Just to be clear, I am a somewhat traditional woman in how I view dating and family life.
I believe that whoever asks for a date should pay for it. I believe that a man should propose to a woman. And I believe in chivalry and putting women and children in first consideration in dangerous situations.
But I say I am somewhat a traditional woman because there are certain things that are outdated. I do believe that men and women require equal consideration and respect. I believe that gender should not be a disadvantage in achieving what an individual sets out to achieve.
But I would not call myself a feminist. I have always maintained that there is something problematic about the movement that gets lost in translation. Feel free to roll your eyes at me and say that I don’t really believe in equality, if I don’t call myself a feminist.
Don’t be alarmed, dear readers. I am not about to attack feminism; or tackle such a heavy topic in its entirety.
I just want to bitch about something.
I have come across Nigerian women and men that are advocating that a married couple should split bills in the middle.
Walahi, my body went cold when I saw this.
What in the hell is going on?
For the women that are chesting this campaign that is DOA IJN, what are you thinking? Don’t Nigerian women have it hard enough than to have to pay for half of the bills?
Are you not setting the stage for wahala?
“But we work. We women earn money! We can’t let the man do all the paying.”
My friend, keep quiet!
What is wrong with you?
One of the worst places to find yourself in this country is to be a woman that is working and paying the bills and still yet is expected to be a traditional woman.
How is that a good deal? What are we women trying to prove?
Women are so eager to say that we are capable of everything that men are capable of (and we are). But they forget that there are some unique situations about us as women that society needs to keep in the forefront.
Men can’t get pregnant.
Men can’t breastfeed.
Asides from these obvious differences, a typical woman in a Nigerian home is expected to be the primary caregiver for the children. She is expected to cook, clean and do the laundry. Even when she has a nanny/help, she coordinates the home, ensuring that meals are cooked and all that.
This is the same woman that men want to share bills with.
How do you as a man ask to share all the bills and then sit back and relax after you have done your own share and watch the woman go ahead to do everything else at home? How are women fighting for half and half; but not fighting just as strongly for the domestic arrangement in homes to change?
The funny thing is that men who are not interested in relinquishing male privilege suddenly agree that patriarchy is bad when it concerns whether or not a woman should participate in paying the bills. Patriarchy isn’t really shifting in Nigeria but all the things the women are pushing for aggressively will be cherry picked. Men will readily accept our money and they will still fight to be the heads of home.
It is happening already.
You find that a lot of women are doing pretty well. They are even shouldering major responsibilities in their homes. But the men who are comfortable with this will not adjust to make life easier for such women.
Hence, you will have a woman paying the bills and still caring for the home and the kids. Yet, you will find a man will demand his position as the head of the home. He wants to be served liked a king. He wants to make the major decisions.
I remember the story of a dude that would force and guilt trip his wife into collecting loans at the office. He would claim some business or the other and at the end, there would be nothing to show for it. This woman would be stuck paying bills. He would demand it of her because he is the head of the home.
We mostly grew up in traditional homes. Our fathers were the breadwinners and our mothers the care-givers. Not a bad arrangement. But you cannot be a co-breadwinner with your wife and leave her to nurture the home.
That is 419.
That is cheating.
In fact, it is slavery.
I sponsor you.
I clean up after you.
Yet, you are in charge.
Dear young Nigerian woman, know what you are asking for and be clear about it. When a man pays 100% of the bills, a woman is still not idle. She will still get pregnant, birth and care for the kids. She will still run the home, whether or not there is help.
But when a woman pays 100%, most men won’t step up on childcare. They won’t begin to cook and clean. They want to have their bread and eat it.
Don’t go and share the bills with a man that will not see the running of the house as something that is his business.
Shine ya eye.
Boys these days just want to relax and be taken care of.
50/50 is a scam.
It is what men use to pretend they believe in equality.
Ask them to feed a baby in the night and they will increase their snoring.
A word is enough for the wise.