I wanted to share a reading that had an impact of my thoughts. I hope you have the opportunity to read it and leave me your comments if you want.
“Ghanaian Popular Fiction” – Newell S.
The last chapters of this wonderful book makes me think about the role of women in this society and how much space we as men give them in every day activities. Why do men and women have this gap today? How can we change the religion dogma from our minds, cultures and every day life? Will be there any generation able to change the reality of this society? Questions such these are in my mind not trying to find the right answers, but I am sure I will find out in the following years of my life. In this paper I will discuss how women find out their space in this masculine society, the “fantastic” role of men in the society, and what happens when women find their own way to be part of this society.
In the beginning of this book my first impression was how media talks about women and men. Media states roles and create a structure of behaviors. For example, in chapter 9 Kate Abbam mentions, “The aims were to produce an indigenous woman’s magazine, a magazine, which would seek to bring out all that is beautiful and good in the African’s women and their environmental, to educate as well as entertain her” (Newell, 2000. p.136).
This is how media can influence on people. If there is a magazine, which talks about beautiful women and good of African’s women, they will believe that this is the way in which they should behave or act, or talk, etc. In the world of media, it knows that a simple magazine can educate, influence and empower people. This idea was approaching exactly at the moment of empowering women. A magazine from Ghanaians women will register history about their thoughts and experiences. A magazine definitely will educate and motivate other women.
Another aspect that called my attention about this book is who men diminish women’s values. Obaa Sima mentions that women should not alter the role of being charm and loveliness when her husband is having an extra marital affair. Obaa mentions, “If she (woman) suspects that her husband is having extra marital affairs, the wife must respond by cooking his favorite meals, flattering him, expressing interest in his work and not criticizing him” (Newell, 200 p.138).
This shows a complete misunderstanding of the role of woman. How she can think that woman should be still in love after knowing that her husband is having an extra marital affairs. Where are women’s values? Why should be men awarded for doing that? Why is cheating an award for men? From a religious perspective according to this, it will be consider as normal behavior because the status of marriage is more important than divorce and if a man is cheating it is consider a normal behavior. For example, I know that in some indigenous community in Bolivia if a man, who’s marriage, is cheating his wife, it is his wife’s fault. She needs to give more attention to her husband and respond with loveliness and charm, but if a woman does it, she can lose her children, be sent to jail or be punished with indigenous laws, which are unknowing to the rest of the people who do not live in a indigenous district. However, the issue here is how men seek women and is not why women allow this treatment. It seems to be a very masculine world where to be a man is fantastic because man can control roles, behaviors, and decide how to punish his hunted.
Finally, the role of women to change this reality is not an easy task. If a man control this world woman will never have a voice. If a woman does not have an education, she can easy be betrayed. For example Abbam has always accepted materials for male and female-encouraging women to write and write and demonstrate to whom thought that Ghanaian women cannot read.
She mentions, “We want to expose the fallacy of those who told us; ‘Hmmm! Do you think these women will patronize this magazine? The Ghanaian women as a role DOES NOT READ!!!’ We feel that given the chance and encouragement the Ghanaian women CAN and WILL read” (Newell, 200. p.141). This powerful thought demonstrates that woman can do more and will not sit and wait for a man to give her a voice. She will find out the way and empower her pairs. This ended quote let me thought that woman in this society were not happy with her situation. She thought that a man roles was what he said, but now what woman wanted. Women are in powered and only they can change this unequal and injustice “men’s system”.