Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Women: Are We Our Own Enemy?

I ask this question because I've noticed the many struggles we sisters go through. We are unlikely to tell each other the truth and always go out of our way to paint a rosy picture of our situations when just speaking the truth may inspire and in many cases help another sister.

In this post, I am going to turn my attention to domestic violence. Many cases of it have been in my face lately and I'm forced to ask the question, what is going on? How come we have so many cases of it coming to the limelight now? We all know some women get battered in marriage both physically and mentally but the sheer number of cases cropping up these days has given me a cause to ponder on the choice we make in our life partners.

I know many expectations have changed and one cant simply say I'm marrying for love these days. Many women marry for all sorts of reasons; to get the parents off their backs, as a status thing, for security, for kids, for money or for whatever reason. But are we so driven by our desire to get hitched that we somehow slack on scrutinising the quality of the men we go for? I am by no means suggesting that just the men are to blame for this but are we as women actually assessing that beyond our physical and social needs we're indeed mentally ready to be a wife, mother and a life partner?

I'm inclined to believe that many women who are getting into marriages these days have very little ideas what to expect and feel ill-equipped to deal with situations because they've actually not dated or courted properly. From day one, what most women see especially when you're past a certain age is the altar and you just start to scheme and plan and strategise on how to get the man to commit. A commitment he might not want or be ready for. I am guilty of this as well.

This is probably due to the fact that as singles we get the most criticism from other sisters? Why isn't she married? Why does she not have kids yet? What's she doing with that short and ugly man? How could she stoop so low? And the list goes on and on. Little wonder women are just entering into union for the heck of it or for reasons of drawing approvals and admirations?

We need to go back to the drawing board sisters because I don't want to hear another story of a sister who topped herself or another whose husband butchered her to death. It is sickening, it is scary and I know it can be avoided. This is the time to act and the time to start changing our attitudes and expectations. Getting married or being with a man should not be a means to an end, it should be a well thought out process, a full awareness of oneself and a journey one is prepared to make in the right frame of mind and for the right reasons.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

The two worlds of Lagos

I have just returned from a short trip to Nigeria and it was fun. I met up with someone I've been longing to see and wasn't disappointed. I wish I had time to see many more people but there's always another time.

I've seen a few improvements in Lagos but I reckon BRF's accomplishment was overblown. I dare say though that where he's been a bit active, Akala has been comatose in Ibadan. Crying shame for Africa's purported largest city. I went to my home town of Ijebu-Ode and it was just so dusty. Why don't people paint their homes? A lot of people have moved into the small town and I particularly hated seeing those keke Marwa everywhere. I thought they were confined to Lagos only.

What I liked about Lagos was that it's cleaner and what I disliked most was the fact that it seems the mainland was forgotten and most of the improvements have been largely on the Island. Yes, I know Lagos is a class city but it is just too blatant that they continue to improve the Island so much for the rich and the improvements on the mainland is minimal. On the mainland where I stayed mostly, I saw a lot of angry and impatient people but I went to Shoprite and saw people acting as if they don't shit.

Anyway it is what it is...better some improvement than nothing. I did enjoy my visit to Nigeria though and hopefully I'll get to visit soon again and stay for longer.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

If You Must Sleep With A Married Man

...then make it worth your while.

This is probably a controversial post but I just have to say it. I am not endorsing sleeping with a married man. Heck no! However, the reality is that a lot of ladies do these days, knowingly or unknowingly. For a lady who knows that she's sleeping with a married man, why is she doing it if not for personal gain?

Okay so why am I writing about this? Last night, a friend in Nigeria confided in me that one of the top Managers in her work place is interested in her. She then said oh Parakeet, he's so goodlooking and I'm into him so am considering giving in. At this point I honestly thought the man in question was single as my friend is. So I asked her where the hesitation was coming from and she said 'oh he's married, he's got 3 wives'. After recovering from the shock and *picking my jaw from the floor*, I asked her if she was mad to ever consider a married man's advances. She went into this long story of how she was fed up with single guys and their games, how it still amounted to sleeping with them for nothing and how it even hurts more when a single man messes you around. Well true but she conveniently forgot about the bit where the chances of you having a more meaningful relationship with a single man is far higher than that of a married man.

Anyway it looked like there was no convincing this lady to abandon her quest so I asked her, 'what's in it for you? Is he gonna help with your business start up in anyway?' She was like 'no, I dont intend asking him for any favours lest he thinks am a prostitute'! HELLO! Should you give a rats ass what he thinks? A lot of these men already see Nigerian girls as easy anyway and for him to have made advances at you am sure he's willing to pay his way through, so why would you let him get away with it and give him a free p****?

In my own opinion it makes no difference, if a woman has decided to sleep with a married man, then she must be gaining something preferrably material from him. I mean why let the man win both ways? If he wants a mistress then let him pay for it. It makes you no prostitute as long as you're not putting out for many men at the same time in exchange for personal gain. Although perhaps there's some self esteem issues going on sleeping with a married man in the first place. Really, ladies put a price on it if you decide not to hoard your goods.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Problem Goes Deeper Than a Few Beauty Enhancements

I read with interest the many comments made about the untimely death of the bum surgery girl ( It did not surprise me that women were the most critical of her actions yet many women are guilty of the exact same thing she did albeit on a smaller scale. On Facebook and beyond, I see all sorts of different weaves and make-up that make a lot of women look unreal. I am not against weave-ons and make up so long as it is done properly and does enhance one’s natural beauty. However, many of the so-called enhancements women go through are no longer fit to be called enhancements, they should be called 'total change'. Change because when some women are stripped off the entire enhancement, one would hardly recognise them.

