Test-The-Terone Why Must I Submit to My Husband


My husband and I wrote this post. This is his first and probably last feature here. Dude loves his privacy. But you must know that I did all the writing. He talked, mostly and shared pointers. Parts of it have been edited. So if you’re a wife or a husband or you want to get married soon, you might be interested in this post.

When oga and I were discussing this topic, I prompted the following conversation.

ME: Luv, are you stronger than me?

OGA: Of course.

ME: Are you smarter?

OGA: No.

I wasn’t shocked. He firmly believes in equality of the sexes. Still I piqued his mind.

ME: Are you wiser?

OGA: No. That’s one of the places I feel we’re equal. But if you ever beat me physically till it hurts, I should be taken to Kikirkiri to face a firing squad for being a disgrace to men.

I rested my case.

I’m not a feminist. Though my husband thinks I am. He and two others. And the other 70% I have come across that always give me the look when I start talking about women being equal to men.

Updated: I’m presently a proud feminist.

I’m also an opinionated person and I can fight for any cause that’s worth fighting for. I tend not to see just the black and white in any situation. I look for the grey areas also.

So call this a grey area post. Feminists might not like it. Male chauvinists will not totally agree with me but my aim is to strike a balance as much as I can.

Now, for those of you who have no idea what feminism means, here’s a basic definition: What a man can do, a woman can also do. How a man wants to be treated, a woman also wants to be treated. The height a man wants to attain, a woman should also attain it.

I’m sure you get it by now. Feminism is all about gender equality. Women and men are equal.

So here’s my first question: can a feminist be submissive to her husband? Can a woman who believes in the equality of the sexes allow her man be her head?

My opinion: YES.

This leads to another question: what does it mean for a woman to be submissive to her husband?

Let’s not go into the dictionary or Wikipedia or go asking our pastors. The answer is straightforward. A woman simply should allow her husband be the man in the relationship.

The third question: who is a man?

By one definition, a man is the male gender of the human species. He has a penis and testicles that produce sperm and yada-yada-yada… We know what a physical man is. No, I’m not just talking about that type of man. Even a fifteen year old can call himself a man by that definition. I’m talking about men that are mature in thinking and understanding. Men that have passed the stage that all they see in women is sex. Men that have a means of survival, no matter how little. Men that can be held responsible for their actions. And finally, straight men, biko.

A real man is defined by character and integrity. But he has no claim as the head until he is married.

So, what then does it mean to be the head? Does it mean that a man automatically turns his wife into a servant and demands obedience from her at all times and in all things? Does it mean he treats her as less?

I was having a conversation with a male chauvinist the other day and he brought up this argument, asking me to defend the female folk over this men being head issue. At first, the answer I gave him was unsatisfactory even to me but after thinking it through, I asked him: is there a head without a body? Is there a president without a country? Is there a boss without employees? Is there a head of the home without a wife and kids?

Which brings me to an annoying trend I see on social media these days. Everybody now has become some philosopher of some sort and a crop of boys fresh out of diapers suddenly think they have the right to take the title as head over every woman they come across. I often laugh when I read tweets and statuses of such people. Dude, until you put a ring on that fourth finger and accept the responsibility for loving, respecting and caring for a woman, you’re the head of nothing. Let me repeat. A man without a wife is not a head. It is her presence in his life that makes him the head. If you have people you cater for, who look to you for their upkeep; you’re the breadwinner, not the head. You can’t say you are head over your mother simply because you feed her. That is not how the rule goes. My argument is from the Bible, for those of you who keep using it to solidify your point that men and women are not equal.

Now to yet another question: must there be a head in a marriage?

I would say yes, even though I feel a couple shouldn’t dwell on headship issues. Nature has created a balance for the sexes, in that, where the males are lacking the females hold the fort and vice versa. In reality, a man cannot always stand as the head. There are times when the woman takes the reins to save the day.

But if I say yes to the man being the head, doesn’t that mean I’m in support of inequality?

NO. I’d briefly step out of my beliefs on this one and look at the issue critically as it relates to many Nigerian homes. Here are reasons why the man is the head.

