Submission – a word I have grown to hate.

I hear and see Nigerian Men and Women preaching that the Woman should always submit to her Husband. But what does it mean to be submissive? I really do not understand why that word should exist in a mutual loving relationship. What do most Nigerian when they say that they want a submissive Woman? I reckon that they want a puppet for a Wife, one who would not question their so called “authority.”

What exactly does submission mean? According Wikipedia, “submission is the action of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.”

So, the word submission, should only exist in a relationship where one person is superior; like a Master-Slave relationship.

A while ago, I watched a TV program, where the Woman said that her husband told her that everything she owned belonged to him; Her money, her cars, because he had allowed her to go out to work. The funny thing was that, she said this, believing that the husband was right. So, when her husband was out of work, she gets paid and she hands her pay cheque over to her husband and he decides how her money should be spent. Would he hand his pay cheque to her, if she was the one out of work? I’m pretty sure that will be a big No. Shebi, that one just did it while the husband was out of work, there are women who hand over their pay cheque to their husband constantly, whether the man is working or not.

Is that not slavery?

I remember the video where the Pastor was trying to resolve a squabble between a couple, where the husband had not told the wife he had two children from two different women before they got married. She was however more concerned that her husband didn’t give her money to make her hair. Watching that video made me sad, because it made me wonder why Nigerian women put themselves in a position, to make it look like they have no choice but to stay with a low life who calls himself a husband.

This man was so arrogant; this is a man that should be on his knees pleading for his wife to forgive him for keeping such from her. Instead it was the woman that was asked to kneel and plead for forgiveness. This is what it means for a wife to submit to her husband in Nigeria.

You see, I have come to hate that word (Submission) because of what it means in the life of a Nigerian woman. You only need to watch some of our Nollywood Movies to see how Nigerian women are portrayed. Being a submissive woman in the Nigerian context represents long-suffering, enduring a series of abuse from your husband and still according him respect, because he is your head and “a wise woman builds her home but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.”

I remember when I attended a women’s meeting in church and the Pastors wife said, “it is a woman that keeps the home”. I quickly jumped in and said; “I disagree, it is not the job of the woman to keep the home but rather the job of the husband and the wife. Why would you put the responsibility of making a marriage work on the woman”? She looked at me and said, “Are you a Christian”? At that point I was a Christian, but it was at that point I started questioning this whole organised religion thingy.

The traditional role of men as the breadwinner in the home is changing, women now even earn more than their husbands yet gender roles and expectations seem to be staying the same.  I once heard a man say; Even if my wife becomes the CEO of a company she should still come home and pound yam for me. She shouldn’t allow the success and money she has get into her head, I am still her husband and I have authority over her.”

Regardless of the financial status of the woman as breadwinner, she should submit to the authority of the man as he is the “head of the home.” Please don’t start with the bullshit of the man is the head and the woman is the neck, because that is exactly what it is, CRAP or the cliche, “there cannot be two captains on a ship.” Who says the captain always has to be the man?

What makes the man the head or leader? Are all men, by default born leaders?  Are we saying that that men, come into this world with the innate wiring to be leaders, and women don’t? I have always asked these questions but never gotten an answer.

I will raise my daughter not to have anything to do with that word, especially in Marriage. Hopefully if, and when she does get married she would see her husband as her EQUAL partner and throw the word “submission” out of the window and stick with the word COMPROMISE, and know that it works both ways.


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