I will begin with a very short but sad story. It was funny still because the more I thought about it, the more realistic it was. We were in a Business Communications class in 300 level in Unilag. The lecture was getting interesting until the lecturer asked a female coursemate of mine a question:
Wouldn’t you like to be the president of Nigeria?
I remembered the look in her eyes. The message was passed instantly. Then he said these words:
Inferiority to a man has become so personalised that it is now inborn. It has become a part of you and your mental state that you cannot see yourself in that position. Even the women don’t know they have alreasy internalised an inferior mindset by themselves.
Those words went in deep and I took it in for a long time. This is going to be a long conversation, but I will break it down so I don’t tire you.
The Victims of Patriarchy
A lot of Nigerians haven’t quite gotten a hang of it. A lot more Nigerians think Feminism is the devil. However, the saddening part of this whole story is how we are almost all victims of patriarchy. For example, if you put someone in a transparent box and tell them it’s not, they may live all their lives in that box and die not realizing it was transparent. In the older years, men were technically the only people allowed to work or do anything. However, if you dig deep into the African roots, this is quite false. The women worked in farms with their husbands and children from dusk till dawn and still had to go home to make meals for everyone.
The boys began to imitate their fathers and began to put themselves in the same box their fathers were in. This birthed multiple boxes which eventually led to a lot of things. This internalized mindset has inevitably affected everyone else.
The Annoying Feeling of Entitlement
Quite a lot of people have this intense feeling of entitlement. The idea that a man feels the woman should have ”certain responsibilities” and vice versa is sickening. This is perhaps one of the worst sources of patriarchy. Imagine a woman whose thought process is only about getting married to the rich guy and having kids. Then, having a shop or job. The man also has this same mindset.
Nowadays, it has even gotten a lot more advanced. Many men want their women to have careers, to be intelligent, but should be able to have kids and solely take care of them. Many women, having internalized an inferior capability of themselves, would rather be with a man who is working. He should have become ”quite established” and should be able to ”take care of them and the children.” Technically breeding misogyny and chivalry.
The Society Today
In the Nigerian society today, nobody takes women who attempt to break this circle seriously. A good example was in school. A coursemate of mine was contesting for the president of the faculty. Technically, she got a lot of bashing. In fact, her life and that of her family’s was threatened. Until we understand how deep this patriarchy goes, we may constantly be swimming in the destruction of our minds.