Sunday, February 19, 2006

Its 2006 abroad, but 1956 in Nigeria

In an interview published in today's This Day, a friend of Bibi's who is also a well known Nigerian is interviewed (she is helping to bring the play The Vagina Monologues to Nigeria). She is asked the question, "In the African culture, some men believe that wife battery is another way to make their wives submissive. Do you think the play can correct that?” She responds, "There are many ways that women can be submissive to their husbands but not by getting beaten...While there is a general belief that many of our cultures condone wife-beating, I doubt if there is any culture that condones the killing of a wife...There is nothing wrong for men to correct their wives but not through physical violence."

The general sense of her response as summarised above is therefore this: that women should be corrected by their husbands, but that killing women is going a little too far. Although the final sentence tries to clarify, the damage is already done in the sentence immediately before it in the quote above. The last part of the sentence, “I doubt if there is any culture that condones the killing of a wife,” although a non-sequitur, only serves to implicitly legitimate the first part, i.e. condoning wife-beating. But where is the evidence that battery of women is part of any specific African culture? What is the origin of the ‘general belief’ she alludes to? Might it not be the prevailing contemporary patriarchal prejudices, rather than any form of historical or socio-cultural precedent, that generates this attitude? She goes on to say a little later in the interview, “when I got married, I moved to Abuja where my husband is based. He said that now that I am his wife, I have to cook and do stuff like that.” Oh dear, we are back to the 1950’s, with the black and white television in the living room, Dad watching the cricket on a snowy screen, Mom doing the ironing by the kitchen door..

Anyone who attempts to highlight the widespread physical, psychological and sexual abuse of women in Nigeria by bringing Vagina Monologues here should be lauded and supported. However, it is important for public figures to be mindful of the power of words, especially when printed in the newspapers. For a woman to be anything less that completely unambiguous on their position on women’s rights within a relationship is extremely dangerous. To tacitly endorse the submission virus carried by the evangelical churches, a doctrine which leads many Nigerian women to suffer silently at the hands of their husbands, is to commit an unenviable act of complicity. Why should women have to submit to the man in the relationship? Is this supposed to be ‘traditional’ within, for example, Yoruba culture? Why not emphasise mutual submission (if the language of submission is to be used at all)?

In all this, one thought remains: that Nigerian women in the public realm are continuing to let down the society by betraying attitudes that should be locked behind a glass case in a museum somewhere.


Anonymous,  12:41 pm  

jeremy, I also read that article this morning and i was dismayed. I can't believe that somebody bringing v-monologue to Naija would subscribe to submission doctrine. For me this goes to highlight the fact that many young nigerian women been paraded as public figures and role models are themselves full of contradictions, especially about feminism. They haven't come to terms with being progressive and dealing with the orthodoxy of our culture. It is also surprising to me that the same women are invited on international stage to be the face of nigerian feminism. I don't know where we are heading to with this kind of submission doctorine. I think Hafsat Abiola-Costello your unamed author really understand the gravity of what she is saying. I think if she thought about it a little bit, she will reconsider and see the contradictons in her argument.

Harmattan Ray

Kemi,  1:35 pm  

I don't think she was in any way condoning wife-beating or saying it was our culture.

I think this is a clear case of "Nigerian English" where our lack of care with words makes our stance look very ambiguous.

Also, I am not very confident in the average Nigerian Editor/Proof reader, who knows if this is actually what she said!

TRAE 5:42 pm  

Mr Nigeria, it seems reading and understanding an article in English language is a hard thing for you too do. you've just succeded in rubbing Hafsat Abiola-Costello name in the mud. Kemi, the previous commentator was absolutely right. the funny thing is that Mrs Activist: Sokari Ekine is probably right now giving this erroneous post some publicity on the globalvoices online blog

Anonymous,  6:01 pm  

Trae, there is an important distinction to be made between critiquing what someone says and what you call 'rubbing someone's name in the mud'. I think Jeremy was concerned with the former not the latter. If you don't allow for this distinction, all criticism is reduced to egotistical mud slinging. Is that what you want?

Anonymous,  6:09 pm  

Like Kemi, I don't think that anyone brave a enough to bring vagina monologue to our shore would condone wife-beating. I think it is more of a case that in trying to anticipating in advance of conservative response, she ends up contradicting herself. I too read the article in question and I was very surprised by the tone. I couldn't take it too seriously because it was riddled with contradictons.

'who knows if this is actually what she said!' kemi writes. Does that mean that because of bad editing and proof-reading interviews in Nigeria press cannot be trusted? Does that mean that when people speak out of turn they are not responsible for it ? My advice to activists like Abiola-Costello is to ask for proof so that they can be sure that they are being represented in the way they want to be represented.


Anonymous,  6:22 pm  

Trae, the tone of your email doesn't sound like a critique, it seems to me that you are still angry with both jeremy and black looks author from their critique of your homophobia and you are just lashing out. get over it and moving on.

It is a pity that you think Jeremy is rubbing Hafsat's name in the mud. Jeremy obviously knows Hafsat through his partner, so it would be extremely rude and disrespectful on his part to want to insult his wife's friend in public. I think he is inviting us to think about the contradictions inherent in many of our positions. Another, Nigerian woman also said in a women's magazine that it is possible to be a liberated woman and yet be a submissive wife. don't know how this is possible (but then again,she must be able to explain herself). Now, there is much to admire in such women, but it is important that we continously open them for interrogation. They are potential change agents and anything they say have important ramifications. Their attention needs to be drawn to the contradictions in their position so that they can grow in the direction they really want to. We are all a bag of contradictions, but we need others to point our contradictions to us.

Not all critique is dissing. Critique can be productive. For me, the more important issue is how do we deal with the contradictions in African society (especially around women) and where are the African feminists?


Anonymous,  6:29 pm  

I got several phone calls about the article from some of my friends this morning. Even, the guys called me to tell me about it. I felt really sad about Hafsat Abiola-Costello assertions. But you know something, I figure if she is bring VM to Nigeria, her pronouncement must be a kind of strategy to pacify potential protest.

At least I hope so!


Jeremy 6:41 pm  

Let me clarify, I have no wish to diss Hafsat - she is my partner's friend and I admire her work in Nigeria through KIND enormously.

Bringing VM to Nigeria is a courageous and much-needed venture and should be fully supported. I think she struck a conservative tone in the article in order to cushion potential criticism from conservatives. However, public figures need to be careful not to betray their convictions just because there are conservative forces out there.

I for one will do all I can to support her in bringing VM here to Ng.

