AW Gist : The Change Agents -( The In-Laws)

By Onozasi

 

This is about picturing the realities in our society.

Just before you begin : This is a discussion between three social agents, three women involved in different social innovations who’ve been brought together to discuss the different issues they’ve solved, the different stories they’ve heard and how we all can become good influencers, good change agents. I hope this stirs a thing up as you read.

                             Meet the Change Agents:

My name is Jadesola Olumide, I Work with women in rural and urban Nigeria. My organization teaches them to work with their hands to make money, well that’s what some people call skills acquisition. I have worked with over 5,000 women and I am still working daily with women and girls.

I am Tomi Nelson, I am an advocate against rape and sexual assault in society. I was working in the UK before coming to stay in Nigeria, and I must say I have seen much more than I expected to see. It’s no news that we have a lot to do but it is news that we need hands to make this happen.

My name is Lilian Ukachi. I am a media personality, social media influencer and trainee. I work with women and girls on a daily basis, I listen to them, motivate them to thirst for more and go beyond their boundaries. We have a lot of women and girls out there whose zest for life has been destroyed. It is imperative that we join hands to make their dreams come true.

 

women filmaker

 

Moderator: Hello Ladies… Thank you for always answering my call.

Ladies: Of course, we have no choice.

Moderator:  I would like us to talk about this ‘In-Law thingie in the Nigerian space. This tradition of a woman going to her husband’s family house or husband-to-be family house and is expected to lash out on work, not as a visitor. She is expected to do some certain things, some kinda ways but when she takes the man to her family house, the case is different. He is treated differently like a king.

Lilian Ukachi: Ayeee!!! we are going to break tables. I am in for this one and I can tell you that this cuts across all geopolitical zones in this country. It is not a matter of the west alone. There is the scrutiny that goes before a woman who goes to visit her in-laws and that same drive is not found for the men. In fact, if the man has enough money, he will not be scrutinised and if the woman has money, she might be told to lay low so her in-laws would not feel threatened. It is always about the woman doing this and that. The woman has a place to be upright and not flaunt herself, her wealth, her prowess in most cases.

Jadesola Olumide: I cannot even count the number of times young women have made so many complaints about issues like this. I have seen it been acted out by older women in my family. One time, my elder brother brought a babe home and the scrutiny was annoying. One of my aunts said she wasn’t swift to assisting with the house chores, like she didn’t seem interested and I remember telling them that, she is a guest and they replied that there is no guest at your inlaws place and I told them that if she had taken my brother her home, would he do house chores? On the other hand, my dad didn’t bother about the house chores, he called her to the sitting room, talked to her and they had an engaging discussion but the women of the house were bothered about how she handled the chores and that is the problem, women are mostly the gatekeepers of patriarchy. They are the ones rolling forward some system that depresses, suppresses women and it has to stop.

 

Tomi Nelson: I get the gist, I get where we are coming from but we must also not forget the aspect of culture. Now, let me break it down. I know a lot of people overdo it. They outrightly overdo things but we should know that it is coming from a good place when women go through these things. I wouldn’t automatically call for it to be thrown away but I would say that we rather become very conscious of the feelings of the other person and also, nobody is saying you shouldn’t engage the man when he goes visiting his in-laws. If we want to abolish this act, it will take us years to do so but if we want to implement dual roles then we can actually achieve the necessary. I just feel that people overdo it and that is what we should talk about not abolishing the whole thing.

 

Lilian Ukachi: Tomi, I disagree with you on this one. Let it be abolished. I stand with that.  You and I know pretty well that the men will still get away with it but when it is off, it is off. I am a guest for crying out loud. Excuse me, I married/about to marry your son and you should be grateful to me. I know that most husband’s family feel like they have the right over you because they ‘paid your brideprice’ and we need to correct that orientation. Brideprice isn’t selling the babe off, it is a state of responsibility that you can go any length to take care of this woman, you can provide for her. It is not a manner of ownership, ‘I have paid her brideprice and so I can do anything’ so, my family members can do anything anyhow, and what annoys me most in the whole of this is that women, women, women are the ones behind this. They are the ones in charge of this unhealthy scrutiny. Sincerely, I would advise young women to always speak up. Have a good conversation with your partner and don’t tolerate unhealthy relationships from anyone. No marriage has been sustained by the number of plates washed and all that shenanigans.

