Who Runs the World?

Photo Credit: African Press Club

Dateline: Eixampla, Barcelona, Spain

It’s really a man’s world! If you’re a single woman of a certain age, society mocks you. Everyone makes it a duty to emphasize that it’s a ”sin” to fly solo midlife. If you do get married and fail to produce an offspring or a male heir as is fastidiously required in some parts of the world, you’re treated with utmost disrespect.

Let’s say he put a ring on it and the union is blessed with children, then you decide to be a working mom. Out of the blue, the guilt card is used against you for leaving “dem little ones” at home. Filled with guilt, you might then opt to be a stay-at-home mum. Again, your efforts are not really appreciated because people think you’re at home all day long being indolent. After the children are grown, you decide to dust your certificate in order to re-enter the job market, you’re overlooked for not possessing the “requisite experience.”

Peradventure you’re still single because you’re sincerely fed up with all the shenanigans parading as boyfriends, and then proceed to try lesbianism, as some women do. Now, hell is really coming down on you. Judgment day just arrived with a wagging finger, warning that it’s better you were never born. It’s tough.

It’s really a man’s world! If you believe otherwise, meet me in the comment box below. Better be armed with concrete points to buttress your argument.

Do I love being a woman? Absolutely. Do I love Beyonce’s somewhat rebellious song “run the world”? Of course! I’ll hitch a ride with the gals anytime. Bey looked a bit upset and very serious in “run the world” music video, so much that my cousin and I were confused the first time we saw it. The intense dance steps and sky-high shoulder padded feather-inspired blouse left us wondering what the video was up to. Then on a second look, we got Bey’s message. It was about women empowerment.

Please watch Bey’s video “run the world,” on Youtube if you haven’t seen it. Aside from the message, it’s actually entertaining. What’s the connection?

I met with two friends from Kenya and Nigeria last Sunday for lunch in a Mexican restaurant. As we snacked over a plate of roasted corn, while waiting to be served, we started talking about marriage.

The conversation began with questions on why some men feel intimidated cultivating a relationship with a successful or high-achieving woman. It quickly progressed to the dating scene nowadays. We observed that it seems women are more flexible in dating younger men.

My Kenyan friend hilariously blurted out that: “first of all, there’s no dating in Africa.” A chorus of laughter paused the conversation momentarily. She wittingly added that: “in Africa, a man approaches a woman, expresses his interest, she says yes or no. That’s it.”

There’s a valid point in that proclamation. From my experience, many families back home do not entertain talks of a “boyfriend.” But when a man shows up at the door to ask for your hand in marriage, “now we’re talking.” They really do not want to hear about the romantic escapades prior to that. They feign ignorance of any relationship. What matters to them most is marriage. I know this sounds like a sweeping generalization. But it happens.

She went on to say that in her native Kenya, women that date younger men are frowned upon, hence the label: “cradle snatchers.”

It depends on the age gap, right? If it is three to five years between them, would that really be referred to as “cradle snatching”? Come on! If it’s a 25-year gap, maybe it becomes awkward. How come men do that all the time and it’s considered normal?

I asked a friend in Barcelona her thoughts on an older woman versus a younger man. She told me that 30 to 40 years ago, it would be inconceivable for a woman to date a younger man in Spain. But times have changed. According to her, women are more independent today. They spend more time going to school and building a career before deciding to start a family. The change in culture also means that women are not questioned about their choices as before.

Personally, I think you live once. It will be unwise to miss your life partner simply because of age. There is the issue of maturity and intentions, though. More often than not, women are more matured. If the man is up to the task, fine. But what do I know? I’m neither a professional marriage counselor nor do I know anything about marriage. So, I’ll throw the question open.

For the ladies, if you were single, would you date or marry a younger man? For the men, what do you think about that? Why is it ok for a man and not a woman?

.Happy Easter and enjoy!

25 comments

  1. This is one of the biggest issue we are having in our society today.

    I don’t think it is any gender’s world. That way we will all be responsible humans

    My take!

    1. I like your thoughts on this Boris. Perhaps, the men will help to equalise opportunities. That’s the point of having such conversations

  2. Precioso texto!! Lo que tantas mujeres quieren expresar tú Constance nos lo revelas de una forma extraordinaria. Gracias

  3. In many places like Nigeria, it is still a man’s world. We still have very masculine communities where women are not respected. This is one little sign, a male companion is greeted whereas, the woman is not. Another is, it is almost a taboo for a woman to be strong and successful! Woe betides her if she is married and barren! “She is not a woman, na man be dat.” I have so many stories, but i end it here. It is still a man’s world.

