Thursday, June 13, 2013


I know many will want to bite at my jugular because of what I am going to state here, but I will go ahead and do just that. Bite me. Scratch. Whine. Talk. Gossip. 

The Problem 

Some 7 years ago, I was working on my final year project (for my BSc.) titled 'Images and Portrayal of Women in Print Media Adverts'. I used the Questionare as one of my data gathering techniques…and had women as a subgroup.

I failed to meet the quota of female respondents. They never wanted to talk...the few that filled my questionaire were surprisingly not bothered by the way women images were used in media adverts. Shocked. I sure was.

Fast forward 4 years. It’s 2010... I am working on a mini documentary about a group of 'destitute' women who make a living begging under the overhead bridge at Marababa, Nasarawa state, Nigeria.

Most of these women had no handicap - a few did though. But they were all either pregnant or had babies and little children. (I learnt from their ‘head’ that most had husbands and were practically being ‘pimped’ to 'spin' money. Others were fresh divorcees).

They interacted as if they were in there own very homes, having a chit chat, ready to make a dash at any passerby who showed signs of wanting to give alms.

One woman was delivered of a baby right there, beside the muck filled drain, on the littered ground and the cacophony of sounds that is the signature of the place.

So documentary started.

I wanted to interview the women who has stalls or had some business around the place. My plan was to make a video I could put out there on the web and make a report in the paper I worked for.

Sadly, I failed. The women I approached did not want to talk about it. Two later talked, off record.

Funny enough, every single man I approached had something to say, on record ( I later did not use the recorded interviews because of the male-heaviness).

The video was posted on my wall and blog that year. No woman commented. A few men did.

Fast forward again, 3 years and we are in 2013.

I decided to focus WRRPoetry's first anthology ‘OUR MOTHERS, SISTERS & DAUGHTERS’: No To Rape, Domestic Violence and Women Abuse! on the noble cause.

Guess what? It’s almost over and the male to female submission ratio is like 8 to 1!

Where are/were the women? They are the most obvious victims of misrepresentation in media adverts; their fellow women are the ones under the bridge; they are the ones who are being raped and abused by thoughtless, half-man men…but they won’t lend their voice!

Let's go back to the villages: the 'torture' of widows, common in the eastern parts of Nigeria. Who are the victims? Women. Who are the head shavers? Women of course (sisters, aunts and mothers of the deceased).

take medicine 
another (wo)man's 

When will women begin to take the issues that concern their kind very seriously? When will they learn that one woman's oppression is a collective affront? When will they realize that every little effort counts?

When will they stop putting blames on the men and start working on positive action plans, form support groups, share experiences, contribute to discourse, attempt setting agenda and make useful connections?

If you are a woman and...

  • your voice is only heard when a foolish man makes chauvinistic statements;
  • you watch as a fellow woman is abused and you do nothing (nonchalant neighbor); 
  • you partake in the torment of another woman (cultural rites, evil in-laws); 
  • you abuse children (especially female) in your custody (probably for their beauty or being more brainy than your pampered kids); 
  • you decide to become a he-hater without trying to first be a proper he-maker (home front); 
  • you pull other women down (politics).... 
...this piece is for you!

Women can do it. They can lead the nation. But how will they if they don’t first learn to stand up: be seen, heard and the kitchen (if they care) but most importantly, on the streets, newspapers, blogs and social media?

Do not 
point a finger 
at the goat: 
left the vegetable 

Pardon me, my dear women. I’m just a dude who thinks women can do much better….

No comments:

Post a Comment



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...