bit embarrassed to admit. What I was seeking to seeing in him was discontent/jealousy, stemming from the fact that he was in a room with non-blind people, but he spoke with such confidence and vigor that I began to wonder if I was indeed better off with sight.

Back in school we were told things like “keep your eyes on the ball” and many other motivational sentences. But on further inspection of that saying, coupled with the words from Cobhams it’s easy to see that it’s our “Mind” and not our “Eyes” that needs to be on the ball. Every day we walk out of our house, we are pulverized by a slew of stimuli from the outdoors. Various things to see, hear, feel, etc. it is very easy to get distracted. The struggle to stay focused is even harder if you live in a cosmopolitan city like New York, London or even Lagos. A couple of times I have missed my bus stop because I was engrossed in admiring a building or typing away on my iPad or blackberry. Sometimes when I go shopping for just one item, I would emerge from the store with three items, none of which is the one original item I initially went in for or even remotely close. It happens to best of us all the time. So Cobhams might be right after all, you need to be blind to every other thing around you in order that you archive your set goal. Another example is one from a story my dad once told me. One of his senior brothers was on the greedy side and was constantly looking for ways to outmaneuver his friends and siblings to get some of their own things. One day a visitor was on his way out of the house and decided to show generosity towards the kids.  The man gave my dad a big sized coin (I can’t remember the denominations, but shillings and penny were involved) and then gave my uncle a smaller sized coin. I was told that, my uncle, on realizing the difference in sizes began to fight and cry, demanding that he be given a bigger sized coin as well. This was done promptly. But it is important to note that the small sized coin was said to have been worth two times the value of the big coin. Had he been “blind” to the size he would have had gotten more money.

After much consideration and thought, I cannot help but concur with Mr. Cobhams on this one. There are many more examples I can give here, but I would just end up with a really long post and nobody wants that. Sometimes we need to “blind” ourselves in order that we get a clearer visual of what our goal ought to be.

STAY BLIND, STAY FOCUSED. 

MORALITY PLAY: EVOLUTIONARY NATURE OF MORALITY

DAILY PROMPT : Where do your morals come from?

When I think of sources of morals, I think of personal guidelines that have been fed by different sources as the person develops from child to adult. When we are born our first contacts are our parents and so for much of our childhood what we deem to be right or wrong is to a very large extent defined by the influence we get from the lifestyle of our parents. Given that the first experiences (in anything; think sex; think school; think travelling, pretty much everything) tend to be the one that stick with us longer, and so it is not hard to see why most people would conclude that the ultimate source of morality is from the parents (home). This is partially true.

As a teen when you get into High School you have a natural tendency to want to “belong”. In a bid to fit in with the “cool kids” you tend let go of some of those morals (usually stringent ones) that you have imbibed from home and tweak and adjust them to suit your purpose. For instance your parents must have told you that you have to be at least 18 or 21 before you have sex. On getting to school, you find out that the “cool kids” have already had sexual experiences. With this realization you begin to rethink those morals from home and before you know it you are 14 and your girl friend is already pregnant.

The point I was trying to make in the previous paragraph is that even though we may have picked up our morals from our parents, the church or another source, it get diluted by the people and things that we experience along the way.

I like to think of morality as an ever evolving subject in a person’s life. As we grow in life we are faced constantly with experiences that challenge our morals and cause us to shift ground most times, even though we might not admit to it. A person’s morality is like technology, today it seems like the best and it gets most of the problems solved, but tomorrow we are going to be faced with a different set of challenges that causes us to have a rethink about our position. Let me give another personal example that helps to buttress the evolutionary nature of morality. When I was a kid in High School, my parents led me to believe that smoking cigarettes was a completely immoral thing to do. At the time I did not ask any questions I took my parents word as being right, and given that they were older than I was with more life experiences than I had, they had to be right. When I got into the university I met a couple of people who I became good friends with. These people were smokers. Initially when I found out they were smokers it triggered an alarm in me (SMOKING = BAD, you need to run), but I did not run. I stayed back. Why did I stay back?

As I began to learn more about my new friends over the course of our freshman year, I found out that there was absolutely nothing wrong with these people. They excelled in their academics just like me (or in some cases better than me), they were trustworthy, respectful people. They had personal issues just like another breathing human being. Nothing about them stood out particularly except that they like to sometimes inhale thick smoke. Seeing them made me rethink what I had been told by my parents. I could not find any evidence in them to justify the title of “immoral” that my parents had branded smokers.