    1. Maria, so true. “Woe betide” you indeed!! I remember that word from high school. Thanks for your contribution.

  4. All the christian women I have dated expect me to buy them things which I have done in each case assuming it’s the manly thing to do. However, I think women should have all the rights a man has in work and society in general. If I dated a woman who wanted to buy me things on a Saturday shopping say, I doubt I could entertainment that. Can someone please sort me out for there’s something not quite right in my thinking. 🤔

    1. Ian,Ian,Ian… how about the non-christian women? What experience can you share on that? I am a Christian and I do not expect anyone to do anything. Besides, I thought men enjoyed being beheld as manly. It is not that the christian woman you dated cannot be in control… in fact if you looked closely, you will realise that she already was in control when she handed over the reigns of control to you. She can equally take them back and take over, no problem. That is her position of power. Just because you are paying and buying things doesn’t mean that she is not aware of the ongoings… she is very alert, watching and controlling; miss a step and you will see how quickly she will swoop in and save the situation like wonderwoman. She did not let you pay because she couldn’t, it’s because she would like you to do that. Meanwhile miss independent will not give you that. She handles all her business regardless.
      They are both playing their positions of strength.. others passively ,others actively.
      However, it may be true that some may have been made to submit entirely to the man. It’s a matter of taking time finding out who you are dealing with; miss passive power?, miss active power or miss submissive? And there is the other one… miss slay queen- with this one ,you’ll pay for everything!

      1. Maria, so true. “Woe betide” you indeed!! I remember that word from high school. Thanks for your contribution.

  5. You know nowadays, women and men have been through all sorts of experiences in both marriage and on the dating scene. So much so if two people actually meet and share reciprocal feelings, no matter the issues of age or such minor differences, they would be wise to hold on to that relationship! That’s what think… 😊 May we all be blessed with Courage!

  6. There are some customs in some tribes where; a matrimony can have children, let’s say the older ones are girls – And even these children are not enough until a boy is born. Many women have been left because of their inability to bear a boy child. I assume this justifies the polygamous custom as a way to deal with that “problem”. Again, If or not it was considered a sign of wealth to have many wives and children as you would cattle, it doesn’t matter… because the second that baby boy is born, he is automatically considered to be the eldest of all the children. Children are precious? yes they are! But some more than others… unfortunately.

    So, basically you could be an all grown mature elder sister; with an important job, be it being the commander in chief of the national army (I wish!)…
    … But whenever there is a family matter, assuming your father is not there to decide, and if/or not the mother is there, the brigade of eligible elder sisters is skipped over- and whatever that boy decides… goes. Fullstop. Yours, sister, is to behold in silence.

  7. Brenda, Brenda, Brenda I so agree with your comments and advice! For instance, I do know that a woman with eyes down instantly knows more about that man staring at her than he does about her. Like a sumo wrestler who uses his opponents movements to pull him down with ease she can listen and suggest to her advantage and his monetary disadvantage. Super duper insight and subtlety that evaluates a monetary situation in a flash. Ohh yes I understood these things but was powerless to change the name of the game. Going Dutch is not in my reportoire Brenda. I need your help. Or are you to brainwashed? Maybe into the African way of male heir superiority that means yes it’s OK to have him pay. No worries, game over! He’s the boss after all. Step in Nmadili. Yes, I dream of reciprocity. I love dialogue. I love caring and sharing. Please ladies teach me to be modern man…not only going Dutch but meeting the super duper reciprocal woman. My bank manager will also be over the moon. Please please please show me how.

