A few months ago, one of our contributors spotted an interesting article by author Ekene Agabu ‘5 Mistakes Women Make‘, we obtained permission and republished it on BN, the response to the article was overwhelming! So many women commented that they were inspired and agreed with most of the contents. However, some folk especially our male readers did not feel the same. One of our readers, King Onoja has decided to respond and share his own perspective.
I do not make a habit of responding to everything I read or hear. There would be too much to do if I did that; what with the amount of information that flies around – on the radio, TV., cable television, internet – name it. Therefore, I generally have a disposition like President Yar’Adua. Ignore it.
However, there was something about Ekene Agabu’s article that made me compelled me to respond. Maybe because it was very well written, it was easy to understand and appreciate.
And even easier to disagree with.
This is because contrary to Ekene’s stated intention to express a male perspective, he failed to do so. More like, he joined a tradition that has become a rave in society – Male bashing.
Now, ladies, before you begin to vehemently disagree with me, I must say that I totally agree with Ekene on a number of issues. Chief among them being that there have been too many wrongs done against the female gender. For many centuries, there was such a systematic disparagement of the beautiful specie that is the female gender that it was difficult to completely appreciate their value and the massive contributions that they made to the world.
However, that was a long time ago. These days, many men have come to see women as partners rather than subordinates, as friends rather than foes, as contemporaries rather than inferiors. When articles like this are written, it ignores the contribution of such men to the empowerment of the female gender.
In the time it has taken for this to happen, there have been great and significant achievements by female folk. Women have moved from the backgrounds of the bedroom to the forefronts of the boardroom. They have become captains of industry and have staked a claim for themselves as successful bankers, lawyers, teachers, engineers and all that. In the battle of the sexes, women have won many victories. Rightly so, too. And I am elated for them.
On the downside, women have not won that most important of battles. They still do not have a formula to guarantee the success their relationships and interface with men, and despite all their best efforts seem not to be making headway. In frustration, or at least that is what I think it is, women have resorted to verbally bashing, denouncing, degrading, demeaning, debasing, humiliating and mortifying men. I am sure many men can add more adjectives to this list.
In the process, they have recruited some men like Ekene – men who have been able to find emotional success on a level and look down at other men who have not. Men who think that other men are incapable of finding or have a difficult time finding the same sort of success are lesser men, men who shroud themselves in a halo in an attempt to represent themselves as saints, free of the sins that women so dearly believe that all men have committed. And, that is just plain sad.
It is sad because, like Ekene, women fail to realize or to accept that men do not hold the formula to relationship success. They fail to see that each relationship succeeds on the basis of what the partners do for themselves. They fail to recognize that unless and until women and men do something to work their particular relationship out, nothing else matters.
They fail to discern that, like them, men are lost as well. Perpetually on the same journey as they are, looking for formulas that do not exist, strategies that are doomed to failure, making plans that will not work.
In so doing, they espouse statistics and theories like Ekene’s 5 Mistakes Women Make. And in such theories, they take time and have fun in generalizing most men as incapable and unworthy. Rather than give women reasons why their relationship should work and tips on what to do to keep their men, they give you reasons why they should not stay and tell you how to leave as quickly as possible.
The result is that, women, in seeking success and the perfect relationship, leave their men for stuff that could be worked out, for reasons that in the final analysis are almost fickle, for ego, fear and what have you. Makes the already sad state of affairs even sadder.
Now let me bring you to Ekene’s 5 mistakes women make and the faults therein.
In the preamble to stating the mistakes, Ekene gave an inventory of the ills that men have supposedly perpetrated against women. “Where we should have given, we took; where we should have loved, we lusted and where we should have preserved, we devoured.” He said.
I do not know about you, but I can swear that they are many men who can say the same about women. Men from whom there has been a taking instead of a giving, where there was a lusting instead of a loving, where there was a devouring instead of preservation.
