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AnuOluwapo Adelakun: Of Epic Twitter Comebacks & the Importance of Financial Independence for Women

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Yes, I am dedicating this post to the most epic TwitterNG Clap back which has been trending.

The tweets which deserve to be engraved in gold and put up in the museum of Women Empowerment (If there is any) ensued between a cheesy young man who took to Twitter to rant about being refused a chance at having a relationship with a young lady (with a self-esteem on fleek) whom he had taken out on a date. He referred to her as a ‘broke ass hungry b*tch’. The lady who identified herself as the object of contention, simply replied his tweet with a break-down of the expenses incurred on the date and a screenshot of a money transfer to the said guy as a refund + tip.

Can we all have a moment of silence in honour of this ‘Miss Independent’ move.

You see, the young lady in question might not have a well-paid job or 30 billion for the account o *in Davido’s voice*; she didn’t even have to pay him back generously as she did, but I love that she didn’t feel helpless or without a choice.

This brought to mind something that happened to one of my mother’s friends some years ago. (I’m sharing her experience with her permission of course.) She had been in a horribly abusive marriage for years. Her husband even had a long cane hidden behind the door in their room for when she ‘misbehaved’ and wasted no time flogging her silly in front of their children.  When the cane was not sufficient, he resorted to using his teeth. On one of such occasions, he bit one of her breasts and a chunk of her flesh was actually hanging on her chest.

My mother is a lawyer, but of what use was that, when her friend never wanted any help in that regard? ‘Where will I go?’ she would often ask my mother. My mother spoke to her husband on multiple occasions, but his woman was quick to cover him up.
Back to the vampire incident where the breast had been bitten; upon arrival at the hospital (you should know that this man never paid any of the bills arising from his violent outbursts)  the doctor asked what could have caused such a fracas and my mother’s friend said that she had slipped and fallen badly off the stairs. Of course, the doctors didn’t believe her (Not with his teeth imprinted in her flesh), but counselled her nonetheless.

A few years ago, this man gave his wife a date – not when he would send her out of his home, but when he would actually kill her. She ran to my mother who advised her to get a job and earn some money no matter how meagre.

She did just that (against the wishes of her husband, who believed women should be full-time housewives) and that was the beginning of her freedom.  Since the man always got angry when it was time to pay the bills, she started handling the bills. Unsurprisingly, he began to complain about how she didn’t care about him or treat him like a man. He complained, but never lifted a finger to hit her again. Why?  She now had her own money and could afford to leave him, if he abused her again.  Soon enough, he was transferred by his company to work in a state that was 12 hours away from home. He hasn’t come home visiting till this day.

And, you’re taking things too far with this issue, you may say – but I think not. We can’t overemphasise the need for women to be financially independent. In fact, most of the problems we have in the world today stem from the poverty many women face because they can’t or are not allowed or given opportunities to be financially independent. In many countries, including Nigeria, some cultures forbid women from owning or administering properties (this is one of the reasons why our gender equality bill must make a come-back in the Senate), denied employment because they will get pregnant and have babies and no one wants to pay for a breastfeeding or nappy changing vacation and yada yada.

Here’s my take on the Twitter incident: taking a lady out on a date, buying her expensive gifts, or treating her to some privileges doesn’t mean she must meet your expectations in return, or even pay you back in cash or kind. This is the grounds some men have ignorantly used to justify rape and forms of sexual violence. It is beyond sad. What if she was controlling you at the ATM or she bought the whole of Dubai mall using your credit card? Uncle, it still doesn’t mean she must have a relationship or have sex with you. Recieve sense!

Love can’t be forced, and relationships are not legal tenders for dates. If either of the parties on a date is not ‘feeling’ any chemistry or seeing any possibilities, they have a right to step back. After all, many of us have been on dates with people who have treated us very nicely, but with whom we had no relationships – we had the right to, for whatsoever reason.

