THE SHE-MAN

By NBF NEWS
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He can't protect his wife. Sometimes that's because he's a mummy's boy. Sometimes it's because he doesn't love his wife enough. All the time, it's because he's not man enough. His third leg does not make him a man but he does not know it. For instance, his wife is a doctor and is on call at nights and he has to do school run because she comes home tired.

So, his friends whose wives have grinding machines in front of the house start poking fun at him. They tell him his wife has 'used' his head and without considering the difference between a marriage where the wife is a doctor and another where the wife is a trader, he starts taking his confusion out on his wife. He issues dumb ultimatums. He compares her with the neighbour's wife. He tells her she is not a proper woman and not a good wife. He accuses her of taking advantage of his gentlemanliness. Then come the threats. She has to do something about the job or he would do something about the marriage. He stops taking the kids to school or calls her in the middle of ward round to do the afternoon school run. Poor woman can't just leave her kids in school. So, she dumps the files and rushes off to school to pick the children. One or two patients go into distress because Madam Mummy Doctor abandoned them. Her job is threatened. She gets angry too. All hell is let loose because he knew he was a doctor before he married her and seven years or more in medical school is not easy to throw away. So, marriage goes into distress too.

You can count on a she-man to always take his marital issues to his drinking pals. He's the fool who lets green beer bottles witness his emotional decisions. He's the ass who tells his friend s all his troubles at home even when his so-called friends don't tell him a thing about their own wives. He's dumb enough to listen to and believes such stuffs as 'I can't take that from my wife' or 'my wife would not dare try that with me.' The she-man is the one who loses his wife at the end of the day while his friends keep theirs.

Oh, you thought it was only women who lie about how great their marriages are even when they cry themselves to sleep every night? Men do it too. When a she-man puts his wife on a bar table to be dissected by their friends, what he does not know is that his friends wish they had married a doctor who could help with the bills instead of their trader wives who depend on them for everything from hairdressing money to sanitary towels. A she-man is really not a man. He's his wife's albatross, the heavy cross she has to carry until she dies or quits.

A she-man can't control his siblings. He allows his cousins to crowd him and take over his wife's kitchen. His reason? His uncle, their father, 'trained' him so that gives the brats the license to ruin him and his marriage. His sisters complain about his wife's culinary skills and he does not see any reason to tell them to go marry and find a man to spoil with their own skills. He compares his mother's vegetable soup with his wife's and dumbly tells her, 'you need to go learn from my mum, nobody cooks like her.' Geez, when is he going to grow up and get out of his mama's kitchen? When is his house going to stop being a transit camp for every Emeka, Deji and Aliu who arrive town with his back pack? When is his wife going to come home and have a peaceful cosy dinner with her husband and kids?

Did I hear someone say Nigerian marriage is a communal thing, that when you marry a man, you marry his entire village? Good old traditional talk. That was in the days of our fathers when children were brought up by everybody and grew up visiting uncles and aunties. That was when cousins ate from the same plate and wives of brothers do communal things together. Not now, not any more. Sad , if you ask me. I enjoyed my days with my own cousins in the 70s. We attended the same school and played 'ten-ten' together. I played football (yes) with Kayode and 'four-square' with Festus. I played 'racket' with Posi and learnt from my uncles how to extract cocoa seedlings from the pods on my grandfather's farm. We tried to cook when grandma wasn't looking. It was fun, so much fun. That was communal upbringing. That was when I first saw how palm fruits became palm oil. Now, do my kids know any of that? They live 500 kilometres from their cousins and I have 14 paternal uncles!

When school closes for the term they go to summer school. They don't play 'ten-ten', they play Play Station. They don't go and learn on any farm, they play football on television a la MAN U, ARSENAL and CHELSEA. Do your kids know their cousins? 21st century girls don't want to be crowded by communal stuff because they did not have communal upbringing. That is the sad reality. You force a clan of cousins from the village on them, they'll bolt. A man who does not understand that and wants to force his wife to run a boarding house of unruly oppressive relatives is a she-man whose marriage will break sooner than later. If you think I'm a bad one, send me your full names and address if your wife is a banker who comes home at 10pm and your nieces and nephews expect him to kneel and greet them and start cooking at that time.

Don't look at your wife as you read this, look at your daughter and try and imagine how you would feel when she obtains her LL.M or MBBS and her husband takes her case to his friends for travelling too often or working long hours and does not come home to cook for her in-laws. That's when you'd know how your career wife feels under this pressure. The law of harvest will be on duty then and the measure with which a she-man measured maltreatment for his wife is the quantity his daughters and sisters will get.

A she- man, again, is also the man who lives on his wife. Yes, a wife should help out her husband. She is the help-meet but where a man findeth a good thing and refuses to do his own good thing, he should be castrated because he is no longer fit to be called a man. Yeah, some husbands allow their wives to pay the rent, buy food for the house and pay school fees, not because they can't do it but because their wives are rich enough to do it. So, they spend their money painting the town red with their friends. Let the rich wife pick the bills.

So, what are you brother, a gigolo, live-in prostitute, she-man or a proud he-man?