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Towards Decolonizing the Female Mind

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Lilian Ohanedozi

Towards Decolonizing the Female Mind

 

There is need for change in Africa. There is need for the African woman to unlearn certain habits imbibed from childhood through parental and societal trainings anchored deeply on patriarchal postulations. This is imperative especially in raising the modern day child to avoid the transference of such negative traits to the younger generation if we are to create a better world for Africans. We need to decolonize our minds. Take for instance the girl child is not raised to see herself as a sexual being; we see sex as something only men should enjoy. We raise girls who are rigid in bed because exploring sexual positions will make her look like a slut. This is wrong. Let females know that they deserve sexual satisfaction as much as men. There’s nothing wrong with telling your husband that you’re not satisfied or that you want him to go for another round. There’s nothing wrong with telling him where to touch you. If you want it harder then tell him harder. Your husband should please you as much as you please him. It’s sad that a lot of women don’t know what orgasm is and some of them may die without knowing because a lot of men are selfish in bed. Women are raised see sex as something we participate in, something that however the man does it we should be okay. While contentment is good, know that there’s nothing wrong in wanting sexual satisfaction. Let men learn how to please their wives in bed. Don’t just go in and go out; carry her along, ask her what she wants. Try different positions.

 

Also in raising girls in Africa our mothers conditioned them to endure abuse in silence just to avoid “what people will say”. Girls were raised to see marriage as the climax of their lives hence the popular saying “a woman without a husband is nothing”. This is the reason a woman is expected to remain in marriage regardless of how reckless or abusive her partner is. Violence has been normalised to the point that parents counsel their daughters against divorce simply because of violence. It doesn’t matter that most women have lost their lives through violence from abusive partners. We should stop insulting and demeaning the achievements of single women and single mothers. We need to decolonize our minds.

 

We need to stop this. We need to raise the girl child to pursue a career or a business and if marriage happens, fine; if not, they should still be complete. Parents should stop counselling their daughters to avoid anything that will destroy their marriage. Infidelity has been normalised for men but not for women. This is wrong.

 

We counsel women to pray for their cheating husbands but do we tell men not to cheat? Pastors are eager to preach submission of wives to husbands but don’t take time to tell men what love is because inside love is submission and you don’t hurt who you claim to love.

 

We teach women to stand by their husbands but we don’t teach men to not betray their wives. This is why a lot of women are lost in marriages because the institution is structured to favour the man and not the woman. This needs to change

 

Today men are happy to share the bill; they all want a working class or business lady but they don’t want to share the chores. They want a woman who would work and still do all the house chores while they pretend not to notice. This needs to change.

 

It’s time we raised children differently. Women should unlearn the old patriarchal values and instead start practising what promotes balance, fairness and equity. Start early to teach both the boy and the girl child to do house chores; teach them the importance of team work. Teach them the importance of money; let them work during holidays to earn and to learn. Teach the girl child that male sexual deviance is not normal and any man who is a rapist should be abhorred and not tolerated, teach her that any man who beats a woman is not worthy to be a husband. Teach her to chose her life first before considering whatever anybody has to say. Let her know that there’s hope for the living not the dead. Teach her that marriage is not a do or die affair. Teach her that in as much as challenges occur now and then, marriage is to be enjoyed not endured. Teach her that there’s dignity in labour therefore she should strive first for financial independence and never depend on a man to put food on her table. Let her know that marriage is team work therefore it is not the sole responsibility of a man to cater for the family. Teach her to be a contributor not a consumer.

 

Teach the male child that being a man is not a license to abuse women. Tell him that there are many women in the world so he should chose one and close his eyes to the rest. Tell him that his penis is not gold so he should get a job and be responsible. Tell him not to raise his hands on any woman. Tell him that his wife is not a maid so he should do chores in his house and if he can afford it, employ a help to work in his home.

Tell him that being a man alone is not enough he must work to win the attention of his wife and work to keep that attention. Tell him that a leader is a servant and not a tyrant so wherever he finds himself in a position to lead be it in his family, business or place of work he should serve first. Tell him that he should not be a masquerade in his home. Teach him to respect women and to respect a woman’s choice. Teach him that sex is consensual and should not be obtained by force. Teach him to serve his creator; to serve God because nobody no matter how great can be bigger than His God, in service is humility, in humility is honour. Teach them…

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