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In Response to “5 Mistakes Women Make” by Ekene Agabu | Will Men Ever get Fairer Representation?



A few months ago, one of our contributors spotted an interesting article by author Ekene Agabu5 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.

B8AJYKI 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.


  1. Tess

    October 8, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Good too i must say, but trust me Ekene was right all the way

  2. tele

    October 8, 2009 at 10:06 am

    i feel your pain my brother,i still believe there are still good men and women out there who will not bow to using others for their selfish advantage. let us try to bringing the best out of ourselves rather than hurting ourselves.

  3. kmplx

    October 8, 2009 at 10:57 am

    I must be honest and say, I really just skimmed Ekene’s article. It sounded too familiar – as is anything with sweeping generalisations about human beings.
    I really like your response, particularly the point about all humans being imperfect – it’s not gender-specific.

  4. uguysramazn

    October 8, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Well,there is always two sides to a coin!


    October 8, 2009 at 11:27 am

    This is a suitation where is impossible to speak but diffcult to be silent…
    We as individuals be it male or female should see our selves as brothers, sisters , friends and be the best we can be to others.

  6. Ayo

    October 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Rightly said, the art of male bashing is so glorified in this politically correct world we now live in, but the truth is that it takes two to tango

  7. mary

    October 8, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    My I do agree with you 100percent and for the records I am successfully married with two children. Its really up to the parties to make it work there are no theories or formulas. Men really suffer as much as women. Take the christain relationship expert Dr. Juanita Bynum who conselled thousands of women on relationship matters and how to make it successfull, she had no formula as her own marriage packed up , a relationship is not a one plus one matter or one minus one give you this or that! its about the two people, their abilty and effort involved to work at it. You made alot of valid points King. I was one of those people who disagreed with Ekene. When it comes to relationship there are no set ways its a journey without a map!

  8. Folu S

    October 8, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I completely agree. I have so much to say but it’s all jumbled up in my head.
    I understand where the writer is coming from and agree with him. No one is perfect. Women and men have been in the wrong and will continue to do so till the end of time. We have to learn to live with each other and to truly love each other. Just like I know horrible things men have done to women, I know of things done the other way as well.
    Everyone needs to make their own relationship work without letting outside forces influence them.

  9. Joy

    October 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    am just proud of our boy Kabiyesi (King)…WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND

  10. Success

    October 8, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    I agre wit u,bcos if u’r not in a situation u can neva be mata aw similar two situation mit be two people wil fell difrently abt it, bcos even identical twin ar difrent.therefor it’s wrong 4 anybody 2 generalize.

  11. Edowa

    October 8, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Too much shaft and not enough corn in this. Truly? I was expecting a listing and then thorough critic to the opposite of why Ekene should not have written what he did- this, I did not find.

    Good try though.

  12. brown sugar

    October 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    yes, i definitely agree with you.

  13. brown sugar

    October 8, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I felt the same exact way; i couldn’t even read the entire thing honestly.

  14. me (she)

    October 8, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    U’ve made a lot of sense. Iv met guys who are more vulnerable than women and do not hav the strength or will power to hide it. I’ve also met guys who seem to be “macho” but are really softies.
    Women are quick to show emotions and are thus seen as the cheated gender. The pendulum swings both ways. In the end… its all about life and its different experiences.

  15. silkywave

    October 8, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Very well said.. I have come to realise there is no theory to a successful relationship except asking God for daily wisdom on how to deal with things and issues that come up. Going by other ppl’s rules and stories will only help if applied with wisdom.

  16. Omozele

    October 8, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you for giving the other side to the coin. I wont say I agree or disagree with you. As a female, I will always stand by women empowerment. Do you know sir, that there have been countless research done to show that if a woman is empowered she and her family will not suffer? It has been proven countless times that women do hold the community together. Now dont get me wrong, I love men and I support men and I feel they are important to the society however are women given an equal playing field? My answer is No, afterall, there is still a huge unbreakable glass celing in most organizations hindering the woman from succeeding and or moving forward.

    You made mention of songs by Beyonce telling the woman to be Independent and responsible. I dont think there is anything wrong with a woman who does not depend on a man or her man for everything and anything. (Why do some men see this as a threat? ). I think the man should be a bit appreciative of the woman helping out with say bills for instance and doing whatever she can to keep— it could be the household or a relationship together; dont you see it that way?