Nkem 11:28 pm  

I don't think she should be seen as someone who's supportive of a submission doctrine, purely because she doesn't qualify the statement by saying that men should also submit to their wives and be corrected by them. Her saying "there is a general belief" is because this belief does exist among Nigerians. If a man beats his wife, nobody bats an eyelid. It's wrong, but it's accepted, and that the assertion I believe she was making. Even a man who beats his wife would probably think that killing her is a tad extreme. VM in Nigeria? I don't think we're ready, but why wait?

sokari 1:03 am  

First of all I have to say I find it odd that someone who is trying to bring the VM to Nigeria would make these kind of comments. It seems to me a massive contradiction. If it is some sort of tactic as anonymous states, I think it is an unfortuante choice of actions/words.

Nevertheless this is how many Nigerian men and women think though one would hope that the younger generation think differently. I believe the problem is exactly as Ms Abiola-Costello writes. Many of my married sister friends in the early 30s and 40s complain all the time that they cannot do this or that, or go here or there because their husbands will not allow them. These are educated, employed strong minded women yet they still are unable to break free of their husband's control. Domestic violence is not perculiar to Nigeria, it takes place throughout the world. What is disturbing is that it is condoned and even encouraged in many cases.

Still there is change taking place. I know of women who have broken free of submissivness to their spouses even though they have had a high price to pay. It takes strength but not everyone is a victim. There are many are victors some happily married some single but victors none the less.

And yes I will be posting this on Global Voices tomorrow.

fola 3:23 am  

Interesting post...but a delightfully unnecessary exercise in semantics it is. The meaning is clear no matter how we cut and dice it- someone cares enough about domestic violence (DV) and wants to do something about it. Period. It is commendable. But the approach is wrong.

Whether Vaginal Monoloques will have any impact in curbing DV in Nigeria is another issue. With my little experience in this field, it will not make much impact. It will amount to a little more than its entertainment value. It is not not culturally appropriate, it is targeted at the social strata that appreciate arts and drama; and very few belong to this strata in Nigeria.

There are more culturally appropriate ways and and methods to deal with DV. But first let the lady senators and legislaltors cry out load about the problem first, they need to build coalitions to "add volume to their voices", build and solidify some legal ramifications around the issue, engage the grassroots and children in primary and school schools etc. That is is how to handle issues like this.

TRAE 9:20 am  

@Yetunde: yes i'm still angry @ jeremy and sokari ekine. all respect i have for them is gone.

nowadays reading naijablog is for the most part irritating/annoying. if nigeria sucks, remember that flights leave to England everyday.

Sokari...i don't know. the fact is that you suck at activism. your whole blog is a joke. copying, pasting and summarising. if you have nothing to say shut up.

Anonymous,  9:34 am  

Nkem, I totally disagree with you. I think it is important that her statement be qualified, especially in an environment such as ours where 'progressive women' are constantly and consistently not qualifying their statements. It is dangerous. If they want to disrupt the whole system, why don't they say men should submit to their wife? Is it because on a fundamental level many of these women actually believe in submission doctrine? Even though I don't think she condones violence against women, I think she believes in submission doctrine. She has probably made a distinction that submission is one thing and violence is another. I agree that such a distinction can be made, but I don't think it is what our progressive women should be preaching.

We should all remember that most violence that is committed on a daily basis is not necessarily only physical. Violence often takes place at the level of words, semantics, language and symbolism. To me this is the most insidious. because it is violence that operates at the level where we don't know it is operating, but it seeps into our pysche. It is for this reason that she is in danger of complicity in the very thing she is fighting against. Words are powerful. They hurt and they wound. Progressives need to be extremely careful about their language.

Any man who beats his wife is a coward and cannot know in advance the consequence. There are many organisations in Nigeria working with women who have experienced male violence and many cases have led to death. Beatings can lead to death.

I think HAC work is commendable and like fola and jeremy and some of the other writers have said, she means well, but the approach is wrong.


nigeria, what's new 9:52 am  

"nowadays reading naijablog is for the most part irritating/annoying. if nigeria sucks, remember that flights leave to England everyday." That comment says it all. It is 2006 abroad, but 1956 in Nigeria. We must be able to debate and not go down the childish "I am taking away my toys, I don't want to play anymore", that simply show bad manners and bad education. We are currently writing about incredible ignorance and horrid stories in Africa, thanks for more of the same. Keep it hot jem!

Anonymous,  9:52 am  

yetunde ask the question where are the African feminists? We are here and alive, but we won't get on the cover of ThisDay, Genieve, TrueLove or any of the rag bag newspaper floating around the country. We are here doing our stuff and working to transform the lives of our women and men and children so that they can see a better tomorrow.

Some of us have thought to respond to Hafsat's interview and we have decided against it. But we'll find a way of talking to her privately to 'mind her language'. We are fully in support of VM and we encourage those of you out there to let your friends in Nigeria know about it and support it.

We feminists are not media-genic, but we are working tirelessly.

Jeremy and madam black looks, thank you for continuing to bring issues to our attention. Ignore Trae - he's a small boy. Our society need all kinds of people - the doer, the talker, the dreamers - we need them all.


Anonymous,  11:32 am  

Can one find the "offending" interview on the This Day website?

Anonymous,  12:21 pm  

No you can't find it on ThisDay's website. but I am in the process of transcribing it. Several people in the UK have heard about it and wants to read it fully. So I'll transcribe it soon and hopefully Jeremy won't mind me hijacking is blog to publish the full article.

Val,  1:22 pm  

It's amazing how condescending this blog has become of late. No matter how strongly Mr Jeremy feels about the matter he is raising, even he must not be so self-absorbed as not to realise that 'Its 2006 abroad, but 1956 in Nigeria' - is an offensive remark! I'm afraid Trae is one of the few who has spoken sense in these comments. It's clear to me now that there is some kind colonial throwback at work here. No matter how well meaning the blogger is, he is sounding more and more like the white man who thinks he knows best what is good for black people in a black nation. And the readers of his blog are also playing to type. They see a white person who loves them and they are so grateful that they can't see when he is wrong. It makes me sad, really. I'm reading from Italy but maybe it's time I found myself another blog.


Grace,  1:44 pm  

Actually Val, Trae is the one that initially subscribed to the "white man knowing what's best for africans". He was the one that was praising Jeremy on his blog, until the subject of homophobia came up.
Now that his icon has "fallen", he reacts by doing all he can to discredit him.

