The failed woman: Binta Kasim Mohammed

Where does the concept of the failed woman stem from?
Society needs to redefine what failure and success are.
And women themselves also need to redefine success or failure while making life decisions.
From the beginning of time, society has groomed women to be the good ‘homemakers’.
Homemakers who are submissive and supportive of their husbands, take care of the home, raise good well behaved daughters who don’t question their place, and ‘strong’ sons to carry on the family name.
It seems a fairly equitable separation of duties that men provide while women keep homes the nurture kids. But the irony of this, however, is that from the beginning of time men have always limited the ‘homemakers’ to their homes while spending time at men-only events and locations.
Present at these so-called men only locations are female sex goddesses and mistresses who entertain them with skills their wives are discouraged from attaining. These so-called ‘women of easy virtue’ also share an almost equal relationship with the men more than the wives. Interestingly, these are women who are regarded as ‘failed women’ even though they are the preferred relaxation and winding off point for successful men. The homemaker is abstrusely locked up at home feeling she has attained the coveted status of being married to a high profile ranking man, even if she is neglected and undermined.
This is the 21st century, sadly these labels still exist, albeit more complicated. because now, a wife is expected to combine the skills of both the ‘homemaker and the sex goddess’, which may, of course, appear to be like a piece of cake; but it is actually not. It is also more herculean because she is supposed to also be a financial supporter.
“The stakes are gradually going higher for 21st-century women, who 21st-century men want well behaved and submissive, great cooks, financially independent docile lambs, tigresses in the bedroom, with everlasting curvaceous and pre-pregnancy body shapes. It is no wonder that patronage of whitening creams, body shapers, breast/butt enhancing creams, aprosodiacs, catering courses, turaren wuta and every other thing meant to hold on to a man are steadily increasing. Women are in competition with themselves, and each other to keep a man”.
Ironically as the consciousness to be an all-rounder is rising among women, so is the determination to compete for men as well as the divorce rates as never seen before.  Why is it so? ? Simple; while the stakes and expectations for women keep going higher, that for men is still lowered.
“I wish to let all men and women know that it is actually impossible to be a good mom, keep a spanky clean house, cook gourmet meals, financially relieve oga, smell like a million dollars, have the body of a model and still have the energy to give oga mind-blowing sex every night. Pregnancy and screaming babies are real, saggy boobs & tummies are real, weight gain is real, tired working women are real, financially disadvantaged housewives are real, the need for house helps and nannies are real, exhausted overworked moms are real, most of all women with opinions are real”.
On behalf of the let’s get a real group of women, I say we will try to do a bit of all of the above as the situation allows but you must not expect all from us always. Do not allow society to declare you a failed woman because you are unable to push yourself to frustration just to hold on to a man
A man is a full-blown adult who stays in or leaves a relationship because it’s his conscious decision. It is time we stop putting the responsibility of making a marriage work on a woman and guilt-tripping them into staying in terrible marriages or killing themselves to make it work.
The society has always put men first, it has always been that way, yet it is the allegedly ‘weak, frail weaker sex’ that has always been burdened with the responsibility of making the marriage work. She is blamed when the marriage fails even if the husband is way older than her and is abusive. Society always makes excuses for a man’s inability to perform any of ‘his’ marital functions, insisting that a good wife should always support his weaknesses, inadequacies, failures and inabilities. The same society that has no tolerance whatsoever for a woman who is unable to perform any of her duties even if it is temporary.
Until we redefine the concept of the failed woman, marriages will only keep breaking down because not only are most not mentally ready for the huge roles and responsibilities that come with marriage, which are oftentimes impossible to sustain;  while men go in with unrealistic expectations of what to expect from a young adult woman.
The time has come for us to understand that marriage is the true union of both parties working together to make it work, not just one. Society should stop overburdening the woman, and the women should stop whipping themselves too much for their inabilities to meet up with unrealistic expectations.
This is what putting ourselves first means. We will do our ‘best’ but not frustrate ourselves struggling to meet up to societies judgement
Next time you are labelled ‘failed woman’ for the inability to keep a husband, tell them you simply kept it real but the man-made a conscious decision to bolt/ stray because he ‘failed’ to handle real.
WOMEN, be real, let the real you show, put yourself first and free yourself from the pain of society’s assessment.
Binta Kasim Mohammed is a University Lecturer, Broadcaster and public commentator.








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