In essence I think morality is EVOLUTIONARY (every changing and growing as we develop) as opposed to being STATIONARY (coming from a single unchangeable source).

MY “TWO-CENTS” ON ABORTION

Daily Prompt: A House Divided I decided to take a side that most wouldn’t 

 

These days the media has been saturated by a tonne of debates surrounding the rightness/Wrongness of abortion. Both sides have brought forward credible points to back their claim as to the legitimacy of the act of committing abortion. But I don’t think that the Propriety of abortion is as black and white as some have purported it to be.

To start things of I would like to disclose the nature of my own fundamental views, because I realize that my fundamentals play a very active role in crafting my opinion of the issues of life. I am a Liberalist by nature. I believe in letting people fashion out their own rules and regulations in life. I also believe that as much as people want to accentuate their individuality they should also apply an appreciable level of discretion in order not to infringe on the existence of others. I also believe in the “Golden Mean” by Aristotle which postulates essentially that people should try to avoid extremes in every situation. For instance it is said that courage is the mid-point between two extremes, Cowardice (low limit) and Recklessness (upper limit). In a nutshell, I support freedom of the people as a singular unit and also the protection of people as a collective unit, Hence the need to be discrete about our own actions and how they affect others.

The most popular point I have heard against abortion is that life begins when the eggs are fertilized by the sperm, and thus the abortion of a fetus whether fully/partially formed is murder and axiomatically wrong. Another interesting point I have come across is that unborn children have emotions, much like their born counterparts, and that killing a being with emotion is wrong. Of course there is also the religious angle which blatantly denounced the act without any reservations. There are a multitude of points that have been raised against abortion for as long as this debate has been on. These are all cogent points, but I feel as though the freedom of choice of the individual (The mother in question) is overlooked in all of this. Most of the points raised against abortion all focus more on the baby and very little attention is paid to the welfare of the mother involved. What about her opinion on the issue? I mean, she is going to end up bearing the task of carrying the child for the entire gestation period, go thru the daunting pains of child birth and, more often than not, carry the cross when it comes to the child’s development. I don’t want to seem callous to people on the opposite side of the table, but shouldn’t the opinion of the mother (who wants abortion) count significantly?

When I was growing up my dad used to play one particular Jimmy Cliff Album a lot. I used to hate it so much that whenever we got into the car I would immediately put on my ear phones so I could not hear the songs. But the annoying thing was that because I usually sat at the extreme right of the back seat right in front of the speakers, the song would still make its way into my ear in the slightest way. One day I decided to take off my head phones to listen and I heard this song “Who Feels It, Knows It”. I was about eight at the time and did not really understand the lyrics. But as I grew older the true meaning began to sink in. Unless you have experienced a certain situation/thing, you can never really appreciate it for all that it is. If you have never been pregnant, there is not pregnancy book, podcast, or seminar that will give you a proper sense of what is involved. Only a cancer patient call tell you what chemotherapy is about, no book can give you the raw emotion that are experienced by the patients.

If freedom of the individual is a given, then a woman should be free to abort a baby if she so wishes. Some might want to further probe the intentions behind an abortion decision, but that would further complicate the issue and would lead to the infringement on human freedom to choose.

As Christians we are told not to judge, and that we should leave that task to the “higher Authority”.  I am quite certain that other religions also have such provisions like this one. So if we know this why do we bother ourselves with a task that is not ours.

If you feel that abortion is entirely wrong, as strongly as you feel opposed to it, leave the task of “retribution” to the “higher authority” to handle. In such a complicated and cosmopolitan world that we live in today, everyone is some way is committing an atrocity to the “higher authority” no matter how small or insignificant we may think it is. It is only fair that we keep our judgments to ourselves.

Let Us Live And Let Live.