I don't think this particular post is condescending. The title may be sarcastic, but some people have different senses of humor. If you read any of the comments on other posts, or on any of the other blogs, you will see that a lot of the commentators were actively engaging Nigerian culture and politics before Jeremy arrived. Go and read Ore's blog and the posts made on this same subject of women in Nigeria. Or a statement I made on my blog last week about prominent Nigerian women downplaying feminism in newspaper articles to generate approval from society. While his blog may have encouraged people to set up their own blogs, it is not true in any way that readers have recieved education and indoctrination from him.

Maybe you yourself need to examine your personal perspective on Africans and their intellectual capabilities. Must a white man be at the bottom of africans thinking critically? Is it not possible that we are sharp and critical enough without Mr. Jeremy's help?

Val,  2:07 pm  


Can you point me to your blog? I don't know it.

No matter how Mr Jeremy feels about what fell short in Hafsat's remarks, he doesn't have to come and hang her out to dry here on his blog. That young woman is the worthiest of the current generation of the Abiola Family. She has been doing good work for a long time and she, like the blogger, is not perfect. Many people here have raised the possibility that her comments were misconstrued. It is even possible that the woman was misquoted by the journalists. What is clear to me, is that this blogger brings all manners of ideas and imposes them on the Nigerian situation without taking full cognisance fo the historio-social implications. I have a wife who is also Nigerian and though I am from elsewhere, I consider myself Nigerian too because I lived there for over 20 years. Our women should be fully emancipated, but that emancipation cannot be expected to be as obtains in San Francisco, because over there, there are different factors at work. You cannot take the European model of everything and measure Nigerian women and everything unfavourably against it all the time.

Grace, you and the Naijablog defenders are entitled to your opinions. That is fine. But let it be on record that a lot of readers are put off by this kind of talking down over Nigeria & moaning all the time. And we are put off by those who jump to defend whenever a contrary opinion is expressed. The impression it gives is that Mr Jeremy is always right and must always be right. But it is clear that he is not always right and just because he has a Nigerian partner and has lived in Nigeria for some years does not make him an African/Nigerian expert.

Anonymous,  2:11 pm  

well put grace. I think Val has gotten the wrong end of the stick. It is unfortunate that every time a white man or an outsider in general provides critique we try and diminish their effort by resulting to tired old argument about re-colonisation. For goodness sake the guy is just providing his take on things. If you don't like what he has to say, there are many naija type blogs you can tap into and jeremy links up to them. check them out. they might be more to your liking.

rather than shooting the messanger we should look at the message and see what it says about our women in our society and what it doesn't say. As a Nigerian, I read the message and I was enraged. I did not need a white man to tell me how to read or decode that interview. So it was nice for me to come to my desk this morning and find that a debate was already underway. This is the power of blogging - it can make isolated experiences into part of a larger collective.

Val you insult the intelligence of all the Nigerian/African bloggers by your statement. It is a shame that yet again we don't do very well with critique. But I have to thank Trae for linking me up to his "fallen" idol.

Anonymous,  2:39 pm  

Trae, what about all those Nigerians who are critical of our country, what should they do? jump into the Lagoon? or seek asylum in the West?

Please advice

Anonymous,  2:55 pm  

Jeremy, you don't get it do you? we naijas don't like hanging our dirty laundry in public.

More importantly, we don't like critiquing our friends in public or private, even when they make public statements.

You Oyinbos have no boundaries, no respect. You will even disrespect your own head of state to their face. Friends or foe, you always feel you have to say it as is.

But us proud Africans we like to keep things to ourselves. Let our fathers, brothers, sons, uncles or gateman rape, beat us to death, maime us, tell us we can't spend our own money, violate our children, but the neighbours must not hear.
Let us criticise ourselves, but nobody else must - especially an Oyinbo.

Jeremy, you say you have been living in Nigeria for nearly 2yrs, yet you haven't learnt one fundamental lesson - we have difficulties hearing the truth.

A word of advice don't tell the world of what you think, even if they are your best friend.

Jeremy 3:32 pm  

I'm a little shocked by some of the responses. Let me stress again, my critique of the article was a critique of what was SAID and no more. I think the article's emphasis on submission brings in symbolic violence, which can be just as harmful to women as any act of physical violence. That said, it was never an attack on any one person, it was a critical commentary on a text.

It seems that when one tries to be critical here, it is often misconstrued as an "ad hominem" argument - an argument against the person. Nothing could be further from the truth in this case. As I said above, I think Hafsat is doing an incredibly important job in Nigeria, and I fully support KIND. I believe that criticism is the most positive force you can put into the world, if it is intended for the good. I also believe that friends and people you know are the ones that you need to criticise the most, from a loving and positive perspective (and sometimes in public). In other words, criticism is one of the best kinds of support you can give someone.

At a more general level, my post was a commentary on what I see again and again in the Nigerian press where women who are doing good works end up undermining themselves by playing to the conservative expectations of the audience. Isn't it time this conservative expectation was itself challenged?

Thank you to the previous commentator, I've lived here 2 years and I still have yet to learn that lesson. I guess I'll always be the oyinbo.

val,  4:07 pm  

You know, I am oyinbo myself. But I remain convinced that 2 years does not make anybody the fount of all knowledge on any place. It is true we can criticize but there are hints here sometimes to show that you don't always take criticism well yourself.

Anyway sha, peace

fola 4:08 pm  

Jeremy, welcome to Nigeria! Yeah you've been here 2 years, but you have just seen why Nigeria is the way it is. We don't handle crticism very well. Trust me, you are not the only one feeling the heat, and don't ever think, for one minute that you are getting all this flak because of your color. I love your blog and you have done well, infact better that many of the load mouths yapping you for your intelligent discuss.

And to those load mouths- particulalry Trae, get a life man, your serious ailment of identity crisis and speaking out of sense every now and then is just irritating. Stay and conduct your activities within the realms of your blog. Publicly stating you hate someone is immature and just plain silly.

To others who're offended by J's post, remember on thing- This is his blog and he's free to write about his perspectives. He doesn't need permission from anyone.

Besides you only need to read some of his posts to get a bigger picture of where he stands. He means well.

It is just sickeneing how few Nigerian bloggers have developed serious aversion to crticism lately...Grow up people!

Anonymous,  4:53 pm  

I hope there will be a little maturity in the choice of our words. Name calling and all that are obvious signs of immaturity.

And for the sake of people that read comments on blogs to know what people think about what is going on in the society, please stop this name calling thingy.


Jeremy 5:03 pm  

Peace to you too Val. I know well enough that 2 years in a country an expert does not make. I have lived over 30 years in England and you ask me who was on the throne before Queen Victoria and I haven't a clue!

The point is, societies should always allow the outsider a voice, because there is often the opportunity for things to be seen and articulated that were previously unseen and unsaid by the insider.

