An old friend and I recently reconnected on social media. We warmed up immediately as we both recollected fond memories of our bonding times back home
An old friend and I recently reconnected on social media. We warmed up immediately as we both recollected fond memories of our bonding times back home. After congratulating him on his month-old marriage, he wished me well and in his exact words signed off saying, “I wish you good luck too dear! You will find a good man. You have always been a wife-material: Hardworking, smart, God-fearing (he probably meant church goer), stubborn; yet knew how to manage a home very well.”
About 3-4 years ago, this would have been a humbling compliment, enough to get me blushing over my black cheeks. But it didn’t, and I will tell you why…
Majority of society believe that there are indeed two kinds of women: those we only date and those we ‘honor’ through marriage. What this loosely translates into is that, this same majority agree or think that it is okay for some women to be deceived, disrespected, hurt, abused emotionally, physically and psychologically, and then the opposite of such treatment reserved for the ones we marry.
So that collectively, we think that the rational behind watching on as these women invest their time, energy, resources and future; is justifiable. To the extent that even religious men hold these same views. Then it comes off as no surprise that these religious men also find no reason wrong with deliberately being with women they know they would only date (deceive, hurt, disrespect, abuse, etc.) only to ‘repent’ later and pick up the ‘already-made’ Marriage-Material women.
Now, because society is not made up of only one gender, it means there are women themselves who endorse the existence of the two kinds of women, permitting these injustices to be rendered to their own kind. Then again we end up getting the wives who would even brag in the faces of scorned exes while enjoying their ‘privileges’ as wives.
Here is exactly why the marriage material may no longer be a compliment – A marriage/wife-material is a prototype, and like all prototypes, she is not her only kind.
1. Most men are not marrying the love of their lives, they are marrying an idea of a wife – The ‘already-made’ woman who already knows her place, duty, and cannot afford to make any errors. And this would easily explain why majority try to demand very similar and specific expectations from women who want to be ‘wifed.’ Many of us are going into marriage with a preconceived notion of what the whole union should look like, leaving no room for spontaneity, nor individuality.
2. Again, men who are preoccupied with finding a Marriage/Wife-Material are only marrying for selfish reasons – “What can I get from this woman,” “How useful is she going to be to me,” “I hope she is well-tasked so I don’t have to deal with too much wahala,” etc. Rather than, this is an amazing individual with unique traits that make her stand out and I am looking forward to being part of her future.
3. Most importantly, the woman who believes and accepts that she is a Marriage/Wife-Material ends up getting preoccupied with checking all the items/criteria on the ‘list,’ forgetting that she is also a human being: someone’s daughter, a would-be-mother to another human being and finally, a wife with her own needs (emotional, psychological, physical, etc.)
4. Quite significantly, when women partake in such labeling we are only doing the dirty work of men because both women (the whore and the wife) are useful in their own ways to men. In their prime when society watches on and let “boys be boys,” they benefit from the “non-marriageable” ones and when they think they are ready to begin their lives, go in for the Marriage-Materials. This is once again, another classic case of women encouraging injustice towards their own kind.
4. Finally, the wife material has been ‘trained’ for perfection and thus, there would be no room for spontaneity, errors, and most importantly, time off to take care of herself.
I don’t want to be a Wife-Material because I want to be seen as an individual first – Efe Plange. A woman who grows an inch every single day. A woman who is never short of mistakes (if events in my life are anything to go by), but makes a conscious effort to turn them into learning experiences. I am not a morning person, yet I love waking up to the smell of coffee (the reason God might give me a man who is a morning junkie). I only cook for fun and clean when needed. However, when I am depressed, anxious, scared, worried or making a major step in my life, I take cleaning to a whole new level just to get my mind off things.. I still remain a great lover of life and people, and I live everyday doing things that make me fulfilled. And as crazy as it sounds, I want my stubborn, naughty alter ego to be the biggest turn-on for my man.
Not to market myself or anything, I am only giving women a chance to market themselves as being simply human too…and we all know what this means: there would always be room for improvement (hopefully for both parties)…
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