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Cisi Eze: Exploring the Theory of Scumitivity – Are Men Truly Scum?

Cisi Eze

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dreamstime_l_31074480Sisters that haven’t swam in Sapphic Seas scream, “Sirs are scum!”

Some women say #MenAreScum based on romantic relationships with men gone awry. If only they knew women are capable of worse.

Some drama queens bewail this “wonderful” axiom saying it’s a deliberate effort, by women to demonise men. When Kramer and Sprenger demonised women in Malleus Maleficarum (1487), women were dying, not crying. Ordinary #MenAreScum, they are crying as if worse hasn’t been said of women. Do you see women crying? But, “men are not emotional”.

Others say #MenAreScum is misandry. But, did it cross your mind misandry is a reaction to misogyny? Who goes around loving people that hates them? (Topic for another day)

Some “gallant” women say, “Not all men are scum.” Haha! To them, some men are not scum. What their brave hearts doesn’t tell them is those men they are “protecting” might be scum to other women. This is what I call “Relative Scumivity”. To those women, I say, “That you have not experienced something does not mean you should invalidate another person’s experience”.

A man might have never been scum and he’d refute #MenAreScum on the basis it is a sweeping generalisation. But, the moment he has daughters, he’ll understand what we are talking about. That’s when he’ll get protective and even blame the media for teaching his two daughters “bad-bad things”. (What is life without shade?)

If #MenAreScum”, is a reaction to misogyny, then, women are scum in the grand scheme of things.

Female misogynists churn my stomach. They make me feel I have drunk a cocktail of betrayal, disappointment, anger, and disgust. I don’t understand women that embody misogyny like it were their divine destiny. I don’t understand why they fan the flames of misogyny with much gusto. Sadly, we dismiss female misogynists.

Cisi’s Theory of Scumitivity says, “Scum is overlooked when it flows horizontally, not vertically.”

Simply put, we overlook scum when it comes from someone in the same social class/category as us.  We get peeved when it comes from someone from a perceived higher social class. Take for example, racism. A black person calls a black person “nigger” and it’s okay. A white person calls a black person “nigger” and it’s not okay. A black person tells me my afro is shabby and I might take it as nothing. A white person calls me nappy-headed and I cry racism. You get the idea, right?

Society, to some people, is structured in this order: God- Men-Women- Animals. Scum from men has a “power undertone” women find irksome. No one wants to feel oppressed. Scum from women seems subtle, more tolerable because it’s “us girls”. Then again, women have done scummy things.

Here are ways women have been scum:

Not teaching their sons right
Who is a man’s first teacher? The media? Religion? No, no. It’s his parents. There is a likelihood a man would not grow into scum package if his mother teaches him women are not lesser or weaker humans. Some women DO NOT RAISE THEIR SONS. They raise only their daughters to become the perfect wives. How many mothers teach their sons consent? Their sons misbehave and they say, “Boys will be boys”. Some teach their sons to feel entitled. “Make sure you marry a woman that can take care of you…” No wonder some men want wives like their mothers. (Topic for another day)

By aiding/being complicit to a man sexually harassing a woman
In graduate school, an acquaintance of mine, an undergraduate at the time, narrated how one lecturer was on her neck.  Once, she went to his office and she saw a female lecturer. She was happy that someone could talk to the man on her behalf as he was threatening to give her an extra year. Despite the older woman’s presence, the man propositioned to her. Once more, she was adamant. The next thing she heard was, “why not just cooperate with him?”

Harassing/slut shaming another woman based on her dressing or something as innocent as breathing
Some women join men to harass younger girls. You go to the market and an entitled man gropes you. Next up, a scummy older woman says, “Why you no wear something wey cover your body?” How is dressing an invitation to be groped? Would they grope a woman they know has more physical or financial strength than them even if she were nude?

Other salient, yet “silent” ways include:

Painting a woman (other women) in a bad light to feel good about herself.

By deliberately heightening insecurity in other women. E.g. Those mothers that compare their daughters with/ to other women are guilty of this.

Hating women, giving them the evil eye because they dared to breathe.

Refusing to employ women based on personal, unprofessional prejudice.

Downplaying a woman’s talents and skills

Single-shaming younger women into matrimony even when they had failed marriages. You want to ask, “Why do you want to push me into an institution that failed you?”

Encouraging/advising a woman in an abusive relationship to stay

Victim-blaming women AFTER an incident

Seeing women as objects of sexual gratification; women objectify women

Looking away when you see a woman subjected to injustice

Making excuses for a man’s diabolical behaviour by saying, “Men will be men”.
Teaching their sons that women are weak

I could go on, however, I want you to remember those moments you experienced women being scum.

