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Regina Askia Williams: Does an Unmarried Woman Have No Identity?

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Regina Askia Williams
Famed Nollywood actress of 90s and early 2000s Regina Askia Williams released on her official Facebook page, an article on a woman’s identity.

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I just read a social media fight between two people I know and I chuckle to myself because my friend was blowing some hot words there – she was really vexed.

Reading through the literary missiles, a few questions came to mind. Why is it that, generally when Nigerians fight their profanity centers around a woman’s marital status, her age and to top off the insults, her private parts? Are these the yardsticks that we measure our women by? The marital status thing.

Does it mean when a woman is not married she has no identity, she is less of a person or what? For a Nigerian woman to get any type of respect there has to be a man in the picture in what ever capacity? So it does not matter if you are wife number 6 at least you are wife?

There is a vulgar saying that goes” Toto wey nobody get, na everybody get am”. For real? That pretty much means that a woman unattached is nothing but a mobile body part that anyone can do anything to or with…..chaaiii!! And so begins the race where mothers groom and condition their daughters to believe that their ultimate duty on Gods earth is to “find a man and born for am”.

I have often listened to educated folks down so much on women with comments like “They should have no say, after all they are going to get married off”, Women think with their butts not their heads and my respect meter for them swings all the way dooownnn!! When we have more respect for our women we will begin to do better as a society. If you want to know the quality of men in any society look at how the women of that society are being treated. Of course its not all Nigerians but there’s too many with this notion and something must be said.

The age factor. – Another sexist point of view. With notion of the one goal she must accomplish , the female now believes young and juicy is preference especially if you are at the other side of the biological clock and still have not found a man. So some of my soul sisters have designed a calibration where at 30. birthdays are celebrated every 3 years and at 40 every 4 years. Meaning if you are 30 you will turn 31 after 3 years ……so instead of kicking the other side of 40s with me my friends are mostly still 38. Where we could have fabulous and very accomplished women, celebrating milestones , sharing wisdom of lessons learned over the years, we have we see strong women dumbing down, hiding behind numbers, and an arsenal of paraphernalia that will ensure they don’t get old. Look at any photographs of big chicks at any event, we all look bothered. Why? Shoes are biting, wigs are squeezing, body magic trying to snuff out the last breath.

Sometimes we are dropping body parts, nails dropping , eye lashes hanging……..Lord have mercy. Check out the Leboutins, Louie Vuittons, Micheal Kors, name them, all in competition with the other as we live out social constructs designed to forever keep us mentally emotionally and even physically impoverished(How? Story for another day). We need to love and accept ourselves.

Finally, the woman’s private parts. The immediate way to gauge a persons mental quality is how he talks about a woman. It has nothing to with swag, bragado or just being a bad boy, a man who refers to a woman as a body part is quite simply an iIDIOT no if , ands, or buts, just keep it moving. I find it very disturbing that of the myriad of problems in Nigeria, there recently was a move to put in the constitution the legality of underage marriage as opposed to making laws against pedophiles. Its disturbing that what an individual decides to do with their private parts became a matter of national debate and outcry but HIV, malaria, food shortage and Ebola (currently knocking on our doors) are decimating the populace. These attitudes and perceptions of put out or shut up, money for hand back for ground are slowly turning our princess daughters into sex slaves, our turning our sisters and mothers into glorified prostitutes.

If you have ever watched a pack of animals – you notice that they eat, fight, mate and sleep. The more highly evolved the animal in question the more organized their activities and interactions with group members. If this is our national psyche, then the women of Nigeria have a long road to walk because we must declare this consciousness unacceptable. This is not who we are and we can do better. We must point our daughters towards higher ideals and goals. We need a mind reorientation and perception which must begin with an honest look at the person in the mirror.

Our men must once again learn to respect womanhood. Merit ought to take its place once again. Lets us as a people rise again. Where do we start??

76 Comments

  1. Chelle

    May 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

    … a man who refers to a woman as a body part is quite simply an iIDIOT no if , ands, or buts, just keep it moving. THIS SHOULD BE A CREED.

    • Wale

      May 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      For all genders! Women telling guys they have little Winnie’s should count-that is abusive as well.

    • Joan85

      May 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      Bruhhh! 🙂

    • Busarni

      May 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      @wale, sorry ooh! I can imagine the emotional torture you have been through. Jesus saves,kpele

  2. ejogene

    May 27, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Well spoken! Will be back to read the comments. Iyke and co over to you!

  3. waje

    May 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

    hahhahhaha well Lord have mercy! ” Shoes are biting, wigs are squeezing, body magic trying to snuff out the last breath” profound!
    “Its disturbing that what an individual decides to do with their private parts became a matter of national debate and outcry but HIV, malaria, food shortage and Ebola (currently knocking on our doors) are decimating the populace.” “slowly turning our princess daughters into sex slaves, our turning our sisters and mothers into glorified prostitutes.”

  4. Mine

    May 27, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Where should we start?

    We have to start from the women! People only see you the way you carry yourself! If you want your friends to respect your sister/brother/parent, respect them yourself and your friends will respect them for you. You cant be insulting your parent infront of your friends and expect that your friends will respect them.

