My sister is regarded as a colossal failure.
She can’t sweep neither can she cook like a real Yoruba woman.
Elders around have conveniently tagged her a failed product of the Yoruba culture.
My sister possesses an unbridled confidence no Yoruba elder likes. They mistake her strong will for rudeness and question our parent’s training methods. At first they whispered it quietly in their dome of gossip, but as time brought no difference to my sister’s attitude, they spewed their archaic thoughts confidently in public.
They speak about how free she is among guys; “She has no grace”, " She has surely made some of those innocent boys her sex partner", “I’m sure she has gotten numerous abortions”. " She is shameless “. " She thinks herself a boy”.
I come from a society where the male seed is highly exalted than the female. I come from a society where it is consciously and unconsciously programmed to every girl’s thoughts that the standard is a good man to cuddle and love her; even at religious programmes, the ‘glory’ of a woman is often referred to as a good husband, good children, and submissive nature that enhances the peace of her home.
I come from a society where the needs of the woman is expected to be sacrificed whenever a man is involved. She is expected to curtsy a little bit more; never look a man in the eye; always consider herself second.
Nigeria is a place where the word feminism is treated as the infamous “F” word. Feminist are considered as Lucifer’s advocates- the end time prophets the Bible warns about- You can ask Chimamanda of the vile words hurled at her on social media and traditional press because of her gender equality stance.
Many will argue that we raise girls on an equal plane but do we? Don’t we set limitations to their dreams?
Don’t we quietly nudge them to construct their fantasies around the theme of marriage? “Yes you can dream of owning a big car but your good husband will be the one to buy it for you.”
Isn’t society constantly mocking unmarried women who are above 35? Don’t we enjoy constructing stories on the shortcomings of the unmarried oldies? “She is not married yet because she is too proud. Bro Taju asked her out but she said no. She wears skimpy blah…blah…blah…”
Can they run wild like their male counterparts without being called Jezebels, Prostitutes and Trash? Can they be free because they deserve it and not because they have no man to put a leash around their necks?
Can we appreciate them for the contents of their brains rather than the curves of their body?
My sister isn’t free and no matter the policies signed by government, she can never be free. Tradition holds too much sway in this country; and by tradition, my sister is beneath me