Wear Your Big Girl Panties

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Ayo (Florence Kasumba) and Okoye (Danai Gurira)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

I am going through my Whatsapp and come across a post in one of our groups.  The post is about a woman who posted on Facebook that her husband watches porn with their six-year-old son. She then claims to cry about it daily.

Everyone’s typical reaction is rage against the husband. Understandably. Who would not be angered? What type of man does such wicked things? He needs to be in jail, better still stoned. I would gladly cast the first stone. With all my sins, I would still cast the first stone. But then wait, there is another adult in this story. I got angry at the boy’s mother. Where is her natural instinct to protect her boy? Why is it that she is satisfied with telling us she cries daily? Is it more important for us to sympathise with her than to demand that she acts for her child? So we got into it, in the group. And the first emotion is usually sympathy. For the woman. She must be abused. She probably is not exposed. She has no one. No. I’m not buying it. Where is her natural instinct to protect the boy? I asked myself again. Why is she still married to that man? No one around her sees anything wrong? (I am sure people have another long list of excuses).

This whole situation just got me thinking and wondering. When did we become so helpless as African women? So passive. Always expecting some outside source to do something for us. Things that used to be instinct no longer come naturally to us. These days we want sympathy. Society is happy to provide us with all manner of excuses. All this information is, I say, a tool of oppression.

Seriously, we cannot even get a mate without outside intervention! My grandmother once asked a relative why she was not yet married. She responded by saying she was waiting on God to send her a husband. I still laugh when I remember her response. “Getting married is something people wait for really? When you decide you want to get married, you carry your things and go and be married!” (Direct translation from vernacular) Women waste their whole lives waiting for husbands from God. They wait faithfully in their houses. The husbands never come. Then we must walk on eggshells around them as we excuse God’s inability to bring husbands with some mental issue or a generational curse. My father always told us not to forget to get married. He knew ‘the power’ to get married was in our hands, but sadly, not many African women see this. By the way, getting married is not an achievement, let’s not get excited.

These days, we even need external help to have good sex. Every weekend or random evening there will be sex classes going on. Grown, mostly educated women will gather in some apartment. Giggling and drinking wine while listening to some stranger tell them what their own bodies can do. And, because you do not know your own body, they will start pressurizing you to do some things. On demand. Sex becomes clinical. Then for fun and decoration, they add other ungodly acts and toys. They want you to insert strange things in all holes. Then they crown it with, “You are empowered!” You who does not know what makes you feel good.

Anyway, I believe having sex is instinct. Your body will want it. You will know to open your legs. It will feel good, your waist will move. Your legs will go around him. You will hold him close. You will even make sounds without prompting. You will orgasm. It is in you. Why don’t you trust yourself? Why do you need someone to tell you what you know?

We no longer know what to do with our own children. You will hear a woman happily exclaim that her child cannot eat if she feeds the child. Only the maid can get the child to eat. So she cannot allow the maid to go because she would not know where to start! When did we become so useless? What is it exactly that we can do for ourselves? Apart from creating excuses. We have become very good at excuses. We are afraid of hurting feelings. We are afraid of questioning anything. Someone needs to shake us.

Put down your phones,  get off social media (finishing reading this article first though), and handle business.  You have no mental issue (please just stop looking for mental diseases, if you have not been diagnosed by a professional, please stop it), you are not cursed and I am sure you know where your vagina is located. You can protect your offspring, you know when something is wrong. Take matters in your own hands, awaken your instincts. Put on your big girl panties!

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