I have realized that no matter how hard I try to fight it, no matter how hard society tries to change it, I will always be who I am.
Being back in Nigeria has been difficult because society has a predetermined conception of who you are and who you are supposed to be.
If your family is wealthy, you must be selfish, spoiled, have no conception of the plight of others and if by sheer luck you are aware, you choose to ignore it. You also cannot cook or clean. You have never travelled to the mainland. You are stuck up, and everyone, including domestic staff are beneath you.
If you are a woman, society takes away a lot of the freedoms that you were previously accustomed to in other jurisdictions.
Suddenly you are judged and misinterpreted mostly by men, who are insecure, lack confidence, and as a result of their insecurities you are suddenly made the problem. You challenge their beliefs, sense of normalcy, their standards, their expectations of who they think you are so naturally you become a threat.
Your smile or laugh means something else entirely. What could have been an innocent reaction to a joke is misinterpreted as a sexual advance. Everyone you hang out with, who is of the opposite sex is automatically your boyfriend. Your presence in a hotel past 6pm is evidence enough for you to be sentenced as a whore, Runz Girl, etc.
Society is misogynistic; backward and frankly do not know how to handle the modern woman. In short, they try to put her in a box, force her to comply with their notions of normalcy. One would like to think that with the advent of the new generation, advancements in technology, ease of travel and access to information that Nigerian men and women would be different, but sadly they are not.
They are merely a slave to their family structure, a mirror of the ideas and opinions their fathers and mothers have, borrowed from the previous generation, which (in certain cases) have not moved with the times. Although one cannot blame them because they are merely regurgitating what is familiar, it does not negate the fact that one would not seek change where one is not affected by the current state of affairs. In this case, mostly men. They gain the most from these absurd notions society has constructed.
Therefore confident women are faced with the onslaught of projected insecurities, made to believe that you, not they, are the problem. That apparently you are wrong for being who you are or believing what you believe.
The women wrought with their own insecurities cast judgment on those who are brave enough to be themselves because they detest the fact that they dared to be. They judge out of jealousy, boredom and abject ludicrosity.
We as women need to support ourselves more, speak up for one another, cast our judgments aside. At the end of the day we are all that we have in order to bring peace to this war that has been waged.
One cannot single handedly fight the conception society has, but we all make up society and I hope that one day society progresses but until then I can tell you that it's hard work trying to be something you’re not. Changing certain things in order to deal with what society throws at you is never worth it.
Dear #Etoile✨✨, #DareToBeYou!