I follow Nnedi Okorafor on Twitter, and one thing that I have noticed about her online personality is that she does not suffer fools gladly. Whether she’s having a conversation with random internet users about her work, the American political system, pop culture, the everyday micro-aggressions caused by patriarchy and misogyny, or perpetually correcting people on the right term to address her genre of writing, Okorafor brings an interesting perspective on her Twitter space (the occasional posts of weirdly attractive and outlandish animal pictures is my favourite).
So it’s no surprise that she unfriended a man on Facebook, who wanted to know if a married woman can still be submissive to her husband if she’s the breadwinner.
Just unfriended a man on facebook who posted this: “Can a Wife be the Breadwinner of the Family and still be Submissive?”
— Nnedi Okorafor, PhD (@Nnedi) April 24, 2019
Put bluntly, what a dumb question. And I reckon the question must have been asked by an African man – I’m putting my money on a Nigerian. I have stayed long enough on social media to know that Nigerian men love this thing called submission. Outside of social media, men’s perceptions about marriage and their everyday interactions with women is very deeply rooted in the desire to control and dominate. Hey, thank you patriarchy. But seriously, why do we still have (Nigerian men) with such retrograde, outdated ideas when there’s so much talk about feminism these days? Why must everything be wrapped around coddling a man’s ego?
According to these men, a woman can achieve so much as long as she’s still submissive and fulfill her ”wifely” duties. Other times, women aren’t even allowed to live the full versions of themselves because it might threaten the man. The concept of submission, which means patriarchal subservience and women essentially being slaves to men, should be expunged from our societal fabric if we really want to achieve equality of the genders.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.