By Helen Ovbiagele
If women want to be respected by the world, they will have to do more to uplift their image themselves. They shouldn’t feel that because they rear children for the world and keep homes, they are entitled to respect, irrespective of their own behaviour and character. This was the opinion of the majority of our readers who wrote in on the piece we put out some weeks ago.
These readers may have a point, but isn’t it the responsibility of the world to help improve the image of those responsible for nurturing human beings? Shouldn’t those women who are behaving out of character be guided to what befits their sex? “
We read recently on the internet that two very drunk female passengers on a flight from the U.K to north Africa were so disruptive, threatening the crew and other passengers with violence, that the plane had to go make an emergency landing in France where the women were taken off the plane, and sent back to the U.K on another plane.
Most of the comments on the incident on the Yahoo board condemned the women, calling them all sorts of names, saying that they are a disgrace to the female folk. I’m sure if the culprits had been men, comments wouldn’t have been that condemning.
This reaction showed that there are certain character traits expected of women, and behaving in a drunken/disorderly manner is not one of them. They’re expected to comport themselves gracefully and decently. This expectation is normal and has been there from the beginning of the world. Why is it then that things are done to women to give them a contrary image?
“Madam, I appreciate your concern about the way women are usually given roles in nollywood films which show them as screaming out-of-control creatures, but my question is, do they have to accept these roles if they feel that they demean female-hood? They keep accepting these roles, so, the script writers feel it’s okay for the Nigerian woman.
I watch a lot of these home videos and it’s my opinion that the characters that these screaming actresses are portraying can still come across effectively without their behaving like demented human beings. Also, if you women roundly condemn those singers whose songs/raps are always saying demeaning things about Nigerian women, I’m sure they will re-write their songs and acts. – Dave, Lagos.”
“Sister Helen, I too am a recipient of those text messages cracking lurid jokes on women. They’re still coming in. They started off as lines of popular sayings, and then graduated into mild jokes on romance, the bedroom, dating, etc. Even though I’m male, I find these so-called jokes offensive and childish. Maybe the staff of that telecomm feel they’re entertaining. They are not. Must we be force-fed subtle porn in unsolicited text messages from a service provider who should be keen on improving its deli very services?”
“Mrs. Ovbiagele, make no mistake. Those ladies who were collecting money for AIDS victims by allowing their boobs to be fondled by men, were not forced into the act, so, that cannot be classified as global conspiracy to debase women. I saw the article in that news magazine too.
In the picture, the young lady seemed very happy about what was going on. If there’s anyone to be blamed, and that’s if you feel blame should be apportioned, it should be the ladies who offered themselves to be groped. They could have chosen other means by which they could raise money for the worthy cause. – Tony, Onitsha”
“In my view, madam, women are the ones pulling themselves down. They do things which attract debasement. Have you seen the indecent ways that some of our women – even mature ones – dress? Boobs are exposed in a provocative way, and their dresses or skirts barely cover their bums.
Then they walk in dizzy heels at the risk of their spine! Who told them that those are symbols of civilization? I’m female myself, and I do love to wear nice things which I feel are in fashion, but I’m careful enough to expose only those parts that can be exposed decently. Let’s face it; most ladies dress to attract the attention of the malefolk.
Being half-naked may very well attract the attention of men, but it would be in a negative way, because those men would only be seeing them as sex objects, not materials for a wife. They may be admired and pursued, but they are clearly not respected by those men. Thank you,ma, for the way you write to promote women, but I think we need to promote ourselves in decent and positive ways. – Jenny, Abuja.”
“Helen, I agree with you that all over the world and in many countries, things are said to, and done to women to debase them. Look at the recent news of the young girl who was gang-raped to death in India. Thank God that the government has charged the culprits to court after a huge public outcry! Some people are demanding the death penalty. The truth is that women are still seen as objects of jokes, and not to be taken seriously and respected.
Yet, more and more women are breaking zones and reaching great heights, and contributing to national development everywhere! It’s unfortul1ate that some women either in quest of fame, wild adventure or a means of livelihood, allow things done to them which lower their worth and self-esteem.
Some incidents are beyond their control, like attacks on them during wars, riots and mayhem, but sometimes they themselves do things which they know someone of their sex should never do. You wonder how such girls or women will rear their children and help them grow into responsible and well-adjusted adults.
They simply can’t; for the simple reason that they haven’t behaved in ways that would make their children respect them, listen to them and obey them. Any wonder why there are so many misfits and hoodlums in societies everywhere? Women everywhere should remember that they’re meant to be rearers or human beings and they need to be of exemplary behaviour. – Bola, Ibadan.”
“Aunty Helen, with regards to ‘Global Ploy to demean Womanhood’ It’s a known fact world-wide that women are very gullible. Metaphysically, the act of women stripping naked doesn’t in any way enhance their chances of contacting their dead relatives. To make contact with the spirit of the dead is a very simple process, but your hands rriust be clean. Those ‘Psychics’ are mere charlatans. – From Celeste, mnse. “
“Women should not only conduct themselves well and be of good behaviour, they should bring up their children, particularly the girls, to be of good character, and do things which bring them self-respect. In my own childhood, even though there wasn’t much money and enlightenment in the system, women, right from childhood were consciously taught to be of decent behaviour at home, and in public.
They were raised not to do anything which would bring disgrace to the family. The school joined hands with the home to ensure good character and decent manners. These days, I’m sorry to say that many homes and schools themselves don’t have good character, so, they can’t raise wards of good character. – Pa Tom, Lagos. “