Before I begin, I want you to study these two sentences:
1.)Mike asked Ebube out.
2.)Ebube asked Mike out.
Do you see anything wrong with any of them? Do you feel one is not proper? NOT SUPPOSED TO BE? If yes, this post is for you.
Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend of a friend and he said, “You are a feminist so you think you can ask a guy out right?”
“I can’t.” I replied.
“I thought you feminist are all about being bold and liberated. That think it’s okay to just behave anyhow. Does it mean you don’t really believe in it?”
I remained quiet. Not because I didn’t have anything to say but because if I went on to explain he might simply not understand that I can in fact I have but at the end it was like I did something wrong.
A couple of years ago, I never saw anything wrong in a girl telling a guy “I like you.” I felt it was cool to simply be expressive when it comes to owning up to how you feel about a guy and vice versa. Just say it and leave it there.
So I asked a guy out and it was going well till he started behaving in a certain manner. I could tell there was a lack of commitment on his part but I ignored because I felt no relationship is perfect and everyone has a flaw then one day we had an issue and he made a statement I can never forget.
“…I mean,I never asked you out in the first place so I’m not really obligated to you….” he said smiling wryly.
To digress a bit, I’m sure he’s part of the guys that are shouting “Fine boys like us, na dem dey rush us” everywhere.
So well, I was in shock because I knew there was a problem but I never thought I was the cause of it. When it finally hit me was when I noticed he was already dating someone else in fact to give you a clear picture of the situation: While I was dating him, he was dating her.
To cut the long story short, because a lot of things went on way after that, I decided that I was never going to ask a guy out. Now a premise has been set. let us go back to the questions I asked you to study.
In Secondary School, we are taught that a “subject” is the doer of an action(active) and an “object” is being acted upon(passive). In the case of Sentence 1, everybody will hail Mike because they feel he has behaved like a man but accept it or not, The Mike in Sentence 2 will be mocked and ridiculed by most people especially in his absence because …(fill in the gap)
I’m sure a lot of girls will be like why should Ebube ask Mike out in the first place? Mike’s mother, if she finds out, will tell him to stay away from that loosed, wild Ebube. She will even say she can’t keep her legs together and she likes men ET cetera, ET cetera.
Why does our society believe women are objects to be acted upon? To be liked or hated rather than to like or hate? To be accepted or rejected rather than to accept or reject? Who made this the ideal? Who made this the culture? Who made men believe they have to be the initiator of a relationship for it to work out? Who taught young boys and girls the things they could do and the things they couldn’t do?
Reality is nobody was taught Gender Role 101, we just saw and we just followed. We saw men and women that believed in patriarchy. The men and women that mastered gender roles. The people that have refused to let go of this demeaning ideology. These were the kind of people that taught us how we should be. The models we had to emulate.
To change the cycle we have to change the way women are perceived socially. Boys need to accept that women also have the right to approach anyone they like without being ridiculed. They should begin to see women as initiators. We need to begin to say to young girls you are not just a choice someone has to make, you, too, are to make choices.
What other social changes do we have to make? Do you think we should remain objects? State your reasons below.