“This is a man’s world” is a popular statement in contemporary times. But how can it be? I keep on wondering. I even got into argument years ago with someone on Facebook concerning this topic. A story was posted of a married woman who was contemplating divorcing her husband because he had low sperm count. There were various comments and one in particular caught my attention. The person in her comment said that this is a man’s world and therefore the woman had no choice other than to stick to her husband. In as much as I do not support divorce, I do not think a woman should stick with her husband because it is a man’s world. I believe it should be because God hates divorce and because she loves him enough to stand by him through his weaknesses and struggles.
Let me narrate a few incidences around me where “This is a man’s world” has been exhibited.
Many years ago, I had gone to shop at a popular second hand market in Uyo known as Itam market. It is usually a very busy market because it opens only once a week. As we all struggled to select what we wanted, I was attracted to an argument between a man and a woman. From their argument, it seemed the guy had touched a part of the lady’s body in a way she felt wasn’t appropriate and she cautioned him. He became angry and started telling her that if she didn’t want any man to touch her, she should stay indoors and never come out. That as long as she’s in public, any man can touch her if he wants and she has no right to be angry. I was infuriated when I heard this. How can a man think like this? No wonder some men rape women, probably because they feel they have a right to every woman’s body. Hmm!
Another incident happened in my third year in the university. One of my roommates in my 300 level used to complain about her course mate, a married woman who used to sleep around with younger men. My roommate would tell us of how disgraceful it is for a married woman to cheat on her husband and that it is acceptable for a married man to cheat on his wife. I have also had discussions where people feel that if a couple can’t have children as a result of issues with the man, it is acceptable and the woman has to cope. But if it is the other way round where the woman is the cause of their inability to have children, then the man has every right to divorce her if he wants or marry a second wife.
In my own point of view, I don’t think this is a man’s world. Why should a man be free to cheat on his wife? Why should it be acceptable for men to treat women anyhow? Why should a woman be forced to stay with her husband who has low sperm count or erectile dysfunction while a man is free to divorce his wife who has fertility issues? Why should a man be free to touch a woman’s body in a way she doesn’t like? Why should a man freely touch the sensitive parts of a woman without her consent or against her wish?
Every woman has a right over her body except her husband who has the power over her body (I Corinthians 7:4). Even with the fact that her husband has the power over her body, she too has the power over her husband’s body and they are both to seek for the satisfaction of each other and not exercise their rights on each other. As the Scriptures says in 1 Corinthians 7:4,
“The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality – the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out.” (MSG)
And so, although the husband has the power over his wife’s body, there must a mutual agreement between them in order for both of them to be satisfied. There shouldn’t be a case where one person is exercising their rights at the expense of the other person’s satisfaction. I think that’s where the term ‘rape’ comes in in marriage.
If you are not a woman’s husband, then keep your hands and legs to yourself and if you must touch a woman, seek for her consent and approval first. If she says no, please respect her and her body. If a woman has told you she doesn’t approve of a certain form of touching or physical intimacy, please respect her decision no matter how insignificant the gesture is to you, whether it’s just a peck or hug or holding her hand or whatever form of touching that involves her body. Even if you are her fiancé or boyfriend or whomever, you have no authority or power over a woman’s body until you have married her.
If you are in a relationship and you and your partner do not agree on the level or forms of physical intimacy to engage in, rather than force yourself on her, it would be much better for you to walk away with your dignity and respect and find someone else who agrees with you and is on the same page with you as regards physical intimacy. Forcing yourself on a woman no matter how insignificant the gesture is degrades you as a man and makes you lose your respect. If you want to be respected, then you need to give people something to respect, you need to carry yourself with dignity; be responsible and respectable.
This is an article I wrote some years ago and since today is International Women’s Day, I decided to post it. This is not the original article as I’ve edited it; I cropped out some things and added more things as well. I remember when my ex read this article years ago; he felt the article portrayed the heart of a woman who is not submissive or who will not be submissive to her husband. I don’t know if it was because of his opinion and the fear of being seen as an unsubmissive woman and wife-to-be that made me not to share this article or if there were other reasons that kept me from sharing this article with the world. But today, I’ve grown above his opinions and beliefs and I’ve overcome the fear of what people will think or say about me.
I’ve shared with you my thoughts and views on “Is this a man’s world?” And so, I ask, is this really a man’s world?
I would like to hear your views and what you think about this topic.