The title of this article will be like a slap on the face for some people.
“What is this world turning into?” they’d exclaim. “They have gone from asking for equality to requiring the man to submit to his wife?”
But why would the idea of a man who submits to his wife be so unsettling? Don’t be surprised that the ladies may be equally or even more upset than the guys by this title. You are probably perplexed because this goes against what you have been groomed and conditioned to think by the society of your birth. And shamefully, we have imbibed this nauseating ideology concerning gender role like robots, and without question.
Why have we not questioned it? That’s easy to answer. We were groomed not to question the sacred cows. Remember how your mother would say, “Why did you do that? Don’t you know you are a girl?” “Don’t you know you are a boy?”
Any attempt to say anything that begins with “But mummy…” elicits a “shut up!” if you are lucky, and a hard knock, if you are not. That inquisitive part of us that should ask questions that have been begging to be asked for centuries is silenced in the cradle. This is how we are primed to be obedient, unquestioning, compliant zombies that show not the slightest hint of resistance while getting dragged along in the mud of outmoded, odious ideologies by society.
Now let me tell you why the idea of a submissive husband is giving you a headache. Society paints the image of an ideal man and woman to children as they grow up. Parents are the unwitting primary agents of this indoctrination process. The seed is sown right from the cradle, even before the child can speak or is aware of itself. Methods employed in this undertaking are both overt and covert.
For instance, the girl always gets sent to the kitchen while the boy always gets sent out of the kitchen. A “real man” is one who is lord over his wife and can control her, as if she is some domesticated animal that needs to be kept in check and monitored continuously.
While the ideal man is a conqueror, the ideal woman is one who allows herself to be conquered. Her duty is to cook and clean, be respectful, spread her legs on demand, and God help her if she doesn’t bear him children. The man may be an unthinking idiot but he is still a man and must be obeyed. The extent to which she can swallow and stomach crap is a reflection of her virtue, while the extent to which a man can rule or control her is the proof of his strength.
This is an idea that strips the female gender of human dignity. It does not take into cognizance the fact that WOMAN is also Homo sapiens, and therefore intelligent, with something to offer. The woman is treated as if she is a defective product, existing only for the man’s satisfaction; giving him food, sex, children and then massaging his ego to ensure he always feels like a man (oh this is very important).
As a result of this indoctrination process, the males in our society grow up with oversized egos and therefore they must have a submissive woman who understands their need to keep it massaged. Watch how some guys will react to this article. Please forgive them. It’s their ego talking. Having being placed on a “gender throne” not by merit or any personal enterprise, but solely by virtue of accidentally having the “proper” genitialia, they feel that their kingdom is threatened by ideas such as this. They will bark and bite in their desperation to cling to their exalted status.
Some ladies will even disagree with my perspective. This only goes to demonstrate how scarily effective the societal indoctrination process is. Womenfolk have been indoctrinated to be willing slaves and could go so far as to commend a woman who allows herself to be a silent victim to the excesses of a physically abusive man. Not only have they been cultured to be submissive, they have been taught to teach and expect same from their own daughters and take sides with a culture that obviously puts them at a disadvantage. I don’t know about you, but on behalf of my grandmother, I am annoyed. I must give kudos to the women of my generation because things are changing.
Dissenters will remind me about the sacredness of our culture and how it must be preserved. Oh that’s fine but please don’t be selective in your quest to preserve culture. If you want to, preserve it fully… Let’s go back to killing of twins, worship of local deities, treatment of sickness with herbs, sacredness of evil forests, to mention but a few. Notice how people only bring up the “it’s our culture” defence selectively, as a cover for bias and plain ignorance. Well in our culture, it was the man’s duty to provide for the woman. These days the woman goes to school and contributes financially to the upkeep of the home. Sometimes she is even the breadwinner. That departure from culture is not a problem bah? When she should be lying down to rest after the kids go to school (since the man is the “provider”), she has to go to work, come back to cook and care for the kids while the man sits in front of the TV with a newspaper to fulfil his manly role. She may be tired but that’s her role, so it’s fine. Society grooms the man to not notice her weariness or to notice, do nothing about it and feel justified. Not only that, he even demands that she fulfils her role. If she is too tired to respond to him sexually at night, he will cheat oh! And she will get blamed.
With the change in structure of society, the woman is expected to work. This means she gets extra in addition to her traditional role. Please what extra has the man gotten? The woman bears so much yet we call her the weaker sex. Abeg I laugh in Aramaic Chinese! And the man who claims to be the reasonable one, who accuses the woman of being sentimental, is not able to see this culturally sanctioned exploitation of our grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters. If it is the duty of the man to defend the woman, it is imperative that we kill this ideology forever.
