Do you remember when Obinze’s mum and Ifemelu had the sex talk in Chimamanda Adichie’s book, Americanah? She told Ifemelu that it takes both a boy and a girl to have sex but nature punishes the girl more. But as it turns out in reality, so does society.
My brother, Emmanuel had been dating Glory for 4 years. They met during Emmanuel’s final year in school. She was in accountancy department, in her penultimate year; my brother was a final year law student. My parents liked her, my dad most especially because she was good with numbers, something none of my brothers were.
Last year, Emmanuel told my parents He had gotten Glory pregnant and my parents went nuts. To give a little context, my parents are both Pastors and they have been active in shaming parents whose kids came back home pregnant or with a pregnant baby mama, so suffice to say they did not appreciate karma stopping over at our place.
In all the outrage, I noticed something. My parents had just one person to lay the blame on and It wasn’t their son, but Glory. Oh, they really slut shamed the poor girl. They began by blaming her for living with my brother despite not being married to him; they shamed her for being loose and not having any self-worth; after all, no self-respecting girl would allow herself get pregnant. My mum was not having it, she threatened to diagram her, to show her “wiiiii”. At one point, she threatened to call Glory’s mother and ask her if she was proud of the girl she raised.
I do not think they realized how hypocritical they were being. They knew their son was living with a girl and did nothing about it, only to turn on the girl when their son got her pregnant.
No one blames a man or shames him after getting a lady pregnant. No one expects the man to put his life on hold to take care of babies. The man can afford to walk away, to doubt the pregnancy, or even claim he was seduced and everyone would believe him.
Society would ask the girl why she allowed herself get pregnant; why she did not take care of herself; why she “chose to do big girl things” when she knew she didn’t know what the big girls did afterwards. Nobody would ask the boy why he didn’t use a condom, why he kept on going when he realized the condom had broken or why he didn’t make sure to get an after morning pill ready. No one would ask him why he chose to have sex when he knew he wasn’t ready to have a baby.
The reason is because, at the end of the day, nature is kinder to men. They don’t get to carry the baby for 9 months, they are not saddled with the responsibility of raising that child alone, men can afford to have as much baby mamas and still retain the physic they want but after a 3rd child, most ladies never return to the way they were.
So, remember, whenever you decide you’re ready to have sex, also decide to take responsibility for your own safety. Insist on his wearing a condom; insist on getting morning after pills. Be in control of your own destiny cause when the chips are down, you’re the only person you can trust.