1.       Testosterone. Let’s go back to the basics. Biology. There is that thing called testosterone, the male sex hormone. It is responsible for the way a man is formed and to a certain extent how he behaves. It plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues. Testosterone makes men more assertive, less compromising. It gives them a competitive edge. It is responsible for their muscle strength and mass, hence making them naturally stronger than women. A man’s testosterone level fluctuates at certain points in his life. It decreases when he falls in love, gets married and has a child. Hence he is actually at his weakest. The best his wife can do for him is make him feel like the boss.

2.       Societal expectations. Nigeria is a male-dominated society. From childhood, a boy is taught to be ahead of the females. Culture and society expects him to be in charge. When he begins to grow, the pressure increases and reaches an all-high with responsibility. He is pushed into the world to work hard and make a living while his female counterpart does not have the same pressure put on her. A man who has gone through this process and goes as far as tying the knot is a man who has conquered a lot all on his own. He is the king of his own castle. It took him a lot of competition to succeed. He will not easily drop his position at the top. Pulling him from that pedestal is stripping him of what has now become his nature.

3.       Men are insecure too. There is always a richer man, a more handsome man, a more successful man out there. The male nature is highly competitive and that is why men bond more with other men when they are in competition with each other. We see the scene everyday at bars, when they play video games, during sports, etcetera. When it comes to the hustle of life, a man is always aware that there’s someone out there better than him. All he may have as assurance that he is a winner is the place he calls home. There he feels no need to run the race with anyone because he is recognized and his ego attended to. But in the case when he comes home and his wife starts to exhibit the characters of the males he comes in contact with every day, it pushes him to protect his success and pride by asserting himself.

4.       Men have a set perception of women. Whether a woman is a stay at home mom, a small-time business woman, an athlete, the boss in your office, the president of the nation or the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, her husband will still want to see you as a tender, sweet, loving woman that needs him. Even if she earns more than he does, he still wants to buy her that asebi for her friend’s wedding. He wants to fix the broken microwave if he can, rather than have her call the electrician because she can afford to. It is his pride to fix the broken things in her life if he can because he is wired that way. He needs a nurturer, a lover, a woman who accepts her weakness and needs his superman ways to save her even if she is strong enough to save herself.

Image from www.sodahead.com

I would like to state that, sadly, not all men exhibit the above traits in a positive light. That is why we have homes where women are abused. For such men, it is okay for them to have adulterous relationships but not okay for their wives to do same. They feel to assert their manliness, they have to subdue their women through physical and emotional abuse. Females, to them, should never question a man’s ways. It should always be yea and amen. They do not want their wives to take jobs for fear that she may be exposed to more wealth than they. Women are just objects of their pleasures.

What about the flip side? What about those women that emasculate their men? They nag and are rude and condescending. They employ emotional manipulation to bend their husbands to their will. They use their bodies as bargaining tools. They also have extramarital affairs. They belittle what he does for a living. They act like mothers instead of partners.

I am all for women standing on equal pedestal with men and I look forward to the day when we see this equality in our homes, schools, offices, businesses and even religious places. But ladies, while that day is yet to come, please can you stroke that man’s ego and put him above every other man out there? Can you uphold his pride in and out of your home? Can you submit to him, knowing it takes nothing out of you but paves a way to his heart, a position where no other woman should have? Can you let him wear the pants in the relationship? He’s not a head without you. The more you accord him that respect, the higher his chances of conquering the world.

A woman who hasn’t understood and accepted the concept of submission shouldn’t get married. She would constantly have ego clashes with her husband if she does. A woman should stand against all that is wrong, that enslaves and stops her from accomplishing all God has created her to be. On the other hand, being submissive is a choice; it should not be forced on anyone. A woman who allows herself to be pushed by any man is not being submissive; she is being a slave and submission is not enslavement. It is the manner of she who is aware of her influence and yet chooses not to wield it to crush a man, knowing that it can never be stripped of her no matter what happens on the outside.