Still on this submission matter oh! It amazes me how mechanically it has been applied so far. If the man is an imbecile, Nne, submit. It doesn’t matter if his decision-making ability is poor. Just sit tight on that ship, Honey. Let Captain Imbecile navigate the family ship off course. If that’s the best he can do, don’t complain. It’s okay. After all he is the man of the house. Just arm yourself with handkerchiefs, ready to cry, when trouble arises as a result of his foolishness. And of course it is your duty to pray for him so that God will make him a better leader. Haha! The joke of centuries! What did God put you in the same boat with him for? Sit down there and wait for God to come and talk to him.
But I don’t blame you, my dear woman. You talk and talk but will he listen? He has been raised to think that when you have your way, he is less a man. Such manhood must be very fragile since it is so easily chinked. If it is true that the two shall become one, it means that any decision taken must be taken as ONE. Half-decisions taken by only one party all the time will definitely lead the family to chaos.
And there are those who will quote the bible, twisting it to protect their egoist perspectives. “Wives, submit to your husbands”, they remind us. But they will not tell you that the bible verse just before it says “Submit to one another in the fear of the Lord”. Another verse in the same passage says, “The husband is the head of the wife”. I’m sure this verse will give men misogynistic orgasms but only when it is wrongly interpreted. Before you pop that can of beer in celebration of your scripture-gifted superiority, lets us examine the matter closely.
There arose an occasion or two when the disciples contended among themselves about who was the greatest and Christ seized the moment to deliver the recipe for greatness.
“But it shall not be so among you” he warned. “Whosoever wishes to be the greatest among you, let him be the slave. And whosoever wishes to be head among you let him be the servant”. Since we have forced the woman into submission and servitude, it appears that we have also forced the crown of greatness upon her head, if we interpret this by the rule of Christ. That’s what it seems to me oh! Bible scholars, feel free to interpret and misinterpret for us.
The only possible argument against my application of Christ’s principle of greatness is that this verse does not apply to man and wife. To settle this, we return to the book of Ephesians from which the verse that says “Wives, submit to your husbands” is quoted. It also says, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it”.
What men don’t realise is that their own part of the deal is even harder. When you are asked to love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it, can you even begin to conceive what a tall order that is? If you understood, you for choose to jejely submit to your wife and end this matter than attempt to replicate the love Christ has for the church with her.
Christ was submissive, even to the point of death. “He was led as a sheep to slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he does not open his mouth.” Christ set the standard on how he loved the church by washing the feet of his disciples. Peter resisted when it was his turn to get his feet washed. You know why? Let me give us some context. I got the following from an online source.
“Walking in sandals on the filthy roads of Palestine in the first century made it imperative that feet be washed before a communal meal, especially since people reclined at a low table and feet were very much in evidence. When Jesus rose from the table and began to wash the feet of the disciples, He was doing the work of the lowliest of servants.”
Now we can correctly interpret the symbolic meaning of the washing the feet. Peter was horrified by the condescension of the Christ but Jesus insisted because he knew this message was crucial and had to be communicated. When he was done he told his disciples, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you”. This, my dear friends, is how Christ loved the church; by humility, submission and servitude. This was a man who lacked an iota of ego unlike us ten kobo men of this generation. Any ideology that encourages a person to rule another or demand submission from another is totally alien to the teachings of Christ. And let me finally spoil it for you, according to the teaching of Christ, if anyone slaps you, turn the other cheek. That includes your wife. Oh my! This is so precious. Next time, when you want to use the bible to sell your misogynist wares, think twice.
Fellow men, make una no vex oh! Please forgive my sarcastic, unforgiving tone. It was deliberately employed because it takes a rough shove to rouse a person from deep slumber. I am just sick and tired of the endless bickering between the sexes regarding superiority. The man is not of more value than the woman, neither is the woman of more value than the man. They are two sides of the same coin and it is beautiful as it is. The question of superiority would never arise in perfect love. When love reigns supreme, man and woman would be competing to see who would be more submissive. The idea of submission arises when there is a party that desires to be lord, encumbered by an oversized ego. People only struggle for superiority because they are incomplete and insecure. She that is down fears no fall.
To be honest, I have not come to ask husbands to submit to their wives or to encourage wives not to submit to their husbands. Sorry if I had you fooled. My true perspective is this: let us kill this argument of who should submit to whom. The root of this feud is pride, egotism and insecurity. When love is perfect, the question of submission will never arise. If anything, man and woman will submit to each other naturally, without request, without coercion, without compulsion and in love.
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Written by Manny