    In other words, we start from the women. Respect can’t be forced on anyone, it has to be earned overtime by showing what quality you are made of alongside your morals and values.

    Let the women stop wearing “see-through” dresses
    Let the women stop suggesting that they are sex slaves
    Let the women stop dancing for men in albums and music videos, naked
    Let the women stop portraying themselves to men that all it is about them is what they have on their bodies
    Let the women stop dressing half naked and showing all their curves
    Let the women leave the streets (whistling, holding, beckoning to men driving to come get them)
    Let the women know that there is more to life than money – thereby eradicating what they do cos of money
    Let the women stop opening their legs for lecturers to get grades (When none does, no lecturer will have the effrontery to ask another girl. When others do, why wont he ask another girl?)
    Let the women stop being side chicks to married men when hey know he is married
    Let the women stop fighting themselves thereby belittling them before men
    Let the women stop depending on a man for everything (including pants, bras, recharge card and other menial things) which changes the perception of the men
    Let the women have self confidence, struggle for their own success rather than being gold diggers everywhere
    Let the women respect themselves and the men will respect them.

    Assuming the men are whatever name we want to call them, two wrongs can never make a right, the only starting point is to start from the women.

    Respect for women cant be forced on the men, let the women change the orientation, perception and view point the males have about them

    • Omo Igbo

      May 27, 2014 at 11:03 am

      The most sensible comment I have come across in a long time.

    • Connybush

      May 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      So ur solution is to turn the women to social robots… pls re-educate yourself

    • Conny o

      May 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      hahahaha
      what has social robot got to do with mine’s comment?
      You need to go back to Js1 if comprehension is that difficult for you
      connybush from the bush

    • lace

      May 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      I like how you breezed through the point of this article and proceeded with your comment, comprehension is really lost on you. This article is geared towards establishing that women are not awarded any respect until she has a man in her life. Whereas men are respected just because they are men, why can’t it be the same for women? Because of all the points you listed? What a shame! Are you aware that there are men who fit the bill you listed but they are respected all the same? Trying to police women by telling them to stop flaunting their curves or wearing see-through clothes will never solve anything. From the beginning of time men and women have flaunted their bodies through the clothes they wear or lack thereof. Why do we only police women? The other points you mentioned are apt and both sexes need to work on them, there are arguably just as many men who fit the bill you listed and I have come across such men. We can choose who we privately award more respect to because they cover their curves or what not. Keep your personal preference of how a woman should be to yourself and award her common respect by not insulting her age, marital status, referring to her as a private part because women are human beings too!

    • izzy

      May 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      But dont u see? Its not about how some women potray themselves, its abt how we see women. Think abt it, we raise our daughters to not do everything you have listed, to cherish their bodies and respect themselves. She grows up to a society that sees women as objects, do you think a glowing sign would appear on her head that says treat differently? I think not. I dont think we realize how dangerous it is to be a woman in nigeria

    • Tonia

      May 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      well said, very well said BUT!!… Dont you get the point?, no matter how hard a woman tries, the Man must find something wrong abt wat she does… look at relationships for example, when she refuses to give him her body, he says she is sleeping wit somebody else, when she gives him her body, she is cheap!!…….. if she wears a tight dress that exposes her curves, she is dressing like a prostitude, if she wears a big dress she is dressing like EKAITE!!!…. If she tries to talk while he’s talking she is disrespectfull, if she dosnt talk, she is ignoring him!!!……..SO TELL ME… WHAT EXACTLY SHOULD SHE DO TO PLS HIM??????????????? i need answers

    • Tosin

      May 27, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      forget “him”. Do whatever the heck YOU want. Screw him. My final answer.
      – punpunpun

    • Educationiskey

      May 27, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      You sound hella IGNORANT. It’s people like you who cause the backwardness in the Nigerian society. SMH.

    • Oyinade

      May 27, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      And what should the men stop doing, or are they perfect?

    • TA

      May 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Words are not enough to describe how ‘correct your head is’…

    • nene

      May 27, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      you have said it all.

    • nike

      May 28, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      well said mine

    • B!

      June 3, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      How about I rewrite your entire comment?

      Where do I start?

      Lets start with the men.
      Ignorant men judge you based on how you see yourself.
      Ignorant men quantify your worth based on how others have treated you.
      Ignorant men quantify your worth based on your history and your past misdeeds.
      Ignorant men use your insecurities and human mistakes as an excuse to treat you like you don’t matter.
      The men I always wanted to associate with were those who saw through my insecurities
      and treated me with respect anyway.
      God-fearing men see your mistakes but still stand up for you when you’re being bullied. They tell ignorant men whats up.
      God fearing men remember that they were human once too.
      God fearing men also know that no matter how a person behaves, YOU have a choice in how you treat people.
      How you treat people when they’ve made mistakes or when they do bad things says a lot more about you than how you treat them when they have it all together.
      Lets rewrite the men’s thinking and remind them that you do unto others as you want them to do unto you.
      Lets simplify it a bit more : respect a woman because you are supposed to have respect for ALL human beings.
      Let’s break it down a bit further and remember that all humans are imperfect. So technically, no human being is deserving of respect.

