Last week, one of the top trends on Twitter was #BeingFemaleInNigeria. Although I’m UK based, I could relate to a lot of the things that were being shared. It was evident that the issues stem from a certain attitude that has been handed down from generations.
In a conversation with a fellow mummy blogger, she made the point that it’s women who perpetuate this attitude. I agreed to an extent and could think of instances where men have not been held accountable for some of their actions whilst women are blamed instead. Of course, I’m aware that this issue is a complex one and there are more sides to the story.
I however decided that as a Nigerian mum raising a son, it’s up to me to be different and to teach him the worth and value of women. With God’s grace and wisdom, one of my prayers is that my son will not become a liability to his future wife.
With this in mind, here’s a list of things I will teach my son to counter the negative attitudes that are still so prevalent in the Nigerian culture today.
1. It’s ok for a husband to cook
Whilst some men grow up knowing how to cook and are self-sufficient adults, some revert to the “a woman’s place is in the kitchen” ideal and don’t do it. I also appreciate that the best way for him to learn this is by example. So Papa Nate, get cooking! 😉
2. An opinionated woman is not a troublesome woman
Women should be able to share their views on all matters as equally as men. The female voice should be heard and valued.
3. Do not be intimidated by a successful and educated woman
This is something to be celebrated and not feared. End of story as far as I’m concerned.
4. Men are not the superior sex
Some are quick to point out that “the husband is the head of the wife” as in Ephesians 5:23 or even that wives must “submit” as in the previous verse. They however miss out what it says in verse 21: “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”. In other words, it’s a two way thing. If people read on from verses 25-31 of the same chapter, the description of Jesus’s love for the church makes it evident to me that dominating women or imposing one’s will on them is not the intention of that passage and therefore it’s not God’s intention.
Another area where this is seen is in the way male sons are coveted and sought after, then treated as mini gods when they arrive. My daughter will be just as cherished thank you very much!
5. Forget gender stereotypes
All the points above can be related back to this point. So the most important thing I hope my son will have learnt by the time he’s an adult, is that he should forget gender stereotypes all together.
Here’s a BBC article on the trends with some sample tweets.
What will you be teaching your sons and daughters?