Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Yeah, I said it...and...?


I was having a conversation today with a dear friend of mine and we were recounting experiences we had with fellow Nigerian women with regards to the following: sex, marriage and children (to have or not to have). I personally am fatigued from discussing this topic but I still find it fascinating because I find that I am in the minority with regards to how I address and analyse the above mentione topics.

I love sex. I think it is a natural function that can be used for both recreation and procreation. I do not entertain any guilt of any kind associated with it because I am an adult who chooses to responsible for my thought, words and actions. Thus, religious endorsements or lackthereof on me having sex outside of the oh-so-sacred institution of marriage is of no consequence to me. I think that with regards to sex, we all have to be honest with ourselves. In any decision regarding what you allow yourself to experience, it all boils down to you and what your comfort level is. If you won't do something, it's then not your place to impose upon others the same decision. Therefore, if you like sex and want to have it, that is your business and if you want to experience it only within marriage, that is your business too. The pervese comes into sex when the experience is either to someone's disadvantage or guilt gets involved.

I don't think marriage is sacred or any of that nonsense. It is a socio-economic partnership with emotional ties included. It is important only to whom it is important. If it does not work out, it--the contract--can be severed and another created. I refuse to compromise on my happiness because I think it is delusional to think that you can make someone else happy when you are not.


Children are also important to whom they are important. Having ovaries does not a good mother make. I was tickled pink by the many comments on Solomonsydelle's post about a woman (I am assuming she is an adult) who wrote in asking for advice on whether or not she should have an abortion. Me, if I don't want a pregnancy, I am getting rid of it but also I should be smart enough to use birth control if I am going to be sexually active. As a woman, you have to be in control of every decision that involves your life and your body. That is what makes you a woman: self responsibility. As much as people would like to spout religious text as the basis for why they would advise for one to keep a pregnancy, none of them would be there to experience with you the joys and PAINS of motherhood. And please don't imagine that because there is a father involved that he is obligated to share the experience. It would be ideal and props have to be given to committed and involved fathers--and I am not saying that men are so dispensable--but when you remember that should anything wrong happen with that child, society would ask for the mother's identity, you start to evaluate your role as a mother rather differently (or I would hope)
Anyone can be a mother and at any time they wish. It just depends on how you define motherhood. I have said this before and will say it again: Carrying a child inside of you for nine months does not mean that the child is obligated to love you. And I will add, that I think that should not be the maximum of your accomplishments. Unless that is how you choose to identify yourself: birther of another human being.

I feel that those who share my views don't get heard in the sea of stereotypical "traditional" opinions. It seems like the majority feel like views like mine are not deserving of being expressed. I think most of us are not corageous enough to say what we really feel in the face of opposing majority view. If I have offended anyone...I am not sure I care.
I am just someone who refuses to define myself along the lines of whether or not I am a virgin, whether or not I am married and how many full grown ovaries I am pushing out of my vagina. I am other things. And those things are much more important to my definition of womanhood.

Feel free to disagree. Or not.

28 comments:

Abujamaiden said...

Depends on your religious beliefs and comfort level...true!

Like being lactose intolerant and binge-drinking wholemilk just because you are human and have a mouth and throat (d only example I could think of Lol!).

I'm christian, I live according to its principles just like I would go to Mecca and fast if I was Muslim.

geisha.song. said...

the woman on solomonsydelle's blog didn't accidentally get pregnant and now feels guilty about having done so. as such it doesn't fit into the boxes you've neatly aligned here.

for the most part i have to agree with you. it's all a matter of choice.
almost especially in religion.

bArOquE said...

...looks like someone got you angry...i feel you...esp about women needing to take responsibility for themselves, & not only about getting pregnant...people should open their eyes & do what they want for the reasons they want to do them for...religious or not...abeg, anybody wey no wan comot belle, make him born am & dance the music...Catty, you're alright...holla

Naapali said...

like the new style but the text color makes it hard to read.

Waffarian said...

I have said it many times. There are many different ways of being a woman. I don't know why people limit their identities to one of two. Wife or mother. Abeg, the topic tire me.

As for all those religions yarns, I don talk am before, na like say i dey quote from "abababababa" book, how that one concern anybody? they don't even know if the person is a christian self...hehehehehehe, dem go dey quote dey go. It is too narrow minded to use religion as a basis for any discussion. There are millions of people around the world that do not practise christianity and have no idea what "verse so and so" says. I don't know why people still do that. Its quite irritating to say the truth.

