One of the things I find interesting about life in the microcosm of Naija Twitter space, is how everybody seems to know what the problem is in any given situation. Yet, when push comes to shove, nobody really wants to put the work of fixing the problem. I’m not even talking about the endless talk about the failed Nigerian project—bribery here, corrupt officials there—all of which are flagged by people who would willingly overcharge on a product or consistently show up late to work.
Thankfully, this post is not about good governance, it is about marriage. Ah, yes, that life defining aspiration of the average, middle class Nigerian. Think about it: who needs to be President or solve infrastructure on the continent, when you can simply meet the love of your life and get married? Let’s talk about the average Nigerian woman for instance: the moment she turns 25, everybody starts to eye her, sniffing around for a wedding ring. It does not matter how many promotions she has gotten, if she is actually a Tech bro, a renowned singer or a medical doctor connecting rural children with healthcare. If she is not married, then she is not doing this life thing right.
Let’s say finally a sister gets married, oshey o. Next thing, everybody knows how to conduct the business of her marriage, much better than her at least. Ah, you did not greet your husband. Ah, what does your husband think about your promotion? Ah, you have not given him a son? Was it not the other day when our veteran Nollywood uncle, Pete Edochie, came out to say the reason men cheat is because wives do not leave condoms in their bags. Omo! What is so ironical is that society regulates the woman’s life to bend towards the man’s happiness, after all, only a happy man will be faithful, only a happy man will refuse to stray. It’s always do this, do that, until the woman herself becomes so wrung out like a squeezed wet towel. #Sigh.
Okay, you may be wondering what set me off on this mild rant. Well, recently, Billionaire couple, Bill and Melinda Gates came on social media to announce their divorce. They had been married for many years and have done a lot of philanthropic work around the work, so naturally, over sabi will enter; we would all feel the need to analyze what went wrong and prescribe a solution. Still, I was not prepared for that Naija brand of problem solving that introducing a third wheel of solution so far off from the equation that you wonder if they are reading the same news as you are. Ah, okay, I’m getting ahead of myself again, let me calm down small.
So, what do I mean?
One of the discussion threads I saw online suggested that somehow, Bill and Melinda Gates was a reminder of the failures of monogamy, and is justification to the point that we need to legalize polygamy. Note: not polyamory o, not even polyandry, no, just polygamy. (Even me, I am poly angry.) Okay, that was a cheap plug at humor, but I am still so shocked that the answer to marital issues, after years of men telling women how to bend and twist themselves to please men, is to announce that men deserve to have multiple partners. Men o. not women. There is nothing mutual about this. Men should simply have the license to collect as much women as strike their interest and women should continue to prime themselves to be collected. #Sigh.
I know this is one of those rants that neither has head nor tail, it’s not like I have the energy to engage with any of those men on those social media threads. So, consider this a kind of unsolicited public service announcement: polygamy will not stop the demands that marriage makes on individuals. It will not stop divorces or infidelity, and guess what? It will not make men any smarter than failed monogamy. Look at your forefathers that were polygamous; How many skyscrapers did they build? How many planes did they fly? If you are hungry for multiple sexual partners, come out open and say it. Just remember that women too can take as much as they give.
End of rant.