Where Lies The Pride?

This article is on the place of women in an exceedingly patriarchal society. It looks into what we call the pride of women and how we stifle our women.

There will be nothing as brutally prejudicial as a patriarchal society, African society, for example, if you like. We tell our girls to fight for their homes, ward off invaders, and home wreckers, pose valiantly when they come, and fight as long as it is only to keep their home. The home we call their pride, their craving, what they live for. Yet, when our girls raise arms to fight these intruders, we shudder and call her a bad woman who rivals against the poachers of her pride. We call them cruel, thoughtless, dreadful, all rebuking words, when they do not allow their men to have a second woman in their home. This home is their pride. The pride we taught them never to share. 

It is pathetic how our society defines the pride of a woman. "Get a man," we say. "It is your completion." "You're not getting any younger. Your time is passing." Sadly, this woman gets married to a man twice her age, whose time never passes, who only marries her because he feels he should. It is unbearable when we rid our women of choices when we condition them to jostle, compete, and scuttle for something different, which keeps them perpetually dependent, subservient, and slavish. 

A woman must conceive a few weeks after marriage; if this doesn't work, then her footprints will be swept off the village borders. It mustn't be a man's fault. No. We tag a woman's pride to something that is devoid of their making, a child. We leave our women to bother about fruitless marriages. 

A woman is silent when her husband pokes a finger in her face. We call bad women the few who speak up and tell our young daughters never to be like them. A woman must not make a case against her husband. How we bother ourselves to understand and justify a man, sidestepping the woman's argument. Older women come up to say, "Hush." And with crooked fingers pointed to the hellish house, they blurt, "This is your pride." Pride is gagging oneself and refusing to speak because, like a mortar, she must tightly conceal whatever is pushed underneath her. Pride is licking her mucus all the time and abasing herself before a tyrannical, culture-ceded power-drunk husband.

Dibugwu, my grandmother, was called. A husband is a woman's honor. What honor lies than when she hears, from gossips, that her husband had branched off to see his mistress, and she must not do anything. What honor is there when she shrugs and puffs, "It is a woman's lot? Men are like that."

We saunter around, seeking where lies the normalness whenever a man threatens to strangle his wife. A woman who even yells at her man has already killed him. It is hypocritical that with all these, we give our girls names like "Obiageli," "Ujuaku, and" "Oriaku" when from birth, we diminish and smolder them with inimical customs. "Obiageliaku" means - "One who comes to enjoy the wealth." If the man sits at sunset to eat the isiewu from a plate of steaming hot egusi soup while his wife skulks around in the kitchen, the name should be reversed or forgotten in entirety. 

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