From a personal perspective, I believe society is shaped to make marriages lose its value, making them more difficult to find and maintain. Men and women are no longer strictly brought up to marry and procreate. The world has become more complicated than that for most of us alive today, especially those of us living in urban areas in Nigeria.
This topic isn’t about why women find it hard to find a husband, rather it is about if women want to find husbands and if there are husbands to be found. The unfair realization currently is that women do not do the finding, women are found. This means while women control the power of sex, men control the power of marriage, and both genders seem unequipped to handle their powers to push our society forward.
1. Culture shock – the digital age
The digital age has brought about a new way of living. For those living in urban areas, introverts live 90% of their lives online – a completely made-up stat by yours truly. But I know you get the gist. From social media to dating apps, to dark mode online personas and all the freaky and creepy things in between. The digital age has drastically reshaped our minds.
What used to be a thought or vague imagination has now become an addiction. We went from actors to spectators in the porn industry, where we break our heads over the actors doing what most of us do. And some will say, “well I don’t record or publish myself acting”. Okay, others do, move on.
To get to the point, the digital world has exposed the masses to all forms of ideas, from relationship-wise to sexual, perverted, foreign agendas and propaganda. This has made compatibility a lot harder in a “free” world. However, look deeper and you discover the issue is deeply rooted in hypocrisy. Everyone expects the best from others while not being the best for themselves and for others.
2. Easy access to sex
One of the many children birthed by the digital age is the ease of access to sex. Back in the day, it was a miracle to meet a girl a day you could talk to. Imagine Nigeria in the 70s, when you would have had to tell your babe to meet you under the mango tree by 5 pm, with no means of communication until 5 pm if you both show up. These days, we have the tools to meet numerous women and men online. But the trust levels are at probably an all-time low.
However, while it is easier to blame the internet for everything evil, let’s also note that it provides as much good as it provides evil. I met my wife on Tinder, while I was swiping through for a hookup. This is to show that the internet has also been impactful in leading to the increase in marriages.
3. Ideologies – religious, ethnic, societal, and political
This is not even a new story at all. This has been an age-long problem in Nigeria. It might be a lot better in our times, but there are still elements of bias in the air today. These days, young people experience more relationships and sexual partners than older generations might have, which has led them to experience different religions and tribes to make their own conclusions. However, the bias still holds strong. A mini-test among 20 young people aged between 20-35 showed that 70% of them demonstrated bias in favor of marrying from their tribe, although they expressed interest in marriage from other tribes.
While ethnicity and religion might seem like a big deal, they are nothing compared to ideologies. Young women have a modern feminist view of marriage, and young men stick to the archaic views of old traditional men while refusing to step and take charge. There are more unmarriable men and women in our society today, largely due to wrecked ideologies, weak mindsets, and lustful indulgencies.
The next two issues are often related to our modern ideologies. Most of Kevin Samuel’s message is geared toward this. However, a lot is said about toxic masculinity and feminism which brings me to attempt to define it from my perspective.
4. Toxic masculinity?
My own definition of the term will is when men knowingly take advantage of their position as men to impose their unjustified will against another same or other “gender”. Don’t cheat on a woman who hasn’t agreed in her right mindful state that she is okay with it. The manly thing would be that you find a woman with a similar orientation and ideology as yourself if you are patient, adamant, or lucky enough. Misbehaviour is misbehavior and cannot be termed as manly, that is toxic!
This, however, is misinterpreted. These days, for a man to tell his wife how he believes is the right way for her to act has become “manipulating and domineering”. Even when he’s older and more experienced and tries to pass knowledge from his experience to his wife, that is termed as, “grooming”. This view of toxic masculinity from this perspective only worsens the hardship that is marriage in many ways. Some men are genuinely thriving to build a working relationship with women but need corporative women to build with.
5. Toxic feminism?
In my opinion, this has also seen women deny their responsibility to be and do better for society. Some elements of feminism seem to be raising women to become more selfish as though in a gender match against men. Storylines are twisted to increase tension. This has caused more distrust between both genders, spiking the increase in the ongoing demonization of both genders by all genders.
However, men try to take advantage of this to continue perpetuating their own toxicity. Using this as a reason to be themselves. She isn’t toxic because she wants to go on a trip with her friends. You are toxic for wanting a woman you can’t trust. A lot of men hide their insecurities by suppressing the dreams and ambitions of a woman, to keep her mostly dependent on him to boost his ego. This leads to men imposing themselves physically on women, as seen in the case of the late Nigeria Gospel Musician, Osinachi Nwachukwu. Beaten to death by her husband, further exacerbating the lack of trust single women have for men.