A couple of months back I attended a graduation party of a friend. Graduation is a big deal so congratulations to everyone that has crossed that line and to everyone else that is working to reach that all the best. It will be worth it. Never met anyone that has said that graduation wasn’t worth it.
Back to the point, as the graduate took her speech, she hinted that she was unemployed and listed the qualities she possessed in addition to the degree she had attained that might help her compete in the job market. The MC then after took over the microphone and stated “You will make a good wife.”
I could not believe my ears. If possible my eyes could have fallen out as well. I believe I had a shocked expression too. Like seriously?? I could not believe that all her hard work and her amazing attributes where quickly equated to being a good wife. Right then I remembered Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s feature on FLAWLESS by Beyoncé,
(Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
We say to girls
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man”
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Fast forward, I met up with some friends and as we talked about how we shall curve unemployment we discussed the various talents and skills we might build on or even still we carry on even after employment. And then boom, another person kept stating that “you will make a good wife after each girl spoke. I think my eyes were in perfect shape that day because of the countless eye rolls.
The statement you will make a good wife rubs me in the wrong way. It makes my stomach cringe, my eyes bulge, and my ears sting at times I feel I am even getting a mini heart attack (no jokes).I feel that it is the highest form of discrediting a woman. If only it could be told to men as well then maybe I would not react that much to it.
The statement “you will make a good CEO “wouldn’t hurt or pointing us in the direction to the will enable us achieve our dreams too wouldn’t hurt. But yet again we are being shown that our place is in the kitchen and that even if we went to the moon and back, if you are not a wife it doesn’t matter.
Am not saying that most men or the public thinks like that, but for those that still believe that we (girls) only aspire to be only wives please either keep your options to yourselves or simply do a soul search. And no I will not say that imagine your sister, niece, daughter and further more so that you can inspire a female out there to go and achieve her goals. This is simply because it doesn’t have to be your family to force you to be considerate to one’s dreams and aspirations. So one will ask what if one only wants to be a wife, the answer is simple to each their own. But for those that have a different aspiration like my graduate up there, let her be.
Remember empower a woman and build a nation.