Sometime towards the end of 2018, a video showing a Nigerian lady turning down her boyfriend’s public marriage proposal at a mall went viral online.
There was a lot of backlash, and even her explanation aimed at seeking a rationalization of her decision from social media debaters and critics, couldn’t stop hell from almost breaking lose on her head and handles.
Hell, from too many people who hated that she turned him down; from too many people who abused her sense of worth, and from too many people who couldn’t decipher the fine line between accepting and being accepted. They e-mobbed her, basically.
Amidst the spasmodic tantrums and chaos of comments hauled at her, a particular comment from a FEMALE Facebook user stung deep. She read:
“Well u just miss an opportunity bcus of ur silly excuse, evn wit al dat e pick u, to spend d rest of his life wit n u blew it up, do u fink e was not sowie 4 his action afteral doz galz flirt der selves on him n just watch n c one of dem wil help u play d great role u rejected, Nigeria galz cn embarras man sha mitcheeeew..”
While it is borderline arguable to agree her refusal was somewhat dramatic and made the guy a cynosure of eyes, that people resorted to web-shame her is simply outrageous. So, that a boy proposes and films it automatically makes the girl inclined to accept?
Why did girls begin to think like this?!
Why did girls begin to get too comfortable being the ones side-stepped and the ones to whom staking and making a self-decision is a societal taboo?
Well, this is what brings me to how the societal expectations and societal correctness of indices such as relationships and marriage, have essentially pummeled and subverted the human self-worth in women.
What is so great about a marriage that’s not inclusive of honesty in seed (the foundation) and in deed. What is so great about a marriage founded on seeds of bile and unassuredness and grows to become a giant, ugly sequoia tree of regret and unforgiveness?
I’m really not concerned about the proposal or the fact the she blatantly refused it, neither am I bothered by her reason for not wanting to marry him. What really concerned me was how this singular occurrence easily exposed how the society still cheapens girls, and especially a high percentage of girls themselves aid and abet the subversion of the self worth of womanhood via their absolutely ludicrous comments on that post.
I mean, forcing yourself to do things just because others told you to do so, or because a camera is present, is definitely not the best decision to make for yourself.
Love is a free bird, and in most cases, marriage is its prison, and the real culprits here are the pull, push, and pressures of societal expectations at the expense of well-heeled self will or worth.
And of a truth, this society is ultimately nothing but our own creation – a manifestation of our collective mind.
Being deep social beings with an inherent need to connect and be loved by others, many of us choose to compromise the way we live in order to receive social approval, out of fear of being abandoned if we don’t do so, or in this case, be web-based or e-mobbed.
For better or for worse, the foundations for self-worth are laid in our very early experiences. Even before we developed a complex cognitive system capable of assessing our beliefs about ourselves, our interactions with our primary care-givers exposed us to feelings of both (or either) pride and shame, and thus, influences the way we see ourselves as adults, dictating some or most of our actions.
For example, society requires and delicately conditions women to “be nice and virtuous”, while men are mostly left, loosely conditioned and free to “be men.” The woman is expected to stay away from little fights and tussles, avoid aggressive sports and behaviors, and work at maintaining harmony, even at a cost to their dreams. And ironically, when a woman acts in ways that are consistent with gender stereotypes, she is tagged less competitive. On the other hand, when she acts in ways that are inconsistent with these stereotypes, she are labeled unfeminine.
It’s never “just right!”.
Society, a product mostly of toxic indices and idiosyncrasies, says – “hey girl, it has to be this way”, or that, “this is what we approve for you, Woman” – and we don’t just act by it, we fall for it.
What a disheartening disservice to the strength of self-will and worth from whence the true nature of the humanity in us is nurtured!
By depriving yourself of the experiences that would allow you to live with courage and boldness, and thus come to believe in your own abilities and frailties, you are making yourself a prisoner within you – a neocolonization of the mind – constantly saying “Yes” to what society thinks, and “No” to your gut feeling.
I earnestly wish this trend is reversed.
While women cannot change a past or our biology, we can certainly make sense of it and understand why we feel the way we do. But more importantly, we can change societal expectations that we’ve unsuspectingly or sheepishly internalized, by purging our minds off self-defeating beliefs, patterns or behaviors and rise to our full potentials as human beings.
You owe it to no one what you decide to do in, and with your life. You owe it to no one to give explanations just to get back validity for yours, and how society sees you.
Dear fellow girl, you just have to realize fast that there’s more to live for, that life is too real to be cut by any strand or brand of plasticity.
You need to realize and reaffirm your self worth, and maintain your originality, sticking true to your gut no matter the circumstances in all spheres of life – and this is how women need to self-heal from this epidemic sting and stench of a subverted self-worth and get loosed!