As for womens' thoughts on pregnancy and abortion, etc. It is funny how everybody is against abortion yet most of the Nigerian women I know have had one? hehehehehehehehehehe Na so jare, na the same thing with all those their religious abstinence bullshit yarns.

Shebi, we all know that "fornication" is a sin, so why on earth are you all doing it? Ehen, wait till marraige na. Hissssssssssssssss abeg, all those hypocrites should go and siddon jare.

And say whatever you want to say. Just like you they have the right to talk about religion, so do you.

Jaycee said...

One thing I agree with you on is that as a woman, there are many other things that define us. We should not just have the status-quo of "womanhood" written on our foreheads.

Now to the sex before marriage part, I have learned that premarital sex defiles the body, especially having multiple partners at several times. Most people experience a sense of abject loneliness as they move from partner to partner, rather than the pleasure they intended to have. It is not even a sin against God, but against our own selves (quoting the Word of God). So then again, you're right on another thing...every woman will eventually decide for themselves which part they would follow. It can be written on so many scrolls, but no one can force anyone to obey what is written. It is up to every individual to follow their own destiny...

naijalines said...

"I refuse to compromise on my happiness because I think it is delusional to think that you can make someone else happy when you are not."

That's a very powerful statement and so true.

Indeed there are many ways to be a woman or a person. Parenthood is only one of many.

H2O-works said...

This post doesn't come as a surprise to me, I've followed this blog for a while albeit silently, and I've noticed ur expressiveness that is part of ur self-identity. I agree with some of the things u say specifically the way women esp. naija women have characterized themselves, I don't want to go into details here. One thing I want to say is that while everyone reserves the right to do as they please we do not live in a vacuum, so our actions have wat u wud call a side effect in computer science...

bumight said...

like H2o, I'm not surprised reading this.

and you're right about a whole lot of things here, as I've previously read on ur blog.
we shouldn't let society box us up into their idea of what a woman should be.

women (esp nigerian women) should realize that WE are responsible for our actions. the rewards or pains (esp Pains) that come as a consequence of our actions would be fully carried by us.

Pink-satin said...

waffarian i beg to differ on your statement "It is too narrow minded to use religion as a basis for any discussion" !anyone is free totaly free to be what they want to be and do what they want to do!!but for anyone who is a xtian(not just a church goer) for anyone who has a r/ship with God and the rest of the trinity then their religion and faith would be the basis of any and everything they do!after all that is what guides their action!

catwalq i totally agree with you when you said people should not impose their views on others.I am a christian and i dont impose my view on anybody!i dont expect someone who isnt a christian to believe in d same things i believe in...just the same way i wouldnt expect a budhist to tell me my way of life is wrong! What i do know is that if anyone calls themselves a CHRISTIAN should care about how they live their lives be it fornicating,adultery,lying,stealing !that is if they call themselves CHRISTIANS!

CATWALQ how are you i have missed you

N.I.M.M.O said...

Agree with Baroque. Errr .... and Naapali.

Is it not funny that all the comments by men are rather limited on this post.

Abeg, Catty, who vex you like this?

maitumbi said...

Catwalq, you have just codified the feminist manifesto! lmao :-)And the way I see it, that manifesto is the best deal for everybody.

I think a person, male or female has the right to what happens to his or her body. I also think that where several people are involved, the level of involvement or commitment should determine the right to affect decisions.

On the basis of this, a man may be involved in conception but the woman in committed to theatre bed (or worse). Commonsense should indicate that the woman should have the right to determine when she wants to have a child, regardless of her marital status. If she thinks she is not ready, then she is not ready and should be able to have access to a safe and legal means for preventing or terminating the pregnancy. Even if she were a minor, the guardians should be thinking of her interest only.

Unfortunately, our society continues to use tradition and religion to take away the rights of the individual. To the point of stigmatising spinsterhood and barrenness, criminalising sexual preferences, encouraging procreation without accepting responsibility for the welfare of the procreated, all in the name of morality and faith.It stinks.

My advise to women (i am not one) is to be make decisions for them self. If you allow your religion to pick a cross for you, swell. But be tolerant enough to allow those who recognise they have choices, make them.

Waffarian said...

