There is growing irresponsibility amongst adult males who are seeking responsible females for marriage. There are very many young females who still admire and desire sweet unions. They still want to sacrifice and build homes like the women of old. They look forward to their day on the altar and living happily ever after. They are still in the majority in Nigeria.
But many adult males are just mouthing marriage and how women have become unworthy of it, but a large number of the males complaining are themselves, not responsible. They demand submission in advance without commensurate zeal to ensure it. This is actually an epidemic already in Nigeria.
But let me explain what I mean by irresponsibility. The dictionary definition of RESPONSIBILITY is ‘the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone or the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.’ IRRESPONSIBILITY is simply the opposite of that.
Every adult male that has a sense of duty to deal with something, to solve issues and problems, to love, to have control over a team, and to be accountable to that team and be prepared to be held accountable or blamed when things aren’t heading to plan, is a responsible male and deserving of a wife. Anyone that is opposite of this dictionary definition is actually IRRESPONSIBLE, and may not make the list of “HEAD OF A FAMILY.”
If submission is your problem, let me inform you that amongst humans, once the opposite is well taken care of in body and mind, cooperation and submission are the resultant summum bonum. I see marriage through the eyes of an African village boy. I do not know of any African tribe on African soil and even in the diaspora where the male is not the provider for the home. The men have always gone hunting to bring food home to their waiting-loving wives.
When African men married and catered for several wives and legions of children, they had very little income beyond hunting, farming, and subsistence farming. Not very many were exceptionally rich. Has the African adult male become so incapacitated by economic hardship that he can’t even take care of his wife? Have the men suddenly turned to gigolos? Where did we borrow the 50/50 in marriage from?
Violence in matrimonial homes for me is a crime. Not just to the wife. I don’t like peculiarizing spousal violence. I just believe that violence of any kind, whether against a child, a pet, a maid, a spouse, a parent, a stranger, or even some flora and fauna, is a crime and should not be tolerated by anyone.
And before the limbs got weak, our fathers who had enterprising wives, what you may refer to as ‘career women’ these days, knew that they had a duty to support their wives trading to thrive as a support during emergencies. The majority of the men never even bothered to know what the mothers were earning beyond being sure that the trading was making progress and did not stop. The ones who married spendthrifts, (obhiageri or trophy wives), also knew how to keep them home and pamper them with bush meat.
Now, you see why I need us to sit up? We are guys, we need to prove it. We need to be responsible. I am a little bit upset that we are bringing the reputation of our gender to disrepute in marriage. We have become absconders, AWOL lovers, wife batterers, incapable of providing for and protecting our families, sometimes deliberately, we have shamelessly overcome the stigma of walking away, we demand submission without the zeal to love. We have become men like Godot, but now we have to Sit Up, Guys!
Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, a Cross Riverian, and writes from Lagos.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.