Often times we discuss the effects of patriarchy on women in a society, but truth be told the effects are also detrimental to men. As a result of these perceptions and pressures, here are 10 things about being a man in Nigeria:
1. If you don’t have a job get ready for your man license to be revoked.
2. You must be responsible for your wife, children, her parents and siblings, your parents and siblings without complaining all on your 100k salary.
Even if you end up with a stroke from all the pressure what is the big deal. Are you not a man? Oh and prepare for the waiter to always hand you the bill.
3. You should not cry ever. You are not a human being, you are a man. Emotions are not built for people like you.
4. Don’t attend a school reunion without your property and car on fleek because being broke is never an option.
5. You are not allowed to earn less than your wife.
6. You must be a good leader and be financially astute just by virtue of being a man even though you haven’t got the faintest clue about any of those things.
7. You should never ask for help. A real man is always in control even though your life might be falling to pieces.
8. You should never admit that you do not know how to do something. Are you not a man?
9. You are not expected to know how to cook or wash your own underwear. Prepare to be constantly infantalised.
Men shouldn’t be taught some basic survival skills like learning to nourish themselves or how to keep themselves clean.
10. When there is a loss, you are not permitted to grieve. You must be strong for everyone else.
If you breakdown what are the rest of us meant to do. Men are not weak.
Though it seems like all laughs, the realities can be quite grim when you take out time to ruminate through the issues. Voices For Change have recently produced their landmark research conducted across various states and regions in the country into a report aptly titled ‘Being A Man In Nigeria Perception And Realities’.
Some statistics from the report are heartbreaking and further remind us about the dangers of patriarchal systems to both men and boys and why the need for empowerment and gender parity is still a pertinent issue. You can download the report here.
Written by Zikoko contributor Wana Udobang.
Wana Udobang is a broadcaster, writer, poet, performer, filmmaker and curator working out of Lagos, Nigeria.