EVERYONE IS SCUM because everyone has internalised the misogyny. Every social institution vehemently supports the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. What is the way out? Ostensibly, we can’t unlearn millennia of misogyny in a minute but we can start with baby steps.

The first step is to acknowledge you and I are wittingly or unwittingly guilty of misogyny. This would propel us to make a conscious effort to stop being biased against women by treating everyone equally. The next is to edit misogyny out of our social institutions. But, how do we edit misogyny out of, take for example, marriage, an institution that oppresses women via gender roles? I heard society would scatter when women have equal rights as men. Ergo, female oppression has been the glue binding society. Wowderful!

This realisation has rocked me to the core.

I’m too shocked to write more.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based freelance journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. A media and justice fellow of the Bisi Alimi Foundation, she feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her works on Bella Naija and her blog – Shades of Cisi. Aside these, she has works on Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, Gender IT, Outcast Magazine, Rustin Times, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2, and Sweet Deluge (Issue 2). Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.

36 Comments

  1. A Real Nigerian

    December 5, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    My own is that ALL NIGERIAN MEN are scum.
    Useless cheaters, wife-beaters and insecure lunatics.
    They are just a bunch of entitled sociopaths who feel society owes them s**t just because they have a penis.
    Even the so-called penis, they can’t use it properly. A bunch of micro-willied little men who only know how to do doggy and missionary. Their head game = lame. Dropping saliva all over the coochie and forming that they are giving head. No skill or finesse in bed. Useless men endorsed by satan.

    • Nkechi

      December 5, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      Guess people focus on their own personal experiences. Mine is not common . Men have been good to me. An uncle sponsored me through Uni without demanding anything. I work with men who treat me equally. I don’t get to work lless or get paid less . A particular woman on this earth has hurt me more than anyone. May you never meet evil women. That is the day you will change your mind about men. Some women are evil and selfish. They don’t care about the implications of their actions as long as they have their way. Men or women there is a devil on earth who influences human beings, therefore you need to guard your heart with all diligence. Both men and women will hurt another human being if they listen to wrong voices. Man or Woman ; Both are human beings.

    • Olubusola Adedire

      December 5, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      This is a sensible comment. At this point, I am tired of feminist debates, and this is not to discount other people’s life experiences but I have figured that there is darkness in the world as much as there is light. Life is duality and balance.

    • Haha

      December 5, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      Where can i meet husband in Nigeria… 2017 is not a year of joining you people to shout Scum upandan… edakun I’m looking for love?

    • Mama

      December 6, 2016 at 3:12 am

      Hahaha…Traitor! You can’t retire oh, you must continue in the struggle until we attain victory. Aluta continua…???#lifetimefeminist

    • john

      December 5, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      or maybe ur coochie smells like a rotten egg..just insert two fingers inside and remove it and smell it..then u will know why men don’t like going there

    • A Real Nigerian

      December 5, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      How mature

    • Mo

      December 5, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      You are mad. A prime example of the phrase “Many are mad but few are roaming”. Where is that even coming from?

    • Loki

      December 5, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      @A Real Nigerian- isn’t this a bit too harsh? I’m not trying to invalidate your own experience of Nigerian men but there are at least 80 million of them. Have you tried ALL their penises and tongues? Okay, I kid. But seriously, they aren’t ALL bad. I promise you.
      You have a chance to raise your son (either now or in the future) to be a good man. That should count for something. Try not to give him the impression that there is something “fundamentally” wrong with him just cos he is a Nigerian man. Give him a chance to succeed.

    • A Real Nigerian

      December 5, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Yes I have tried them all

    • mr HEAD

      December 5, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      You’ve tried all of them? And you wonder why men won’t go down on you after all that coochie mileage?

  2. EE

    December 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I like how this ended up insulting women more than men. Easily refutable points, but this is bait I’ll ignore.

    ‘sides, how’s the wife hunting going, found a woman to oppress yet ehn Cisi. Don’t try to smash the system, join us savages!

  3. Chief

    December 5, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Men are perfectly decent and it’s obnoxious of you to generalize thus.Generalization is the language of a fool,in this case any one that says men(African/Nigerian men) are scums need psychiatric therapy.Without men you wouldn’t exist.I don’t understand women fascination with stating that men are scums.It confuses me that these women call men what they are.Many women complain about be single or in bad relationship with men yet they make themselves superior by calling men scums and other atrocities.What about equality?.Trying to fight for equality by making yourself seem superior? Not going to work.Men are great and honorable,almost all the great deeds throughout the history have been performed by men. Comments like Nigerian men are scums do not bother us because those are the words of the lesser women who are bitter and resentful because they know they fall very short of the standard of Nigerian men or were rejected by a Nigerian men which for a woman is devastating. Also i agree,women can not raised a son to be a man…Most men raised by women have known to be emotional and despicable.

