In just four short months I will turn 40. I mention the coming of this milestone with pride and eagerly await its coming. Like 16 and 25, 40 is a one of those benchmark birthdays that heralds a shift in a woman’s life. For one thing, I will have achieved authentic ‘Auntie’ status owing to may age. (Some rogue elements began referring to me as ‘auntie’ at 37, but I let that slide because I am the embodiment of magnanimity.) As I understand it, fewer things begin to bother you at 40, ostensibly owing to the fact that one has spent one’s 30s pruning, plucking and scoring undesirable people and circumstances from one’s life. For me, those items include – but are not limited to – 1) Phone calls from unknown numbers. 2) People who go 20 in a 45/mph lane. 3) Women who cape for their own suppression, informally known as Patriarchal Princesses.
If I had to wager, I’d say that you are pretty impressed with my list. They are all pretty repugnant, aren’t they? But I’m here to declare with pride that they no longer cause me disquiet or trouble my soul! This is growth, especially with regard to the lattermost item. Patriarchal Princesses have perplexed me for years, but even though I don’t understand them (or their causeless cause), I accept that they are a part of our social ecosystem.
Why am I talking about this?
A few days ago, a post was shared on my wall from a woman I shall not name nor share the entirety of the contents of her publication. I wouldn’t want to embarrass her further because God is doing a new work in my life and I am submitted to His will. What she said really doesn’t matter. My reaction to what she said however does. I share the post and invited my friends (and the world) to laugh with me because as far as I (and history books and current events) was concerned, it was astonishingly inaccurate, woefully misleading, and hilarious that it was presented with all sincerity. As the African American proverb says: She was just loud and wrong.
Naturally, she got wind of my addendum to her post, and naturally my comments section morphed into Chernobyl.
She was talking about methods that women ought to employ to get a stool at the table, and made some almost convincing points about why women ought to embrace their place as second-class, binary functioning citizens, but she goofed in two specific areas: the examples she presented to support her position and the language she used to describe their efforts. One of the few (but most effective) tools of the patriarchal princess is to bleach and re-write women’s history and achievements in order to suit their agenda. And so she asserted that women like Margaret Thatcher, Yaa Asantewaa and Michelle Obama did not make advancements in their careers or for society by being brash or assertive, but rather by ‘cajoling’ men to join their cause.
I confess, that this is what caused me to burst into a fit of laughter, because words and language matter to me. To cajole, by definition is to “persuade someone to do something by sustained coaxing or flattery, to deceive with soothing words or false promises.” (Merriam-Webster) Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister did not bear the hallmarks of a cajoling woman. This is a woman who literally said, “If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”
No right thinking person would interpret Yaa Asantewaa’s speech to the gathered chiefs who had been insulted by then-governor Hogdson as an exercise in flattery. She basically punked the men in her company and said women would fight if they were too afraid to.
Keep in mind, Asante women did accompany their men to war in those days, but it was to provide auxiliary support in the form of singing and taunting the enemy. These men were taunted into action, not cajoled. And as nice as Michelle Obama is, she has been dubbed Marie Antoinette and the Queen of Mean by her detractors.
This particular woman belongs to a Facebook ministry that wants to “restore narratives” about what they deem as a woman’s proper place in her home and society. I hadn’t heard about their concerted efforts in that area until a friend of mine shared something from their wall with me that caused me no small amount of consternation. I’m going to share it with you, unedited, with my thoughts in parenthesis.
23 THINGS TO DO TO KEEP YOUR HUSBAND UNDER THE CONTROL OF YOUR LOVE
- Call him by a pet name (Naturally. Because any lapdog you ‘control’ needs a pet name.)
- Allow him exercise his authority as the head of the family. (What does that even mean?)
- DO not challenge him when he is hurt. (Who hurt him? How do you define ‘challenge’? Are we allowed to ask questions?)
- Be silent when he is angry. You can go back to him in his sober moment with apology n explain why you behave that way that annoyed him. (Sure. I agree in taking time out to cool off, but if my man is sulking, he doesn’t just get to be surly without engaging in an exchange to come to a conclusion about how we BOTH might have handled things better in the situation. Is he a two-year-old or a MAN?)
- Be quick to say “I’m sorry dear” when ever you offend him, insist on his forgiveness,appreciate and kiss him when he does. (He does me no favors by forgiving me. Forgiveness is a poison he must release from his heart for his own benefit.)
- Speak good of him before his Friends and siblings. (When he does good, trust me they will all know. Men excel at bragging.)
- Honor his mother. (The bible says to honor THY mother. Each of us will do our own honoring.)
- Insist that he buys gift for his parents and so be sure that he will do same for your parents (Why is the burden of buying gifts on him alone? What kind of unnecessary pressure is this?)