      Respect them anyway.

  5. Iyke

    May 27, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Not really in support of the perception therein ….. Unfortunately, this has always been a man’s world, and none of the reasons that have been offered in explanation have seemed adequate.
    Where do we start?….. Perhaps, women SHOULD be more assertive and take control of their lives rather than sub-consciously seeing themselves as incomplete without men. That way, men would begin to take notice and start respecting them. You should learn to be yourself…but if being yourself seems to be less than your best to others…and worst, not the self that gets you what your best self should…perhaps rethinking the self you choose to call your best…is worth another seriously careful consideration…perhaps!

  6. Mz Socially Awkward...

    May 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

    REGINA, SHE DOES NOT, OH! She really doesn’t at all.

    And this question is so apt for me right now because I’ve been thinking very hard about something which was recently experienced at my church that really upset me. There was an announcement made about having a “Women’s Night Out” and it was planned around getting women to spend a night away from home as a group and go away to a nice hotel for a sleepover with dinner, breakfast, spa treatments et al. I had vague thoughts in my mind about maybe attending (admittedly, I don’t know a lot of women in my church very well so maybe it would have been a good way to get better acquainted with the)… until I was specifically informed that single women were not included. I asked why and was just told it was for married women only.

    I’m sorry but the advert said “Women’s Night Out” so I asked whether single women weren’t officially considered as being “women”? The answer was still that it’s only for married women and this is something that I’m finding it really hard to get my head around. I have already said to the planning committee exactly what I feel about their decision and how ridiculous it is that we need to have this discrimination (yes, I’m calling it what it is) in the church of all places. So, even the grown-up, responsible, hardworking, intelligent and single adult females in their midst have not yet attained womanhood since they’re lacking a man? We manage to put a roof over our heads, manage our jobs, pay our taxes, handle our responsibilities as mature adults and yet we don’t get considered as women in our own church because we lack the presence of men in our lives. Let me say something to all the Christians out there right now – if marriage predetermines your recognition of someone’s status, you better get it into your heads that Jesus was single. Yes I said it. Our Lord walked on this earth as man who didn’t marry and yet, His life in the flesh was a testimony of total Grace and Excellence that we’re all continually striving to emulate. Ponder on that.

    My anger is increased when I know that we have a men’s group in church and I can tell you with all evidence right now that the group is open to married AND single men. In fact, the men ENCOURAGE the single men in their midst to join in. When I asked about the women’s group in church, I was told the group is only for “married women”.

    We moan about racism from the white man, persecution from the society because of our Christian faith, unfair treatment as foreigners in a strange country and YET we turn around and practise complete hypocrisy when it comes to how we truly consider each other. I don’t care anymore about the event which led me to this revelation, I care more about the mind-set of the people I fellowship with and how much of a gap we put between groups of individuals in the church based upon one single (pun readily intended) yardstick. Sorry for turning this comment into a mini-rant. Truth be told, I’m still quite upset about the whole incident.

    • Fashionista

      May 27, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Please rant on, it is well justified! I so feel your annoyance because I have experienced same but the other way around. I am married and countless times some miscreants have said to me that I have “now” attained maturity because I have a man “holding me up”, I tell you the truth I almost slapped the man. I was so mad! Another man said to me that I need to drop all my single friends and go and make friends with married women, that those my single friends are no more on my level, can you imagine??!!!! That day my eyes watered because it dawned on me that no matter the feminist movement, no matter how much we try, women have suffered irreparable discrimination in the world, most significantly in Nigeria and I don’t see significant change occurring for at least our generation and even our children’s generation.

      Sad part is that women ourselves perpetrate such thinking, it is highly disconcerting.

    • AW

      May 27, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Yes, we as women are our own worst enemy!

    • Mide

      May 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      I don’t know how to say this but I think you should change churches. I am sorry. There is nothing anyone can say to convince me that the church body is worshipping in spirit and in truth as Jesus commanded and let such prevail. When my grandmother says “olorun nikan lo mo eni ti o si oun”, this is one of the situations where that sentence can be brought forth. In a church, a church, that can happen. No vex Ms SA. In His eyes, we are all equal. Your wedding ring won’t take you to heaven and your husband won’t follow you there. You even tried that you were still asking. I will jejely carry my bag and won’t be seen worshipping there again biko

    • Anonymous

      May 27, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      @Mz Socially Awkward. I’ll like 2 meet u cos I tink we go 2 d same church….. In Aberdeen

    • madamnk

      May 27, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      “if marriage predetermines your recognition of someone’s status, you better get it into your heads that Jesus was single”. This right here is the absolute truth

    • Bleed Blue

      May 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Hmmm Mz S.A. I feel your pain. I’m married but I tell you, that logic does not appeal to me AT ALL!!!

      And then when this sort of thing happens in the church and as such under the cloak of religion, if you question decisions made, then you don’t “submit to leaders and obey authority” Ref: Hebrews 13:17.

