The world is confused about nature. Civilisation and nature seem to be at war and the former appears to be winning. In those days, it was clear what to expect of individuals and groups. Some vocations belonged to men ‘naturally’, while others were reserved for women. Certain behavioural patterns were considered abnormal or unnatural for girls. The same was true of the male child. Those days are gone now.
The world now calls these stereotypes. Nothing was natural about men performing certain roles exclusively. It was just background and upbringing. Whatever a man can do, a woman can do, or even do better. So this was stretched to politics.
Thus, women now grapple for space with men. They now jostle to take up leadership roles, not only in commerce, but in politics. We now have competitive, and not complementary, roles. That’s why I was bemused when former President Goodluck Jonathan lost in his re-election bid. He was good luck to women. He brought the Affirmative Action, where earnest efforts were made for women to get 35 per cent of all public appointments. And he ensured the media was awash with this during his election campaigns. But I guess 35 per cent wasn’t good enough.
Women, like the rest of us, want their rights. They’ve been long oppressed by men. They never had a voice. Even though they combined complex roles as teachers, caregivers, economists, cooks, etc, the man never really valued their contributions. Her role was, rather, considered as inferior and subservient. So she wants equal rights with the man. She wants to have similar role with him. As I write, about 20 nations around the world have women as their heads of government. Even the American world power is warming up. The son of Adam brought it upon himself. But does he really care? So who takes the heat?
There is no right without responsibility. Man has been historically cruel to women. The woman needs her dignity and honour within the society. But she’s also got responsibility. Can she, for example, relinquish her role as the bearer of children? Can she forsake the nourishing of the infant? Even though she can’t, I think she should. Let the man also take that position. But am I not hallucinating? What will happen to the human race if women refuse to play their role in making babies? The man can’t carry pregnancy for us, can he?
Is it, therefore, fair to say men and women can, or should, interchange their roles in the society? Is it fair to our children? Again, women deserve to have their rights. But at what cost? Aren’t we already getting the rewards? Today, infants don’t see both parents during the day. They stay in a ‘mass production’ day-care. Children now spend most of their lives with total strangers whose only intent is to make money. So when they can’t take the pressure anymore, they drug our children to sleep with cough syrup. Sorry, I digress.
But do we really need women in politics? Or rather, why do we need women in politics? Men can’t perform, simple! They are all corrupt. They are too greedy and uncaring about their subjects. Plus, it’s not men’s birthright to rule. There’s got to be equal rights. The woman is not inferior, not a slave. Right???
To be sure, the family is the building block of the society. So let’s start the agitation from there. Therefore, when are we going to allow the woman to enjoy the title, ‘family head’? There is no need to insist that the man should be the head by default. Let each family decide who should lead it. There must be equal right!
By now, I know most of you will disagree with me, male or female. The male folk particularly will be asking for my head on a wooden trail. Do I care? Are we not gradually coming to that? It’s just that women are not asking for the title yet. But some are having the rights and responsibilities of a family head already. While their husbands are ‘idling’ away, they are the ones working hard outside the home and paying the bill. He who pays the piper, they say, calls the tune. So they also call the shots.
I don’t really know where the idea that women should rule came from. Because our religions – Christianity, Islam and African traditional religions – don’t seem to support it. Yes, Christianity and Islam particularly condemn abuse of women in any form. But do they propose that women should hold political leadership position over the man? That’s a question for the clergy, even though many will wag their heads in disagreement. That is why some think this idea strayed from evolutionism or atheism.
Because of economic need or out of personal ambition, she has been taken out of her ‘natural’ vocation and placed in commerce to compete with man. Should we care if this is contributing to the alarming increase in divorce rate? Should we care if this is affecting our children? Who can even prove it? Whatever you may think, she now sees the need to get equal participation in active politics, a dog-eat-dog vocation. A vocation that has taken decency out of men.
But examples abound around the world of successful female politicians who fared better than men. But who can tell us the cost to their families?
Whatever our stand is on the matter, we all need to be careful. The increasing demands for rights may eventually take all our rights away, including right to life. For example, how will humans survive if we all insist that we have a right to marry same sex? Who will bear the children?
Similarly, what will become of the human race if women insist they don’t want to carry babies? Don’t they have the right? Nature has given us a role to play, to the survival of entire human race. We all need to play our roles to get the balance and orderliness we desire. To demand for all our rights is to ask for anarchy. It’s an invitation to doom.