    PS Constance this is the best article ever for encouraging discussion. What’s more important than men/women relationships. Come on folks let’s here your views and likes and dislikes of others views

  8. Further thoughts that won’t leave me alone until I publish:

    Like my spirit hovering above my body Brenda I could see clearly what was happening; nay what was to come….an ever dwindling bank account. But I was powerless to do anything about it. The dye was cast Brenda. I was no match for this word-master, this sentence-supremo who knew exactly what to say and when. I was a toy in her toystore. Like a bad dream where I was rooted to the spot she was able to instil panic in an evermore desperate man. Re African men ….You think being the male heir is easy Brenda? Often they are paper tigers simpering for relief from a task too too great for their fragile frame. Ohh yes they put on a bold even aggressive front but really they are puppets in a woman’s world Brenda as you know. The big car hides a plethora of insecurities not just about the size of their willy. Reciprocity to such a man is a dirty word that would mean death to their very being. Humiliation extraodinaire!! But again grist to the female mill. How is that done Brenda? But do i really want to know? Probably not as I pride myself that I’m not one of those….. by for now 😊

    1. Hahaha… lol!. I just had to say you are very funny Ian. “Like your spirit hovering …?” Sentence-supremo..? Paper tigers…? OMG!
      Oh! Ye man of many words.. thou have madeth my evening!.😂. How does a guy of such eloquence get played like that? Surely Ian. But what you say is true. Men do suffer too.
      Where are you? Let’s talk over tea. I’m buying.
      Ps, I will not look down like the sumo whoever, I come as a friend.😊

      1. We did not create the world and the only way we can understand the world,enjoy it and take the right decisions is to consult the creator of the world God Almighty. A woman and a man are equal before God as long as they play their specific rôles that are really innate within us. At times I think men and women don’t really have much to do on earth than to surrender to God and let the Holy Spirit lead them to do God’s word. It is neither a man nor a woman’s world but it is God’s world and if we decide to obey God in line with the Bible,we will get fulfillment in life, but if we decide to create our own rules against the rules of God whether in marriage or in other areas,then we are on our own.
        Without sounding as a religious fanatic,I stand to say that the ways of God as revealed in the Bible are still the best. The western world and others have tried other ways in marriage and other areas and have left the world more confused. I promote mutual love and gender realisation to understand our roles in creation rather than gender equality that has brought more harm than good to humanity. Somebody has to lead and if God says a man should lead,we should not challenge the wisdom of God else we will be like satan that rebelled. We should be proud of our roles in life. It is foolish for me to complain that I should be the one to feed my baby with breast milk as a man rather than the mother. God made all things beautiful but our little wisdom and education are muddling things up. We should be wise and obey God and forget about the undulating intellectualism of our little brains. A woman should be proud of being a mother to the children and even the husband and a man should also be proud of being a father to all and enjoy sacrificing to move the home forward even if it means losing his life to make family members happy.. What God has created is perfect and we should not attempt to add or subtract from it. For instance if God tells me in His word to bow down for my wife daily,I will do that because God is perfect. There is no need to challenge the wisdom of God but all we need to do is say YES SIR to God. God bless us in Jesus Name.

  9. Brenda and Ian, I am loving the back and forth. This is really interesting. Ian, you sound so poetic. You should definitely think about writing a counter to this article. I assure you it’ll be published!! Let’s start a series on this topic. Are you up to the challenge Ian? Maybe after you, Brenda will jump in with her own piece. Love
    you guys. Keep ’em’ coming!!

  10. It’s unimaginable to think of the world without women; it will be boring, and uneventful. They radiate beauty, love, immense power and inner strength. They are indeed wired differently and often times demonstrate great courage where the men buckle. Even in societies where cultural practices seem to be against them, some women had risen against such prejudices to excel.

    Women truly run the world despite men’s pretenses to the contrary. Chinweizu, in his book, Anatomy of Female Power, outlined how women rule men and have always ruled men in all ages. His thesis is that women are more powerful than men. Therefore he prescribes what men might do to reduce female power and so advance toward equality in hardship and privileges with women.

    The primacy of women in any society is not a matter of debate and societies that have advanced the interests of women are known to be more progressive than the ones that undermine them. Women are assets and only those with the Midas touch could derive maximum benefit.

    Again, some of the prejudices against women are reducing considerably. Issues of marriage, child bearing, age etc. no longer define a woman. Society is evolving and will continue to do so. Women are competing in every sphere of life… they keep on pushing the boundaries.

    For a man to date or marry older woman is simply a matter of choice that should be respected. If they found love, let no one put asunder.