In this regard, the experience of Nigerians living in the UK or the US (such as Fola, Molara and all the others) is significant and needs its own voice. The Uk is going through its own brand of madness at the moment, and needs all the productive criticism going. I would never claim to be an expert on anywhere, but I would always want outsiders (wherever they are) to be allowed their say.

In both cases - outsiders living in Nigeria and Nigerians living outside - the important figure for me is Eshu - the Yoruba deity of translation, passageway and liminality. Eshu always calls the outsider to talk..

Peace again!


Kemi,  6:39 pm  

I cannot believe that people are actually suggesting what Jeremy should and should not write on his blog.

While we may or may not agree with his views, or opinions, we must never ever tell people what they should or should not say like Val and Trae have been suggesting above.

It is hard enough to find a forum where you can speak freely and intelligently. Please don't spoil it for the rest of us.

Anonymous,  7:37 pm  

I agree with kemi. jeremy pls don't stop writing. We need forums like this to air our views. to discus and be challenged.

uknaija 8:42 pm  

It's a free world. Last I checked it was Jeremy's don't like what he writes, leave a comment...start your own blog and propagate your own worldview. I don't always agree with Jeremy and I say so when I don't...but like him I am fascinated and perplexed by some of the contradictory positions that we adopt- perhaps symbolic of our growing up between cultures.....five decades after Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease, the struggle continues....

And please can someone post the original article?

obifromsouthlondon 10:52 pm  

jeremy speak your piece. Your blog is informative and the critique of this entry is on point. I can't understand the criticism and downright insults. If you come into a man's house at least show some respect.

so you are oyinbo? so what? can't comment/criticise because you are not nigerian? utter nonsense!! the anonymous fellows (scared to use their names?) should be ashamed of their language. And Mr Val what exactly is your point? I don't get it.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous,  10:26 am  

Val, what is it that you are trying to say exactly? I don't get it.

Nneka's World 12:05 pm  

Hmm this is very interesting, i must say.
Its his blog and he is entitled to say whatever he wants and i want to read that article.

supermandru 1:44 pm  

Woah!! a lot of comments on here since I first read the blog.

Val, I don't get it, would the title 'Its 2006 abroad, but 1956 in Nigeria' be OK, if it was posted by a nigerian?

My 2 cents... yoruba people say "ba mi na omo mi, ko denu olomo", which roughly means that, a parent that asks you to help spank a wayward child, really can't stand the sight of the child being spanked. We (nigerians) are some smart people, we know exactly what part of our ways need to be addressed and improved, but yet we don't want outsiders to point those things out. It's Jeremy's blog!!

Do I feel uneasy by some of Jeremy's posts? yeah! Why? sometimes I feel that his posts are condescending, a lot of times they are to the point, and the criticism is a hard pill to swallow. But like Grace said, I don't think this particular post is condescending at all. And really, I can't expect him to always write about his good experiences and observations. Hell, It's Jeremy's blog, he can do that and readers will probably shower him with accolades, whatever, who needs that, when he can be honest and post about both good and not-so-good observations and experiences. It turns out, It's the not-so-good ones that are getting people talking...

tout noir 5:20 pm  

TRAE is just ridiculous. What on earth is wrong with that boy? Jeremy, did you steal his lollipop?

Although I sometimes find Jeremy a little condescending, I understand his fustrations - it's VERY difficult not to come across that way if you've lived abroad for a number of years. I have been accused of the same thing.

Jeremy is right to critique Hafsat. What she said is completely unacceptable. I am sure she did not mean it that way but she needs to be much more careful.

I love the V-monologues and helped stage it at my school last year. I was hoping to be the first one to bring it to Nigeria - too late! Thank you Hafsat for your hard work!

I read this blog because it's intelligent, fresh, incisive, hopeful and well-written (one of the best naija blogs, period)- not because of the blogger's skin color or ethnic identity. Jeremy, your positive attitude about Nigeria is contagious and exciting. Don't let naysayers wear you down.

Grace,  5:22 pm  

Val, I can understand your concern about listening to Jeremy just because he is white. I do agree that Nigerians sometimes can have a slight tendency to over-cater to someone just because they are a foreigner.

About the tone, what has happened is some of us have been reading the blog for so long (the days of 10 good things about Nigeria, eg. zobo and the Nigerian potato) that we are used to it. Just know that Trae has personal beef with Jeremy, which is unfortunate, but there you go.

Jeremy 6:07 pm  

Grace what's your blog address? I'd love to read it..

Anonymous,  11:56 pm  

A lot of this could be Obj talking about Idris' JagaJaga. Nigerians don't like to hear the truth but maybe because it has never been allowed or has been very dangerous to say it...

By the way I always laugh at claims by Nigerians that nudity is not African culture. Go to South Africa or watch Brenda Fassie videos...


Funmi,  11:57 pm  

Cat amongst the pigeons there Steve!

Anthony Arojojoye 6:00 pm  

A very wonderful post there Jeremy.

It's good enough to let people know you have a different view. We don't get anything good from calling names. Trae, please 'coolu temper' as Lagbaja will say. Those who are also calling Trae names also fall in the same category. Two wrongs don't make a right.Please stop the name-calling.

By the way, we'll be racist if we say Jeremy is white, so he can't comment.
What criteria must you have to take a stance? Remember no one picked his/her color when coming to the world. It's destiny.
I suggest Jeremy meet up with Trae and have bottles of cold Kunu and Kilishi soon enough.


Jeremy 6:43 pm  

thats an idea. I've already bought Trae a beer in the past - its time for another..

Godfrey Daniel,  8:44 pm  

First colonialism, now this nonsense.

Sad to see some Africans buying the insanity of Euro-American social extremists.

Recognizing that homosexuality is a perversion is not "homophobia"

And, choices are not limited to an either/or selection between the lunacy on TVM amd the subjugation of women. In the middle lies the rational and moral.

Anonymous,  9:50 pm  

Godfrey, you just had to spoil your argument by being racist. Not that you have an argument (although I must admit I don't like queers very much but I really love bi-sexual chicks).

'In the middle lies the rational and moral' - actually in the middle lie the liberals and tolerance and funnily enough no racists.... are you Igbo?

I do draw the line at those that think Agbada looks like female genitalia - that really is wierd..
I will never look at Mr President in the same way again. As he is inside the Agbada does that make him a p...k?

Devil's Advocate

Anonymous,  10:00 pm  

DV, I don't think saying agbada looks like a female genitalia is thinking OBJ is a p...? Rather, it forces us to look at masculinity differently (and indeed feminity). It doesn't say wearing Agbada makes you a female, it just provides another perspective to read and deconstruct Agabada. I don't think feminists will have a problem with such a reading. Feminism is about opening up our eyes to see differently, to look at the given in a new light.