How The Search For The Dead Rat Turned Into A Full-Blown “Feng Shui Attack”

So this morning we walk into the office and we are immediately greeted with the tedious, nauseating and horrid smell which resembles that of a dead rodent (e.g. rat). What could it be? Where could it be coming from? As I walked further into the office towards my desk, this odor was becoming more intense. I thought to myself “this is a very terrible way to start the week”. Joined by my equally irritated colleague we began (Mission: Find The Dead Rat). It started calmly; checking file cabinets, underneath tables, behind air-conditioning units (and even inside them as well), soon it snowballed into a full on “Feng Shui Attack”. At this point we were emptying our entire drawers and reorganizing, throwing out old table calendars and exhausted note-pads. We got so engrossed in this that we actually stopped looking for the rat and focused more on re-organizing. When we were done, we sat back on our seats, slightly tired out by the mini-marathon cleaning we had just engaged ourselves in. At this point we realized that the dead rat was still at large. Fueled by the Bible teaching that says “we should ask, and we shall be given”, and in a last resort form I said: “I hope the lord will lead me to the place where this rat would be”.

We settled down to work. This was obviously made impossible by the rather imposing stench of the dead rat. About five minutes later after giving up on the search, I was hit by another “Feng Shui Attack”. This time around I made sure that this energy was channeled solely on finding the rat. Bolstered by the small file drawer, I started to venture into the roof region. I figured if we can’t find it down, the only other logical place to look would have to be up. I started to shift those roof tiles one by one (you know those ones that act as a buffer between the actual roof and the room itself). While all of this was going on, we kept going to bathroom to spit out intermittently like pregnant women laden by morning sickness. I don’t think any of us had ever experienced such torture. In fact the last time I experienced something similar was when a neighbor of ours came over to our house to visit, and while she was there the baby needed a change. The smell was achingly overwhelming, the good thing about that situation compared to this one was that I had the option of leaving the house and going over to a friend’s place (obviously to one where there were no infants in sight).

After a couple of futile attempts searching the roof, I called in the help of our security guard. He got on the drawer and started to search as well. I was down, giving him direction based on the intensity of the smell I perceived for every tile he moved. (I am sure you must be wondering why I was doing this given that he was right up there with his own nose to work with, but the thing is that I believe the guy may have mild anosmia or something. He kept telling me that he could only smell burning wire. I was puzzled by this, because I could not reconcile how “burning wire” could have a similar odor to “dead rat. Or maybe my own sense of smell was quite keener than he’s given the agitation). A little while later I noticed a yellowish/greenish patch on one of the tiles we had not inspected. I thought to myself this must be it. I immediately summoned him to move the tile and behold, there it was in all its dead and smelly glory the reason for our attack, dripping with eager maggots, cloaked in the most nauseous of scents. It was disgusting. I almost threw up.

Ok now I have just realized that someone might have started reading this in order to get some perspective on how to find an elusive dead rat. I apologize for truancy with respect to your need for knowledge. Well I guess the only advice I can give is that you should really keep your living area quite “spacey” (I need to clarify the meaning of that word in this context. When I say “spacey” I mean keeping an area uncluttered so it’s easier to search for “hard to find” things). Also if it ain’t down on the floor, search the roof.

Have a good week everyone. I hope your week started up better than mine (on a less smelly note, that is).

Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots | Story Of An Obliterated Heart.

A friend of mine Bethany recently broke up with her boyfriend, Tim, of five years. They both loved each other so much that they actually tattooed each other’s names on the top right corner of their scapulars. They went on holiday trips together, they both loved to share great moments with each other, Bethany once told me that she was so grateful to have a guy with whom she shared so many great interests. So much more than some married couples even.

Bethany is the only child of her parents. She works at the local animal shelter. It had always been her dream to care for animals and nature in general. Her father died when she was eleven. She never had a real relationship with her dad because he was an abusive drunk, who constantly beat up her mum and her. She told me once that her dad once flogged her mum into a coma with his belt. I don’t really know much about her family background, because she really doesn’t like talking about it. When you look closely at her forehead, the scares of an unloved daughter of a drunk lay bare on her face. Her mother has been her everything, giving her all the support she needs.

Tim is a senior accountant at one of the midsized firms in the city. He has a super furnished apartment and drives the latest cars. He recently bought the new BMW 3 Series. Tim is the second child in a family of doctors, both of his parents are doctors and three out of the five children are almost out of medical school. The last born, Sherry is a teacher at a government high school not too far from the family house. Bethany had met them all, and they absolutely adored her and so did she love them. Bethany was the only girlfriend of Tim that the family had unanimously fallen in love with, she was simply a homerun of a girlfriend. She would go over every other Sunday afternoon to help out with the cooking of the family lunch. It was a tradition that Tim’s father, George, had inherited from his own dad. They would all sit around the table and reflect on how the week went for everyone, and also talk about the plans for the week ahead. They would sometimes all go on road trips in a rented bus. The camaraderie among family members was simply out of this world. Bethany once told me that she felt closer to Tim’s family than even her mother.

