We Need A Break

By Modupe Akinyemi

The #nobodylikewoman challenge was pioneered by Nigerian singer Simi on Instagram. In this challenge, women share a picture of themselves in black and white and attach the demeaning comments they have gotten in the past or are still getting.

I tried reading through as much as I could see and these condescending comments could make a person give up on life. I read things such as:

 ‘Why aren’t you married yet?’

‘…she is not a wife material’

‘Why does she charge so much?’

‘Men don’t like ambitious women, reduce your confidence’

‘When men dey talk, women should keep quit’

‘Please call the man that bought you this car…’

‘Is it menstrual pain that is making you act like this? You ladies just exaggerate the pain, it can’t be that deep abeg’

The list goes on and it is heartbreaking to hear these things and worse still realize so many women have these experiences. I for one have had my own share of these disdainful comments. I have been told not to argue with a man because it is not in my place to do so, having a degree will reduce my chances of getting a man, not being married means I am always available for all assignments; relevant or irrelevant etc.

These derogatory comments usually come in the form of unsolicited advice and insults and I am made to wonder WHAT HAVE WOMEN DONE?

Why should a woman’s life, achievements and happiness be centred on marriage? Why would having a career for a woman mean she cannot keep a home or train her children? Why would having goals, visions and aspirations mean she cannot get a man? When did having a contribution to a conversation related to gender? Why does it have to be a man that buys woman things and take care of them, why can’t she do so herself? Why does a woman have to charge less? Is her service not valuable enough? Why can’t a woman choose her life over a violent marriage? Why do we dictate how a woman’s life should be yet blame her when things beyond her control happen? Why! Why!! Why!!!

It is as though a woman is to live life for others and not her. WOMEN NEED A BREAK!

We need a break from all the standards, cycle, condemnation, bullying, blame, criticism and attack that are thrown at us for being women. This starts with you that is reading this telling the next woman she can do it and you are proud of how far she has come. It continues with you respecting her choices and it goes further when you do not bully with your words in the name of airing your opinion.

To the other woman out there, your life and stories of others you’ve heard is not, should not and would never be a standard for another woman. Let us give ourselves a breathing space.

Women truly are strong as Simi said: YOU ARE WOMAN, AND THERE’S NOBODY LIKE YOU.

Source: Above Whispers

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