Anonymous,  10:16 pm  

Anonymous I think you need to read to read to read to read my comment again (deja vu again?)

I don't know any female anatomical part which has the 'p***k' word structure. The female of 'p***k' is of course 'p...y' which you of course know..well maybe now.

I was taking the p*ss actually if you didn't notice.

Sorry have to dash there's a bunch of MASSOB guys after me...

Devil's Advocate

Godfrey Daniel,  12:33 am  

Racist? By what stretch of imagination did you reach that conclusion?

I re-read my comment 3 times trying to find something that somehow could even be taken as racial, nevermind rascist, without success. Perhaps you could point me to it.

Anonymous,  8:00 am  

racist, I don't see. homophobia or is it heterosexism i see. Pls DV point us to the racism in G's text.


Anonymous,  9:05 am  

Yeah, OK maybe interpreting references to 'colonialism' and 'insanity of Euro-American extremists' into 'racist' was going too far -sorry. So what did you mean then by 'colonialism, now this nonsense'?

As for homophobia where does that start and end? When you refuse to jump into bed with someone of the same sex? I am sure that statistically a number of my friends must be gay. I am not bothered but as soon as they jump in my face and start shouting it then that's another thing. I don't like it. I think it quite a natural reaction for most heterosexual men and gay men should understand that view of heterosexual men too. I had a friend in the past who became transexual. He was wierd because he changed from a male to a female then decided he was a lesbian?!?! He ended the friendship because I refused to go to a city centre bar for a drink with him and his girlfriend. I was ready to meet him at home but that wasn't enough for him. Anyway if you want to accuse me of being homophobic well I don't really agree (as I said depends where you draw the line)but I wouldn't take it as an insult. If you want to accuse me of being heterosexual - damn right!

I haven't previously commented on the Vagina Dialogues but more than a few feminist critics think they are retrograde and negative. From what I have read of the content of the play I think I would agree. Maybe a better approach would be to encourage Nollywood to address the issue. You can make a movie for N1.5-3.0m and reach far more people. Seems more cost effective and socially appropriate/relevant to me. They have made some excellent movies about negative traditional practices. They need to do more.

Devil's Advocate

Jeremy 10:50 am  

Using Nollywood to explore the theme of DV/SV is an excellent suggestion. Have you noticed that many Nollywood films portray men as weaklings? Its usually: oga-guy heads up office owned by wife's parents. Oga-guy has a baby with a girlfriend back in the village. Confrontation btw girlfriend and wife. Guy loses everything but ends up back with village woman. In other words, simple morality tales, aimed at a female audience.

Anonymous,  11:16 am  

I think using Nollywood is an excellent idea to explore some of these issues. There are some Nollywood where you do see violence against women, but they are not explicitly about raising consciousness about the issue. But I think we need a variety of approaches - VM is one way, posters, ad campaigns is another.

"I am not bothered but as soon as they jump in my face and start shouting it then that's another thing". I too I am not bothered about Yorubas, so long as they don't live next to me carrying on with their owambe parties. DV, surely your statement, my counter-statement is wrong and deeply problematic. Don't you see it?

Emmanuel.K.Bensah II 11:45 am  

I am a Ghanaian--born in Ghana, but spent a good twenty-plus years in Brussels, Belgium thanks to my Dad's work as an int'l civil servant. Have been back home in Ghana since August 2004, when I started working in one of the leading NGOs on the continent (int'l trade/mining/etc..)...

just a little background...

I think TRAE raises some interesting points about BlackLooks. I do not seek to make this a witch-hunt, but I don't get the impression that she is as respectful as she can be; I made an accusation about Global Voices some weeks back. She defended it. I explained--on her blog even, with an apology and clarification.

She DID NOT bother to send a rejoinder or reminder. What, she better than me, or what just because the BBC has interviewed her before??? She's living in Spain or something?? I donno. Whatever it is, my respect for her ALSO went down--as much as I appreciate the work she does for GV.

In any event, as far as I am concerned, it was an error of judgement. As for this post, which I uncovered thanks to Global Voices, I couldn't believe that a Westerner could be SO conversant with Nigerian quirks lke that; was rather impressive.

What did not impress me was the post. It DID sound condescending, and, frankly, I was annoyed. I am a West African after all, and working where I am, anad having been many times at the butt of Westerners taking the Michael, as the Brits would say, I was royally pissed.

I can see that Jeremey's view should definitely NOT be dissed, but neither do I think he should give himself too much carte blanche to operate what some might perceive as racisst comments for the sake of artistic license, as it were.

Does cultural relativism come to anyone's mind?

I have never met Jeremy, and I don't think I am coming to Nigeria any time soon, but I suspect -- based from this post -- that Jeremy might just harbour some furtive racist sentiments without being aware.

He is obviously well-educated, and I hasten to say that I have not read ALL his posts, but let's face it, if you are a Westerner living in a developing country, there are CERTAIN things you have to be cognisant of--and these things manifest themselves in what I like to think is respect for the indigens of those countries. That is not to say you don't criticise, or even offer constructive criticism, but couch certain things in a way that WILL NOT rub those who have welcomed you into ther country the wrong way.

I think it's just common sense.

Let me put it on record that if I had known about blogging all those years back in Brussels, I would have BLASTED to high-heaven the narrow-mindedness of the Belgians--not to mention their racism. However, I guess being a black man, whilst I might have been considered racist, I had many other people -- even Europeans -- who could have backed me up over the Belgian's subtle racism.

Regrettably, I chose to write them in college papers, instead.

To the point, in Belgium, I was the under-dog, so I could complain freely. But when a Westerner is in the putative, or so-called, under-dog's country, he just has to be a little more sensitive to his titles and his views!!!.

I will never believe that racism is receding -- you go to Russia as a black man and see! -- but I think if we all made efforts where
we create situations where the card is not pulled arbitrarily,
the better for all of us!!

Jeremy 12:14 pm  

Hi Emmanuel. Thanks for your post. While I am aware that even the most liberal, progressive person can have unconscious racism at work in their psyche, I fail to see how any of my posts exhibit racism. Having examined race as critically as I can from the time of my PhD on (ie for the past ten years), I think I'm relatively race aware. But being white, there are certain skin privileges that I cannot avoid, no matter what my views or what I write in my blog. Being white in an African country is a highly complex and problematic experience. One is over-celebrated AND over-criticised before one decides to speak.

