People Watching; Conversations.

I was thinking about blogging tonight but I had nothing to write. Then I remembered my mobile note pad-the one on my phone-and decided to got through it. I sometimes type or jot down very random things, mostly conversations with strangers. Some of them are funny, while others, out-rightly bizarre. I'm not sure what category the one below it. I think I'll call this 'series'  People Watching. The sub title; Conversations. Because even though it's a conversation, it somehow is still People Watching.

Random Man: Where are you from?

Me: Nigeria.

RM: Oh really? So how are things with you people?

Me: Well, not bad. I just wish we would have less selfish leaders.

RM: Oh yeah, your leader, he looks like a cowboy with his hat.

Me: :( :|

RM: My Doctor, he's Nigerian, Dr. XYZ. He's brother went home to contest for an election.

Me: Presidential?

RM: No no, just local governor. You know he got only one vote. He was a lecturer in the university here. He had to come back here, he said there is no space for honest people in Nigerian politics.

One vote though! LOL #WhichwayNigeria?

:( = Sad face.
:|= Straight face.

Battle of The Sexes and of Equality.

I am about to talk about two very successful women; Chimamanda Adichie and Omotola Jalade. Before I continue, let me explain that I'm seldom a fan of celebrities or popular people. I just find it hard to like someone I don't know personally. It doesn't come naturally, so I leave it. I admire people; public figures, politicians, celebrities. But that's about it. That being said, if I were to be a fan of any of these two women, it would most likely be Adichie. She's brilliant, successful and very opinionated. That's a force I reckon with. I am just trying to say this piece isn't biased at all.

However, during my brief hiatus from cyber space, something very interesting happened. First of all, everyone who knows Adichie knows she's a feminist and a very opinionated one. Her feminism TEDtalk was so popular (about six million views), Beyonce used some of Adichie's lines in her song 'Flawless'. So I really was not surprised when during one of the many interviews she has been granting these days, a reporter referred to her as "Mrs. (Husband's last name)", she responded very defensively and arguably rudely too;

"Before we start, please, I just want to say that my name is Chimamanda Adichie. That’s how I want it; that’s how I’m addressed, and it is not Mrs but Miss.  Ms: that’s how I want it. I am saying this, because I just got a mail from my manager this morning. It seems that there are people who attended the church service, and they wrote about it, addressing me as Mrs. Chimamanda (Esega). I didn't like that at all. So my name is Chimamanda Adichie, full stop!"

And in normal Adichie's style, she went ahead to prove how it is not our culture yada yada because her grandfather bore his mother's last name so he could be distinguished from his half/step siblings in the compound of many kids. Whew. Like I have been saying jokingly these past few days, some of you need to stop taking life so seriously. Ha-ha.

On a more serious note, I am not interested in what anybody chooses to be identified by or with. And to be honest and fair, the woman has every right to be called whatever she deems fit. We must not even forget that her name is already a brand. If her husband is okay with it, cool. Even if he isn't, well, cool too. What really made my skin crawl was some people's comments and reactions when, around the same period, Omotola Jalade granted an interview with her husband, where they talked about even though she's a big celebrity and in fact, one of Times 100 most influential people, her marriage has worked very well for over fifteen years. In this interview, she mentioned something VERY controversial and all hell let loose;

"I don’t believe in gender equality. I do not believe that God made man and woman to be equal in any way. I believe that in every organised institution, there is always a head and an assistant. It doesn't mean that one should take the other for granted, or disrespect the other. I believe the husband is the head of the home and the wife is an assistant. My husband is a pilot, I have flown with him several times and I understood that here is a captain and a co-pilot. They are both responsible for the passengers’ lives. But when there is a final decision to make, it is up to the captain to make it. He is more experienced and the one with the responsibility. But any mature captain will not ignore his co-pilot because the co-pilot is not a cabin attendant. He is there for a reason. It just depends on how you understand and play your roles. I believe women should understand this. When a woman starts a struggle for power tussle with him, it tends to cause friction in the home. The woman should give the man the respect as the head of the home and also prove herself as a worthy co-pilot. He needs to see you as a reliable co-pilot. Sometimes, he may not be the one running the house day-to-day, you are the one to take decisions but you have to do it in such a manner that he is comfortable enough to see you as someone he can rely on. When you have a proud and egocentric husband, hand him over to God. If you feel like your life is being threatened, or that of your children, get yourself out of that situation. You owe your children that. Try separation for a while, but before that, you must have tried other things. I do not believe that people should throw in the towel in their marriage at every flimsy excuse. You must have been a diligent wife and tried prayers and intervention. If all those fail, then you can remove yourself from that situation. Also, couples should be friends and communicate. What we call love sometimes fizzles out. True love comes from friendship. When you don’t feel those initial sparks, friendship is what keeps you together, until when the spark comes again."