  4. ellena

    December 5, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    All men are disgusting. None of them is worth anything. I Wonder what women find so attractive about these beasts.

  5. john

    December 5, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    just by the headline. .u can always tell an article written by a single depressed delusional nigerian woman probably living in lagos

    • Loki

      December 5, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      @John, did you even read the article? The writer is largely saying that women tend to treat each equally as badly as men but only notice misogyny when it comes from a man.
      This statement (Cisi’s Theory of Scumitivity says, “Scum is overlooked when it flows horizontally, not vertically.”) should have given you an indication of her position.

    • Ha

      December 5, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      Guy abeg read the article, it makes sense wella. Forget the heading.

  6. john

    December 5, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    @chef agree with u on majority of women cant raise a son ..example, the African American community which is full of single mothers on benifits raising emotionally bastard children who ends up stealing and killing one another or in prison…african American women is a perfect template on what Nigerian women will be if we allow that victim ,delusional ,feminist, so called strong woman with nothing to show for it mentality to run amok here and it will be worse bcos atleast american has a good running system that covers most of the things

    • Anonymous

      December 5, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Maybe men should be the ones raising sons? Or it should at least be a joint effort? If you guys can’t even help raise your own children…. what exactly are you good for? Seeing as women are also providers in addition to nurturing and feeding

    • Loki

      December 5, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      True

    • Rahama

      December 5, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      How come we are complaining about all the men you men have raised? Move over let the women raise the men as well. A man who is in touch with his feminine side is more balanced and more useful to society. Millions of women crying out cannot be wrong. There is a problem it won’t hurt you to acknowledge there is a problem then we all can come together and address it. If you don’t acknowledge the problem your daughter will grow up and marry from the stock of men we currently have. I shudder to think of my daughter ending up with a ‘typical Nigerian man’. For her sake I have to speak up now. Trust me John and Chief it is bad.

    • Chief

      December 5, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Didn’t they teach you to respect us as men.Show some respect to your elders.You don’t insult men from where i come from.I’m not going to change my tune only because someone like you might not like my opinion,BTW you should listen to me when i talk and you don’t have any right to voice your opinion as a woman.People like you are the reason why men are getting ruined by women.Do you women really so badly want to control all spaces men are and silence men on everything unless it compliment you or support women? I say it again,Women can’t raise a boy to be a man on their own,they have no reference for it.period

  7. Loki

    December 5, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Hmmmm, I’m really not sure this article was fluid enough to effectively convey whatever message it was trying to pass across. That being said, yes, women do tend to be the biggest propagators of misogyny. But that’s expected – that competition has existed since our caveman days. Preach sister love from now till next year, mothers in law will still frustrate their sons’ wives and female bosses will still frustrate their female subordinates, and women will still hate each other because “she looks like an mgbeke/she feels too hot” It’s like a curse or something.
    Misogyny from men? Well, I personally believe that before you preach to the men, how about we cover the women? Charity begins at home afterall. A lot of men have a poor opinion of women which is reinforced by the way many women present themselves. This is 2016 and millions of Nigerian women still spend their time looking for a man “that will take care of me”. Most are still dreaming of finding “rich husbands”. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard some lady or the other tell her friend “you need to find a rich man to take care of you oh”. No, “you need to find a damn job to take care of yourself”. A lady right here on BN actually said “my husband sleeps with other men but he takes care of me and the children properly so what can I do?”. When i was in lawschool years ago, half of the women said “Im not going to practice oh. My certificate will hang in my husband’s house”. We forget that money talks and as long as men own majority of the resources, they will dictate how the world is run- even to the detriment of every other thing in it. Money answereth all things afterall. That, and physical strength.
    In a country like Nigeria, where there is widespread poverty, lack of a proper social infrastructure and a whole lot of women are dependent on men for their welfare, this misogyny is not going anywhere very soon. Someone I know just paid 1.5m in bride price items for the wife he married- dictated by her family, because she’s a graduate (as if she graduated for him). She didnt protest, nothing. If he’s a man he should pay up. That was her opinion. Later we will talk about equality in marriage.
    TL; DR- If you want to change the world, you need to start with yourself.