 

Tomi Nelson: I get your point okay, I am just saying we have to realistic here, these things have been inculcated into our system and even though it is overdone, most of these women kinda mean well (Jadesola cuts in)

 

Jadesola Olumide: What did you say now? they mean what? Nah. They don’t mean any well. They are always so judgy, so annoying. They don’t do it out of any love. None at all. In fact, Tomi, you haven’t experienced this that is why you are blowing queens grammar here. Some of them will point out to you like without it you are nothing, Some of them will even tell your husband when you refuse to yield that you are not a good woman and he should dump you. See, as Lilian said, don’t tolerate any form of shenanigans from anyone and that is why it is important that women love themselves, discover themselves before falling in love with any man cos it is only then that you can understand boundaries. No one is advising you to be rude to anyone. What we are saying in pure terms is ‘Do what you can and don’t kill yourself, don’t start what you cannot finish’ and if your husband wants to dump you for being real, abeg, your man will come for you. Simple!

Lilian Ukachi: Simple as ABC Jade. Those women who have become principalities and power at the In-laws place must be kept in their place. Women, please be more acceptable. be tolerant, show love. Life is not that hard. Life is simple. Na marry the woman marry, she no kill person.

 

Tomi Nelson : I do not support women being shitty but I also think that this can be a dual responsibility and the idea of women shunning it all at once can be very destructive o. Wisdom is very important, very key in doing these things. This is my humble submission, you don’t have to agree with my opinion.

 

Moderartor : I think we should leave the space open to the public to put in their suggestions… 

Ladies : Exactly!

 

The comment section is open people, we shall see you next week.

 

Source: Above Whispers

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9 Responses to AW Gist : The Change Agents -( The In-Laws)

  1. Seyi Nelson February 4, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    I like this conversation. It is engaging and very truthful. I wish women would act what they preach in genuinely.

    Reply
  2. Therebeccas February 4, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    The moment we start having this kinda talk amongst ourselves as young people, we would right the wrong of the older generations. I wish this weekly article could be a TV discussion.

    Reply
  3. Vanessa February 4, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    I agree with the other two ladies, this tradition is crap! and it should be scrapped.

    Reply
  4. Lola Adeola February 4, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    If only we would have this kind of conversation every time.

    Reply
  5. Femi Diipo February 4, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I have always felt like this sort of argument is biased and doesn’t really capture the actual reality. Women typically own kitchens and in some homes it is expected that all women available in the house should contribute. With other works like gardening, electrical/electronics fix, and starting and servicing generators and the likes, all male visitors must contribute as well. I have been to my in-laws several times and I had never been expected to sit and watch while my father inlaw washes his car.
    Yes the gender roles are different as I think it should be but both have their places in the society

    Reply
  6. Lola Aina February 4, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    Hold on! We need to be real here, we cannot let go of this tradition we can only make it inclusive!

    Reply
  7. Kolayemi February 5, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    So, do we expect these women to just come in and fold hands while their mother inlaws or big sisters go to the kitchen to cook for them all in the name of being guests? I think the older two women are taking it too far and unfortunately, that is the mindset of a lot of girls in this generation.

    Reply
  8. Rita February 7, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    But you know we cannot finish this argument o but then, I do not see the need to be doing all this orisirisi work on top say person wan marry. as as how na?

    Reply
  9. Olakunle Olajide February 8, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    My humble take here is that, no in-law should make it a compulsion but instead, done in love…If the atmosphere is conducive, no one will tell the man/woman to help with the chores, it will most likely come naturally. Another thing is that some in-laws would want to own you, for me, that is a NO NO. Great discussion, and I like Tomi’s tone of delivery.

    Reply

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