WOMEN ARE STRONGER, MORE INTELLIGENT… â€“ DR OYEWOLE, PSYCHIATRIST
What makes a man the man he is? If you put this question to most men, they would readily cast a glance southwards, inwardly feel the physical presence of what's down there, shrug their shoulders as if to say, 'don't you know?' and then flash a smug smile.
But to Dr Adeoye Oyewole, a consultant psychiatrist at LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, a real man provides the kind of genuine leadership that makes a woman easily submit to him. In this interview he explains further. Excerpts…
How did you feel when the dethroned traditional ruler of Akure beat up his wife?
I think he was overtaken with love that had become lust. I think he loved that woman so much and women have a way of taunting the man. I think the woman messed him up, you know as a king there is a limit you would need to kick and struggle for a woman. Of course, I think the man must have had his own problems too, which led to behave that way. I think the woman must have done something to spite him. I am talking as a psychiatrist now. I understand the human behaviour; it is like you are ridiculed; it is like your wife divorcing you and then marries your best friend or your driver, something very crazy; the man, I think, could have preferred his death than being alive - if he descended to the level of fighting in the street. It is beyond sentiments; I just felt the woman also got back at him. I know men are not as strong as women.
Men are not as strong as women…
Women have more strength, more stability, more tenacity; they are more intelligent; women don't love, they calculate like business people; a man would not marry a liability, a man can love a liability because he loves you; a woman looks at you, if you don't have a car but a potential, and push into the right direction. So they calculate all the time, they analyze and are intelligent.
They are emotionally intelligent. The university doesn't teach emotional intelligence; the women have it by nature because they are intuitive. Most of our mothers run our families, though the man would be carrying some agbada about. So the women are strong. Look at the story of the virtuous woman; the woman buys things for the man and the man just goes to the gate to display the wares. He goes to the falconry to bring money, many men are stupid and I think because they are actually stupid that is why they flex their muscles; a wise man will invest in a woman and say please manage me well. A wise man invests in his wife and tells her to manage him well. While he becomes the figurehead, he tells the woman to manage the investment.
Do we still have virtuous women?
I am worried about the number of married young ladies lying fallow and there are no men.
What is wrong?
I think something is wrong with our manhood in Nigeria.
What is the definition of this Nigerian manhood?
The Nigerian manhood is all about his organ. That is why when they sit together all they talk about is the number of girls they spelt with; I think that is just stupid. Manhood is more than the male organ. It is about taking responsibility; it is about connecting and releasing the potentials of the woman. That is the pride of a man; he sees the potential in the life of this lady, provides a template for the release of that potential, that is my look.
So, whose fault is it?
It is the man. I think it is the greed we are talking about. There is a break down of values, and we do not have mentors again now. We have pastors who have divorced several times: divorced their wives, and messed up their marriages. They beat up their wives and are still pastors today and we still respect them. Is that not a contradiction? When we were growing up, we didn't have men like that. We saw figures that were strong, responsible, but we don't see them again.
So, there is difference between our fathers, husbands, sons and ourselves?
Today we are just irresponsible; we have become materialistic, but women don't want material, they want security. Security for Women is more than money, but somebody they can respect, somebody they can connect to, somebody who can manage them to release that potential without feeling threatened, an average man feels threatened today if the woman has more money, so there is a basic inferiority complex which is a product of the failures of the traditional institutions and the religious systems.
So, we have escaped into materialism, thinking that is what the women want. Women don't need your material, what they want is security not your money. They need perpetual sound leadership that they can submit to. Because when a woman looks at you and weighs you, and says this guy is not sound, she moves away because she is more intelligent. I am talking as a psychiatrist and talking reality. That is why ladies don't marry their age mates, as that would amount to problem. If you have a daughter let her marry someone at least four, five years older, at least those numbers of years would compensate for his foolishness.
While the boy is thinking in this direction, the girl thinks another direction. I teach in a medical school, and the moment a lady gets to 6oo level, she thinks of settling down. The guy thinks of how to get a video, a car, how he is going to drive it up and down for another five years. When a girl of the same age has completed her family and entered residency, the guy still roams up and down trying to South Africa or somewhere.
Psychology has recorded that if you are going out with a lady of same age, she is automatically four of five years older than you in all ramifications; she is more intelligent, connected, civil, handles issue better than you, except you are gifted and real developed, you cannot match her.
Now, marriages are breaking down, we are contracting fewer marriages, the older ones are breaking down. From your experience, what is wrong?
Break down of values; when I say values, I'm not talking about things that we set down and obey. I mean things we believe in and we behave towards, that is what I mean by the word values. Things that even if I fall short of it, I feel sorry falling short of it and I'm making effort to become it, so they are entrenched, not some rules outside there.
You want to give examples of those values men and women in today's relationship….
For instance, I think they feel more and more threatened, inferiority complex, I think it is poverty, because of the over emphasis of the material. I don't need a lot of money to date a girl richer than me, I always feel I have something to give; I can be a friend of that person because I always feel I have something to give all the time. I am also very easy to tell my female friends that I don't have money to take them to Mr. Biggs, but ask them if I can buy them guguru (locally processed groundnut)?
If a lady refuses and I am confident that I have something, I let her go because if she goes on the material I know she is going to fail. She is going to meet guys who will give her N1 million but they are also going to abuse her because any man who gives a woman money thinking he has given the best, does not love her. You must just give more than this money. Most of the guys are not that developed. Most of what I hear these our motivational speakers talk about is not addressing such. What I need to be a solid man is more than the material. I need to transcend the material, have ideas and plans that are workable. I am not talking about all these palliatives. You sit down and articulate yourself on what you want to do and say, 'Madam, what do you think about it too.' It's not something you do alone; let her contribute.