  11. A most interesting thread! And I cannot agree more with … well, everyone … in varying degrees! Yes Felix, women are beautiful and the world wouldn’t be the same without us and Yes Brenda, women know what time it is from the get go. But is it a man’s world? In the boy/girl space, I would have to say ‘yes’! Like it or not, two captains in the proverbial boat will only run it aground. Call me country but I think that ‘every’ woman truly longs to submit but only to a man whom she deems worthy! This desire I think is innate to all female species, human or not … a kind of self-preservatory selection (watch national geographic and you’ll see what I mean). This desire may be less apparent because modern women rather than minimize these qualities have come to own and take pride in their intellect, strength and beauty meaning they are more willing to wait for what they think they want. But want it they do! Afterall, what’s a Queen without a king or Constance this is for you, a Bey without a Jay Z?

    In the same way I think that a man was made to lead his lady – in medivial times, Lord was not just master, he was provider, caretaker and protector. Lordship came with duty and men stepped up even to the death! It was just natural, the way of things. I think the relational dysfunction between men and women is borne out of a lack of understanding of roles. Submitting is not weak and leadership is not for tyranny. It’s suppossed to be magical a mystery the bible says! Oh the love of a woman for his maiden and oh how her soul longs for hee lord!

    In other aspects though men and women are equal. How dare anyone represent otherwise? The few who cling to such baseless sentiments know that they are on sinking sand. As for being with a younger guy, I have to say each to his or should I say her own.

    1. Uzo, Uzo, Uzo, how many times did I call you? I’m laughing and shaking head. Well said, “Bey and J-zay” = power house! Yes, with all Bey’s money, fame, talent, she still went for a man. You just summed up your point nicely.

  12. Age used to be such a big deal where marriage is concerned especially the age of the woman. Not only is she not allowed to marry a younger man, it’s almost a taboo for her to be single at a certain age… I know a brother who is single at 50 but calls a woman above 30 an ‘old cargo’. He said he can’t marry such a woman. He is 50 years old. I also know that once a woman is one day older than the man, her age should remain a secret because if his family hears about it, there goes the marriage. These issues are real. I have also met ladies who have sworn never to marry a younger guy, they claimed they can’t respect a younger husband. As if age is the basis for respect. I was engaged to a man 17 years my senior, I was in University and was lovestruck… happened that I thought the age gap would make him more understanding,how wrong I was. Was brutish, terribly emotionally abusive and very inconsiderate. I borrowed Usman Bolt’s shoes and ran. Fast forward to my husband who is same age with me… He is Mr. Right in truth and indeed!

    Age is just a number but at times not just a number. If you want babies as a man, you may not seek marriage with a woman above 50. I am sure Macron of France knew about this. If you want to operate at same intellectual level as your spouse, I should think you should seek a partner closer to your age.

    Now to the question… Is it a man’s world? It is, so long as relationships are concerned. Patriarchy, religion, biology, the society have combined forces to the woman’s disadvantage. It’s our reality especially in Africa. The first paragraph of this beautiful piece captured the reality of an African woman. Because Africa is largely communal and have very strong family systems and ties, it makes the culture of patriarchy a very tough rope to cut.

    But women are rising, civilization, education, financial empowerment, television, social media etc are all empowering and emboldening women to rise above all the shackles of cultural, religious and societal limitations. Science is also doing wonders with child bearing, moving natural biology to the woman’s advantage.

    It’s a journey and am glad to be part of these times.

  13. I have enjoyed reading everyone’s contribution here and in some cases very much admire the depth of thought and ability to express their views.
    Brenda thank you for your appreciation and friendship. Meeting over tea would be a joy if it were possible. Are we turning this page into a dating site where everyone can see our amorous intentions or are you just wanting to see for yourself, eyeball to eyeball, the witless man who fell foul of the preditoty female and all her charms. You certainly sound astonished that any man could be so gullible. A tell tale sign of your own femme fatale attractions perhaps? Promise to be gentle with me please and your on. We have a date, and as you say….you pay. Can this be a new beginning for me! Your not a psychologist by any chance, or a journalist for a woman’s mag looking for a scoop?

    1. LOl Ian. No, we’re not turning it into a dating site. Coffee or tea is harmless. Besides, we’re already exchanging ideas on the platform. Brenda, you have to know that Ian is all the way in Scotland though! Ian, Brenda is in Barcelona. Well, it’s just a few hours away by flight. Goodluck to both of you over that tea!

  14. I’ll begin by saying that the world was created for the male and female. Any role reversal certainly brings conflicts of interest and superiority advantage over the female. Relationship should be forged on the foundations of mutual love, respect and understanding, between the male and female, be it the female being older than the male, so long as they are happy with their choices and preferences.

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