Tundun Sofoluke: How Men And Women Make The World Dysfunctional; The Feminism And Male Chauvinism Perspective

What a man can do….leads to a popular refrain that- a woman can do better! But twelve years ago, I modified the quote to ‘What a man can do, a woman can also do, but more often than not, cannot do as well as a man can’. I am sure I would get an apt retort to the gibberish I am spewing (according to feminists), that my ‘quoteful’ remix is part of what they have to cope with for being #FemaleInNigeria. Ironically, the band of feminists would always forget to debunk the original refrain of a woman doing better than a man, even if it is to simply assert its hyperbolic nature.

Feminism, is the nearest feminine version of male chauvinism.

Male chauvinism asserts the superiority of the male in all situations, it sees the man as a semi-god who must be worshiped and usually sees other beings-the female, as an object to satisfy the man or in more extreme cases, practically enslaves them.

Feminists on the other hand believe that the woman is equal to the man in all ramifications and there is no way a man is superior. They believe all the perceived shortcomings of women are due to a gang up of the men to keep them in perpetual semi-slavery. They believe that the society owes them an obligation to give them undue advantage to catch up to the men. Someone like Chimamanda Adichie believes in the political, economic, social and cultural equality of men and women. I agree with all, except equality culturally. Feminists also believe that there can be two captains in the ship of marriage, and this, is the crux of the matter!

Male chauvinism and feminism are clearly two sides of a coin and neither is desirable. They both contribute to some of the major ills of the society and family life, which includes sex harems, rape, same sex relationship, high rate of divorce, dysfunctional children and so on.

I do not intend to marry a feminist that would tell me the patriarchal Yoruba culture is unacceptable to her, neither do I expect any lady to accept to marry a man who sees her as inferior and expects her to have no voice in the relationship and in extension, the marriage. I will not even venture into crimes of rape and enslavement of women in harems, because they are clearly horrendous crimes against humanity and carried out by sick perverts!

The greatest collateral damage of this battle of the sexes is sadly the family life. Children are now brought up under an environment that is traumatic. They are usually torn between 2 parents who they love almost equally, whereas the adults in question usually have no misgivings in manipulating the children for their individual selfish desires. And when this occurs, it engenders budding maniacs, perverts and criminals as children. Why?- The parents were busy asserting their equality or supposed superiority, that they lost focus of creating an enabling environment for their children to thrive and emulate them, leaving the children no option but to seek solace on the street-through gangs and/or dysfunctional peers. Such hypothetical family scenario abound nowadays.

Divorce which is one of the main manifestations of male chauvinism and feminism has become almost a plague. Statistics of a 2013 survey shows that United States had a high rate of 3 out of every 5 marriages ending up in divorce. The rate is similar in France, Estonia, Cuba, Luxembourg, Spain, Czech and Hungary. Portugal took it a notch higher by recording divorces in more than 3 out of 5 marriages, Belgium however took the crown as at then, with more than 7 out of 10 marriages resulting in divorce. An update to the statistics above shows that, as at the end of 2014, United States had overtaken all the other countries and had the highest rate of divorce, closely followed by the United Kingdom. In Africa, leading the pack, South Africa has a rate of 3 out of 5 marriages resulting in divorce, which is an increase of less than 2 out of 5 in 2013. And even though it is difficult to lay hands on any real statistic for Nigeria, everything points to the fact that we might not be too far behind.

Male chauvinism that makes husband slave drivers, bullies and dictatorial megalomaniac coupled with a feminism that makes women un-submissive, downright disrespectful and with total lack of regard for their husbands, which always culminate in a supremacy struggle in marriage, are the main causes of this plague called divorce, either jointly or separately.

I hear a lot of feminist say that a lot of African/Nigerian women are simply enduring their marriage and are kept in the marriage by the African cultures which usually frowns at divorce. This might be true, but the question that begs for an answer is whether it’s not a better way of keeping the family together? Is it not preferable to endure a marriage and provide a stable atmosphere for the children, rather than encourage divorce, which produces dysfunctional or downright criminal youths, who are bound to spread further chaos in the society? Or do we honestly believe that the over-liberalised American system that has made divorce a sure result of almost all marriages is the way forward? I beg to disagree! I believe that our severally maligned culture in Africa is the best way to check the plague of divorce. I believe that except in cases of violence against women/men, women and men should be encouraged to find ways of making the marriage work, and getting around disagreements.

The way forward is to find a midway between male chauvinism and feminism. These portend a family where the man is acknowledged to be the head by the wife, where he is a first among equals, who the wife must submit to and show respect according to African culture and traditions. The man on the other hand, must be aware that he isn’t a dictator, neither is he a commander-in-chief, his ‘male chauvinism’ is to be limited to when there are differing opinions. Then he has the ultimate decision to decide what the family will opt for. The man must not see his wife as inferior to him, but as a junior partner that can also wield vetoes in areas that she is more experienced. The feminism of the woman should also be limited to knowing she can aspire to any height she wishes, but she must always be aware of her role as the homemaker. She must find a way of balancing her career with her home. She must also learn how to submit without necessarily being subservient, as a partner, and not as a servant.

It goes without saying, that the children are more important than ‘spent’ or ‘about to be spent’ adults. They are our future, so we can’t afford to leave them to fate- to the streets, to seeking solace elsewhere, because we adults are so caught up in our feminist and chauvinistic crap!

We need to make an effort to meet mid-way, so as to provide an ideal environment for a balanced and supportive family life for our children. The African tradition as opposed to the western ways prescribes that there can only be one captain in a ship (the man), who wields the veto in cases of unsolvable differences. It worked perfectly well for our parents, they stayed together (more often than not) and gave us a balanced life. The single mum/single dad syndrome that is spreading all over recently is just unacceptable. Statistics shows that it sucks at maintaining a good family balance and creating a good environment for children to thrive. As a result, divorce is skyrocketing, more children are dysfunctional, and majority of children succeed nowadays due to strokes of luck, or a strong self-developed personal character.

Parents have a responsibility to be more responsible for the molding of the characters of our future. We have a responsibility to only take the good part of western culture and chuck the poisonous part of feminism and chauvinism out of the window. We need less ‘sugabelly’ styled feminism and less Femi Fani Kayode styled chauvinistic bums. We need to prioritize the family life and fix this dysfunctional world!!!

Kindly follow me @tdbobsy on twitter, wishing everyone a great year ahead.

Tundun Sofoluke

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