    • Anonymous

      December 5, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      “Later we will talk about equality in marriage”
      So because one woman agreed to be bought like a cow, the rest of us don’t deserve equality? In my village you don’t pay more than N50.

    • Loki

      December 5, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      My dear, in my village it is N24 but why does money have to be paid? Regardless of how small, it is still a symbol of purchase. And please let’s not pretend that it is only one woman that expects men to shell out for her. On this very same blog, one footballer proposed to his girlfriend and the women were all in an outrage over the size of the rock saying it was too small and the man should be ashamed of himself. Not ONE of them asked if the women got anything for the guy in return. Only, go and get bigger and more expensive ring. Before we hold on to custom/tradition and norms, let’s remember that most of the customs that dictate that a man must take care of a woman come side by side with “women must be subservient to men”. You basically can’t take one without the other. Life doesnt come with photoshop with which you can use to adjust it to your preference….

    • Yup

      December 5, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      The point is fight to scrap the bride price as much as you fight for other things. That is equality at work.

    • Nitomeya

      December 5, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      Well said.

    • Chief

      December 5, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      @Loki,Real masculinity can’t be controlled by a woman.It’s a pity that masculine men are seen as misogynists by women these days.Of course women are hypocrites,they hate each other,always in competitive mode with each other, always self conscious and love to hate each other.My father told me that the attractiveness of a man is primarily money.Women marry for money period..Money is the power of a man.If every man had this mentality,women will have no choice but to exist in our world the way you want them to exist.As a real man,i demonstrate more of the leadership that we are made to show and no woman even my woman should dictate to me what to do.

    • Rahama

      December 5, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      People come here to discuss, argue and most people after a while find a common ground by understanding life from different perspectives but you Mr. Chief haven’t learnt a thing. How about you state your case respectfully and listen to the other side with an open mind? Don’t be too rigid. The world in which ‘real men’ like you are worshipped and revered is slowly but surely changing and you Mr. Chief would be an old bitter man ranting to all who care to listen about the good old days when ‘men were men’
      Your type is a dying breed. Try and understand life from the other side, it would make life easier for you so you don’t have to come here and rant everyday. Your comments are always the same and most people don’t bother to read to the end cos you’re spewing the same ol’ stuff. Btw what are you doing commenting on a predominantly female blog? Don’t you have a hamlet or small village where you are their ‘great chief’?

    • I_I

      December 6, 2016 at 7:21 am

      Brother, pay these people little heed. I know a few of them from work: they are mostly of the childish, bitter and single stock. I don’t support oppression of any sort, but at the end of the day, gender roles exist for a reason, regardless of what the feminized liberal media tells you.

      If Men were so useless, you would expect that a lot of women would have accepted this fact, and stay single – but far from it, they even put themselves under pressure to find a Man. Patriarchy, yet most of my female friends hate their female bosses. Men are sexist, but even worked with women who find it hard to take a scolding without bursting into tears? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhh

    • mr HEAD

      December 5, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      I understand this N12m ish? Bride price is N30 in my village in Abia state.

    • Loki

      December 6, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Is the “bridal list” N30? How about the yams, the goats, the chickens, the bags or rice/beans, the boxes of clothes, the cases of drinks etc? Isnt that required anymore? Or they dont form part of the bride price; particularly these days where a lot of people prefer to monetise the lists rather than spend time looking for a specific white he-goat that was alive in the time of the 1966 military coup…

  8. Olubusola Adedire

    December 5, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    The law of duality – One wanders to the left, another to the right. Both are equally in error, but, are seduced by different delusions. — Horace

    We are all looking for the same thing and we all hurt and grieve differently. Bitterness has never solved anything, it only keeps the soul infected. Let everyone just focus on their own healing and take responsibility for their internal states, and you will see how beautiful life can be.

  9. john

    December 5, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    @loki looking for where to fault with ur comment , I cant,honestly, well said
    ..if all women can reason as logically as u did in this article even men will begging to join the feminist movement

  10. Tobereal

    December 5, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Mad Nigerian oops @Real Nigerian…exhale! !

  11. Optimus Prime

    December 5, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Men are scum. Women are scummier. Even if we assume for arguments sake that Nigerian men are scum, it’s because they are mostly raised by Nigerian women. It then begs the question – what do Nigerian women teach their sons?

    @A real Nigerian, You may want to change where you pick your partners. What do you really expect when you pick them up at bus-stops? Do not pour out your frustration on the Nigerian male population because of your rotten choices in life.

    My $0.02

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