    With regards to the notion of a man being taught not to show his emotions, well there are many women who dont show their emotions either who have also been taught to stay in abusive relationships in which the man goes out, brings another woman into the matrimonial home and disrespects her. For how long should we sit by with folded arms and let you take the little strength we have left? for how long must we remain quite while some of you rape our women and children we see you as a support piller yet you defile us, for how long do we sit by and watch you trample on our very existence? No sir, please dont feel bad because we have decided to stand up for ourselves and try to put an end to all the ills some of your “friends” have caused. We are no threat to you, we only seek to work in peace with you.

    There are many women who do use men but have you asked why these women behave this way? have you dug deep into her past to find out how she was brought up, who her father figures were (your father figure can be the society you live in as well)? Most of us are raped from as little as age 9 by the so called man of the house, be it biological or not, we build up strong walls in order to survive the harsh world, we grow up fast, learn fast and keep hurting as many men as we possibly can. Is this right? No in my opinion it isnt; have you tried to reach out to me, to help me, comfort and console me? No you havent then what are we talking about here? I dont condone irresponsibility but it will be nice if some men do take responsibilities for their actions.

    Please for the sake of peace let us all get along.

  17. Kane & Abel

    October 9, 2009 at 7:53 am

    neither emeka nor king has told us anything new…or said it any better than we’ve heard before. but for stringing along such words in a composition that is read and understood by all, i say well done.

  18. emeka

    October 9, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Nice one man..everything in life isn’t black and white.Like i always say,its a huge grey area.To hold a view that the success of a relationship is dependant on one party is takes two to make it really work.Thanks for pointing these things out.

  19. diva

    October 9, 2009 at 11:31 am

    this doesnt do nything for me. i’m sorry i disagree 100%

  20. FRAUDS

    October 9, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    First of all this site should be arrested for plagiarism.Someone had commented on that but Bella Naija team deleted that comment.You are presenting someone’s work as yours with this article-Go figure. Bella you need to realize this is a public forum and as long as you are making money off this site due to the number of traffic and hits you get, then it seizes to be about you anymore, the consumers have a say.Just the same way Unilever cannot act the way they want beacuse they own the compnay,, you have to consider stakeholders.You just go around deleteing comments that you do not wa o.We naija folks are something else, can u imagine using someone else’s work like this…it’s the same way Tara Durotoye is using the noted American Make-up Artist Sam Fine’s picture as part of her brand element.I fear una!

  21. ladi

    October 9, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    na wa! Didnt they cite the author’s name? That was the first thing I saw and Bella usually includes links.

  22. arin

    October 9, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Seriously where is the evidence of the so-called plagiarism that they should be arrested for? did you write the article? oya tell us more.
    I actually googled the article and only bella naija has it online so I am guessing ‘frauds’ is just another attention seeker. It is actually in very bad taste to falsely accuse anyone

  23. silver

    October 10, 2009 at 12:40 am

    yeah me too….

  24. silva

    October 10, 2009 at 12:55 am

    i thnk d funniest part was using d songs, seriously! he shld knw by now dat musicians dn’t sing songs dat are direct reflections of their lives, if nt some1 wn’t be singing of being happy and single and being madly in love in d same album… and at d time beyonce sang ‘single ladies’ she was engaged…if u listen 2 single ladies veri well u’ll get her mssg clearly..
    yes, there r terrible women out there, bt there r more terrible men. there r more unfaithful male partners out there dan female, bcos society is more forgiving towards men, infact in our society an unfaithful husband is nt enof to cause a woman to leave her home…
    i love Ekene’s article. he’s one of d few men out there who are nt afraid to point out all d rongdoins of his sex…so maybe some of u brodas feel let dwn by him, i dunno. bt i dn’t agree wit u completely…
    you hv a pnt though, there’s no formula for a perfect relationshp, and no sex holds d key, ur def rite on dat one…

  25. Honey-pot

    October 10, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    So what is this dude’s point? I don’t see any tangible point in this article that supports his opposition to what Ekene wrote. I still think Ekene is right in his article and this dude with inferiority complex is scared that guys like Ekene will give women back their self respect and self esteem which people like him have pillaged and downtrodden, and will be left with nothing (e.g. free-sex-no-commitment, layabout-life-let-the-lady-pay-mentality, etc.). Mr. Onoja please the next time you pick up word processor to bash Ekene’s article have some serious points ready to argue your point because this is empty of sense.