@pinksatin: errrrrr...we are saying the same thing. Perhaps I should be clearer. When you engage in discussions about YOUR life, of course you are free to follow the doctrines of your religion since as you said,

"for anyone who has a r/ship with God and the rest of the trinity then their religion and faith would be the basis of any and everything they do!after all that is what guides their action!"

When it comes to YOUR life and situations surrounding YOUR own life, then, yes, I expect you to have discussions based on your religion since it guides your actions.

However, when discussing the life styles of other people who in the first place, have not mentioned their particular religion, then, as you said, also,

"catwalq i totally agree with you when you said people should not impose their views on others.I am a christian and i dont impose my view on anybody!i dont expect someone who isnt a christian to believe in d same things i believe in...just the same way i wouldnt expect a budhist to tell me my way of life is wrong"

We are making the same point, Pink Satin.

And yes, anyone that calls himself/herself a CHRISTIAN and does all the above you mentioned, is a HYPOCRITE.

Waffarian said...

Oh, and just for the record.I am interested in theology and philosophy and hence I read books from different religions, including Buddhism. That does not however, make me a Buddhist.

LusciousRon said...

I do agree with everyone because they all see it from different views. I have got to say I admire your spunk. I think women should have a definition apart from being a wife and mother and its quite annoying to see promising women ending their potential 'cos they are now a wife or mother.

Some even go as far as saying its the greatest accomplishment ever. Please! We really should step out of this box and the world might be a better place yet.

pink-satin said...

Waffarian i guess we may be saying the same thing..but then u did say "it is too narrow minded to use religion as a basis for ANY discussion"...d word ANY made me feel like you were totally saying all discussion based on religion were narrow minded

anyway,I do agree with you that you cant use your own religion to evaluate other peoples choices!!and i tell you i have been called a sell out by my christian friends especially on the Homosexualism topic!!they are like it is wrong according to the bible and i always say "does everyone live by the words of d bible" NO!!

InCogNaija said...

on one hand, you are right. however, on the other hand, stereotypical as societal structure might seem, it contributes to the sanity of the world we live in (crazy as it seems). If a lot of these 'standards' are not in place, the breakdown of society will inevitably begin. Chaos of some sort.
Compromise can be reached however; everybody, not only women, should know that they bear full responsibily for their actions and govern themselves accordingly within reasonable limits.

Waffarian said...

@pinksatin: You are right, I shouldn't have said "any". That was a mistake. I should have said:

"It is too narrow minded to use religion as a basis for ALL discussions"

or something like that. Anyway, you get what I am saying.

The point is, people should not assume that everybody is a christian or that everybody knows the doctrines of Christ or even wish to apply them in their lives.

It is hard to have a discussion about anything at all, if I have to always think about religion all the time. I might as well not discuss anything in life. I can just throw the Bible at people and say, "carry on".

I feel like we never have variety of knowledge when we limit everything to religion. It just limits the kind of information and knowledge one might otherwise be exposed to. So imagine when we limit it to just christianity, even more....limiting.

Anyway, that's my opinion. Once again, I admit that using "any" was a mistake.

Anonymous said...

O Dear O dear, it seems you have met a lot of religious ppl in ur life that seem to impose their views on u so fiercely.......well wat u need to understand is the same way u feel so passionately against their views and opinions is the same way they would very strongly disagree with you.

d thing is if a xtian is xpected to live by the Word of God, y do ppl get so upset that they let this transcend to every aspect of their lives including their discussions with non xtians.

I got pregnant at a rather young age,by a family friend, being so young we were silly enuf not 2 use contraception.at such a young age d only thing on my mind was an abortion, but i decided against it despite ALL odds, and the somewhat oblique future i was faced with....(ppl with ur views thought i was mad)...but guess what my baby is now 14 years old and makes me so happy every single day, d kind of love we both share is almost surreal and now i think thank God i didnt abort this child o. and as 4 d babys father....well we have been married for 8 years now and might i add it is a beauitiful marriage. Its amazing how God makes things work out.

so u c i cant help but to disagree with u.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous: What a happy ending for you love birds! Now you both cna live happily ever after.
But we all know that is not the way it goes down for most girls.

Usually, when a girl decides to keep the baby, her life goes on pause. While the goes on to greater and better things.

It is ok to accept your life for the way you made it and to live with it. But for some of us who took other decisions, I can only thank God for having loving parents who had the foresight

Emmanuel E Ekanem said...

IO don't usually comment on issues like this. This one is still among that list. So i will say noything.

ibiluv said...

well said..........

ababoypart2 said...

