To the Women I know, especially to all my igbo ladies; see, it’s totally fine if you do not know how to pound yam, if you do not like to pound yam, or make fufu, if you just do not have the strength for it, it is absolutely fine, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but most importantly, it doesn’t make you more or less a woman, neither does it make you any less human. It is just what it is, just another thing among a list of things you do not like or like to do.
The value of women has majorly been attached solely to how domesticated she is or can be. You hear things like “Nwa wu adamwanyi” because she bends hers back to the ground to sweep, and the one who sweeps without her back touching the ground is automatically either lazy or considered behind the one who can (second place), and the mentality of I am better because I sweep better starts, or I am better because I can take care of the home better, and it finally leads on to the chain of I am better than her.
It is good to learn how to be domestic, it’s fine to know how to clean the house spotless, or how to pound a truck load of cassava (no sarcasm entailed), or how to cook so good everybody starts salivating, I’m instead saying here, that it is alright if it not your strong forte, if you do not like doing it, it’s alright if you’re good in reading, in academics, or business, or medicals, and not in the kitchen, it’s also fine if you’re good at juggling both domestics and other passion, the essence of this message is knowing yourself above all; above domestic, above work, above struggles and riches, who are you?. Detach yourself from what it is you have or what’s been thrust upon you, and ask yourself, what is it I do better and feel content and happy doing”? You should know your existence isn’t made fulfilled when you think since society says it, then you are better because you know how to cook or pound yam better than other girls, but when you find calm and fulfillment doing it, because you doing it and not forced to.
This has nothing to do with feminism, and although it happens to be one among thousands of causes championed by feminists or a few among them, it still isn’t about feminism. This is about choice and an understanding of your inner MO, about your strength and about your abilities. Like I already said in fewer words, if your strength lies in domesticity, then indulge in it with a careless abandon, but if it doesn’t, don’t guilt yourself into depression because you do not know how to, or think others are better than you because of it.
Surround yourself with things that interest you, things you feel comfortable doing, and if you feel like you want to challenge yourself, then it should be on your own terms and call and dictate, but surely not because society expects it. If we want a way for people to forgo depression, then leaving them to select or pick their own creativity and interest is one way, and interest surely doesn’t and shouldn’t be judged based on gender.
My friend (a guy) believes suicide rate is currently on the high side for the male folk, I didn’t dispute that fact (even though I think suicide has nothing to do with gender) however, I couldn’t help but think that his analysis might be true, because the women of today are beginning to come out more from their closet, they have started pursuing their genuine happiness, they are no longer afraid to speak of the devil they battle on the inside, no matter how monstrously it presents itself, they careless these days how society see them or the names she gives them, they are no longer bothered about being a good cook for a husband when that is not what they want, they follow their heart and no longer listen to the structured bondage of society, they are paving ways for themselves and breaking boundaries that would have been considered impossible in the past because of the existing disdain for the female gender and what we had been considered fitting roles for women. I just couldn’t help but surmise that a woman on a journey for true personal happiness will have no cause to kill herself.
But many of our male folks still struggle about how they are viewed, how society sees them, they still struggle with being considered strong or weak, if crying is alright and if it’s not, if they should cook for their wives or not, if they should show emotions or not, they struggle with the path they think they are meant to follow or not follow, if violence is a test for strength or not, those who cannot live up to the expectations laid out, feel choked and look for a way out of their hidden misery, so it’s only sadly right that the suicide rate for the male folk increases.
JUST SO YOU KNOW (BEAUTIFUL WOMAN)
Dear beautiful woman, you were not made to cook or clean or take care of the home or wash clothes and look like a pretty porcelain in the house when you are done, you are only made for it when it is a choice you have chosen and made for yourself; nobody should make you feel bad for your choices, do not give them that power or right to, feminists or not. Just so you know this, dearest woman, “The life you choose to live should pivot on the choices you make, on what you consider best for yourself and for your state of mind and being, and definitely not on what society thinks or feel.” Don’t feel cheated for living based on someone else’s standard, when you can easily follow and create yours, being alive gives us the opportunity to work on ourselves on a daily basis; it’s not too late to begin, irrespective of your age. This isn’t going to be something easy, choosing happiness over society and her thoughts is going to be a battle, because society’s ideologies weren’t fabricated to bring happiness and contentment of heart and mind to you, it is only left for you to find happiness in such existence: in other words you should know, it is your girlfriend or sister who cooks better than you supposedly do, that’ll curse you louder than another woman for choosing yourself over society, the superciliousness they’ll give will come in humongous quantum, they’ll be the hurdle you’ll have to surmount first if your mother and her sisters don’t top the list. In the midst of all the impediments you’ll have to subjugate, know that the goal is your happiness, nothing greater than that, and it isn’t too much to demand of yourself, that you be happy.