“Tone down your personality or no man will want to marry you”
“Tone down your personality or nobody will want to marry you.” That’s what they say to a woman who stands up for herself.
Everything about women should be about men and marriage.
“You’re studying law, make sure you have a boyfriend or marry before you graduate. Female lawyers find it difficult to get married.” A female lecturer once advised a class filled with young law students.
“You want to join the military, men do not like officers.” That’s what he told me when I told him about my plan for the military.
“You want to go abroad for your masters, make sure you get married before leaving, men do not like overexposed women.”
“You’re too opinionated, especially on social media, tone it down a bit. Men do not really like women like that.”
“You want to keep your surname when you get married, don’t say it out. Men will not want that. Or find husband first before you start saying what you want and don’t want.”
Everything you do or want in life has to be tailored towards what men want or like. You are not allowed to be or stand up for yourself, because you’d scare men away.
Most of us grew up in neighbourhoods where we were unconsciously taught to aspire to get married. Not to excel in our careers and be great women, but to get married.
When people ask our mothers about us, they don’t ask if we have gotten jobs or furthered our education, it’s usually for wedding IVs.
You’re taught that the ideal thing is to move from your father’s house to your husband’s house. Deviating from that order is almost unacceptable.
You’re taught to shrink yourself, because certain things, like having a voice, are unladylike and not good for women who want to get married.
I love the idea of marriage and would definitely want to be married someday, but it is not the foundation of my being. It is not what triggers my actions and inactions.
When I decided to study law, I did not for a second consider whether any man would like it or not.
When I decided to get a job in a town far away from home, it was about me first and what I thought good for my career.
Since my sisters got here, I have consciously and unconsciously taught them that they can be anything they want to be if they set their minds to it. They can be the best in their schools, their careers, the best wives and the best mothers.
We need to do better by our girls.
We need to be taught that marriage is not exactly the ultimate goal for us, that it is not the essence of our being. We can be so many other things and still be married.
We need to be taught that we’re not goats being reared to be selected from by men.
We need to be taught to be ourselves and not make ourselves small for people who have refused to grow.
We need to be taught not to shrink ourselves for other people’s comfort, just because we are women.
We need to remember that we’re humans first before we’re women. We deserve to be.
P. S: I’ll always say; never dim your light for anyone else’s to shine; unless you’re driving a really high car with very bright lights at night.
This beautiful piece was written by Bibian Chinenye Pius-Urum
I endorse this message a million times.