So I would welcome your highlighting any aspects of unconscious racism in my blog. Criticism is hard to take, but necessary. We can all make mistakes in our writing, and I'm sure I make a few quite often.

On the other hand, I am also well aware of using racism/colonialism as a silencing strategy - and its a tired and weak form of argument I refuse to bow down to. The same goes for arguments based on respect for culture. Remember, the argument that a white foreigner has no right to speak on African issues is the exact equivalent of saying that Africans have no right to voice their experiences of living in the West. While I have a huge amount of respect for many Nigerians/other Africans I have been fortunate to meet here in Nigeria, this does not translate into respect for everything that goes on. There is a thin if not blurred line between respect for respect's sake and complicity in unethical practices. Should a westerner not speak out against FGM on the basis of cultural respect for instance? If Hafsat is right and violence against women IS the socio-cultural norm in certain spaces, should one respect it? I could mention many more examples but this would stray from the point.

It sounds like you had some unpleasant experiences in Belgium. I agree with you that racism is not going away quickly in the West - if anything, it is getting worse (we have only to think of New Orleans last year). But please do not project those experiences onto every white person. Just as there are all kinds of Africans, so too there are all kinds of Europeans. The struggle for decolonisation and development in Africa needs all the friends it can get (there are enough enemies out there).

Peace and solidarity..

Anonymous,  12:53 pm  

Hi Emmanuel,

You touched a nerve that about Jeremy's tacit racism. I have been reading his blog for a while. Most of the time I agree with his insights and i have noticed that those I disagree with, I am quick to accuse him of unconscious racism. He grates at me because he dare expose us and then I dismissing him in my head by calling him a racist. Yet, when I revisit his texts I can't truly see where his racism gets displayed. I know that I am always searching for it so that I can throw it back at him. I know that for people like jeremy accusation of racism can hurt them because they are trying to unlearn their racism. So in my moments of annoyance with him I want to lash at him.

I guess, I living in the West, I see all white people, even asians as racists before they even display it. The other day I was having an argument with a really close of mine who is white and he said something that I thought was off the limit and I instantly accused him of racism (in public) in the presence of other black people. Everyone looked at me, but no one said anything. My friend continued his argument undetered. Two of the black people (one of them is a race relations type officer) called me aside and really told me off for mis-using and mis-naming racism. They told me that they were sick of black people like who go around accusing all white people of racism when it is not even there. They told me that people like me actually demage all their anti-racist work throwing accusation of racism. I was reminded that the battle against racism has been fought by both white and black, Indians and Chinese and I should be careful not to mis-name all white people's critique as examples of racism, even as racism is a reality for all black people.

Now that discussion really humbled me. I had to apologise to my friend at the end. But you know what he said: I understand. You were just lashing out. I know that as a white person I have unconscious racism as a white person. We are all affected by it in one way or another. The way you hold on tightly to your purse when you come and visit me in the Bronx. But I knew in that moment I was not a racist, you were just losing the argument.

emmanuel, I am not saying the same thing applies to you, I am just asking us not to mis-name our experience or what we see. If Jeremy appears to be racist, let him know so that he can check himself. If we throw accusations of racism on friends like him without telling him where he is going wrong we lose valuable friends. The African World certainly need more friends than enemies. Just like feminists need male friends to work among other men to push the cause.



Olawunmi 3:15 pm  

i don't see what all the shouting is about. personally i think jeremy's interpretation of Hafsat's comments was far too narrow and constricting. she could not have condoned wife-beating if she clearly stated that "There are many ways that women can be submissive to their husbands but not by getting beaten..."

that sounds like a clear condemnation of wife beating to me.

but why are people so keen to jump on jeremy's exercise of his right to speak freely? surely there are ways to point out an error without resorting to personal attacks and petty insults?

one would hope that as adults we would be able to disagree without becoming enemies... jeremy might have got this wrong, but he still deserves to be treated with respect.

Anonymous,  3:32 pm  

I would like to reply to anonymous but I don't know if he/she/it/them/you are all the same person or not.

If you want to be anonymous then please add somekind of fake and cowardly ID at the bottom of your comment - like I do.


That aside. Yeah, anonymous, maybe we are getting a little out of control but you have to look at where that thread started. Godfrey Daniel made a statement that 'Recognising that homophobia is a perversion is not homophobia.' I am not sure about that yet, depends how far you take it. 'He/she is a pervert lets kill him' or 'He/she is a pervert let him get on with it in the privacy of his own home.' Big difference here...

Of course I am a bit mischievious and yabbed him about it and here we are now.

I looked at his comment again whilst researcing to reply to your comment and am still convinced that there is a teeny weeny touch of racism there. Certainly more than I have seen from Jeremy and I have read a lot more of his stuff than Mr Daniel's. I might be wrong though...I have already apologised though and the apology stands - for now.He still hasn't explained himself - although he ain't obliged to!

As for Nollywood there are some female producers around (Bukky Wright, Rosemary Ingbi (spelling?) etc.). Maybe I will have a chat with them and and see what we can come up with. But does anyone have the cash?

I think it might be more appropriate and fitting than this:

"The buffoonish hooting and hollering incited by Ensler's supposedly naughty play is really the hysterical desperation of aging women who have never come to terms with the cruel realities of nature and who cannot face the humiliating fact that, despite their accomplishments, they will always be culturally swept away by the young and beautiful. That in the year 2001 the group chanting of crude four-letter words for female genitalia is viewed as some sort of radical liberation implies that the real issue in the "Vagina Monologues" isn't male oppression but bourgeois repression -- the malady of the dainty, decorous professional class that was created in the first century after the Industrial Revolution" An extract from a critical view of VM.

Devil's Avocate

Emmanuel.K.Bensah II 4:00 pm  

Jeremy, I want to thank you for the very subtle and respectful manner in which you have responded to the criticism, which MANY would have riposted rather wildly.

I agree that it is tired hat accusing Westerners of racism, just because they are white--and have an opinion. FGM should not go un-talked about because it might touch nerves; you are very right.

The point I guess I wanted to make was about respect, but I think the point you raise answers that. We are in a globalised village, exposed to a number of issues and ideas that we never thought we would be.

Even black "Westerners" have attitudes which one could construe as racist, so for you to be as audacious as this and write so explicitly about Nigerian idiosyncracies is...rather refreshing.

Alll I was saying is just to remember that at times, you might offend, so to be careful--NOT to stifle your debate on any issues you have.