More and more cases of people who have cosmetic surgery mishaps are coming to our notice yet nothing is being done to change perceptions. Perhaps nothing can be done like the banking crisis that plunged the entire world into recession and nothing visible has been done to make sure it does not happen again. Perhaps this is the way the real world is, create a problem, see the havoc the problem is wreaking, show your disgust about it but curl back into the safety of your home and forget about it. However, for how long can we let these things go on?

A brief history of beauty especially in the West where most beauty ideas are exported to other parts of the world reveal that women have always been expected to look a certain way to make themselves desirable to men. In the Victorian times, a voluptuous woman would catch the attention of most men and to find husbands in those days you either had to be beautiful or come from a family of wealth. If you did not fall into either of these categories you are basically left a spinster or you end up marrying men who were considered the 'lowest' in society.

Besides getting married in those days, there was basically nothing else women could do with their lives. Absolutely nothing, which gives a little insight into why women pursued beauty as that was the only thing they could control to some extent. Women had no right to education so they can forget training to become a doctor or any other profession. Men were also in charge of the work places so getting a job or at least something decent was near impossible. Therefore, achieving the acceptable level of beauty and subsequently marrying a rich man became the main pre-occupation for women who were not fortunate enough...and there were many of them.

What does this show? That the idea of ideal beauty is by no means a modern phenomenon. What was not available then was the advanced technology we have now which helps women to 'see to' any part of their bodies that did not fit into this ideal. Most women wanted to be Barbie...tiny waist, big buxom, narrow nose and a pout. As time wore on, black women caught up with the fad what with the music videos that had women dancing in scanty outfits with atrociously big boobs and incredibly massive booties still managing to look trim. Freud blames women’s pursuit of beauty on their narcissistic nature but I disagree. I say it's what happens in a patriarchal world where many women’s chance of being noticed by a man is when she has managed to attain the acceptable and expected level of beauty. Even though more women are more educated than they did a century ago and now have access to work and a decent wage, much have not changed in terms of attaining ideal beauty primarily because most men would at first instance appreciate beauty before anything else. Why women need to gain the attention of men to feel validated is another issue entirely and I am not at liberty to tackle that in this note, as it will be a deviation from the subject matter

This is not another post by an angry Feminist who blames men for all of women's woes, far from it. This is a concerned woman who is trying to call people's attention to a much deeper problem than cosmetic surgery. This is a woman who foresees that more women and increasing men will turn to cosmetic procedures unless we tackle the issue of body image. Do not be surprised when I say men are increasingly turning to enhancement procedures and regimes too. Men now account for 9% of all cosmetic procedures carried out in the UK and it's a trend that is already apparent in the USA too. From 2000 to 2005, the number of men seeking cosmetic surgery increased 44% to 911,850, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery (

Pick up a regular women magazine like Cosmopolitan and you will find a centerspread of the male torso in all its glory… ripped muscles, six packs and all the works. Feminists will say this is evidence that women are also capable of voyeurism and it's no longer the preserve of the men. Is it really? Truth is we're all capable of being a peeping tom. The only reason why women never used to exhibit this side of them was because when it came to sex or anything sexual, women were supposed to be coy. Don't look at a man too much because he might consider you 'loose'. Pretend as if sex is alien to you because men like a bit of mystic. So the Feminist response to this unfairness is to put more men out there in women magazines and let the women have a feast. What does this tit for tat situation lead to? More men will become insecure about their bodies and therefore chase the body ideal too.

However the situation is not so bad for men yet because men are still more regarded for their wallets and masculinity than for their looks. Many men will boast that a man need not be handsome and can get a way with some flab as long as their wallets was overflowing with cash. Being handsome is merely a plus, a rich and confident man can get any woman he wants and in fact many women will agree to this. However, how many times do we hear that a woman need not be beautiful, just have brains and you will be fine? Still very rare indeed. That's the reality we live in but this is not to say that ideal look pressure is not creeping up on men too. If we continue to take the advantage of the social power women now have to peddle ideas of what a 'real man' should look like, it is only going to lead to the same body image problem many women are battling with today. Skinny men will fatten up with protein supplements and then work themselves to death in the gym to get the muscled bodies more women are finding desirable while women who are still expected to have 'soft' lean bodies will resort to liposuction because using the gym will likely turn you to a Madonna look alike.

We need to change the entire way we see beauty and encourage people to be healthy whether they are fair or dark, short or tall, flat bum or protruding bum, big boobs or small boobs, 6 packs or even belly. No one is born perfect and no one could ever achieve ideal beauty because ideas about beauty will keep changing. Narcissistic attitude is mostly brought on by the balance of power in society, which drives us towards unrealistic pursuit of most things beauty and wealth inclusive. It is not our nature and we have the power to change things for the better.