I could have easily written this (not so well I must add). What I am trying to say is that I share almost all the points/views raised in your brilliantly written piece.

Tisha said...

meen!
i think you should jesus
nothing wrong with loving sex
just not outside the marriage bed is out of it.
you will find out b4 long the dissatisfaction of committing to too many people
cos u r a woman and
you have a heart somewhere in
your chest
it will catch up with you.

talesandtallies said...

I find this post very refreshing, cuz I may not be half as brave to write something like that. I think the saying goes, just "do you and i do me".

whatever you do is you... and religion is a matter of conviction not imposition.

If people choose to be defined by the term wife, mother, homemaker, partner... whatever makes them happy. One size shoe does not fit everybody.But I am glad there is someone like you out there who would like to be seen beyond that.



T & T
xoxo

tunmi said...

You took the words right out of my mouth. I wholeheartedly agree. Women's issues in Naija is a whole nother ball game.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I hardly to comment online because anybody can write whatever they like and you can't respond to every online post. There is no time and the fact is that nobody has all the answers. But at times, certain posts such as yours move me to tears and I feel I need to contribute and share my humble thought.

Firstly, peoples opinion are influenced by personal experience which is unique to them only. They don't share that with the world mostly because it is personal, some deeply personal. However, what they share is there reaction to the experience. This is not necessarily helpful to the ordinary listener/reader as it does not present the WHOLE story.

Regarding your attitude towards religion, you sound dismissive of its value in society. We don't know your experience with religion. It may be something unfortunate and probably damaging to you. I have my own negative and life changing experience. Can you really imagine a world without religion? It's like saying let's get rid of highway code and driving lessons and driving tests and let people use the roads as it suits them. As someone already rightly commended, you don't live in isolation in the world. Whatever you do will affect somebody else. If YOU decide to have an abortion because it's your body, do you agree that the life of that unborn child DOES NOT belong to you? If you chose to be promiscuous, do you agree you cannot do this alone? You will involve another human being and there may well be consequences involving another soul. It could be that you are selfishly breaking a home, ruining the lives of children and another woman like you?

There are such things as standards. For example there is a British Standard for almost everything. Even to design an electrical plug you need to comply with a standard. Imagine you decide you want to do things your way and design your plug how YOU feel. This is fine, but the consequence may well be that your plug does not work because it does not fit into any standard sockets.
Bear in mind that standards do have allowances and some freedom for individuality but the framework must be adhered to. This is not that bad is it?

TBC...

Anonymous said...

...Continued from previous post:

Regarding your note on having children or not. I must admit I used to think strongly about the necessity to have children. I reasoned that it is selfish not to have children since I was born and my parents managed to raise me. I reasoned it was only right to give them the joy of having grand children. However, my circumstances have changed and so has my reasoning. Child bearing is a major undertaking and almost a life-long one so it should be taking really seriously and given much thought. In Nigerian cultures, conception is automatically expected on he first night of Marriage and new couples are put under so much pressure to have children. It is unfair and inconsiderate. IT is often selfish to expect children from your children.
Child bearing is a personal decision and should remain so.

There's nothing wrong being seen as a Wife or a Mother. It is natural. Better than being seen as a sex object.
Do not think it is demeaning to be seen as somebody's wife. I love my wife. I live for her and wish each day to please her and make her burst with joy. Indeed during intercourse I seek to please and satisfy rather than go through it quickly and selfishly which is easy for men to do.
Being a mother is not bad either. It is a wonderful position to be in to raise a new life and help to guide them using your experience.

Tell me something. Would you advise your daughter to sleep with whoever she wants? I doubt that. So that tells you there is something not right about that view of yourself. Also, this lifestyle will someday come back to bite you but alas it is irreversible.
Your virginity exists for a reason. It is no accident how it works.
There is a key to happiness and it involves a WAITING ATTITUDE. Not many find it and the price is huge at times.

People have the tendency to bless whatever it is they do. Tobacco smokers will defend smoking but we all know what the personal damages are and worse still, effects on others are.
My friend, my dear sister. You may have your experiences in life which are not sweet. I wish you a sound mind and strength to cope with your life as I am trying to cope with mine. It will not make your life better if you help to ruin other people's life by encouraging them to throw away their values and join you on your journey.

I could go on but I think I've said enough already and I hope this will help 1 or 2 people to have another opinion.