There’s a certain Nigerian pseudo-celeb Joro Olumofin, he’s a psychologist and relationship consultant who’s pretty popular on instagram. The cases he showcases will remind you that truth can be stranger than fiction.
So recently Joro released a list of qualities for a woman who is to be considered wife material (see here) and there were thirty qualities on that list. I found the list hilarious when I read it but when I thought about it later, it began to irk me.
Why do we always tell women to contort themselves in weird shapes for the purpose of matrimony? The answer came to me- when a man marries a woman, he goes with his kinsmen and pays certain amounts and buys certain things before she can be given to him. In the real sense of it, she is property and we all know that items that are produced for purchase have to pass through series of tests and standards that vary from item to item and depending on their eventual use.
Yesterday evening I was with Akan and the topic came up, he laughed and laughed as I read the list to him. I told him of my displeasure with the list and an interesting conversation ensued (with Akan, even Wizkid’s music can kick-off an intellectual discourse, Akan is pretty smart). I was raving about the indignities that come with being female in this part of the world, with all the rules that you have to live by.
“Ada why don’t you write your own list of husband material qualities, men would even be interested in reading something like that from a woman’s point of view. Instead of complaining, write your own” He said with the ghost of a smile haunting his lips.space
I was going to reply that a woman does not have the luxury and privilege to even write such rules, the mere suggestion that a woman has standards can create furor (remember the 200k debate that raged on Nigerian social media space when a young woman said she wouldn’t marry a man who earned less than two hundred thousand Naira monthly). But I paused and remembered Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jnr Malcolm X and countless others who could have had a thousand reasons to keep quiet and live their normal lives. They didn’t give excuses, they went and DID.
You see it never occurred to me to write my own list of thirty qualities a man who is husband material should have, I was quite content to rant about the objectification and oppression of women and how men are not subject to the same stringent standards than women are.
What if I wrote my list of qualities? What if more women and men passed young men through the crucible (women are actually at the forefront of this standardization thing to women) to find them worthy of matrimony. Real standards unlike the silly thing in the picture below.
maybe it would make men squirm, maybe they would understand how annoying it is when somebody sits somewhere and makes up rules for your entire gender to follow and maybe more conversations would open up about such standards (like the 200k debate) and real change (not the APC type) might just result.
I’m not advocating for the removal of personal standards and benchmarks for romantic relationships and even any other type of relationship for that matter but imposing my own standards on an entire gender is imprudent no matter how well-intentioned my motives are.
I will write my list soon, put up ridiculous and semi-ridiculous things too. That should be fun.
PS: Adaezewrites has a new series it’s called 10 yards of husband material. It’s mega interesting.