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Husbands and Other Answers

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On Perusing the Comments on Bellanaija Wedding Features

To The August Society for All Things Matrimonial,

Those who know philosophy are familiar with Occam’s Razor: the simplest solution to a problem is always the best solution. Once a Nigerian woman hits a certain age, 20-somethings and above, most things about her begin to make sense in relation to a category called Husband in the official language of matrimony but Man Issues on the streets.

It’s no secret. After a certain age, any woman on Lat. 10 degrees North and Long. 8 degrees East, also known as Nigeria—be she fat or thin, an orange seller or a party planner, God fearing or idol-worshiping, a Christ Ambassador of a Redeemer, politically-minded or fashion conscious—can always be reduced to a set of problems. After careful meditation and conducting the purest form of inductive reasoning, I’ve come to the conclusion that no behavior, no idiosyncrasy exhibited by said women cannot be explained by the desire or lack thereof of marital bliss. Permit me to identify a few examples: If a single woman is friendly, she’s willing to be husbanded. If she’s sad, she’s frustrated at being husbandless. If she’s happy, she’s definitely got a man. If she’s career-crazy, she’s a man-eater. If she’s religious, it’s no a secret what she prays for.

If she dresses skimpily, she’s desperate for a man. If she covers up, she’s trying too hard. If she’s loud and rude,  she’s ruining her chances of ever finding a man. If she’s chilled and passive, she’d probably be passed over, unnoticed. If she’s ugly, she should be ready for hard times at the nuptial market. If she’s pretty, she’s a distraction to men of good character. On and on it goes. Everything a woman is and does, down to the color of her nails and the sound of her sneeze, make sense in connection to the status of the man in or outside of her life.

Photo: Norma Cabral

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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