Chrisland Faculties on Victoria Island in Lagos became once unbiased no longer too long in the past in the suggestions for the nefarious causes. Nigerian newspapers – and a few further afield – carried the account of an incident in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at some level of the World College Video games in March 2022. There were allegations of drug employ, pornography and sex by below-frail childhood – four boys and a girl – representing their college in the video games. The students allegedly had sex and it became once recorded. The recording later went viral.
Four teachers, three male and one female, were charged in court over the incident. The lecturers were charged for allegedly concealing the sex tape. They were the supervisors of the Dubai commute.
The incident raises some well-known disorders at some level of the lisp of patriarchy on account of the fashion in which blame became once apportioned. Some media reports blamed the mum of the ten-12 months-dilapidated girl. The daddy became once never talked about. Nor became once the conduct of the fogeys of the four boys fervent ever talked about. The boys were no longer strongly reprimanded, the girl became once.
As a gender pupil who has studied women’s historic past and masculinities, I gaze this as one more case of patriarchy selling the differential enjoyment of privileges between males and females. The manner in which the incident became once reported by the click and the type of apportioning blame seem to point out that males can gather away with sure actions, however females can not. Males do no longer must uphold society’s ethical codes treasure females do.
This raises the quiz of whether or no longer women in Nigeria abet patriarchy – and, in the occasion that they do, why.
Patriarchy in Nigeria
Patriarchy is a socio-cultural system that privileges maleness over femaleness and enthrones masculine domination of ladies.
This contrivance is evident the place authority is vested in men as a category, and especially in senior men or dilapidated men, who, as custodians of their cultures, originate distinct that overall compliance with social and cultural norms. Patriarchal dominance evolved into a ambitious institution with sure political undertones.
It operates in loads of societies at some level of the globe, and is pervasive and resilient in African cultures.
In Nigeria, namely, patriarchy is evident in a range of how. In further than two a long time of be taught into women’s historic past, I own viewed patriarchy presenting itself in these styles: denigration of the female gender; social, cultural and political subjugation of females; exclusion of the female gender from public divulge of enterprise; sexual exploitation of, and aggression in opposition to, females; and denial of female rights and agency. These forms of patriarchy (and further) form inequality between the gender groups and result in unequal gather admission to to rights and privileges.
Scrutiny falls on women and girls
In the Chrisland Faculties incident, patriarchy is central in the social requires made on females. These vary seriously from expectations of males, especially in identical conditions.
The incident did not trigger as great of media outcry in opposition to the four male students fervent as in opposition to the girl.
Public scrutiny in the media of the behaviour of the boys and of their family histories became once lower than public scrutiny of the girl’s behaviour and of her family.
This reaffirms the patriarchal ethical perception that excuses, and every now and then encourages, the sexual adventures of boy childhood, however strongly disapproves of identical stir by girl childhood.
Such differential enjoyment of rights and dignity is important in patriarchy.
Ladies folk make a contribution to patriarchy
Appropriate as Nigerian men collectively provide protection to the patriarchal institution and the privileges they gather pleasure from, I own portray in my be taught that Nigerian women also make a contribution – with or without vivid it – to reinforcing the institutions that oppress them and undermine gender equality.
Nigerian women, treasure men, perpetuate patriarchy in totally other ways. One is by consenting to institutionalised patriarchy by philosophically reasoning: “it has frequently been so … why might per chance per chance presumably restful we elevate any objections?“.
This panicked acceptance of male domination pervades the psyche of many Nigerian women and determines how they gaze their world and their experiences. Thus conditioned, it turns into complicated for many to fight patriarchal bondage or to bid themselves.
Ladies folk also ingrain this taking into account, outlook and behavior into their female childhood. Ladies are brought up in keeping with the social norms accredited by men for the female gender.
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Research that I published in 2005 chanced on that girls also bolstered patriarchal suggestions, values and ways of behaviour in the fashion they socialised boy childhood. They laid the foundation for specific units of what it intended to be masculine.
Another contrivance that girls abet patriarchy is by deliberate divulge of no job. Generally they own got the chance to alter oppressive and violent cultures, however they do nothing attributable to they desire other women to journey the an analogous mistreatment that they themselves skilled. My 2002 gaze on burial rites confirmed ex-widows’ resistance to the abrogation of oppressive widowhood practices. In treasure manner, a 2008 gaze printed the reluctance of ladies to toughen fellow women vying for political divulge of enterprise in the nation.
My peep is that Nigerian men as a team seem to behave together to retain their privileges, while women don’t act together to misfortune patriarchy.
Thus, women abet patriarchy; and when disorders treasure the Chrisland Faculties affair occur, women unnecessarily endure the backlash.
Egodi Uchendu, Professor (of Historical past and Global Research), University of Nigeria