      Pele my dear…don’ t dwell on it too much.
      I have since learnt not to allow the politics and intricacies of the church (in the Nigerian context especially) to affect my walk. It’s not easy to blank these things out but…I just try to face my front and see Him on the Cross. Takes me back to where my spirit person need to be.

      You’re more woman than they can EVER know. We both know no night out needs to determine that innit.

      E-hugs 🙂

    • Theresa Omoronyia

      May 27, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      @Bleed Blue, there is nothing wrong in making suggestions or confronting bad behaviour in church as long as we do it with an attitude of love. We must remember that no one on earth is 100% perfect, not even our religious leaders.

      Submission is good, but we are to submit first to God, then to leaders. So if a religious leader is doing something clearly sinful, God expects us to correct them in love, not to say “I submit to them therefore I can’t correct them”. This is because we are called to be Watchmen/women for each other – Ezekiel 33. If on the other hand, it is just a personal suggestion, i.e your own way of doing things, they are not obliged to follow you. Accept whatever decision they make, because they have to make sure the suggestion fits in with what they believe. This will involve humility on your part, which is a great virtue by the way.

    • Theresa Omoronyia

      May 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      I just re-read my post after submitting it, and I realise it may come off as though I am saying you are not humble. Far from it! I started with the use of ‘us’ and ended on ‘you’. It was not intentional. I meant to say:

      ” If on the other hand, it is just a personal suggestion, i.e our own personal way of doing things, they are not obliged to follow us. We should accept whatever decision they make, because they have to make sure the suggestion fits in with what they believe. This will involve humility on our part, which is a great virtue by the way.” 🙂

      I hope you (or anyone else) are not offended. I meant no harm, just an encouragement to us all. Thanks

    • Bleed Blue

      May 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Nah…not offended. You’re clealry of the pacifist breed and you’ve written some insightful pieces here on BN so I have a fair idea of your psyche. You’re good peoples.

      However where you say “Accept whatever decision they make, because they have to make sure the suggestion fits in with what they believe”…biko we will shake hands and agree to disagree. 😀

      I shall be applying 1 John 4:1. False prophets abound.

    • Educationiskey

      May 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      That is extremely sad. They should have titled it, “Married Women’s Night Out”. The bible does say marriage isn’t for everyone and it is NOT by force to be married if you don’t want to. You expressed your feelings, if they are not convicted, let go and let God.

    • Theresa Omoronyia

      May 27, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      @ Mz S.A, I feel your pain sister and I understand how annoyed you must feel about what looks like discrimination in the Church. But have you considered they may not have intentionally excluded single ladies because they felt you were not worth being with? In some of these Weekend Getaways organized by ladies, there are Talks specially designed for that audience. Some topics are related to husband, submission, children, managing marriage and finance, etc. You and I know that married women even though they are women, have different challenges from single women. For ease of presentation, they may have decided to restrict it to only married women.

      However, you can make something good come of this. Clearly there is a vacuum for all single women in your church and maybe other churches too. Why don’t you organize a Weekend Getaway for yourselves, complete with spa, good food, movies, godly teachings on issues relating to single ladies? You could invite a speaker to give you the talk, or someone in your group could be assigned that job. Or you could get copies of appropriate Christian study guides for single ladies.

      Whatever happens, we women must never forget, we are God’s partners in the salvation of our families, communities, society, country and world. Do not let anyone or anything belittle your importance and prevent you from this important task. If they try to, shrug it off, and see yourself the way God sees: special and priceless, single or married!

    • Mide

      May 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Nna babe, please don’t sugarcoat this biko. Don’t even go there. If that was what was planned, it should have been titled married women’s night out. Even after asking and asking, they still insisted it was only for married women and kept the title women’s night out. That is discrimination of the highest order. In a church for that matter. There is no teaching that is not useful. You don’t need to be married, to get words of wisdom about marriage. It is we women that cause division for ourselves. The men come together as one, so why should single women have their own and married women have their own separate. That is BS, church or not. Pure BS. Don’t try to excuse it please. Coming from a woman I am highly disappointed and YOU are part of the problem. Your last paragraph would be thrown out of the window by any reasonable person who read the preceeding bits. Women stop talking from two sides of your mouth biko. The men are one, thousands of years after, we still remain divided and we wonder why the men are winning. I will never hear a man excuse this sort of thing. Never. they carry themselves together.

    • jcsgrl

      May 27, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      gbam, gbammer, gbamest! I triple like your comment. Ms SA my darling I completely understand your frustration but like Therry (sorry to abbr) said, it could be because the activities and discussions might center around marriage, family, sex, romance, etc. I remember hosting one of such events and clearly labeled it for married people. I got attacked by the singles that I’m discriminating, that I think I’m more important blah blah blah which was far from the truth. I had to explain my reason for the discrimination. Its not because of self worth or to belong to ndi mama club but it was specifically designed for married people. Now when I was single and such a program was put out for the married, omo we singles got together and planned us a fab trip. We put our own event together the married ones come dey jealous sef. So my dear, please dont take it personal. Get other single gehs and guyns together and plan yours…no married people allowed

    • slice

      May 27, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      i think having a meeting for married women is entirely different from having a meeting for women but then telling single women who try to attend that the event is for married women only. just say we are having a meeting for married women and i’m sure all will be well.