  26. GamGam

    October 11, 2009 at 8:22 am

    i seriously dont like the way this article interpretes Beyonce’s songs. You have it all wrong.

  27. tatafo!

    October 12, 2009 at 1:48 am

    20 gbas for this article o jare. I feel king onoja. men that act in the way Ekene desrcibed are small minded and bad eggs. I don’t think it’s fair to paint all men in that light which is exactly what King said. It takes mutual respect, compromise and hardwork to make a relationship work not suspicion.

  28. fab 5

    October 12, 2009 at 8:50 am

    There’s really no need to be insultive U know. He’s a happily married man who has a lot of love and respect for his wife and is fully committed to the success of his marriage. It will most likely be a person like U that has low self esteem that will need people like Ekene to prop U up. U even admit it

  29. Jenny

    October 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    hmmm…. this article is nice. Y’all stop the hating. thats his perspective and everyone is entitled to that. its ok to disagree too byt bashing, name calling and insulting is just wrong.
    Nice one ekene, some of these songs can be misleading especially in naija where people follow the band wagon most of the time.

  30. Michelle

    October 15, 2009 at 4:23 am

    For the record, Beyonce didn’t wait for years for her man (Jay-Z) to may her. HE waited for her. He asked her to marry him twice before saying yes the 3rd time.

  31. Michelle

    October 15, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Sorry, I meant to say “marry her”.

  32. sweethix!

    October 19, 2009 at 6:39 am

    funny enough…… i love this article….. men are really better concealers of their feelings… and many times theyre hurting and we aint know!!! ive been hurt, ive hurt ppl… we shall see the end result.

  33. Onoja

    October 26, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I never really respond to stuff but the extent of the aggression is not only unnecessary it is offensive. Very much so. I’m very much committed to my family and will ask that U respect that. More than that, if U feel that it is politically correct to generalise abuse in the name of getting back ur self esteem and self respect then U’re a really pathetic case and need therapy. What you’re doing only goes to illustrate my point.
    That I insist that I will not be part of a generalisation of people does not give U any right to say the things U have said. Its just like saying every Nigerian is a criminal or is a 419er

  34. Sav

    June 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    My my, king Onoja… u had my heart when I started reading your article. I agreed and sympathised with you…

    All up until you started the Beyonce and Scrubs analogies… I think you interpreted their songs wrongly, as do many others. Just as some guys don’t deserve to be called scrubs (currently low earning, ambitious, & hardworking ones), there are those that are totally deserving (currently low earning, unambitious & lazy surds). Likewise with the ring situation…

    I believe men and women are and can never be equals… from the onset, we are physically different… Regardless, we all deserve the same opportunities and chances in life.
    Instead of concentrating our efforts on which sex is wrong or right, we need to look at each person as an individual, responsible for their actions and decisions. If someone does something wrong, it’s because of who they are as an individual, and not what sex they belong to.

    …my own 2 cents.

  35. nwanyi na aga aga

    January 16, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Even though I read this late, I feel that I must tell you something KIng onoja dear, I feel your article was all words without substance, if you disagreed with Ekene what you would have done was pick his points one by one and present your counter arguement. I didnt see anywhere in the article were Ekene bashed men or generalised,apart from his opening & closing points which everyone knows its a cliche all women use. what he did was pick out bad situations and point out to we women what we do to aggravate or condone it. I guess He must have highlighted one in which you were guilty and it struck a wrong cord. Your rejoinder on Beyonce and her songs are at best laughable, You said beyonce depended on JayZ, pray did he bring her to the limelight? what he did was support her and encourage her to grow, which was one of the points Ekene brought out. If a man cannot support your ideas and allow you expand then he is definitely not the man for you, that doesnt make him a bad man. So I will advice you read Ekene’s article again and see that its not male bashing, its just an advice for women to keep us in track. Simple.

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