I get “you don’t look Yoruba” a lot and I’d go: “Oh, it’s because I’m mixed but my father is dead”. It’s not factually true but it saves me a lot of stress and awkwardness on the listener’s part because I’m not ashamed of my story, I’m not the one who would feel awkward.
This is the same shortcut I take in my love life; instead of trying to tell everyone I’m interested in that I don’t believe in romance, monogamy and even polyamory, I would just present the image of a lady who’s just not interested in any “serious” relationship (whatever that means really). Most times, the people conclude I’m just heartbroken by my past lovers and they would try to go out of their way to treat me right so I could “fall in love” with them and date them “seriously” (again, whatever that means).
It’s a win win for me as I get to be treated like I’m fragile while retaining my autonomous freedom and most times also a win win, for the other parties, even when they don’t really understand the gravity of the social norm we were breaking.
We liked each other, yet we gave each other space. We were buddies, but not your average patriarchal boy-girl man-woman relationship; there’s almost nothing we can’t talk about, down to other people we have seen or are seeing, who, mind you, would have still been in the picture if we were in a “serious” monogamous relationship, but codedly with the ever present suspicion of the other party and the woman almost always going crazy, heartbroken and getting disgraced everyday on the social media. (Annie Idibia, I’m praying for you sis, if the prayers of a Jezebel like me count).
I’ve never really been interested in young men my age most likely because of my serious daddy issues and I’m constantly seeking a father figure in these men and I’ve accepted that part of me. In fact, I’ve never really tried to change or hide it. I enjoy it. The thing is I’m JUST realising that these men being much older than me, being more experienced and all that doesn’t mean they’re better or “perfect” so to speak. I’m unintentionally obsessed with perfection and it’s either all or nothing and so when I subconsciously defer to these men and have some expectations because after all, they’re wiser and older, and they “misbehave” with the misbehaviour ranging from trying to own and cage me, to trying to tell me how to live my life because they supposedly know better, I get really pissed and ask them to go fuck themselves genuinely believing that they know better and just want to exploit me because I’m the one at a disadvantage due to my age, gender and even economic status as an older man is more likely to be richer than I am.
These older men do not actually inherently know better. In fact, at the risk of sounding biased as I’m a gen Z, the gen Z generations are the ones who know best and this is a discussion for another day. Whatever these men do is what they’re conditioned to do. While we have gen Zs questioning a lot of things.
An older man is supposed to subdue, own, “guide”, and “protect” a younger woman.
Immediately I recognized the fallibility of these older men and that I might actually know better than them in some cases, I could handle them better and have better relationships with them. I started seeing them as big babies, as the older “afa mails” they have been conditioned to be.
One of such is a man in my life; he’s a really sweet older man in his forties but the generational difference is so wide I think he’s dumb and he thinks I’m too wild (read wild as being a very radical feminist gen Z who is ‘too woke’) and I’m just acting up, writing everything I do on Facebook because there’s nobody to control me, especially because my father isn’t in the picture. I blocked him immediately on Facebook and figuratively gave him a very heavy knock on the head for that statement and seeing he’s genuinely remorseful, and that it’s just his “dumbness” and level of consciousness usually found in men and women from age 40 and above who are stuck with “this is how it’s always been done,” I drew him back and patted him on the head.
Sometimes before this incident, we watched a movie on Africa Magic and a scene showed a father having a heart attack because he caught his daughter having a sexual relation with another woman. This man said he would beat her daughter up if it was him; he genuinely believed that was the right thing to do. Like I’ve already written, I would have been pissed because since he’s older, he should have known better and he’s just CHOOSING to be “dumb” enough to think what his daughter does with her vagina is any of his business. But now I understand consciousness levels are different with different generations and of course individuals as there are people my age who also believe in this idea of control especially parenticism.
I said but it’s HER body, and she hasn’t hurt the father. The movie is just silly! How has she hurt anyone?
After the heavy knock and head pat drama, I realized I was willing to put in the work of putting up with his dumbness. I don’t even genuinely mean that “dumbness” derogatorily, it’s just what I call it. I normally don’t have that kind of patience with anybody, perhaps I recognize that unique level of humanity in his soul. I recognize that whatever he does, there’s a very humane baseline to it all.