    • kemz

      May 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      MS SA, I have been suspecting I know you but now I am sure and I also know the ladies in question…lol.

    • Bleed Blue

      May 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      @kemz abeg don’t report her oh!

      If you truly know her and perhaps attend said church, you must know as well I as I do that those “ladies in question” can be hella fierce. 😀

      Before the matter turns into #bringbackourmzsociallyawkward

    • Noksis

      May 28, 2014 at 12:48 am

      Miss S A. I can imagine your pain in church. But don’t be sad. It is their loss. I am glad my church took time to break that married fence. Women fellowship is for all above 21. And i tell you it is a rewarding experience. We get to rub minds with older women, they advice and we advice them too. Younger ladies make it their responsibility to bring older women up to date fashion wise, teaching them whats in vogue, doing their make-up, shopping with them etc and i tell you the air is cleaner. Older women tell you how to handle men, pursue your dreams and career and may other things and i believe that any church that still has that barrier is missing out on a lot. Come to think of it, 22 years old are married, 33 years old are still single, does it make it less of a woman? No!!!!
      A girl is raped and becomes a single parent, a couple is married for 10 years no child.
      What defines a woman to fulfilling destiny in life using your feminine advantage and wisdom

    • nike

      May 28, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      Vey sad, but I cannot stop laughing at your rant, it is a crazy world. I pray we all find contentment and happiness with or without a man

  7. simi

    May 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

    nice read…. @ mine, then let the men help the woman boost her self esteem, by showing her she’s worth more than how she degrades herself…… Society has set a Norm so hard to break, but a few have been able to, the other few just need to be shown their worth…..

    • Iyke

      May 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Perhaps, it would be more easy if every woman would be a ‘JANE’ who knows her worth, instead of looking for a ‘JOE to show her, her worth and boost her esteem.
      Lady, KNOW yourself. Be the type of WOMAN you would want your SON to respect and be with!

  8. sum1special

    May 27, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Well spoken Regina. In this part of the world, men really disrespect and disregard woman. It is very upsetting. A guy tries to talk to you on the streeet, you ignore him and then he starts calling you a bitch or a bus driver from no where calls you ashewo when you are obviously in your work clothes. Women need to be respected, whether she deserves it or not. Please just respect women.

    • TA

      May 27, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      This comment right here deserves its own article. Please Atoke and Isio,pleaseeeee o.
      It never fails to irk me how a random guy thinks he can just call me names such as but not limited to ‘ Asewo,big nyansh,figure 8,Our hips,blackky,sweet lips,K leg,big eyes,fatty bom bom,lepacious,smallie,longy,big breasts,small breasts,small nyansh,yellow pawpaw, the list is endless,literally speaking. It drives me up a wall,it makes me so mad,steam is pouring out from my ears like you see in cartoons. Lol! that if you are a woman walking the streets of Nigeria,from Kaura Namoda to Calabar,from Lagos to Afikpo,men think they are entitled to an opinion on your body parts, have the right to make cat calls and call you names. In Lagos,when you walk into any market filled with Ibo male traders,they start pulling and tugging,’Amaka come buy market, Chi Chi buy cloth nah’. Then the name calling starts… One beautiful November day in 2007 during my NYSC days, my friend and I were at Yaba to buy some fabrics for curtains and then out of the blues,this random guy groped my backside,am not talking a light tap or touch o,am talking full groping like if it were possible,my butt would have fallen off from the rude fondling. I swear,to this day I still do not know what happened next,I only knew that I was accused of slapping him and since my palm stung and my adrenaline was pumping so hard,I could feel blood rushing through my head so it had to be true. The idiot attempted or made a show of hitting me but was restrained,a crowd gathered and my friend and I were told I had to pay a fine of N5,000 for ‘fighting’ in the market. Me? Pay fine? Ok now, I went to see the market leader and told him point blank that I would be suing the guy,and by extension the market association for harassment,sexual assault,intimidation etc. The man was a kind elderly man who not only apologised profusely for the bad behaviour of his co-trader but gave us 3k to take taxi home. What as I wearing you may ask,nothing but my oversize baggy NYSC khaki trousers and shirt. Also,when I was younger,men used to tease me and say ‘My wife’. I hated it with all the strength in me then,I still hate it wth equal vigour. Don’t tell me its a joke, I hate it. Simple!
      I hate,hate being groped, called names describing my body.
      Sorry for the long comment, I just had to get that out there.

    • Me Full Ground

      May 31, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      If you know your self worth, no name calling or description by “body parts” should move you. The truth is that all of us men and women have been called different names at different times. It is when you pay attention and react that such names stick. Your reaction in dealing a dirty slap on the burger and your threat to sue them is very commendable. The more women refuse to condone such behavioural patterns by conduct or words, the more they will die gradually. A lot of women here have attacked Mine for his list of how women can help themselves. A lot of women have started doing most of those things listed. If we search hearts objectively, we’ll see a lot of truth in what Mine has posted. So rather than attack Mine, look at what applies to you as a woman on the list and make adjustments. For those who want men to do the same, you can post a list for us and we will try to assess them objectively and make adjustments.