More than anything,  this particular twitter thread should be empowering to ladies. Don’t be intimidated. What if he takes you out and spends more than you can afford and behaves this same way, don’t feel like you have to pay anyone back for a date they invited you to. There’s a price to be paid for everything in this life including time spent with other people on dates. Hold your head up high;  let your No be your No and your Yes be your Yes.

This is not a call to war, I simply mean that you have a choice!
Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

AnuOluwapo Adelakun is a Women & Girls rights advocate, Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker working on issues affecting marginalized girls and women in Nigeria. She's a UNICEF Voices of Youth alumni, Carrington Youth Fellow of the US Consulate in Nigeria, US Consul General Award Recipient, UN WOMEN/Empower Women Global Champion for Change and UK Chevening Alumna. She's also an ardent reader of African literature and an unrepentant fan of the BBC series 'Call the Midwife'.

10 Comments

  1. Annette Eugene

    April 2, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    You are quite on point. Please keep talking till the mindset of most women/girls change.I am also a combatant in thesame feild.I will appreciate it,if I get to know you more 07032335200.Thanks.
    Annette

  2. Marlee

    April 2, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Love it. Miss independent. That’s me. Sometime I have soo much money left after paying all my bills and saving. Life of independence is bliss ladies.

  3. Tola

    April 2, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Lol @ uncle… receive sense. Really lol!…..that girl’s reply on Twitter, though … epic is an understatement. I bet if it were me I wouldn’t be able to control my tongue. Maybe i’d have ended up stooping to the boy’s level and exchanging words with him

  4. OY

    April 3, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Nice. Take it a step further by insisting on going 50 / 50 on date expenses. That is what real independence would look like to me.

    • DAME

      April 3, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Even if we insisted on 50/50 bill sharing, an immature man is an immature man. I would buttress further by saying no matter hat you think you have done for a lady or a guy as the case maybe, do not feel entitled to anything,
      That’s how guys rape girls that visit them at home saying if she did not want it why did she come…or a girl helps a guy out of a financial distress and that equals a marriage or relationship.
      state it..be clear and do not feel entitled . bless up

    • OY

      April 3, 2017 at 11:51 am

      I disagree. Going 50/50 will set a clear boundary, then there would be nothing to feel entitled about no matter how immature the man is. It may even help you weed out the so called immature men.
      Preach independence not in words only but in action. Why should a mature, independent woman be accepting expensive gifts from a man, who in most cases she barely knows, knowing that it may make him feel entitled? If not for greed wouldn’t you ask yourself what you have done to warrant it? To think that the author of the article never suggested refusing certain gifts is truly sad.

  5. Cindy

    April 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    @OY I disagree. If you are not ready to foot the bills, do everyone else a favor by not inviting the person out. Male or female, what makes you think the person has enough money to spare for a date? When I invite my friends out both male and female, I foot their bills unless I made it clear before that I wasn’t going to. In which case you would have a choice to decline to come or not. Let’s stop the deceit. It is not by force to ask someone out. The onus is not on the person to say yes or no, don’t even ask in the first place. The important thing here is choice. Period.

    • OY

      April 3, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      A date isn’t a hangout or a party. It’s 2 ppl meeting to see if a relationship can evolve. U can’t claim independence on one hand and then place the weight of the interaction on the other person. If you r not invested in the process why on earth shd u b there? If u r invested, contribute, it makes it a healthy, mutually respectful interaction btw 2 matured individuals, Setting the tone for a healthy relationship. How can the onus not be on u? If u don’t want to b there or cant afford to be, then don’t be, say no. The man is there becos he wants to be there ‘onus and all’, you shd b able to say the same too. That is what independence and equality looks like.

  6. Tosin

    April 3, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    I do not seem to understand you Mr OY, are you saying that any lady who goes on a date with a guy MUST date the guy? Going on a date with a guy doesn’t mean I’m interested in dating him. Going on a date means I want to know him better, and if I do not like what I see or hear, I’ll just walk. I think it’s simply immature to think that a lady has to date you once she goes on a date with you.

    • OY

      April 3, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      I NEVER Said that (read d first line). You r both there to find out if u both like each other, then y r u expecting him to cover the bills for the interaction?

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