If she contributes, she connects but if you don't allow her to connect, she will be asking challenging questions. And when she asks challenging questions, you feel threatened. It means you have not thought through. Leadership is not just about giving instructions; you must be several steps beyond your wife. I tell my wife, 'whenever I ask you do something and you don't do it, you will always come back to do it and that's why I allow you to take your own steps.' I allow my wife to take her own steps but I will tell her what I want so that when she comes back to do it she will appreciate me.
That's leadership; leadership is not about not being foolish. The women are now reacting to that failure of leadership because the bible says in 1st Peter, chapter 3 that even when men are without the word, when they are foolish, when they are stupid, there is a stability, power and intelligence in women that keeps the system going in the absentee husband till he gets his head and comes back if he is lucky not to have been distracted. I want to appeal to women to please be patient.
So women need to be patient?
They need to be patient, though it can be very difficult, because some of the men are very stupid.
When you have women making more money or as much money as their husbands, don't you think disobedience will set in on the part of such women?
It is not really disobedience. The men now get inferior so it makes the women feel superior. I don't see any problem in asking a woman for money if I don't have.
No, men feel castrated..
That's what I am saying; it's their lack of self-development because of our strong material values. The women now also use it against the men. Not that she should stop making money but just try to treat them the way they are, like a child; let them come up till they now become very significant. Women too have the capacity to exist independent of men because of their superior intelligence and emotional powers. Women can get men to do all and everything they want us to do even if it is not right, like Eve did to Adam. If you are a strong man, you make your wife not to do things that are bad without harming her.
Some people now react saying that the woman is devilish and all that; they abuse the woman and beat her because they want to stand for the truth. Standing for the truth is not hooliganism but intelligence. If you can skillfully communicate that line of thought to her, firmly but in a gentle way, she may protest but over time she learns to trust you and believe that you have that integrity and she will submit. So, submission is not mechanical, like we are trying to engineer the religious system now by force. If you submit to a fool, you can have mental illness and that's why there is growing number of married women with mental illness.
Are you saying that more women are having mental illness?
Yes, because of this stupid passive submission to a fool. Submission is an intelligent thing, you don't submit to a fool. You analyze why you should submit. If you have reason not to submit, you ask questions; it doesn't mean you should bolt out of the marriage or abuse the man but challenge him. And if he is not responding, you can report him to his father, the pastor or the traditional ruler.
I don't believe that marriage should not have third party; it should even have fourth party provided the parties are intelligently selected. You see, we may need validation sometimes when there is a clash because obviously what we are having is clash of centres; the woman is coming from a centre and the man is also coming from another centre. The man may be self-centered while the woman is coming from the spiritual centre and you now say the man should be the head and the woman should submit to that self-centredness, you know there will be a clash. So, conflict is very important in marriage and it is the ingredient to resolve it that matters.
The fact that people argue, the fact that they have conflict does not mean it is a bad marriage; it means it has potential for growth if it can be harnessed. People think that they argue because they have bad marriage but they argue because they love each other. The moment there is no argument, somebody is dead, most often the women in Africa. And it is not fair because somebody who is developed, who has gone to school and who also has her own vision and definition about life should not have herself destroyed because she is married. A good marriage enhances both selves without causing conflict.
It is not the sacrifice of one self for the other. If the man was given an instruction and the woman was made out of man, I don't see why he should listen to another person, if they have been told to stay together. And what they actually told the woman is a lie because man was already made in the image of God and serpent lied to Eve but the power of a woman to mislead is very strong. That's why women also need to be cautious about the influence of their power, their manipulative tendencies and the superior intelligence they have over men. They should not mislead men and stop harassing them but guide men like a baby.
The same thing Sarah did to Abraham; God had spoken to Abraham and Sarah came and told him to go and sleep with her maid so that she would give him a son. That is mechanical selfishness. Do you know what God told Abraham? He said: 'why did you hearken to the words of your wife? Did I not tell you?' It means that when my wife is talking to me, there is a difference between what she is saying and what God is saying. So, if I am developed, I should separate the two and act with conviction that I am reacting…maybe I am not going to do what you are telling me because I feel this is what God wants me to do. It is not hooliganism, 'I am not going to do it, you are foolish,' no, if you are sure, you don't have to flex any muscle; just let her know and be able to explain.
We tend to believe that women are disobedient to their husbands because of westernization but here you are saying it is a reaction to the failure of men to provide leadership. Can you throw more light on that?
It is men that are misinterpreting that. You know our own mothers were very passive and most of them were not very present in their marriages. That is not the plan of God because He wants both the man and the woman to be alive so that the challenge the woman brings to the man, helps to refine him, rather than disturb him. And because the man of today is not thoroughly developed and prepared for that role he feels that each time the woman challenges him, she is undermining him. In Africa, we think that leadership must be all about obedience without challenge. Challenge is part and parcel of responsibility of leadership.
Are you saying that the women of those days were challenging their husbands?
No, they were not and that's why I am saying that that model was not the best. Women have come alive now; imagine having a woman who is an editor, I am proud to work with her. That system was not the best because somebody was dying; most of our mothers died. And our fathers were alive, that's not spiritual. The word fresh principle does not compromise the sacredness of the dignity of self.
Is that the reason women are now having mental illness?
That's is it because those ones who succumbed stupidly to that, their ego get broken and then they come down with psychiatric problems. Those ones who survive call the 'bull shit.'