  9. naana

    May 27, 2014 at 11:08 am

    and the llist goes on and on

  10. Ify D

    May 27, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Regina just made my day, am not mad afterall, i question how women see themselves in this part of the world and how they compete for men’s attention killing and backbiting other women just to get the MRS status….my response now is simple KILL YOURSELF TRYING O, NDI ALA…having a man/married is a compliment not the all and all. @ Ms Socially Akward…i feel your pain its not just in churches, offices, within families and among your peers and friends…to be single no easy for 9ja mehn so sad chicks take the matter so seriously.

  11. spareme

    May 27, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Oh how I hate generalisation! why say thing like “Nigerians say” , how can you sum of over 200 million people in one statement…………please justify this. Please stop generalising!

  12. DJ STELCH

    May 27, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Amazing… Cant find words to explain what I feel about this article… #Amazing..

    ……………..
    .
    .
    .
    ¤GROWN MAN IN A YOUNG BODY¤

  13. NNENNE

    May 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Start from women…mothers.A new way of raising both our sons and daughters is urgently needed.

  14. Tade

    May 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Women always crying over what they are precursor or major contributor. Men get this too its not a woman’s thing, most women are quick to say he is now a responsible man when a man just get married it what you all say so the single are irresponsible right ? Or you see a successful young man not yet married they tell me to my face that am sleeping around and am playing games imagine this is someone who does not even know me some of you women are disgusting And you know that kind of extra regard you give a male you know is married so why cry as if you are the only sufferer of a crime you a chief contributor when you now come at the receiving end you bring up gender card.

    • Que

      May 27, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Tade pls vex gently…. I dont think the cry is about playing the gender card, cos if you look both at the article and comments, most people are calling women out for being the key drivers of this mentality, so its not another male bashing episode….Its centered around women, cos the writer is a woman, speaking from ‘her’ experience, if she were male, it would be ‘his’ experience. So yes I totally get ur point bout same happening to single men (and it is indeed just as disgusting, cos I have male loved ones on the receiving end too), …maybe you can help us understand it better by penning and sharing your experience.
      The ultimate goal is to value people of character, not just labels… thanks.

  15. Connybush

    May 27, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    My solution is for the future generation not to be raised as glorified house help, cook, or baby ovens. Raise them up to accimplish the biggest goal in life-happiness. If by virtue of doing that the find their soulmates along the way then they are lucky. Most ppl will come hear nd comment yet dey will be the ones who will drag their female child to the kitchen nd leave the male watching soccer. It starys with everybody like she said look at urself in d mirror nd find d fault In u. Start with urself, look at the things u do dat are sexist nd change it, dont open ur mouth nd say a woman should do this she shouldn’t do that. Food4thought… someone once asked me that how come a man can accept his mum or sister that is a prostitute yet insult someone elses mother and sis by calling her an ashawo. Ur a player but it affects u when someone plays ur sis d girls u are using no be person sister. Ur a wife beater but if someone hits ur sister casala don burst, the person u bit fall from heaven? IT STARTS WITH YOU AND ME.

  16. mrs chidukane

    May 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Too true. I really identify with the one of calling girls by body parts. It so turns me off.Even some married ladies treat the single ones like they’re sub human. I’ve always been respected by my peers and elders maybe because I’m tall or I’m conservative in dressing and speech , I don’t know but even before I got married people assumed I was and treated me well.But every woman should be treated well,period. Women should also learn to respect themselves, its very important so people can respect you. Also how to stand up for yourself and speak your mind.

    Growing up in a single parent household, people said all sorts how men gave my mum money, how my relatives sponsored our schooling but I saw how hard my mum worked to provide for us without any help. But even today as an adult people would rather believe a boyfriend was behind our education than believe a woman can train 4 kids in the university. Its a pity that a woman is always seen as handicapped without a man.

  17. Uju

    May 27, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    That’s the reality of it. In Nigeria if you re still single and approaching 30 , you go hear am . That is the society WE have created for ourselves and our children. It won’t just go away until we take active steps to change it.

    I just thank God I m not living there now because I d probably be on antidepressants from all this marital status discrimination. I really thank God I ve been spared this whole drama cuz I don’t take stress very well.

  18. In Cotonou

    May 27, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Where should we start? With ourselves, women. Let’s start with how we raise our boys, or relate to the boys (men) in our lives (sons, brothers, fathers, friends etc…). The prejudice or discrimination against women works because many women unconsciously internalize the expectations and roles that society has mapped out for them. This does not mean they are weak or stupid, because many of these ideas, beliefs and attitudes are drummed into us while we are still children. It’s the same with other forms of discrimination and prejudice. Yes, this may be taboo in some circles, but some Black people of peoples of other previously oppressed races really do believe that the “White man” is superior. Same as how some African people (including women), in their heart of hearts, believe that fair skin is prettier, foreign accent is better, etc… a group of people through circumstance of history use their dominance at a given point in time to establish themselves as superior. But it only works because the oppressed unconsciously accept this premise.