I have a problem where even those of my colleagues who are as "well-educated" as I am may not understand the quirks that I "learnt" from the West, such as eating salad when I should be eating my own home food of gari, whatever:-) It's that astounding, I tell you!!!:-)

More seriously, thank you for this blog, and I do hope that you manage to accept criticism well when it comes your way, but prepare for some volatilities, as it were:-) from my hot-blooded West African neighbours...and then some:-)

That you have 56 comments here speaks volumes about the interest that one small article has generated, and I think that is a feather in the cap of your contribution to the blogosphere.

Have a good day!!

Kemi,  4:28 pm  

I notice that all of those who have accused Jeremy of some kind of racism have failed to point out exactly what he said that was racist.

I don't think it is a co-incidence that they are all men and write the longest and most incoherent comements.

There are too many people who cannot handle criticism from
1)Other races
2)Other genders.

You need to grow up and debate intelligently.

Anonymous,  5:01 pm  

Sense of humour also seems to be lacking in many cases...

Devil's Advocate

Anonymous,  6:10 pm  

Visited Nneka's World. Hmmm some spicey stuff there bordering on racism (amongst the comments) and in some cases crossing the line.

Lots of 'us' and 'them' stuff. Liked the 'we' are smarter than 'them' stuff - that's so true - look at the difference. Nigeria is paradise compared to 'their' place. Never mind that 'we' are suffering out 'there' whilst our mates are enjoying our great democratic paradise of Naija!

Sorry to drag this onto your blog J but good to spread things aroun a bit.

I do wonder sometimes...

Devil's Advocate

Anonymous,  5:14 am  

My name is Duduyemi and I am a Nigerian. I have read so much nonsense here that I simply have to weigh in. I live in Nigeria, and I thank God for this blog.

"Respect" has no place in discussions about social improvements.

I criticize America all the time, and I don't show much respect when I do it. I just call it like I see it.

I don't go for this self-described "underdog" bull. Jeremy is the very opposite of a racist. He does not make special dispensations, either positive or negative, on account of anybody's race.

It is puerile and disgusting to try to tar him with that brush. It brings shame on the person who says it, actually. Read the archives of this blog, and I dare you to show me a more honest, ethical and enlightened writer on life in Nigeria. There are others that might be his equal, but I have seen none that are better. To even mention the word "colonialism" is a stinky shame to the one who brought it up.

Nigerians are very good at silencing critics, especially critics who are right. Nigerians silenced Soyinka, they silenced Gani, they silenced Fela. All those people were "celebrated", sure, but the attitude was always that they were too extreme, that we should just manage with things as they were.

I believe in respect towards individuals, but not respect if we are talking frankly about the structures of societies. We are not children. If there's anyone who doesn't want to play by the rules of enlightened discourse, pick up your damn toys and GO HOME. We don't need your kind around here anymore.

Onward Naija!


(p.s. Props to Hafsat for many years of wonderful work, and for many more years to come. But for her to suggest that women should be submissive to men- dat one na total no no. I would have the same reaction if someone said something like, "Whites should beat or lynch blacks, but the blacks should be submissive. It's the natural order of things." Hell no.)

Jeremy 11:19 am  

Hi Duduyemi. I think you made a good suggestion - replacing 'woman' with 'black' in the offending passage from the interview - it highlights what I found most problematic in the affirmation of submission doctrine:

"There are many ways that blacks can be submissive to whites but not by getting beaten. There is a publication that talks about violence against blacks. It shows how many blacks have been killed by whites and in some cases by their children. While there is a general belief that many of our cultures condone black-beating, I doubt if there is any culture that condones the killing of a black. Even from my religious understanding, a black’s life is from God and you don’t have the right to take his life. But many whites, all in the name of correcting their blacks, end up causing them harm."

When switched to a discussion about race, we start to see more clearly that submission doctrine is about ownership and power of men over women. Before any actual violence against women, there is the belief that women can be violated. For the belief that women can be violated by men to exist, there has to be an underlying agreement that men have the RIGHT to violate women. This sense of entitlement comes from the submission doctrine propagated by the mushroom evangelical churches ('the woman should submit to the man as Jesus submits to the Church' blah blah- in essence, a statement that men have dominion and complete control over women - the wife is 'chattel' to the man. The symbolic violence of submission doctrine directly leads to violence against women. Now that is what was so contradictory and problematic about what was said in the interview. It is interesting in this respect to examine different attitudes to submission doctrine between muslim and christian women..

sokari 7:38 pm  

Emmanuel Bensah. I did not respond to your comment on my blog because I only read it 10 minutes ago. My God I cannot believe this - "you dont want this to be a witch hunt"! Look no one has to read my blog - its not by force as they say. What has this got to do with interviews on the BBC or elsewhere? It seems to me that there are a lot of people out there who have a problem with me working for Global Voices - sad. Believe me if it wasnt for that job I would not even be visiting half the blogs I write about.

laspapi 9:43 am  

Respect to the Hybrid.

Wandered onto your blog when I came across a link to the interesting title, "...1956 in Nigeria".

Firstly, I'm Nigerian, male,I live here, and I write/produce stage plays.
It helps with interpretation.

I agree with Olawunmi's opinion that your interpretation of Hafsat's comments, was far too narrow and constricting. I do not think you can surmise from Hafsat's words that she undermines her work by holding the view that women should be submissive to their husbands or that it can be inferred that those words support domestic violence in any sort of way.

You seem to have a problem with the view that women should be corrected by their husbands- Regardless of my personal opinion on that issue, I should let you know, it is a cultural thing, and it is apparent that is the reason you don't get it.

For a long time, I used to wonder why the leading actor in Hollywood productions never tried to physically stop his wife/lover who had caught him cheating and who was bent on leaving. No matter how much he begged her as she packed her bags, he would never try to restrain her by holding her hand. He would almost always, stand sadly to one side and watch her go. Over there, holding her hand even as you begged could be considered false imprisonment as well as criminal assault (I'm a lawyer too), here you'd just be seen as "begging". I didn't get it for a long while because it was a cultural thing.

The reason homosexuals don't kiss themselves openly on Nigerian streets as can be found in "developed nations", is because the culture here doesn't permit it. (Not that it permits heterosexuals to do it)

Now the reason you and I don't get some things on either side is because the fact that the butterfly has wings doesn't make it a bird.

The fact that you frown on the notion of women being corrected by men, does not make it wrong.
Men correct women and vice versa but still, even here, the hand that rocks the cradle rules...Women have their ways.

