In an interview with Okey Bakassi on The Other News, Nollywood actress Monalisa Chinda gives a hot take on domestic violence saying that women should stop provoking their men.
WATCH: Monalisa Chinda Coker's interview with Okey Bakassi#TheOthersNews
— The Other News CTV (@TheOtherNewsCTV) September 9, 2017
This stood out and is problematic for two possible reasons.
The first reason being that the opinion is inherently stupid, and that should just go without saying. It doesn’t however, because of the second possible reason – Nigerian patriarchy. Society has been shaped by the thoughts and ideologies that favour half of the population – men- while women, have been subjugated for centuries and led to think in the way and manner that suits men regardless of whether it is right or wrong.
This is evidently heavily ingrained in Monalisa. So much so, that she doesn’t even realise she is being stupid and it is really sad. On one hand, I feel a bit of sympathy just because the opinion is so clearly misguided, however, when I think about all the people that suffer as a result of this line of thought, the sympathy fades.
Here is what the internet had to say about this, and we definitely agree:
Monalisa Chinda justified domestic violence. Am I shocked? No! This reasoning is common and people need unlearn it.
— Josefethe Alderton (@josefethe) September 13, 2017
I'm just mad she dragged my favorite soup into this mess. Smh
— Daddy 'Code (@Cohannnnn) September 14, 2017
Ugh. So sick of Nigerian women having a platform to spew their ingrained misogynistic bullshit. https://t.co/W6KekpGrlX
— Ozzyoncé (@ozzyetomi) September 13, 2017
Monalisa, please… pic.twitter.com/gdBBpbeVVQ
— Tairat (@Tayrat05) September 14, 2017
Why is it problematic?
Well for starters, it’s a bit of an issue that women are perceived to exist solely to serve men – to make men feel comfortable. Women are always being told what to do and what not to do for the benefit of a man, which feeds directly into this problem. Until we stop coddling men’s egos, feelings and irrational fears and behaviours in every circumstance, it will persist.
Beyond that, men are also not held accountable for their actions. When a man does something bad like rapes or hits a woman, there is a lot of victim blaming that goes on – case in point, Monalisa saying that women shouldn’t provoke men.
Women are expected to always be guarded and told to ‘avoid’ trouble. There’s too much ‘don’t wear that skirt because that man can rape you if you do’, ‘don’t talk too much so that your husband doesn’t hit you’ with not enough ‘men don’t be violent towards women’. It’s strange enough that it needs to be asked of men, given that they are grown adults with functioning brains, no need to blame someone else for another’s wrongdoing.
Until society unlearns this problematic stance, there will continue to be violent men, and much worse, complicit women because they’ve been taught to be.