    I have seen women ask their own daughters to wash and cook for their sons, because “she’s a girl, she needs to know these things”. And most times, the pressure to marry comes from the other women folk in the family. Why, because they have bought into the myth, and become it’s active enforcers. I have seen married women look down on single girls with nasty comments and even open discrimination (see case of Church Women’s Group mentioned above). Because they honestly believe in the myth of man’s superiority, when they marry, it becomes an achievement that they lord over their single friends. And how many times have I heard that the man is the “Head of the House?” Why? Why does a House need a Head? It’s not as if there’s only one decision to be made. Building a family requires thousands of delicate decisions everyday. Some are big, some are small. In some, the man will be in better position to decide. In some, the woman will be in better position to decide. So why do we need this concept of Head? There are plenty of equal partnerships that work, that could be used as metaphor for marriage, but we are more comfortable with the metaphor of body and Head. Thus the implication that a woman without a man is “Headless”, and therefore, without identity!

  19. Noksis

    May 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Regina just earned my respect.

  20. devious maids

    May 27, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    That was how one babe on a cooking page on facebook said she needed to know how to prepare a particular meal(general meal for that matter ) and specifically requested that she needed responses from married women alone …you can imagine what followed ,comments ,ranting and most importantly,she didnt get the recipe as the only people who knew how where single babes.This discrimination is deeper than we can imagine,everyone around me know i dont condone anybody that insinuates nonsense around me,because they are married to one “kill me i die guy” doesnt make them superior.HELL NO!!!

  21. Ashley B

    May 27, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Sorry to say ladies, it wont, cant n cudnt change. its d same kinda Swings n roundabouts like d Race thingy(Black vs White) (Science vs Religion) (Man vs woman) one aspect of d pair will always dominate the other. Although, d article raises good points about women empowerment. Such lofty ambitions cant b attained for womanhood in Nigeria n many other parts of Africa becuz of its Extreme poverty. Now lets not 4get that even in Major civilized Western cities, Women still rely on the Courts and Law to get their just dispensation. Sometimes, even get the better of their male counterparts. eg Divorce and still then its viewed as ”Girl Power”

    • slice

      May 27, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      about 400 years ago, slavery was so the law of the land, no one thought it would ever end, but see where we are today. You never know

    • B!

      June 3, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      True!

  22. Tosin

    May 27, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Thank you for helping us start.
    Women are hustling to get men (when men have everything to gain and women have quite a lot to lose from the resulting union) and I’ve been made to understand that women even hustle to be yellow or white now. If only they had something else going for them (a sport, some self-esteem, accomplishments) they wouldn’t feel so incomplete.
    Instead women are, as you say, dumbing down.
    And anyway, your body is yours; it doesn’t belong to your mother, your dude, your anybody. If you’re confused, ask your guy if his body belongs to you and compare the answer.

  23. Que

    May 27, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    @ Mide, I had so many thoughts about Theresa’s comment, but you have mostly captured my thoughts. Make I just leave matter…. like I’m in disbelief about that solution she offered. I refuse to say more.

    This MzSA’s episode reminds me of a friend that sent a mail round to a few of us ladies about ‘A Wise Woman’… the entire body of the message and ALL the points raised were about a wise woman being able to take care of her husband’s needs and in return attain his respect….. I kukuma told her there was no point copying me in, seeing as single women lack wisdom. She had no sensible response as usual. Nonsense!

    If you want to have a marriage seminar do so clearly, but having a Women’s Night out and inviting only married women is complete bullshit! How about Having a ‘Wives Summit’ and inviting only wives with kids…..simply cos the packaged discussion is targetted at raising children…. Madness all over and we’re trying to reason with it!!!

    To the so called church committee members if any happens to be passing by, you lot need WISDOM! Seek it, pursue it and embrace it! Cos at this rate you clearly have been missing it a very long time!

  24. Alexa

    May 28, 2014 at 6:07 am

    And i have asked this question countless times: what do you really need a man for? Think am well o! To me o, IVF and co have even narrowed further their only window of practical need in a woman’s life.
    I still wonder why single women who really know what they are about would willingly give up the essence of their freedom and independence for a notion that a man in their lives validate them (whatever that means) because really, it is a notion. It is not reality.
    If i must descend to mundane illustrations to drive home a point, consider this: think about all those days you wake up and doing only your own laundry feels akin to climbing mount everest, and getting up to whip up something for your own tummy feels like punishment, dearie for marriage ‘No days off oo! Especially when pikin arrive and you are juggling work too’
    Man before marriage: work + washing +cooking + cleaning (if he’s not able to convince girlfriend to wash, cook and clean for him o, and that’s if he even cares sef!)
    Man after marriage: work (minus)washing (minus)cooking (minus)cleaning
    Woman before marriage: work+ washing+ cooking + cleaning
    After marriage: (work + cooking+ washing+ cleaning+ ‘birthing’ + ‘rearing minus major career advancements sometimes running into several years of career stagnation because of the children etc) all raised to power 3 at least, if u factor in only one child, which does not apply to the majority.
    Overall, who gains? And they say men grow finer with age, while women grow ‘in the opposite direction’ with age. And why not? They shed a lot of their physical stress when they marry and we take them on. Let me warn anybody who might be tempted to bring up that argument on ‘winning bread for the whole family’ to just save it! A lot of women are these days, doing more than their fair share of both ‘breadwinning and breadmaking’!
    Dear ladies, i no say make nobody marry oo, but please bury that thought that it adds any physical, social, emotional, psychological or whatever worth to your life because it doesnt! Just marry because you wan marry, period! And be sure you know what marriage is and what it is not!
    Take it from a married sister (with two beautiful children) who knows for a fact that if there be a next life, she aint travelling this road again! Hubby would remain an awesome friend (because marriage spoils some things), and children will come by IVF or surrogacy etc.
    I am sure that with all i’ve said, its clear where i stand on that stupid, illusory ‘major status upgrade because i am now a Mrs Somebody/Nobody’ theory doing the rounds in this Naija. Of the very few great people i have around me, the majority are single. I cant even stand married ones with ‘that mentality’. I’ve had to cut some people off my life just because of that.

