Olumide Gbadebo, a physiotherapist, may be termed as odd among her fellow women. She may not even be liked by some for propagating the belief that monogamy is not natural especially for men. In a chat with Oluwatosin Omoniyi, Gbadebo, who is also a skin care expert, was frank to say the philosophy only works due to choices of individuals
Why do you believe Monogamy is not natural?
I believe monogamy is not natural. Reason is that everybody likes the newest, brightest thing. Everybody would want to jump unto whoever they find attractive. I mean to say no one is born with attraction to just one person.
We all experience attraction to different people over the course of our lives, starting from the age your hormone start raging till literarily you get too old, there are always different people you find attractive and there is a reason for that. Your body is design to be attracted to the opposite sex and in the case of some people, same sex but generally your body is designed for attraction, so we are social animals.
Monogamy is not natural, its civilization, religion, society that designed monogamy. What I now believe is that monogamy is a choice. Should you choose to marry somebody, then you owed it to the person based on expectations, norms to be faithful but if you are not married or in a committed relationship, it is a free market.
Even in a committed relationship, you don’t think the monogamy philosophy works.
It is not because you do not want to or because your body does not want to but you have decided to stay with the person for reasons. It could be financial, emotional, practical reasons or for the sake of children. Fortunately our society tend to favour men more than women, the expectations of men are less, lower. Men are held to lower standards than women in our society.
The home depends on the woman, children’s upbringing is the woman, everything literarily regarding the family is resting on the woman’s shoulders. So, should the woman outside her marriage have sex with somebody else, it becomes a huge offence.
Is it that women do not cheat because of their circumstances?
Not true at all! If you are on social media these days, the truth is women are probably cheating as much as, if not more than men these days, because these days the rate at which marriages are breaking up is high.
Women are financially dependent, all those things that used to hold women down that make women pretend to be holy are gradually fading away. So, people are showing their true colours now. The truth is women are probably cheating just as much as men.
What danger does that portend for women to be gaining upper hand or having economic power?
First of all the home suffers. I was raised by a working woman, I am a working woman, so I know this may sound funny but if we are to be objective, the home suffers. The man is not going to sit down to take care of the children. Women are now doing the men’s job and women’s job.
It is not easy to do two things well at the same time. So, what happen these days is that, we are having domestic workers to help raise our kids. Definitely, one or two things will drop along the way. Children are no longer raised as perfectly as they were decades ago. If you look at the 20 year old we have today, fresh graduates we have now, home training is lacking, the typical Nigerian youth.
The question now is what we do? Should women go back to be second class citizens? Is that the solution, where do we find balance? Men need to take more responsibility, there is nothing wrong with been a stay-at-home-dad.
There is nothing wrong with it, if daddy cook stew today, there is nothing wrong with it, if a woman can go to work, a man can enter the kitchen too once in a while, nobody will die. We need to have a more blended society.
Now that women are gaining upper hand economically, how can they continue to find their voices without having to pay a price for it?
Men need to begin to take more responsibility in the areas where it has initially been said it is a woman’s role.
These generations of women, who are raising boys now, needs to raise our boys differently. We need to raise our sons differently from the way our mothers raised our husbands and brothers. We need to teach them the fact that a woman is earning a lot does not mean she’s your lord and master; it doesn’t mean that she’s trying to suppress your position.
The role of man and woman is not about monetary terms or academic qualifications, the approach we take those roles from is what our problem is. Somehow, we believe man is the money earner, woman is the home keeper and that is that-we need to reverse that mindset.
I don’t understand it because men find it very easy to take money from women and it is not a thing that started now. In the days of our parents, the mum that has small change use to raise the dad when there was no money.
I mean nobody is buoyant for a long period of 30, 40 years that a marriage happens, everybody has ups and down. Many women have been known to hold the house together while the man is going through a rough time, so if you can collect that cover from your wife, when you are broke, she’s okay, why can’t you cover for her when she too wants to build a career, and you have.
Life and marriage is about give and take, when you say that this is who cooks and this is who drops money, its too rigid and that’s when problem comes in because there is fiction. Another thing that is killing us is social media, it is too easy for us to expose our lives, we want everybody to know what is going on, we want to tell everybody what is happening in our secret lives.
Why do you think the economy is more favourable to the women’s folk?
My tought on this might be little controversial. Our society pushes women more than the men. You must be this, you must be well behave, you must be diligent, you must be discipline, you must be this, you must be that. Meanwhile our society tends to pamper men, as far as you are born a man, you are perfect.
If a boy is failing at school, people just assume that he will adjust, he will adapt but if it is a girl, your mother will break your head. Women are more disciplined by nature. Because of the way we are raised, the burden is shifting more on us, unfortunately, we are having more responsible women, fewer responsible men.
Typically from time memorial, women are responsible for the children anyway. Gradually, and perhaps, more by circumstances, women started finding out that they are good at businesses, you see them as owners of chain of stores, eateries, pharmacies.
Women are doing amazing things and it all started as let’s see how this will go but because of that discipline and because they have been held back for so long. Give a woman a small opportunity and she will do it to the best of her ability, so it is just normal now that women are on the forefront of everything and the society is responsible for that as far as I’m concerned.
Do you think that an intelligent and assertive lady can really make a happy home according to our tradition?
I think she can. It depends on the man. Again it is up to the men to rise up. Women have changed, the world has changed. Men need to wake up. They need to accept it. Unfortunately, men are in denial, they need to accept that we are not going back to that time where a woman must be a humble servant.
Even these men, do they want their daughters to be like that? They don’t want, they are the ones that will shout if anybody touches their daughter, so it is okay to do it to another person’s daughter. Men need to wake up and embrace the reality of a changing world, women have moved and her taking over.
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