I remember he kept saying I was the woman and I should cook and I just immediately went off his radar. He kept asking why I wouldn’t talk to him again and I told him it’s the silly gender role he kept preaching. He said he wasn’t a bad person and wouldn’t intentionally say that if he knew it would piss me off. I believed him. Ever since, he would either cook or go buy food for me, he NEVER mentioned I cooking again (I make it up to him in other ways we both enjoy, trust me 😜).
He has been told all his life women are to serve him, and he meeting a younger woman is an avenue for him to display those conditionings in his head and I’m putting up with him because he’s willing to resist those conditionings with me. He could go do it elsewhere, not with me or to me.
When I saw him again after that drama, we were kissing (I really don’t like kissing but he’s a damn good kisser with very fresh breath, he’s a dentist y’know) and he said:
“D’you know what I’m thinking?”
I said what?
He said: “I wish I’m the one that owns you.”
And he’s saying this because I told him I wasn’t doing any relationship kinníkan with him.
Now if not that I’m so ‘wild’ and ‘too woke,’ this should have sounded romantic and lovely but it sounded silly and cringing and I just heartily laughed.
I said you’d like me to be your girlfriend, abi?
He whined and said yesssss.
I said but there’s no difference between what we’re currently doing and boivren gehfren.
We fuck like rabbits, we REALLY talk, we spend days together, we pick the calls of other people in our lives in each other’s presence, we both know each other’s place as I always inform you ahead before I come over to clear your schedule so we don’t jam and there’s no “two women fighting”, the only thing that seems to be missing is the possessiveness, the gender role of I being the cook and washing machine and mandatory sex slave so he doesn’t look elsewhere, the secret phone calls with side pieces while assuring me I’m the only one and I knowing deep down it’s a lie, the insecurity, the jealousy, the sense of ownership.
Of course I did not bother to elaborate this much because the conditionings have kind of lived too long with him already, longer than my own whole existence and I wouldn’t want to battle with them especially when I was having such a nice time, I just stopped at “but there’s no difference” and told him I would think about it.
He genuinely didn’t see anything wrong with expressing the desire to own another person; it is after all the basis of every form relationships and marriages.
I used to think I could run from the toxicity in romance by refusing to participate in monogamy and polyamory and just stick to friendship, thinking friendship is the least toxic devoid of possessiveness and all that but I admit I’ve been mistaken. I have seen shege from some of my platonic friends, both men and women.
EVEN friendships are also toxic because there are still elements of ownership.
I’ve been confused and I’ve tried so hard to figure out what the hell is exactly the problem then?
I have finally figured it out!
You cannot own someone you haven’t first objectified.
When you objectify someone, you have stripped the person of every humanity. The person becomes dehumanized and therefore objectified and THIS objectification has been the basis of EVERY FORM OF OPPRESSION. Now this sentence is really loaded much more than the scope of this article (I’m currently typing this at 1:48am and I’m tired 🌚) but I’ll try to capture it as succinctly as possible.
If you see your partners as people that shouldn’t and cannot be owned, you wouldn’t see them as “one with you” to be controlled because “that’s how it should be.” You’d realize they’re separate beings and “two shall become one” is not realistic and even humane in the long run. You don’t think you have the rights to control people’s emotions, sexual and romantic attraction, who they talk to and where they go. I’m already so stressed thinking about all that. It will save you a lot of mental stress because it’s been proved since time immemorial that owning people is a farce and high bp wants to kpai everyone who’s ever tried to be possessive.
If you see women as PEOPLE and not as objects, you wouldn’t think it’s right to automatically assume they’re sex objects created for your sexual pleasure and so you can “take” the sexual pleasure from them with or without their consents.
If members of the LGBTQ+ are seen as people with their own thoughts and feelings and not objectified, you wouldn’t think they’re disgusting because of what they do with THEIR OWN genitals and feel it’s in your place to correct that by any means necessary, even if it means murdering them.
Parents see their children as possessions to be owned and therefore these children are objectified. You would see a parent beating their kids and the society saying “well, it’s their child so they can do with the child as they deem fit.”
I would know because that’s how mother abusing me got rationalised by her and the society at large, during and after the abuse.
She felt I was her property and she could treat me anyhow, and I can sometimes feel the underlying current from people (those older folks of course) trying to mediate that I’m probably just reacting out of proportion to the abuse, because what’s the big deal? She’s my mother after all. She being my mother should automatically grant her the right to strip me of every human dignity, I was her child, her property, she owned me and so she could beat me and I shouldn’t dare cry and ask her not to beat me.