    • Fashionista

      May 28, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Alexa, you are a witch because you had gone into my mind, taken my thoughts and then articulated them perfectly! Women, marry because YOU want to, if you marry because you think it is the right thing or it will “improve” your all round well being, you are in lala land!

    • Ada Nnewi

      May 28, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      If i could say “I love your comment” in a hundred different languages i would! I’m 27 and the thought of what i’d have to compromise when i decide to take the jump scares me sh*tless…I mean i love le boo but marriage is #deep sigh#, probably cause i tend to be too realistic when thinking about it (as i kinda black out all the Disney fairy tale P)… then when i consider how your body changes during pregnancy and the fact that the man would expect you to do it at least 3 times #shudder#..I’ve almost blurted out to le boo if he’d be okay if i carry one baby and have a surrogate carry the rest but he’d probably think i’m insane…Everyone around me (family, work etc) keeps sticking their nose in my business about me settling down and how my biological clock is ticking plus the clowns that think saying i will marry you should make you turn into their personal slaves (i hope no woman takes those dodo’s seriously) ..It takes a huge effort not to keep sticking my middle finger in their faces and yell mind your business!…I don’t know why it’s seen as a crime to honestly and truly enjoy my life as a single woman..I think men tend to value you more when they know that with or without them you’re having a ball cause le boo treats me like a queen, it’s probably cause i think i’m the best thing since ice-cream…After this my long winded story, i think the bottom line is dear single woman, know and love thyself.

    • Di

      May 28, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Wow! just wow! How can this be instantly sent out to all the women in the world, mostly to a married Indian friend of mine, who think my life isn’t complete yet because am not married. Some women are just dumb or rather lack self-love.

  25. Blonde Girl

    May 28, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Action speaks louder…

    youtube.com/watch?v=BkPwBr81Odw

  26. Blonde Girl

    May 28, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Action speaks louder…

    google youtube BkPwBr81Odw

  27. somewhere in d sambisa forest...

    May 30, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Great article Mrs Williams.I think this whole thing starts from d moment the girl begins to grow up. “Don’t u know u r a girl”? I always hear not a few parents say when she wants to play with the boys. Then she gets to puberty, and then she’s given dis long lecture about boys…By d time she’s 21,a woman already has this d world is @ my feet mentality.The problem begins when she realises that life doesn’t begin and end with her,all of a sudden,she gets defensive and begins to play d gender card!

  28. curious cat

    June 2, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    after 8 months of been married and a sweet baby boy
    i can say marriage can and has never been a bed of roses , if only i knew i could raise a child alone , ha wetin i need husband for .

    • Me Full Ground

      June 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      Now that you know that you don’t need a husband why don’t you just pack up the marriage? Some asinine comment I must say.

    • B!

      June 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      If any one is asinine , its you, Madam full ground. She didn’t say anything to deserve that statement.

    • DarkChocCookie

      June 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Was that really necessary? If you can’t take someone’s opinion without insulting them, then maybe you are the one who’s asinine.

  29. Me Full Ground

    June 4, 2014 at 10:05 am

    The comment from Curious Cat means that she didn’t know why she got married in the first place and got married because of a very wrong notion of marriage. Secondly, if she feels her reasons for getting married are not being met and feels dissatisfied she should free the man by getting out, especially now that she knows she can “raise a child alone”. Dem tie her leg and hands for there? Why come and tell the world about her marital problems which I consider to be bordering on selfish desires without responsibility when the issue being discussed is about correcting the wrong social-cultural beliefs and notion that a woman must be validated by a man or marriage and/or viewing women more by their “body parts” rather than their real personalities.

    • B!

      June 4, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      You just don’t get it do you? Even if YOU THINK her comment is misplaced, does that mean you should call her asinine! That’s just your opinion. She doesn’t have to conform to what you think! Its not all about you. At some point in your life you’re just going to have to grow up… and you can only do that by respecting others comments, whether you agree with them or not.
      She clearly has her own issues shes going through. You don’t have to reply.

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