Over the past few weeks some gruesome images have stood staring deeply at me from my phone’s little screen. These images raised peculiar questions to a straining discourse that I had always been immersed in.
        Whether by virtue of birth, or education or by cultural definitions, the discourse of liberty and equality has remained a strenuous niche that canvasses all spheres of life. For a while as I sat and stared at those impressionable images, I found myself arguing the merits and demerits of engaging my voice into such a dialectical situation. But the more I argued against my own limitations, the more I saw reason to carefully raise my own voice into this modern argument that has become a global discourse.
       Yet as I sat down to write I discovered I was ill equipped to handle the rigors that such an argument sought. The reason was simple; I was a man trying to immerse myself in a woman’s world, to feel what she feels, to understand her thoughts, desires, actions and way. But however empathic I can be, I still remain in the most common terms, an outsider staring into the window trying to understand the dynamics without misreading my view through the tinted glass.    
       But a woman, any woman, wherever she may be, faces the war to remain relevant. This is because Patriarchy has been deeply entrenched in the ideals of society that the very image of society in its natural form is designed to suffocate any woman into a desired or pre-determined form. Society in itself is signified by Patriarchal markers, its language is constructed in Patriarchal symbols. In the end, the discourse that we engage in about the identity of woman in society is limited by the fact that the language we use to encode it is constructed to be masculine. And for moments in history, it felt reasonably okay to recognize that a woman was only a figure that appeared to signify a man’s exalted position.
          As civilization reared its head, it became pertinent to answer the questions as to what makes women so belittled in society. But even that enquiry met resistance as man sought to keep that oppressive dominance over a woman. But all this are just noises towards the crust of the matter of the article that I intend to write. The real issue here is violence against women, not systematic ideological oppression but brutal misrepresented aggression.
         I do not subscribe to violence in any form, but violence against women represents the most weak and feudal attitude of man.
        As I sought to objectively stare into the situations that led these women into these situations of horror, I met the same patriarchal markers staring at me. It felt befuddling to hear the voice of an arrogant, petulant man whisper the same words that seem to come into the equation “SHE disrespected me and needed to be shown HER PLACE in this town, I HAVE the POWER and she needs to know that.”
      The truth is the above words say everything wrong about society, especially the African society which is deeply imbedded in a culture that is inclined towards men. This presents a situation where an African woman feels alienated from the constructions of her own society, she faces a war that pits her own desires against the constructed ideals of a male directed society, her picture of her identity is wholly immersed in the image of an ideal woman in her society, she sometimes forgets the essence of her own being.
      In that regard the African woman, unlike her counterparts in the west remains a wholly silent figure, nauseated by the works of a society of weak men who weave culture to justify their sadistic impressions. The western woman to some extent has formed a niche of her identity and has identified her voice, but for the most part, the African woman remains only a shuddered breath into the conversation. But what is it that she truly fears, is it the statutes of culture? The truth is culture remains dynamic and as much a part of the dialectic structure of life and at such can be contained to be more lenient to women in the same way it approaches the men.
         The bigger problem I find in the end of the argument of any African man is the Bible’s clear words towards spousal relationship. The holy book urges wives to submit to their husbands and that becomes a reprieve for some who feel the literal emphasis of the word is the only justification they need to their reproachable actions. But there is always that need for one to step back and examine the purpose of life. Life is inherently a myriad of connections of actions and reactions, biological symbiosis, dialectical tripod of thesis, antithesis to a resultant synthesis. Everything in life undergoes a resultant relationship that justifies its ends. And on this note I take the proceeding acknowledgement of the bible when it calmly said that husbands should love their wives just as Christ loves the church. The analogy of Christ and the church is supposed to stipulate just how important that dynamic of love is to the male- female relationship. Because that relationship between Christ and the church is not always straight but fused with missed paths and revolts but Christ stands as a symbol of unwavering love to the fallen nature of the church. It is through love that this analogical relationship is sustained.
          The issue of violence against women is not the issue of uncultured women or ethically corrupt women but it is a graphic representation of just how little the world loves its own seeds. The images of the women I see every day with bruises and wounds is the image of men who don’t understand the value of love, in that regard it is not the women who have failed in their accord but the man who by raising his hands on his lover, transgresses the cardinal rule of relationships. By beating up the woman, he shows his failures at defending the one true importance of his culture. Patriarchy has long been taught the necessity of submission of the woman, why can’t it be taught the real valuable lesson now, the lesson that shows that by loving the woman, he gains her trust, her support, her love and her heart, all elements of true submission, for submission is not fear, it is joyful agreement.
       The bruises line up again, deceitful images of half men as men. Masquerading their incompetence in futile violence. “How strong is your love? ,Man” that is your strength!!!   

But woman! Look at yourself, don’t hide your sorrows, don’t hide your dreams, speak of their beauty; tell tales of their strength, for you should be loved, just as you are!! And you will be…….!!!!!
by Elijah peter..

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