Equal rice for human beans: Season 2 – Viola Okolie

Equal rice for human beans: Season 2 – Viola Okolie
 So while we are in Anambra State, working real hard to see a forward thinking aspirant’s governorship mission come to light, I get a lot of “privileges” because I happen to be one of the few women in the core campaign team.
It is a small team of about ten, and there are like three of us ladies.
One of the deferential treatments I get, is being asked to go ahead and pick my food first from the buffet line. You know na, ladies first sontin.
Enhen, as a sometimes feminist (mainly when there are no Facebook feminists around to confuse issues and taint my feminist swagger), I always manage to protest.
“Nah, doesn’t matter. If you are hungry, go and eat o. Don’t say you are doing ladies first, I no dey for that paroles
. I am a gender parist.”
“Dont hold the door open for me please, it is sweet of you but I can manage to get it, I am not a weaker vessel.”
Until the day we went to a supermarket and after we returned to the hotel, my colleague jumped out of the car and bounced in, leaving me to struggle with a roll of coke and a roll of bottled water we had bought.
Haba. I caught up with him and in the middle of my mini rant, noticed he was laughing his head off.
“I thought you said you are a gender gịnị nwa ka ị kpodu ru ya sef?” he asked.
“Not all the time,” I retorted.
“So when are you not a gender nke nwa nke nwa?”
“When there is heavy load to be carried. Mind yourself o. Just carry the load please before I invoke my village witches for you. Don’t you know I am a woman?”
Then the other day, our bus came and he jumped inside and allowed the door slide shut. When I jumped in after him, I first took my seat behind him and fumed silently. Then I tapped him on the shoulder.
“Enyi, what is it now?” he asked.
“You are asking me? Why didn’t you hold the door for me or at least wait until you were sure I was safe in the car before entering yourself.”
“Ahn Ahn, I thought you said there is nothing like ladies first and what a man can do a woman can do and gender sontin sontin?”
“Haba. But I thought I told you that was not all the time?”
“So which time are you not a gender whatever?”
“How many times will I answer this question? I have told you when it is convenient, I am one. When it is not, I am not. And it is not convenient right now.”
“So when will it be convenient for you?”
Me sulking now, “I don’t know. Just leave me alone.”
You know, I wonder how these Facebook feminists manage to keep up the charade all the time on social media, me sef don tire and just as I was about to denounce all pretensions to feminism, I had a need to use the convenience at the office a couple of days ago.
Okay, the office manager knows I am female. He manages to even call me “Aunty Vio”.
Okay, even if he had any doubts, I was uncharacteristically fussing over all of them that day, trying to ensure they had eaten, and seriously, I now wear dresses and skirts and I have this general Christian mother outlook.
So, I am convinced he knows I am female.
I can even swear by my village shrine if it gets to that.
But I ask for the convenience key and he hands me one with SPECIFIC instructions.
Aunty Vio, when you get to that corridor behind the building, use this key and open the toilets on your left. Not the ones on the right o, the one on the left.
Why, how polite and thoughtful of you? Thank you very much.
I get to the convenience and take my bearings (hands up anyone else who actually has to hold their fingers and their thumbs up in front of their forehead to work out which is their left? Hint: the left hand forms an “L” when you do that); bounced into the toilet, and stopped before…
… A row of urinals.
Hoh Mai Gott!
I didn’t know where or how to start using a urinal my people. Do I hang one leg up on the wall, do I climb on top of the urinals or use the wash hand basin? What sort of temptation is this one again bikonu?
Brethren, I quietly backed out of the bathroom, looked around and found the one that is not reserved for all these equal rice for human beans people, and did my business.
As I returned to hand over the key to the office manager, I kept scrutinizing his face, just to make sure that my village people were not trying to use him to test my patience. But he had this innocent look on his face, so I forgave him.
But I just thought I should let you all know, that I have totally decried all this “equal rice for woman beans” stuff, just give me the ordinary rice and beans make I chop am like that.
Let the men have their urinals, carry all the heavy load and stand back to ensure that we women, are protected first.
I like it just like that.
And before you come to argue otherwise, please post a picture of you –  woman, fighting for “woman rice” – using a urinal, in the comments section.
Just like the men.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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