The point here is that this is not an exclusive preserve of women alone. Men have suffered, are suffering and will suffer these things until the end of time. The reason why you never hear about them is that unlike women, society has taught men never to speak about their emotions and feelings, to hide them, shrouded in secrecy, never given vent to, never proclaimed. That is story for another day.
That is the problem with the entire article. The notion proclaimed therein that in relationship matters only women hold the short end of the stick, only women suffer the negative effects, only women lower their personal standards, make excuses for their spouses, look for something in a bag of nothings, think that she has to have his baby and believe that they are the only ones under pressure.
Under each topic, he goes on to tell women why they should not do this and not do that without really telling them what to do to help ensure that their relationship is successful. I say help because women, like men, cannot on their own and of their own accord make their relationship work. Or fail.
Like many people before him, he does this without taking into cognizance the facts and extenuating circumstances of each relationship. Without realizing that no matter the amount of statistics and/or theories you throw at a relationship, it will only succeed as long as the two people in it work for it to succeed. That no partner to a relationship, whether male or female, should do the work alone. That when every relationship fails, the women as much as the men are to blame.
Ekene joins people like Beyonce to confuse women by their exposition of theories. Standing from some rather misconceived hallowed ground many such people give a long list of reasons why they should not stay in relationships without first looking at where they themselves stand.
In singing her song “Put a ring on it…” Beyonce tries to convince women to leave their men and look for others to forge ahead with if he does not marry them on time despite the fact that she waited for several years for her man to marry her.
In the song “Independent Woman”, she proclaims to women to pursue success on their own devoid of reliance on men despite the fact that one of her most motivating figures is her father (who doubles as her manager) and that she depended on her then boyfriend, Jay-Z, for some of her hit songs.
In singing the song “No Scrubs” and “Bills, Bills, Bills”, TLC and Beyonce gave the impression that a man with no money, or not enough money or less money than a woman, is just not a man and is therefore not worth any sort of dalliance with. Is there any man that has had that song sang to him? Whether by words or actions? Can I get a witness?
Did any woman reading this get that impression? As a result of the impression did you follow it and refuse to date men not as financially well to do as you? Did that leave you in a better place? I would really like answers.
I am sure most men, perhaps even Ekene has a wife/girlfriend who has made excuses for him, had to adjust to him and his standards in some way and maybe was even or is even under pressure for the next step to be taken. That, my dear, is the way of the world.
The point that everybody- man, woman and child, should understand is that no particular gender holds the key to any relationship success or failure. It depends on the particular individuals involved and the manner in which they conduct themselves.
The sad state of affairs is that there are many terrible men out there. Men who plunder and pillage women. Who wreck hearts, lives, opinions, beliefs. Men who make even other men cringe. Who provide stuff of legend and bar tales.
But the truth is that there are women like that too. Who will stop at nothing to get what they want, who use men for sex as well, who pillage and plunder and make men do all the things that Ekene wrote in his article. Who have also done to many men what men have done to many women.
That being said, I will never subscribe to an opinion that says only women are the prize worth. The notion that no matter how hard I work, how well I treat my spouse, what I do to make myself an attractive option, the way I am with my children I will never be regarded as the crown over my wife’s head is unacceptable.
This is because there are good quality men out there. Men who are the stuff of dreams and romantic novels. Men who know how to treat a woman right, in the office, in the gym, on the streets, in public, in private, in bed. Many women will testify that they have met good men in the course of their life. Whether or not that relationship ended the way they desired is a different matter all together.
I will like to believe I am one of such men. And, I am surrounded by them. In my family, in the work place, on the street. Men to whose goodness I can testify.
That is not to say that I have not broken hearts, or caused a woman to lower her standards, or had a woman make excuses for me. But, I have also had my heart broken and have lowered my standards. I have searched in a bag of nothings for something. And I most definitely have made excuses.
All those things make us who we are and help define our lives because they happen to us all. Not just to women. But to men as well. There is indeed a ring of poetic justice to it all. As they say, what goes around comes around.