Bethany told me about a month ago that she feels Tim was about to propose to her. The way you feel a storm when it is brewing in the distance. She also told me that her friend Sarah had seen him at some point walk into a jewelry store and spent some time perusing the ring collection on display. I was happy for Bethany; at last she would get the happy ending every woman deserves. In some ways she had always been searching for the perfect father figure given her very painful background, and she had found it in Tim. He was a twofer; a great partner and an excellent father figure to her.

One early afternoon, she left the shelter early to go home for a quick nap. She had been complaining about nausea and a chronic headache from some days. We both laughed so hard one day when I told her that she had taken-in for Tim. She told me it was impossible, and that she was waiting until they get married. When she arrived at the apartment she shared with Tim, she noticed that the front door was left slightly ajar. She thought they had been robbed. She proceeded carefully, taking the baseball bat behind the front door with her. As she went further into the apartment, she noticed that Tim’s suit trouser, shirt, shoe, socks, a female blouse, Stiletto shoes among other items were littered on the ground forming a trail leading to the master bedroom. She did not want to jump to any conclusions even when there was ample incriminating evidence to support it. When she finally made her way to the master bedroom door, Beth told me she said a little prayer that it was all some joke. Like one of those TV shows (Punk’ed). Then she went on to ponder the implications of what she might see. She stood in front of the door for about five minutes before opening the door. When she opened the door, she spontaneously threw-up. She could not contain herself, and so she fell to the ground in tears. Apparently Tim was in bed with his new secretary Yvonne Nelson. I had always suspected Tim’s unusual closeness to the lady, but I dare not make this known to Beth. She was one of those “blind in love” kinds of women. She utterly trusted Tim, and never for a second did she think he would ever cheat on her.

Beth eventually ran out of the house screaming with Tim running after her with his boxers barely covering his “privates”. She yelled profanities at him and drove off with rage. Beth laid in bed for about two weeks only getting up to pee. She was completely devastated. The whole ordeal had obliterated her heart. She was crying so much that I feared she might die of dehydration. Tim called countless times and left tonnes of messages on her answering machine and in her email box. But it was obvious she was in no mood to speak with him.

Eventually she got herself together. Went back to work and took up a pottery class. She did everything she could to keep herself busy and also to keep her from going over to Tim’s house and blowing his head off with a gun. She was still mad at Tim, but at least she was out of the fetal position and back to life.

Beth recently Joined a book club and they are currently reading the book; “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” by Steve Harvey. She absolutely loves the book, that she carries it with her even to the bathroom. One night while she was reading it and I joined her. She was on page 82 and I just hooped over and saw an interesting line:

“If he takes your number but waits longer than twenty-four hours to call, he’s sport fishing; if he calls you right away, he’s showing that he’s genuinely interested in you, and is most likely looking for a keeper.”

We both laughed at this sentence and the others that followed. (Steve Harvey thanks for betraying us guys, we shall be hunting down very soon)

I don’t know if she should be reading such a sensitive book at such a fragile time in her life, but the smile on her face when she reads the book is way too priceless for me to take it away from her.

It’s Not A Job

Towards the close of business today, a couple of my colleagues at work somehow all found themselves discussing various issues in my department. Our schedules are so busy that it is quite rare for us to converge in one location at a time and discuss for such a long period of time. Initially we were only three, but as the discussions progressed, one by one a few others joined in. I can’t really remember in detail all the issues we talked about, but one particular topic sparked a heated debate among us. We were talking about the roles of women in relationships, specifically the married ones. I should warn you that of the six people having this debate, only one of us was actually married. So forgive me if you do not share my view point on what I am about to share.

