Is he Husband Material?

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.wp-1473024460854.png

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.

 

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12 Comments

  1. But it’s all fun and jokes until a certain male looks at a certain female and tells her she doesn’t really meet up a ‘common’ list. And I just feel it’s unfair there should be some ‘joke’ standards being publicly requested by people, because at the end of the day, the casual intention behind the list becomes misconstrued and the list becomes taken seriously and then used to put down others lacking in the ‘requirements’. The fact that different people can get affected differently by the same person, doesn’t count because people would rather seek for the faults in others first than their good sides. But still, it’s all fun and games.
    So yes, put up your list and let us make it go viral!

    Reply

  2. Hmm now this is something to think about. I think it has crossed my mind so many times. Like there is this specific list girls are supposed to meet up. Must be a good cook, must be mannered, must be curvy, must be this, must be that. It’s so unfair especially when girls feel bad about the wonderful being God has made them. Sighs. Guys should try and be tall, handsome, mannered and fit our own taste too.

    Reply

  3. Well, every man has his standards for his wife material and women have the same for their husband material but you won’t see most of these people sharing their desires on social media. Whatever we want is our hearts and we can always communicate both the realistic and unrealistic ones through prayer. I pray Joro finds his kind of woman in this economy.
    Thanks for the mention namsie!

    Reply

  4. Chief Osita Osadebe in his wisdom sang in igbo
    “if a woman is beautiful, she will be married,
    if she is ugly, she will be married
    every woman is a wife material (ORIAKU ORIAKU)

    Reply

  5. Hi Adaeze,

    A very interesting read, the ‘spouse material’ burden seems to be always placed on women’s shoulders. These days, I find it more amusing than annoying.

    The way I see it, “real” is as relative as it gets because some standards are individual. To the young lady who tweeted her opinion, a man who buys her pads is her ideal, she might consider the standards of another person somewhat silly.

    I was really hoping to find your own list of 30 qualities somewhere within this post. 😀

    Reply

    1. One of the biggest lessons I am learning this year is to see viewpoints of other people as valid regardless of what I think of them, sometimes it gets hard to accept certain kinds of ideas though.
      As for my list, it will come soon.

      Reply

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