Val found the title derogatory. I've seen worse things on TV, Britons talking about Britain, Americans about America, so let it stand.

ngozi,  5:42 pm  

correct his wife...yet if she says a word to him about his habits, then she'll 1. be a bad wife 2. be a bad wife who forces her husband to cheat because she doesn't worship the ground he works on c. be beaten, but hey at least she doesn't get killed. what a relief-

ngozi,  6:02 pm  

DUDUYEMI THANK YOU FOR BREAKING IT DOWN!!!. All these men coming up in here and defending hafsat, and criticising jeremy for not agreeing that women should be submissive. IT IS STILL 1956 in NIGERIA. HELL, IT IS STILL THE MIDDLE AGES!! WHEN WILL NIGERIAN MEN STOP SUPPORTING SUBMISSION AND OPPRESSION OF WOMEN!!!

grace,  10:54 pm  

Laspapi, then what do you say to nigerian women who believe the submission doctrine subordinates women to men, is sexist and condescending? It is easy to go after a foreigner criticizing men "correcting" their wives, okay so how about a Nigerian woman now? Nigerian men (and women who subscribe to patriachal thinking) have no business hiding behind "culture" (what you mean is tradition). "Culture" once dictated in certain tribes that twin babies should be abandoned in the forest. I hope you are not a twin.

If you really think men have authority over their wives enough to correct them (to the point where someone has to caution them not to use violence in their discipline) and not vice versa, what you are also saying is that all men are wiser, smarter and more knowledgeable than all women, hence husbands should keep their wives in line. I wonder how patriachal men can ever have a reciprocal loving relationship with a woman, with all that domination-submission nonsense. A woman is not a child!

Anonymous,  9:11 am  

But grace, for many of these men (and women), women are indeed children. They are part of their chattel. The irony of this is that many of these people claim to be anti-colonialist and anti-slavery, yet the fundamental tenet of slavery/colonialism is that Africans are savages, children, property, animals you can do as you wish with and they subscribe to it. They don't see the interconnection between slavery/colonialism and patriarchy and homophobia. Even what they consider as culture or tradition are themselves unstable and open to manipulation. They don't see the root of violence and power in submission. If we don't wipe out the will to submit, we will never eradicate violence against women, animals, different race, ethnic or religious groupings.

I am in early 20s, a Nigerian woman and I totally find Hafsat's statement deeply problematic and offensive as many of my friends here on campus. But there is no outlet for us to express this and public denounce such statement. A few of us wrote to the offending newspaper last week and nothing was published this week. Thats the way life goes. people with connection get to speak for the rest of us.

Hafsat case is not unique, here at my uni, we have a female lecturer who teaches us about feminism and open us to issues of patriarchy, male sexism and violence, yet she also tells that we must submit to our husband. I use to really respect her but not anymore. how can she. She is giving out missed messages. She is always doing all this consultancy work on violence against women yet she thinks women should submit to their husband.


Nick 12:16 pm  

I'm surprised how Jeremy's slipped up in his logic. He accuses hafsat of 'condoning wife-beating' whereas the very quotation that he cites says that physical violence by men against their wives is wrong, thus condemning not condoning wife-beating. And that makes it clear that hafsat's earlier observation that 'there is a general belief that many of our cultures condone wife-beating' is a simple statement of fact - that belief does exist and is pretty general - and not a statement of support for wife-beating. I think Jeremy got tempted by the enjoyable polemic of being able to say "... but killing women is going a little too far" and therefore ignored the logical point above which he's quite capable of understanding.

But I agree with Jeremy about submissive wives - as the husband in question I can assure you that neither of us is submissive! Or maybe both of us are. Same thing for correction, my recollection is that we correct each other. And maybe the sub-editor slipped up, I certainly never said "He said that now that I am his wife, I have to cook and do stuff like that", well, I may have said 'do HALF the cooking and stuff like that'!

I think hafsat's right though to try to present the arguments in a way that people will hear and listen to, I'm sure that her getting vagina monologues staged in Nigeria (and getting the proceeds to go to a refuge for battered women) does more to help prevent (and cope with) violence against women than any number of pure discourses that set out to be as clear as possible and trash prevailing attitudes rather than helping people move on.

Nick Costello

Anonymous,  3:38 pm  

My goodness, a whole load of discussion this VM has generated. Interesting. It is coming to Lagos and I cannot wait to see it.

I think bringing VM to Naija and giving proceeds to women's refuge is an excellent idea. And congrats to Hafsat.

I also read the article and was a bit suprised, but felt it was riddled with too many contradictions to merit any serious attention. I guess that's a failing on my part.

To Nick Costello. I don't think bringing VM to nigeria is more important than engaging in 'pure discourses' as you seems to be implying. Discourses are part and parcel of bringing about changes in any society.

The age old argument that people who are actually out doing something practical are helping to change things is true and undeniable. But many changes often starts at the discursive level. Like one of the commentators note, we need talkers, dreamers, doers, and all kinds of people. The doers must not be elevated over the talkers and the dreamers. They require each other.


Monef 1:55 am  

I know this comment is kinda late in the game but i just couldn't resist. I agree with evrything Jeremy said, it was an accurate and much needed critique of that interview. However, I'm not too keen on the title, because the implication is that submission doctrine does not exist in the developed world and we all know that isn't true. The domestic violence statistics for married couples in spain and the legislation and support they receive is shocking. This is a world wide problem

Anonymous,  4:27 am  

Late?! Wait until you read this. I read the blog with utmost interesting. I must confess that I find it really entertaining. The plus is that I was able to improve my vocabulary as well. The lessons to be learn are:

* Overassumption can cause you trouble
* Becareful of choice of words (I might be committing the same crime now) especially sensitive words like "racism". I hear the word thrown around a lot in the US when the act doesn't exist. What do I care? You can do whatever pleases you. When I get bored, I will return to my country. The most cases I've seen the word used is to make excuse for someone's inadequacy. That's unfair!
* Men too need some liberation (from what?) From our so-called tradition/culture

I suppose I am a new generation man may be still a little bit backward in my thinking. The often quoted verse in the Bible about women submission clearly states what is expected of each person. The man is to love and the woman is to submit. So, what's the demonstration of love in beating your wife? I have had an occasion to throw a punch at a woman before after an undue provocation (you know, some women are that lousy). Normally, I would simply walk away from such but I guess the "african male ego" took me over. But alas, I felt really bad about it afterwards.

If every party takes his assigned duty of loving and submitting seriously, we would have a lot less problem. However, most Nigerian men will only support the part that favors them and ignore the other.

Surprisingly enough, some women have come to accept battery in good faith. They see it as the evil that they must endure for being married! Well, I won't be surprised if some even believe that being beaten by their husband is a show of love and affection, may be as a prelude to love making! (lol)

Excuse my "broken" English, it is not my language. I am just managing.

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