 

The heated debated was kicked off by a particular statement made by one of the single ladies. One of the guys asked her what she thought about wives washing the undergarments of their husbands, and she reacted with a quick sense of disgust. I think she said something like; “Eww….How can I do that, Am I his slave?” and “why would a man expect me to do that for him?” Immediately everyone jumped in and had an opinion to voice out. Two other single ladies also supported her saying that; “If he doesn’t wash mine, then I can’t wash he’s”. The married lady among us was particularly annoyed at her answer, and she wasted no time in expressing this. She was of the opinion that things like washing undergarments were just few of the various ways you show your spouse that you care and also a deterrent for keeping your husband from getting distracted by other women outside( funny but somewhat true I guess). She went on to emphasize that it was the “Right” thing for a woman to do, and that any woman who doesn’t help out her husband it a terrible wife. I agree with her (The married one), in the sense that a woman is supposed to do her very best to keep the flame in her marriage/relationship. There is a saying that goes: “A wise woman builds her home, while the foolish woman tears it down with her own hands”. Before I get a barrage of responses slamming me for sexism, I also believe that men also have a role to play in keeping the relationship going as well. But I also disagree with the normative nature of what she prescribed as the way to having a successful marriage. The word “Right” incites the idea that there are set rules for marriages and this I think is wrong. I think it is up to the married couple to decide on what works best for them and grow with it.

 

My main reason for writing this post was that I felt the three young ladies had a wrong impression about some fundamentals of marriage. I am not yet married, but I have spent time with enough married couples to know that whatever you do for your spouse should be from the abundance of your heart and not be seen as a job. The first single lady later went on to say that she would actually wash it, but she would not expect it to be a regular occurrence. The responses the ladies gave implied that such a task, to them was a chore that they could not condone. When you truly love a person, you find that you would, without any eternal push, want to go the extra length to make the other person happy. Even at the cost your own happiness.  Why do you wait for him to ask it of you, if you see his undergarments dirty, I think you should instinctively know to help him  out with it, without being asked to. This is not slavery, it is called love. Some modern women have blown the Women’s Rights movement out of proportion that they see simple things from a chauvinistic point of view, which is not right. When your husband asks you to do his laundry, it doesn’t mean he wants to turn you into his slave, he is just asking you the way your brother or father or mother would ask you for a favor as well. Ladies need to calm down and be more patient, understanding and loving. It’s not a Job, It’s Love.

Literary Change for Africans

At first when I read the Daily Prompt for today, I was a bit stomped. “What change, big or small, would you like your blog to make in the world?” On the surface the question seems easy, but on closer inspection you discover it’s a rather tough one. It reminds me of one test I wrote in my Macro Economics class back in the university, I thought I did excellently well on the test, I thought I had nailed all the answers but when the result came back, it was awful. Back to business, after much consideration I have figured out what change I want my blog to do. I want my blog to challenge people to take a deeper interest in reading and writing. And when I say “people” I mean specifically those from my country (Nigeria) and other developing countries in Africa.

There is a saying here in Africa, I am not sure exactly how it goes but it sounds something like this: “if you want to hide information/knowledge from an African put it in a book”. As much as I want to punch whoever came up with this saying in the face, the truth is that he/she is right. I don t need statistics and figures on illiteracy or poverty to tell you this; the average African cannot even write his name let alone write a piece or even read the works of others. Here in Nigeria for example, the universities produce tonnes and tonnes of graduates every year, but still a large majority of them cannot even comfortably summarize a passage for you. For instance, while I was still job hunting, I went for an aptitude test where we were told to write an essay on any topic of our choosing, and it turned out many people could not write. A lot of the applicants who wrote the test with me only submitted their multiple choice answer sheets, leaving behind the essay sheet on the table. Another instance was during my National Youth Service year in 2011. We were given forms to fill out for registration, and while I was busy filling mine a young lady (university graduate) walked up to me smiling sheepishly (I thought she was about to make a pass at me… :D). Contrary to my delusion, it turned out that she did not even know how to fill out her name in the boxes. I was deeply shocked, but I fought very hard from showing how bizarre it all seemed to me. So when you think about it, if a supposed graduate cannot write and read, what do you expect from the common man on the street who probably only went to primary/elementary school.

I know my blog might not have articles on reading and writing or other material of a similar nature. I know my posts do not get 100 or more “likes” and views. I know I have never been on the Freshly Pressed list. But I hope the mere fact that I am writing inspires African people to want to do the same. I hope that African people wake up to fight and erase this bad stereotype as portrayed in the saying “if you want to hide information/knowledge from an African put it in a book.” I hope that the next time that kid in the village picks up his phone to go on Facebook, he will be met by a link to my blog or the blog of others who will inspire him/her to read and write. I hope that someday, a published author from Africa will mention me in the dedication page as an inspiration to start writing.

I hope and Pray.