What that man said about my father not being in the picture and I being free, I sort of agree with it. Since we’re our parents’ properties and a man is supposed to be harsher and handle people close to him as the patriarch, he’d try to control me and tell me what to do and I’d probably never identify as a radical feminist. What this man doesn’t know is mother is crazy af and couldn’t even subdue me and I’d been telling my grandfather to stfu when he asked me to pay tithe since I was ten so in my case, I am here to resist and be brave and nothing can really stop the resistance, even I can’t.
Capitalism would not thrive if humans were not objectified and equated with and even lowered to pieces of paper called money. We would rather watch people die in hospitals because they don’t have pieces of paper than treat and save them. If people were humanized, if we saw them as PEOPLE that love and hate and eat and have people loving and depending on them, we would not be comfortable watching them die because they can’t pay for healthcare.
You wouldn’t be so dead inside to rationalize ritualists and male serial killers hacking women to death because of pieces of papers if you see women as PEOPLE.
YOU wouldn’t be comfortable advocating against abortion rights as you’re seeing women more than mere baby-making machines, mere vessels to bring forth babies. You would empathize and understand the physical, mental, psychological and social hell they would go through being forced to have babies.
Analyze EVERY form of oppression through this lens and you would see that objectification practically explains all these oppressions.
And you’ll notice we have become so numb to one another through this ownership idea we can actually do anything to anybody and collectively rationalize that madness.
Parents wouldn’t readily treat their kids anyhow and beat them if they humanized those kids and try to equate them to whether you would have liked it if you’re treated the way you treat them.
You feel you own another person and rationalize murdering them when they use their genitals with other people because they’re supposed to be faithful to you, it’s crazy man.
You practically want to cry on the TV when your ozzban tells you without flinching that he fucks other women because you’re conditioned to believe in ownership. But he’s yours and shouldn’t be fucking other women, right?! I know I know, I understand. Trust me, I do. I had to very violently shove that conditioning away before I go mad and locked away for assault and even murder because somebody else has decided to use their genitals however they deem fit. The conditioning got me that much, so much I’m sure my threats to other women are still on record in the school I attended. The threats were damning and violent they had to go report to the school authorities.
And I see women and even “feminists” have a field day taunting other women with these conditionings, knowing exactly how the other women being taunted would react. I would know, I’ve been taunted to hell and back again and good lawd, it’s my turn to do the reverse taunting and it’s so sweet. I’m out of that conditioning madness y’all. I’m out!
The problem hasn’t inherently been with monogamy, or polyamory, marriage and/or friendship all along, the problem has always been with the objectification and subsequently the ownership of these objects, which is the basis of all human relationships. You cannot own people and still see them as people, you see them as objects that you can own and control. Look around and tell me how this has worked so far. Y’all are practically always at each other’s throats 🤷🏾♀️
You objectify first, then you own and then the problems start big time both in inter-personal human relationships and the collective society at large.
I get really scared when someone is intent on possessing/owning me because immediately ownership is in the mix, ANYTHING evil done to me can be rationalised.
“It’s because I love you” has been used to justify just about anything!
You’d remember Penelope controlled, manipulated and made decisions for Colin in THE BRIDGERTONS and it’s all “because she loved Colin!”
I mean Penelope couldn’t even lay claim to owning Colin YET. Just being interested in owning Colin already got him in Penelope’s game mess and gave Penelope the right to control Colin’s life. This is how crazy ownership is…
You show any sign of trying to own me, I shut it down really fast. I haven’t run away from the ownership at home only for some random person to come around and do that to me. Who you?
And this fear isn’t even just in romantic context. Even in friendships; you’d see people getting mad you’re friends with other people. Billions of people in the world and you’re restricted to just having only them as your close friend. You’d see them doing things to and for you and claiming it’s “for your own good” even when you keep screaming it’s hurting you. You become theirs to possess and control and manipulate “because they love you.”
I see anyone trying to own me, I quickly shut it down. It’s tiring because owning people you “love” is the norm. You cannot show love to people without being possessive and while I understand a lot of people are comfortable with this trope, however damning and dangerous it might be, I want no part of it.
But the beauty of consciousness is someday somehow, you would always find your own tribe, souls that mirror and understand you.
Be taunting and crying and killing one another because “he’s mine and she’s mine!”
I’d rather stick to being wild and woke, okay?
Written by Sisí Afrika.