It is on record that the 21st century accounts for major successes in the quest for women to take up roles that have previously been seen as roles for men. Although many successes have been recorded, there is still a lot of work to be done. The empowerment of women has tilted the power dynamics in such a way that has never been before. So, many men are yet to adjust to this modern reality – the reality that women are now getting the ‘power to choose’.
Identity in itself is derived from nature and nurture. While nature is driven by DNA, nurture is a chronic exposure to culture, religion and secular education which creates various predispositions. As an example; A male child born in Nigeria today is exposed to an environment that expressly or implicitly teaches him that he is somehow superior to a female. In saying this, the female is also conditioned as well into this ideology. This ideology is propagated openly or in very subtle ways throughout culture, religion and in secular spheres (like schools and workplaces). This ideology has been passed down through many generations of both males and females and to change it, we are saddled with the herculean task of re-educating living and upcoming generations of males and females. Note that both sexes are exposed to the same school of thought.
Men have always been the commandeers of the power of choice; and although men have been in this power business for a long time, we have not always taken responsibility for the power we possess because we never knew its purpose; so we abused it to the detriment of our women. One can evidently see that the identity problem of the male existed long before the movements for the empowerment of women. However, it must also be clearly stated that women are currently experiencing power that is quite unfamiliar and this in itself is having a huge negative impact on families and the society at large because, just like men, power is being abused by women also. This may not be obvious in developing nations but more obvious in progressive societies.
I always asked myself; what should the end result look like having achieved a significant level of women empowerment? I believe the Key Performance Indicators should include; a happier generation of both sexes, reduced suicide rates and more stable families. But this is not the case in the 21st century. In this century, we have seen the highest divorce rate, highest emotional depression rates, and highest suicide rates ever in history. In as much as this century has recorded significant GDPs growths, increased production capacities, improved technologies etc., largely because both sexes are now involved in the major industries, we have also seen astonishing polarization of families.
The facts are self-evident and quite compelling; women in power did not cause the identity crisis we are seeing today in men. Also, if we pay close attention, we’ll see the same identity crisis in women. Hindsight teaches us that, when you give or take power away, you’ll always see the true nature of a human being.
Nonso is a fine gentleman and when I say gentle I mean even on the inside. While I have often seen the Identity crisis gradually gaining grounds in our men especially the young ones, he has brought up the identity crisis currently taking over women. What are we doing with the power of equality?