Thursday, March 6, 2014

SHE WON’T TAKE HIS SURNAME! HE WON’T PAY HER BRIDE PRICE!

Chimamanda N. Adichie and her husband Ivara Esege

equality of the sexes
calls not for muscle flexes

My campaign against abuse and all other forms of violence against women is something I stand for with all mylife, so much that it has crippled me in some personal matters of the heart. It is a noble cause I am proud of...
But I am not delusional. I am not blind either. Some things are not just wished away, and this applies to traditions that have existed for ages.
But fear don dey catch me these days o!
Some people have tainted the genuine struggle of seeing women escaping the shackles of a stifling masculine society where women cannot secure bail, cannot be operated upon without the consent of adult male, are sold off in marriage at tender age, are abused and misused without hope of justice in the courts...

tis not fight of hairy he-males
against the breasted fe-males

Is feminism actually a scrotal sack kick against tradition or just a balancing, re adjustment of the system that exists, chauvinistic to a large extent, especially in Africa?
When we begin to take equality to be a confrontation there will naturally be kickbacks.
We must know that some of the ‘freedoms’ like surname retention after marriage are the least of the issues women need to focus on – how will that bring about equality, opportunity and security, freedom from abuse and violence?
How many diatribes have I read following Aunty Chimamanda’s husband name saga? I have read more than enough to do a Ph.D thesis in Cambridge University but I am yet to satisfy my ‘muntulla-circlogata’.
Well, if a couple agree on the issue of surname compromise after marriage, I believe there is a no problem with the woman retaining her father’s name or whatever name she so desires – emphasis on AGREE.

is that thing in a name
beyond the call of fame?

I feel there is a need for an agreement because, despite my championing of equality for our women, I am not averse to the retention of certain traditional ways of doing things and a surname is one of them.
There may be a valid point in the argument by those who don’t want to change name. Say for example, an established name like ‘Chimamanda’ marries an obscure male with an unrecognised name, what becomes of the name she struggled to build?
Again, if there is a divorce, does she have to keep his name or would she go back to the courts and newspapers for another name change?

must she lose her name to be wed
what happens if she's off his bed?

One must note however that only ladies like Chimamanda who have made something of their name will want to retain it. If she were a nobody marrying into the Achebe or Soyinka family – giving the shakara nature of our women – she would not have a problem wearing the surname like an Arabian nose ring.
The thing na serious argument but honestly, I go like make me and my wife use one surname – mine!
If marriage makes us one, then, my dear, let’s take one surname. For all intent and purposes, answering multiple surnames in one family just doesn’t cut it for me – a personal view.
“What is in a name?” some people will ask.
Truth is that I do not know what is in a name that requires that a woman must change hers after marriage. What I do know is that, it must have to do with our marriage system, something I talked about some weeks ago in my poem about buying a wife (read am hia bit.ly/1faiW7l).

here tradition is right
there, it's full of blight?

It is however funny that when it comes to marriage, a man will be asked to pay all sorts of monies – according to tradition – and I do not hear of feminists fighting against that.
By that arrangement, the man is giving a headship position which only becomes threatened after he has fulfilled all the ‘acceptable’ traditions.
Monkey sabi chop banana, but e no laik to plant am!
If women, goaded by certain Europeanised African feminists, now seek to be divorced from the tradition of taking their husbands’ name, I see no problem.
Rather, as a man, I see an opportunity. Yes, na so I see am.
Let women go on a protest to their parents and adjust the marriage pattern such that men will come to marry them without having to pay all the payables.
Alternatively, they should pay us men and everyone retains their surname.
But truth be told, if you as a man sees a star and you marry her, you would be foolish to expect her to change her name for you. It is a brand!

i pay the pride price
please pay the name price

Just kidding sha...but gaskiya, my wife go sign say she go use my name o!
Anyway, while we argue back and forth, I ask: whose name will the children bear?

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