Take Esther as a case study. Her predecessor, Vashti was an unwise feminist. In a patriarchal world where queens had no say, she chose the wrong day to play her cards and she was banished from the palace. Enter Esther. The young, Jewish virgin who knew nothing about nothing. Everything had to be taught her in the palace for a year before she qualified to see the king. When she eventually became queen, her powers were still limited. She was no Michelle Obama. The next person to the king was a man; following that man were governors, satraps and whatever they called them in those days. All of them male. Esther was not on the list. She was there basically for King Xerxes’ pleasure and the kingdom’s image. But Esther never considered her position as of no value. She had a duty to her people, not only as their queen but liberator as well. When they were threatened with extinction, she didn’t get her girls up on the streets with placards (not that I’m saying demonstrations and rallies are wrong). She didn’t go fighting the king’s right hand man who made himself her enemy. She didn’t lay her case to the lawmakers. No, she went to the man whose ego she had stroked for a long, long time. The man who had ears only for her. She knew it was time to wield that power. Thus, she used her humble position, courage and femininity to conquer not just her nation’s enemies but turned the law for her people, keeping them alive and stamping her name in history.

Every marriage should have its rules. My husband and I aren’t crazy about who’s the head and who’s not. We just love and live. Responsibility and roles are determined by who is capable, who is biologically equipped and who is experienced enough to handle the job at the moment. To us, that is the best way a marriage can last long. But I never forget that my man is a man and if allowing him be the boss makes him happy, then why not? It takes absolutely nothing out of me.

Ultimately, love and respect rather than norms and expectations should determine how a woman should treat her husband. Because when the outside is not looking in, it is the love that keeps that fire burning.

Thanks for reading. I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this.

 

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54 Comments

  1. This is a beautiful article…its an eye opener, i like the part where you said even when the man competes outside, he can b rest assured dat he doesnt need to compete in d home, i believe dats wat makes d home attractive and prevents d man, from looking at anoda woman. Bt generaly i think,every woman should read it.welldone sally. As usual u no dey fall my hand

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  2. NatKingDole Reply

    Yes!!! Women should submit to us. Sally, nothing like equality at all. I don’t care what anyone thinks. We came first, women were made for us and they must bow. I always put my wife in her place

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    • Sally Reply

      SMH. Nate, Nate, Nate. How many times did i call you? me and you know that SHE who must be obeyed should not read your comment or you’re in deep soup. Yeye pesin

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    • Oga nate, pls small small nah,she gave illustrations and reasons for everything she wrote. It seems u read ds article closed mindedly so you could have something to argue about nd nt wat u could gain. As for u putting ur wife in her place dats very scary, and in my mind am like tank GOd ds guy aint my husband. Pls take it easy, dats never d way to a womana heart. Forcing her will make her do things for u out of fear, instead of doing it out of luv and respect.

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      • Sally Reply

        Don’t mind Nate. He’s a male chauvinist but he means no harm, dear. He’s just joking. He loves his wife dearly

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      • NatKingDole Reply

        @Pelumi, oya no vex. Come and be my second wife. I’ll treat you like a queen

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        • I alredy have someone who treats me more than a queen.thanks for the offer thou.*winks*( wen i read your comment at first, i felt like boxing you).am happy u luv ur wife(now i feel like hugging you)

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  3. Wow…you couldn’t be more correct.yea,I’m kinda a feminist,I’m all 4 equality.buh a woman should be d woman…n let d man be d man!

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  4. I will come back here when my head is in place. For now though, I’ll say great piece, you took a lot of words right outta my mouth (lol).

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  5. I think there should be equality between both sexes, being a very ambitious female :D. But then a head has a neck that turns it, and any man who says he’s not influenced by his wife is a liar, she’s the neck that turns the head- I just learnt this today I’m church, so I’m feeling all wise and deep, hehehehe

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    • Sally Reply

      Sister in our church. Hope you greeted that pastor well-well. We’re waiting for his robust reply o. Ya feeling wise and deep with urself abi. Look at u. i sha pity the man that will marry u :p

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  6. Ii tot yu were going all feminist but in the end I’m glad to note that if stroking our ego will make us happy yu women should do so and more.ii can’t compete with folks at work and get home and start fighting who is the boss with my woman..This is a must read for every lady young or old..nyx one sally as usual..I’m waiting for the day U????? will disapoint me. Though i pray it never ever comes. Good Night.

