Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie And The Fragile Masculinity Of The Nigerian Male

By Ikenga Chronicles April 25, 2018

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie And The Fragile Masculinity Of The Nigerian Male

— By Onyemaechi Ogbunwezeh


The Chimamanda brouhaha and the debates it set off showed that the dark grottoes of male chauvinism in Nigeria, was hewn out of the rocks of fear.

This fear is the ancient fear of ultimate impotence that has followed many a man in primitive society; which led to man‘s invention of religion; taboos and many cultural strides if Camillia Paglia is to be given a voice.

This fear is the reason why many Nigerian men hated intellectuals; especially intellectual women for they are unlikely to make good marriages, as Margaret Crosland wrote in her introduction to Simone De Beauvoir‘s book,  “The Second sex”.

This shows that for many of these men, marriage is the equivalent of some religions. Marriage for them is the submission of the woman to the almighty will of the man; no matter how capricious and whimsical that will is.

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Such submission is the definition of indentured slavery. Just like Islam is a submission to the will of Allah, marriage for these men becomes the subjugation of a woman to the will of an earthly deity, namely – the husband.

St. Paul even ordered women to submit to their husbands. He never asked the husbands to submit to their wives. He only asked husbands to love their wives as if to say wives could not love their husbands. So in the Pauline sense, submission is the prize a woman pays for the love of her husband. That is the bribery a woman must pay to be allowed to have the patronage and love of a husband, in a relationship that is supposed to be our most intimate acquaintance.

We can see the dangerous effects of that today. Those women or girls that submit their wills to the men lording it over them at any station of their lives; namely father, brother, boyfriend or husband are called good girls. Those who have their own wills are labelled bad girls; punished with slander, emotional blackmail, gossips, hatred and even ostracism.

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And since intellectuals have their own wills; and no one with his or her own will likes to submit, bend the knee or genuflect in subservience to any one; they are hated.

Society tries to murder their reputation with rumours and bury them with gossips. They represent a threat to that vision of marriage held by men of fragile egos across time; where marriage is seen as the submission and enslavement of a woman’s will to a man.

This is the privilege many Nigerian men are afraid to lose. This is privilege threatened by women like Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche.

This is why those who bray for her head are an armada made up of fearful alliance frightened men; and a perfidious congress of treacherous women; who have found a way to deploy their guile around masculine fears, and make that dastard structure of patriarchal privilege work for them; while retailing their envy of that woman, who seems to have all they desire to be and have.