You know her, right?
The American gospel musician with numerous awards to her name.
Her real name is Priscilla Love, you know. She’s married to Alvin Love, pastor of a Nashville church.
But Alvin has been called Mr. Winans (Cece’s maiden name) to his face on several occasions.
When asked how he copes with it, Cece said: “Alvin is secure in himself. He doesn’t see it as an issue.”
One of the purulent problems in modern society has its roots in how we raise children. I once had a colleague who was always negative, jealous, bitter, unhealthily competitive, verbally abusive, in fact name it.
I just kept wondering: “Na wetin dey pepper this girl, bikonu?”
But, my wondering ceased when I learnt of a tragic event that happened in her childhood. All I felt for her after that was sympathy.
We get them all the time, don’t we?
Men who cannot stand on their two feet except a woman kneels to worship.
Men who would commit suicide because of a diagnosis: Erectile dysfunction.
Men whose hearts keep thumping every minute, terrified for their status as men – that status like a fragile egg which they must hold at all costs, weighing them down by the day.
All these stem from self-deprecation.
Let me explain.
Three centuries ago, survival depended on physical strength. So, men called the shots.
But somebody did something wrong. I do not know who the person is, but that person (maybe na Devil) introduced an absolutely useless threshold. That person told men that to succeed in becoming real men, they had to trump women. It was okay at that time, since most men were physically stronger than women. No qualms.
But society evolved and mental strength became what we largely need to survive. This was when wahala started. Because women have as much mental strength as men do, if not more. So, that threshold became unattainable.
Then, that person ran away. He or she didn’t bother to remove the bar they set. They left it there, leaving men with the inevitable depression that comes with failing to get there.
But, people need not see it. So, some men have learnt to mask it. They mask it by demanding that every woman defer to them. You hear things like: “I have your type at home. Go enter kitchen.”
These things are no more than defense mechanisms, masks to cover the low self-esteem. The burden is tough, really.
Sometimes, people wonder why I do not get upset when a man flaunts his “man-ness” in my face. The reason is simple: I understand. Had that man been brought up to be secure in himself, to care less about the useless threshold, to know that a woman’s light need not be dim for his to shine, he would never do that.
Have you ever met a man secure in himself? It’s pure glory! You don’t hear him chant “Submit! Submit!”
He doesn’t need to. You can bet his cologne smells of confidence, distilled testosterone, poise and power all mixed to flawless specifications.
Unfortunately, not many men have gotten to that place, where they are free to live, to breathe; where a woman needs not decrease for them to increase.
It’s sad, isn’t it?
So, when next that man tells you to shift into the Keke, because he has to sit at the edge or he dies, understand the burden. And promise your sons that they would be brought up right.
To live as real men.
To fight as real men.
Without the pettiness of ‘Who cooks?’, ‘Who sweeps?’ and ‘Who earns?’
Because, 70% of world peace depends on this. Don’t ask me how I know.
This piece was penned on Facebook by Uju Okorie, who puts the issue of gender disparity in perspective.