She Takes a Peep: Romance Without Finance and why the Girlies are Tired of it
Conditioning creates a dangerous mindset, but it is even more unwise to expect some people—in this case, women—to let go of patriarchal conditioning while men happily grasp at it.
●20th February 2023
Before we begin, I would like to make it clear that people do not have to be rich or wealthy to deserve romantic love. The word ‘deserve’ carries some weight in these discussions because it can be twisted to mean several things. I do believe that everyone is worthy of and deserves romantic love, except those who seek to harm others as a result of the affections they may have for them. I would also like to point out that contrary to popular opinion, men do not have to be rich or wealthy to receive romantic love. They have also demonstrated that when they do care about a person romantically, they usually do not mind paying for necessities. Now we have gotten that out of the way, let us get into our message.
Finances have always been a large aspect of hetero-normative relationships, especially as a result of the patriarchal conditions and obligations that are expected from the role of the provider (man) and their partner, the woman. Growing up, many women have been led to believe that men provide for their families in its entirety and there is little to no contribution from the woman. This has always been an utter fallacy, as even before women were able to have their own bank accounts, many worked and had their monies controlled irrevocably by the ‘man-of-the-house’. Women who were the breadwinners of their families were also expected to defer to their husband and make sure that no one figured out the ruse, since it would be considered disrespectful to him for others to be aware of his emasculation.
There have been a certain sub-set of women who have always had the best pick of men, for reasons such as their economic, social status and conventional looks. These include women who have historically not had to work since they had their fathers and husbands to provide for them. However, ‘regular’ women have been holding a financial end of the bargain, significant or otherwise. Women do contribute to their households even when they are stay-at-home wives and mothers, through labors which would have cost the breadwinner a significant amount. As time goes on, current women are prone to rejecting patriarchal obligations but still insist on the financial provision from men. Some people may wonder why this is and find it confusing, but in truth, many societies are not far removed from the patriarchy as they would believe themselves to be.
In societies such as Nigeria, there is still heavy patriarchal presence regardless of the miniscule steps taken towards progress. In fact, many of these progressive steps are ridiculed by the systemic disenfranchisement of Nigerian women and are almost always at face value. Yes, women can have bank accounts and drive in Nigeria. However, a Nigerian woman cannot pass on citizenship to her foreign husband, while the men can. This is just one example of patriarchal violence in the country, not to talk of the fact that there are still many imposed rules on women, by way of non-equal pay, dressing codes and lack of safety for movement at night. Until women are truly free, it is ridiculous to expect there to be a fifty-fifty share of financial responsibilities in the home or in romantic relationships.
Conditioning creates a dangerous mindset, but it is even more unwise to expect some people—in this case, women—to let go of patriarchal conditioning while men happily grasp at the straws of every form of patriarchal violence. The only rules of patriarchy they oppose are the ones dictated to their pockets and financial well-being. Yes, men are societally regarded as providers, but even at that many fail woefully. Women are literally upholding several households while their husbands continue to receive undue praise for this work.
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