I woke up to some of the most hilarious comments and ‘harshtags’ I have seen this year. The #WifeNotCook proponents on social media have been assailed by from every angle. They have been pummeled left right and centre on every platform with mocking ‘harshtags’ like #HusbandNotATM, #MotherNotCook, #MistressNotMaid, and the funniest I ‘ve seen, #BoyfriendNotHouseboy!
Nigerians have never lacked in ingenuity and humour, in fact, it comes naturally, a way of life to survive and relax in a country so blessed with resources yet so poor in development. This is why despite all the negatives we were once ranked the happiest people in the world. A majority of Nigerians in the diaspora will often tell you they‘ll rather be home if they had the choice. And many Lagosians who spend hours in frustrating traffic will still tell you they don’t want to live elsewhere.
The great Abami Eda Fela summarised our beautiful madness in one phrase, “suffering and smiling”.
Paradoxically, for all our ingenuity Nigerians can still be copycats regardless. It is more worrisome that we have this propensity to copy the negatives and even go on to outdo the originators.
Ideally, the #WifeNotCook tag was obviously intended to propagate awareness among husbands that wives should be seen as partners who deserve their love, warmth and appreciation rather than helpers who should be subjugated to the kitchen regardless of their emotional or physical state.
However, there is a fundamental flaw in the chosen words for the hashtag. By saying “wife not cook” the very first impression people get is that you are either saying a wife should not cook or must not cook and as usual our accidental feminists have also helped in spreading the misconception.
If the propagators of the hashtags are from civilised nations, where most women earn income and are able to take care of themselves, I can understand. But coming from a society where MOST women believe the man is obliged to cater for most of their needs including basic needs as little as sanitary pads then I begin to wonder and shake my head.
I recently narrated to my wife how I queued behind this aged couple in a grocery store a few days ago. They both paid separately for their goods and the man packed all the items into the same bag. Likewise, when partners go out on a date and the bill is €100, the lady opens her bag, picks out a €50 bill, and drops it on the plate. The man completes the bill and passes it on to the waiter. Are these not the proper people with moral and ethical rights to spread such hashtags?
We just like to over-copy and overdo things in Nigeria. If only the horde of indomie feminists out there will study and understand the true aims of the movement they will channel more of their energy towards the basics like educating the girl child and pursuing enlightenment programmes for teenagers.
I suggest they take a look at this study published by Time magazine a couple of years ago to see that some of the climes they want to emulate still have women doing most of the domestic work, yet a majority of these women earn regular income.
There is just not much to say on the matter, I have only decided to do a short one while chillaxing and laughing off my head at different reactions to the trending topic online. We live in a society where sleazy money bags who parade as lawmakers recently shot down a gender equality bill without as much as a whimper let alone a protest from these online feminists. They should carry placards to the National Assembly rather than sharing lousy ‘harshtags’ that somewhat negates the lofty aims of feminism.
The aim of having a gender equality law is a collective responsibility, but for reasons, I wrote about in an earlier piece the ladies are expected to drive this cause. Any right-thinking man should support it for the simple fact that we are all humans. Man and woman are created to be complimentary, it is evident from our basic morphology, so whatever works for each couple should suffice so far as there is understanding. However, taking our often misconstrued version of feminism into matrimony can be cumbersome. It is your cup of tea if you allow trending ‘harshtags’ make or break your relationship.
Much love to wives that cook and husbands that cook too!