By Peter Adeosun Keyz
I was at a pharmacy yesterday and here’s what happened. The TV was showing a Nigerian movie where a guy was mauling his wife. It was a dreadful scene. He had her hands tied by the back while he was delivering hefty blows on her face, chest, and stomach. I could barely watch. I asked one of the ladies at the counter what the female character in the movie did to have stimulated this beating? Please, note I the word ‘stimulated’ instead of ‘deserved’ in my statement.
It turned out the lady in the pharmacy wasn’t following the movie but she guessed perhaps the female character had extramarital affairs.
I asked her if a woman deserve to be beating for extramarital affairs? She answered in the affirmative. She was very convinced that a wife should receive the beating of her life from her husband if she’s caught cheating. She tried to end the conversation abruptly by saying ‘sir, there’s even no need bothering ourselves because if I get married, I will never cheat on my husband. So it won’t be my problem if a woman deserved to be beaten up for adultery or not.’
Looking at this woman, I sense she will never cheat on her husband just because she won’t want to be ‘deservedly’ battered by him.
All the same, I refused to end the conversation.
I told her ,I didn’t expect her response to my question especially being a woman and believing that a married woman should be hit for having an affair. I sensed this woman must have been socialised to accept spousal abuse as normal. She had been primed for accepting spousal abuse as her destiny for being a woman.
Then the other female customers joined the conversation.
One of them got interesting and told me that the other lady was right. She maintained that a woman should receive thorough beating for having an affair. And she even told me to be thankful that it’s only spousal beating that happens around here and not institutionalized stoning to death like in Saudi Arabia. To her, Saudi Arabia is the perfect place. I quickly checkmated her that she would’ve been punished severely for driving in the same Saudi Arabia.
“So, Saudi Arabia is a better place to be because adulteresses are stoned to death there,right?”, I thought to myself.
I knew she must have been told that crap by her Imams at the mosque. She must have been told that Mecca is a holy land because they kill adulteresses. What a powerful tool of control! How else do you think men would be able to control the women if they don’t serenade them with stories like these?
They asked me what I would do if I caught my wife with another man I told them time wouldn’t permit me to expatiate on what I would do but I quickly told them what I would NOT do.
“I would not harass talk less of hit her for converting her limited company to PLC. Her body is her personal property and she actually owes no one (including me) an apology for how she has used her ‘God-given’ laboratory. I see it among other things as a sign of her respect and love for me, a privilege that I fondly retaliate, not a right that I must extract forcefully. Her decision to retain me as the only scientist in her laboratory is her prerogative, made out of free volition. She wasn’t under any compulsion. She weighed her options and chose that. If she decides otherwise tomorrow, I could attempt several things but once again, harassing or assaulting her is out of it.”
They looked at me like I was an alien from another galaxy.
Well, let me cut the story short.
In summary, I spent a couple of minutes enlightening them on modern ways of thinking about human rights, marriage and gender equality. I taught them about respect for the rights of women and dignity. I hope I made any sense or succeeded in convincing them anyway.
Peter Adeosun Keyz sent in this piece from Ibadan,South West, Nigeria