I do not hundred percent agree with Omotola at all. In fact, I am still finding my footing on some aspects of Feminism and until I am ABSOLUTELY sure about what I believe, I will NOT jump on any bandwagon just because. Besides, I personally have always believed that I am much more superior to some men and refuse to be placed as equal with those kind of men. I am too busy being the best version of myself than to be struggling to be equal to some nonentity. It's not pride, it's just my personal opinion. And yes, I have come to realize how selfish that thought is because of the many women suffering and being denied of many things just because they are females. What I do not understand is why Nigerians think that Adichie, being a 'Miss Independent' and refusing to be addressed by her husband's last name is a more superior woman or a better woman than Jalade who well, chose complete submission. Let me explain the major reason I am a bit skeptical about some aspects of feminism, it's because I have come to learn overtime that we women, we are our own worst enemies sometimes. You know what's interesting, every time in the past I listened to Jalade's husband talk or even Jalade herself, they mentioned how she's a very strong-headed woman. She claimed her father died when she was very young and she assumed responsibilities at quite an early age and perhaps that made her hot-headed. 

Look, the most important part of Feminism should be the freedom to choose. Like Sheryl Sanberg said in her book Lean in; Women like Sheryl and Marissa who are executives and powerful women, the type people may think are not 'homely' should be respected and supported. Also, the women who CHOOSE to not even work, to sit at home and be homemakers should also be respected and supported for their decisions. This thing is quite personal. And to each, his own. I think it's disheartening that a woman be so disrespected and humiliated because she believes she should be in total submission to her husband. Some people may argue that she's misleading young women into thinking their lives don't amount to much without a man. I disagree. First of all, she's extremely successful. Second, you are not to mirror your life with that of a stranger. Yes, the media influences us but why should you base life altering decisions on what you heard a celeb say? I'm very happy that woman added the caveat; if your life is being endangered or your children's, walk out. See, this thing is really about end goals and personal journeys. I remember my sister told me about her former classmate. You see, while the teenagers were filling up their year books and things like that, under the section "Future Ambition/Career", most of them wrote down fancy dreams/jobs like Medical Doctor, Lawyer, Entrepreneur but this friend of hers simply stated that she would be a Nurse for two years, after which she would resign and become a housewife. I laughed so hard when my sister first told me, my stomach hurt. Later on, I thought well about it. That's her end goal, that's what she wants, then why can't she go for it? Society sometimes forces us to think too mainstream. Women should not be judged or scoffed at if they are into getting married very early neither should they be scoffed at if they are into getting as much education as possible before settling down. Everybody is on a different journey with different dreams and aspirations. I was just in my first or second year in University when I told (I can't remember very well but I think it was just a joke) my friend, R's uncle that I may want to get married at 30 or later. He came to a halt while driving to ask if he heard correctly. Let's face it I was still a child then, Lol but it was my choice anyway. My point is, the true fight of Feminism is that which every woman  is free to choose what they want and even supported for it. When I first heard Jalade got married at eighteen, I thought "...and this woman too is screaming against child marriage? Wasn't she herself a child when she married?" Lol. I still think eighteen is too young though (C'mon, At eighteen, I didn't even have a career path. Lol) but I have learnt to not think someone else's choice is invalid because it's not the norm. 

Interestingly, both women are successful, educated and maybe even richer than their husbands. I strongly believe Jalade is. But then, one is thought of as less because she thinks she's unequal with her husband? Let's just understand that, to each his own. There's no need for the castigation and name-calling. Someone called her marriage, an 'accidental relationship'. If that isn't extreme, what is? She wasn't even dishing out any advice, she was merely saying what she felt worked for her. Let's also remember that Feminism has nothing to do with hating men. I have absolutely amazing men in my life and looking around at men in my family in general, I don't think they've done quite badly at all. In fact, they are doing well (no reason for them to be despised) at least from what I know. Ironically, people would laugh if a man decided to be a homemaker while his wife is the one working. Look, as absurd as that may sound, it is also a their (the couple's) decision to be made, not the society's. Most importantly, the media is great but do not rely solely on media, look around you. Sometimes, the best lessons are learnt from the regular folks around you, not the T.V.


By the way, why do men like to reiterate the part of the bible that says women should submit to their husbands and completely ignore the part that says men should love their wives like Christ loves the church. Submission is easy, anybody can do that, but loving someone like Christ loves the church, there's a whole lotsa Grace required there though.

I apologize for the incredibly long post.

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