Monday, 18 December 2017

Submission, not oppression

Mrs Adepa (not the real name) was a buoyant young lady; she used to sing in church and was very active in group discussions or during public forums; you will not easily miss the witty and beautiful Adepa in any gathering.
After her marriage to Mr Adepa, things changed. She offered to sing during church service; she actually sang so beautifully, but when she went home, it was a different story. Her husband said her voice was rather too piercing; she got hurt by that comment and it turned into an argument.

That was not to be the end of such arguments between the couple. Another time in church, there was a forum for people to share their sentiments. Mrs Adepa, in her usual self, raised her hand to express herself.
When they got back home from church, her husband queried why she had to go in front of the church to express that valid sentiment which no one dared to express; soon, they were engaged in an argument.
As time went on, those kinds of arguments became frequent in their home. Mrs Adepa was only being herself but her husband thought she was rather too loud; whenever they discussed such issues, Mrs Adepa was told to learn to be submissive.
Soon, whenever she went out with her husband, she was unable to be herself for fear that another argument will erupt in their home. She kept her cool; she will rather keep quiet than be expressive and be told she is not submissive.
Before long, she appeared timid whenever she was in public; so as we discussed the subject of submission the other day, she asked me: “Aunty Hannah, what is submission”, as she tearfully expressed her situation to me. After her story, the first word that came to my mind was oppression.
In my opinion, Mrs Adepa is being oppressed; what is happening in her marriage is not submission but oppression.
People are quick to say women are supposed to be submissive while men show love; in any case, have we carefully taken time to discuss what submission is and what love is.
Submission is not tangible, so perhaps everybody understands it differently. But wait a minute, let me ask this, is submission supposed to make a woman feel like an underdog?
Is it supposed to rid a woman of her self-esteem? I do not think that that is what God meant when he said women should be submissive.
In my opinion, marriage should rather help enhance one’s personality, so if I am an assertive, honest and vibrant lady, getting married should enhance those qualities in me and not to dim it.
Someone once made a profound statement that behind every successful woman is a man who tries to pull her down. Somehow, many married women may nod in affirmation to this statement.
It shouldn’t be so; married couples are not in competition to outshine each other; we are one; if I ever achieve anything in life, it is an achievement also for my husband and vice versa.
For me, one thing that marriage personifies is unity in diversity, that is why God said the two personalities with different characters and different lifestyles would be one.
Again, the bible didn’t only say the woman should submit, just before women submitting, we were told to submit to one another.

Mrs Hannah Awadzi
Senior Journalist (Communications Specialist)
Ghana News Agency (GNA) - Accra
Initiator: Special Mothers Project
(Advocacy on cerebral palsy issues)