I have come across so many girls and women who have either stayed with their abusive men or are still with their men despite the severe other flaws of these men. And the simple motivation is, “I love him”.
Men come with several physical disabilities like bowlegs, stammering, height challenges , horrible teeth, bad body odors, low fashion senses, drinking and smoking habits and infidelity. Yet, their women remain with them simply because they love them.
However, all the married or engaged men who have hit on me since I reached puberty have had no tangible reasons for cheating or wanting to cheat on their women. Some of the flimsiest excuses they give are: My wife is out of shape, she nags too much, and she has become boring in bed. And oh! The last one which is my personal favorite; I love my wife but I am no longer sexually attracted to her.
Sounds ridiculous right? But I don’t blame these men at all, I blame society. For long, we have been made to accept that “sex” is an abomination for women, but a “birth right” for men. It seems okay for men to have all the fun they want before and even after marriage, but “faithfulness” is a sacrifice only the woman has to make.
Even in the church, when the issue of sex is raised, all fingers and attention is directed towards the woman because “her husband will value her more if she keeps her herself till marriage”. “There are many blessings that await the woman who waits till marriage to have sex”; but what about the men and the boys? What are the blessings that await them if they keep themselves till marriage until they have sex? Is there a need for them to also practice chastity?
I have watched friends, aunties and women in general who have had to swallow beyond measurable doubts the consequences of their husband’s infidelities; from step children to incurable sexually transmitted diseases. Yet, society expects them to shut up and stomach infidelity on the part of their men. They can’t complain neither can they speak up; they just have to forgive and forget whether or not they like it.
But let a woman cheat on her husband, oh hell will break loose. The man will announce to the whole world and within days, this unfaithful wife will be sent packing out his house. Let us start asking questions; does a woman keeping herself till marriage necessarily guarantee an ever faithful marriage? Because there are tons and tons of Christian and Muslim married men cheating because of flimsy excuses. Excuses the woman is supposed to overlook.
Let’s revise the socialization text books a little. If we are preaching abstinence to girls, let’s preach abstinence to the boys too. If we expect faithfulness from women, we should expect faithfulness from the men as well. Let’s not make cheating and pre-marital sex seem okay for guys and make a Supreme Court case out of it for girls.
My friends who have already gotten married, I know the babies will be following soon. When they do arrive safely, teach your son’s they it is equally important for them to learn how to cook, clean and manage a home so they can help their wives in future in times when they are bed-ridden, busy or simply not available. Teach your sons to respect women and when they finally make those vows in front of all those people, let them know that it is their responsibility to uphold those vows as well; if not, they shouldn’t bother going into it at all. Don’t forget to also add that, unless a woman is olive oil, her virginity is no indication of her quality.
Instead of focusing on whether or not she can cook, ask what she can bring to the table; because a woman who knows how to cook is not the same as a woman who can actually provide food for her family. Instead of asking how many men she has slept with, ask why she chose YOU out of the lot.
Teach your girls that although marriage is important, it’s not the ultimate and its definitely not the greatest achievements in a woman’s life. Let them know that they can dream as big as they want to without any fears. I am Efe Franca Plange, and I am not in the least controversial. I am just a twenty-something year old African woman who all of a sudden has begun asking questions.
Questions our great grand mothers, grandmothers and mothers should have asked their mothers. Questions like “Why?” and “Why not?”; a girl who is reading and researching, a girl who no longer apologizes for her beliefs and one who isn’t afraid to share her opinion either. This is not a big platform for me to share my views, but this is what I have at the moment. Share this post, and see to it that humanity experiences certain needed changes. I rest my case.
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