- Surprise him with his favorite dish especially when he has no money at hand and never delay his food. (Now he’s suddenly broke? Okay…but you JUST said he needs to go gift shopping, so how am I supposed to magically afford the ingredients for his favorite meal? Nambia?)
- Do not allow the maid to serve him food when you are at home. Because u may lose him to her. (This one has always intrigued me. I assume my husband would be tempted by the waakye seller and the waitress. He should respect himself and his vows and leave the maid to do her work.)
- Give him a warm reception with an embrace when he returns, collect his luggage and help undress him. (I used to do this for my son when get got off the school bus. I suppose it’s alright. I’ll make sure to put a big next to his bowl of Spaghetti O’s too.)
- Smile when you look at him and give him occasional pecks when you are out socially. (I have no quarrel with this. PDA is lit.)
- Praise him before your children sometimes. (Why just sometimes?)
- Wash his back while he is in the tub or shower. (If he asks me to, I will. But no one wants you rushing into the bathroom while you’re trying to enjoy the steam.)
- Put love note in his lunch box or briefcase. (Who is love note?)
- Phone and tell him that you miss him. (If he’s out of town sure. But we can’t be raising a generation of needy chicks who can’t function whenever their men go so far as the sidewalk.)
- Dial his number and on hearing “hello” just tell him I love you. (Because Stevie Wonder.)
- If he is a public figure or a politician, gently wake him at the early hours of the morning and romance him to the point of demand. He will not be entice by any other woman that day. (LOLOLOL!!!! You clearly don’t know our politicians.)
- Tell him how lucky you are to have him as your husband. (If I have to undress, bathe and travel to Nambia to buy a grown man’s food to prove my devotion, that’s not a ‘lucky’ circumstance to be in.)
- Give him a hug for no reason. (Touch is a love language. This is sound advise.)
- Appreciate God for the Adam of your life. (Yeah. He sounds like Adam. That same dude who abdicated his responsibilities and blamed God for giving him a woman to mislead him. Yes! Thank you Lord for this wotless man!)
- Always remember to pray for him. (The bible says we must pray for one another. No quarrels here!)
- Pray together and also pray together before going to bed in the evening… (Oh. You just repeated what… Never mind.)
May God bless your marriages. (May the Lord help you with your life.)
Keep your husband under the control of your love…
I told you language is important to me, and if I were a man, I would be offended to know that my wife was using manipulating tactics to ‘control’ me, based on the supposition that a man is a kid! One ought to show their spouse genuine affection. There’s nothing wrong with that. But to advance the idea that a woman’s husband is a flighty, barely functioning being who can be led astray by another woman with a plate is insulting to his intelligence, his ability, his whole being. And here’s the kicker: Women who do all this and MORE still lose their husbands to the stripper. Why? Because you never allowed him space to cultivate his manhood. You insisted on taking on the role of sexual partner AND mother, coddling him into the co-dependent man-baby that he is now. What’s more, this is the picture of marriage you present to your children. To them, this is normal and so find themselves in conflict with a segment of the world that says that men and women share equal responsibility for the sustaining of their marriage. It takes two to say ‘I do.’
But if that WORKS for the pair of you, that’s fine. If as a woman, you feel compelled and fulfilled only when you run yourself into the ground with overexertion, have at it! If you feel it is God’s calling in your life finish raising your husband because his mother failed to complete her work, who are we to interfere with God’s will for your life?! And if you have to scheme, flatter and manipulate your man into fidelity, girl… I have no words. You are free to give free advice, however do us all a favor and refrain from presenting this as any form of ultimate truth. God has given us all free will. This list is 23 points of witchcraft.
We all have to feed off of something. We are human, but we are still a diverse race of beings. Entomologically speaking, a fly and a butterfly both have wings, but only one is attracted to excrement. To the fly, shit tastes like sugar. There is nothing wrong with the symbiotic relationship between the fly and the cast offs of another animal. Coprophilous organisms are a part of our ecosystem, no matter how abhorrent. In fact, they are vital to its sustainment. The truth is, there are hoards of men who are the products of a failed upbringing and require such manipulating tactics from their wives/girlfriends in order to exist in a sense of normalcy. As a butterfly, I cannot abide with such a man. The substance of the narrative that is being presented here is therefore toxic and detrimental to me. But to the excrement-ingesting insect, this substance is life and more importantly, life more abundantly.
There have always been women against the advancement of other women. Some of the strongest anti-suffrage campaigns were lead by women. There are women today who believe that education is wasted on girls. There are women who believe that men (or at least laws created by men) should control their reproductive organs and that they can’t be trusted to know what’s best for their own bodies. They would never come out and say this blatantly, of course. They’ll couch their damaging views in saccharine tones and serve their poison with tea and soup, and many will lap it up because it feels good to sleep deeply before you die so slowly.
But we see you. Though many will be deceived, you will eventually be unmasked. And that’s why the Stepford Wives reloaded don’t bother me.