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  7. Hmmm,..i dont realy like meddling into this equality thing,cos a feminist or semi-feminist like u wil argue n argue til his kingdom cometh,am a strng advocate of the law of karma..what u doeth to others will be done unto thou…..rem 2 shal becum 1,meanin a man n woman shal b one n nt head n body as we tend to imagine,if couple r one then headship shouldnt b an issue IMHO,just do what u knw u will expect others to do 2 u,the two shal complement each other in al aspect,if u alow ur personal hapiness to ovashadow how u treat a part of u (wife/husband) then u should xpect nemesis when the tides would turn hands

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  8. Wow! Wen I saw this particular article,I saved it for d last thing to do. I’ve long settled it with myself that a man is d head even if I’m earning more than he is. I hope to put ur advice to good use when I get married. More grace

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  9. Great piece Sally. I quite agree with you totally on this.

    When one person start demanding for headship, something is definitely wrong in that home. We are meant to complement each other ( look at the sex organs during mating, the two fused to form one) sorry am not vulgar but that should be ideal thing in the home. COMPLIMENTING each other not COMPETING with each other.

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    • Sally Reply

      No, you’re not vulgar, Isaac. Thanks for contributing

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  10. I once read somwhr dat wat a man needs in a relationship is respect, n d woman love. Once d woman respect ha man, he will love n protect her. Tho nt married ave seen aw my mum stroke the ego of my dad, he let’s him be d boss on some issue n after he makes some mistakes, he finally takes ha idea.
    Dia has been no turning bk since d day I started reading dis blog, thanks to REMI for distracting me that day in class

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    • Sally Reply

      Yeah, thanks to Remi. lol. I appreciate your stopping by

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  11. Thanks sally, u just said my mind, in my department political science, we r more of men Dan Women. Our decisions really don’t count. They hate feminism, and I am an aspiring feminist, I believe in equality but in my class it is seen as disobedience, lack of respect in order words hitting shoulders with men. I can’t wait to read this in my class and relate it with contemporary political arena because women r not given their space in the political arena. And also I want women to know that there is power, unimaginable power in humility and they abi we should get hold of it and make adequate use of it. Thanks sally, more grease to your elbow, may God enrich ur wisdom and ur pen never seize to flow.

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    • Sally Reply

      Amen my dear. And sorry about your class. Some people can be quite mean

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  12. This is the best article I’ve read on gender equality. I like how you explained that a man is only the ‘head’ in marriage. I believe equality should come with the understanding of the intricacies of both genders. This is perfect! Well done, God bless you.

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  13. Seye

    You did justice to this issue. I daily learn things to put into action when I’m married. This shouldn’t be anyone’s business here but I’ll mention it either way. I had a very fruitful discussion with one of those who commented earlier (@newnaija) some hours before you posted this. This only adds to whatever we discussed.
    That said, I wish our women nowadays (esp. The yet to be married) will learn a lot from here. The men certainly have things to pick too.
    Its a matter of each of the two doing his/her bit to make it a success. That’s why I agree with the word ‘fusion’. When the man does his bit, and the woman does hers, the individual efforts combine to give “1 united, mostly positive result”.
    God bless you for this

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  14. Sally, the robust reply is like the coming if our Lord-soon.
    Why are falling my hand na? My future hubby might have read it, just incase u have (future hubby) u will always be the head 😉

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  15. A lot of salient issues have been raised by this post. Interestingly, I am always falling into a similar strain of discussion with friends.Sometime back, someone boldly told me “I am a feminist to the core.” Now, if she had said “I am a feminist”, I’d not have raised any eyebrow…but when she added “to the core” I had no choice than to take her up on that. ‘cos when you say that, u av gone to the extreme. Now, mind I do not support the concepts of chauvinism or that of feminism….as far as I am concerned they are just things that came up ‘cos we fail to respect each other and take seriously our feelings, aspirations and personal expectations seriously. If you ask me, if only everyone takes a deeper look and answer the question – if I was in his/her shoes how would I feel; only then can we start to understand how to better appreciate one another.
    Again, let me quickly point out that most times it is easy to tint our arguments with self-colouration – using and strssing only those points that favor our argument.
    There will come a time when you will have to step back and ask yourself – am I being fair? Is my opinion on this issue as balanced as it can be. It is difficult, and that is where the room for compromise comes in.
    Maybe it is one reason I have a lot of female friends – that struggle to find out and understand what goes on in the female mind.
    So far, it is still a research in progress.
    Having said all that, this is a very nice way to throw up this issue and open a discussion channel. I am always going to come here and find out how the opinion(s) swinging.
    Nice one, Sally.

