On Society and Women: “I Still Fight”

by Priscilla Taiwo

There has recently been a big controversy over the tragic demise of a well-known Nigerian gospel singer, allegedly due to domestic abuse by her husband. Perhaps this is because the news hit our worlds in a new way — the fact that this woman had a ‘golden voice’ and so much talent.

The news attracted different opinions and while it is important for people to give their views on whether it is right or wrong to leave abusive marriages, isn’t it more appropriate to get to the root of the matter?

Could it be that her achievements were seen as a ‘threat’ by her husband, who sought to control her and prove she couldn’t be better than him? And why?

A deep-seated fear

Is it because she had enormous potential for achievement, or because his wife, a ‘mere’ woman, had so much to give to the world?

Is her death indicative of a deep-seated fear of women among some chauvinistic men? What about the husbands who stifle their wives’ ambitions? And the ones who demand subordination because the Holy Books and African societies demand it?

Is it this same culture that refuses to accept a woman who is single? Is society willing to support her or just to criticise her on social media and take no further action?

May we never have to go through something like this again. Hopefully, what happened didn’t merely start a new social media trend. There HAS TO be a change and all hands must be on deck to stop domestic violence. I have written before about how violence affects both women and men, plus any children involved also suffer. In most cases, they are left with long-lasting trauma. We cannot allow it to continue.

This post is dedicated to girls and women who want to find themselves, but societal rules and expectations keep taunting and thwarting them at every turn.

I Fight

Waking up to the sounds of a morning, and a mind determined to make the best of what I have.

In my head, it is much easier to believe my walk will be easy, but I realise my journey is far from that.

I hear daily that I CANNOT do a certain thing as a female human. My heart bleeds because I hear these words not from strangers, but those I believed should motivate me — my parents, siblings, family and friends.

And when I push myself a little harder to get where I must, I hear the whispers telling me what I must conform to.

“When you are done with university, bring a lovely man home and settle down”, they constantly chorus in my head.

I’m almost convinced to do that, but it is not my priority. How do I settle with so many burdens in my heart that I must deal with alone?

I fight. But not against these societal rules, but the chance to make my own rules. I have seen ladies whose dream is to settle for ‘tall, dark and handsome’, but I want much more.

I want to make certain decisions. I want to build a life that doesn’t first revolve around a man and kids – even though, I hope to get there some day.

“You are 30, don’t you think time is running out?”

“Don’t wear the best stuff or use a car, you’ll send suitors away.”

“You’re too independent.”

Am I constantly moved by that song? Yes, because I also dream of having a home and family. I wish society didn’t confuse my desires for personal success as ‘pride’. I have a vision, and that will I pursue until I am READY.

Does being financially stable threaten men? I think they should be lucky to have a woman who brings enough to the table too.

I still fight. Scared to make some moves without owning myself first. We all want different things…

This is my battle.

©PriscillaTaiwo #writtenword

The featured image depicts a black woman struggling with different hands labelled as ‘religion’, ‘men’, ‘society’ and ‘other women’. Photo credit: NFSAN on Twitter.