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  16. Dis was enlightening……husbands sud not come home to a competing wife , d home sud be a place where he can rest from all d hustling out there. Hmmn, i never saw it like that but now i know. When i get married, i will remember to ensure my home is where my husband wants to ocme to after every day work……well done.

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  17. Sally Sally, all I can say is wow. U r really talented. Thanks for d article. We learn everyday.

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  18. It is the paragraph about every marriage having its own rules and just loving and living that surmises it all for me. As usual beautiful!!!

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  19. One day I’m gonna get me my own queen, and I will live happily ever after, with her right next to me as an equal. Until then, oh boy, this marriage thing is … frightening!

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  20. Amaka Chinedu Reply

    Sally! Sally! *a Standing ovation ist abeg*. Babe! U jus nailed it. Wen I ist got married,I ws always trying to let my hubby know I ws d boss(I’m d eldest in my family,so I brought it to my marriage). We always had arguments even wen I ws right. He always told me I could control him if only I speak more politely n respected him more. And ever since I threw away dat ‘ist born’ attitude,u’d think I’m using juju on him. Every lady shd pls,let men be men,its their pride. Jus as they r d head n we r d neck,we turn d head to d direction we want but in a very gentle manner. Thank u Sally! U r one woman I respect a whole lot.
    Ps. M sharing on my fb timeline straight up.

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    • Sally Reply

      Go ahead, dear. God bless you for your wonderful words. And thank my husband as well. I didn’t do this alone. Thanks again

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  21. Firstlady Temidayo Reply

    Salome darling! I hope ur husband won’t read this cos he will just smack me straight! Seriously, I agree with the post. And I’m grateful u mentioned our country has being so much engrossed in men being the head. Dear men, Nobody dey drag am with u na, in as much as we are d neck, we fit turn u anywia *lol*.. I love you sally and with that fact, I love this post too. God bless u dear… ( Oga must not read it ooo else ‘both 2’ of us are in soup) *thumbs up*

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  22. Great article/piece indeed! The simple logic was unravelled. once both parties are centred on the unique word ‘love’ then a man should play his part whilst a woman take care of hers too. Am not really a fan of wu’z d boss and wu’s not.(bt I sure knw am a fan of Sally). ‘Let the man be d man and d woman be d woman’ …this applies not only to couples, but to every male and female. A lady everly has her core roles to play and the Man has his too, the strength of these roles and responsibilties determines wu handles thus wu’s fit for the task actually handles. Both persons give expected respects to eachoda. Let the man struggle, toil d soil, hussle, bustle, (etc) outside aggressively but let d dude be so soft back inside. Thats d way forward.
    Great piece once again Sally. Am not surprised tho.

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  23. I faved this link to read later, and I’m really glad I did. This post is great. I loved the unbiased way you wrote, and outlined your points. The part I loved most was “Dude, until you put a ring on that fourth finger and accept the responsibility for loving, respecting and caring for a woman, you’re the head of nothing” I am amazed at how often strange “men” assume they can boss you around simply because they have a penis (pardon me). One who I don’t know from adam even told me, when I challenged him over a matter that “don’t you know I’m a man? I have authority over you…” The nasty look and sharp response I gave him ehn! Let’s just say I’m sure he will never forget my response, lool!
    I wish I could read this to a couple of my brothers and male friends too!! Lovely piece Sally, God bless you.

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  24. Well,I was just having dis discussion today wt my man, and he sd d truth of d matter is d man is d head,but dt doesn’t mean he should alws act ‘I m d boss’ relationship is also a kind of partnership,its a give and take affair. Well since Sally strongly blvs stroking their ego works lk magic,I will gv dt a trial(winks)

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  25. my friend made me read dis work,and i must confess i love it. i just shared it with my husband. cos we just got married. i agree with you,cos i saw it work with my parents. i once heard my mum say “The Man is the Head of the family,don’t drag it with the,rather see yourself (Woman) as the Neck”.

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