How I wish I was a boy

How I wish I was a boy
CO
By Christabel Okafor

Sometimes, I wish I was born a boy. I believe things would be better that way. Being a female in a patriarchal and patrilineal country like Nigeria feels more like being in shackles, due to the ignominy, the female gender suffers.

Being a boy would give me that relevance and importance attached to a male child, especially in this part of the world.

Being a boy is one route to freedom

If I was a boy, I know I would definitely enjoy more freedom. I won't have to bear the brunt of house chores and culinary duties while my brothers sit and do close to nothing.

Maybe, society will no longer relegate my importance to the kitchen and caregiving but rather teach me how to build myself, career, dreams and reach my highest potential just like the male child.

It will no longer be only about training me to become a wife material and a better wife to my husband; rather, people will respect the fact that I have a dream too.

I can do and achieve a lot of great things. I must not be tied to the loincloth of the opposite gender to find purpose or definition.

The society tends to appreciate and value the one-child more than the girl-child

I'm stuck in a wrong place, a place I do not wish to be because I'm female and the society forces me to travel through the road they feel is best for me without even trying to know my destination.

I want to be able to choose any career or skill of my choice without quitting due to implicit bias and stereotypes around gender norms and expectations.

Sexual predators would steer clear if I were a boy

They said that females are created in God's image, but many men see women as an object of sexual pleasure.

No, I hate the fact that someone could look at me, and all they would see is an object of sexual pleasure!

I'd love to be able to hang around anybody, anywhere and any time the way boys do and not be scared of haunting hands that give me touches I do not like.

I want to be able to stay in a locked up lonely room with Uncle Jide just like my brothers without the fear of him inserting his fingers into me or shoving me down the floor with his palm on my lips as he thrusts innocence out of my youngling soul.

I would enjoy more freedom if I were a boy; sexual predators lurking around corners would much likely stay off my path

As a teenager, I had a dream that one day I'd become a nurse, but I didn't know that the only nurse I'd ever be is a nursing mum.

I was raped by someone who's supposed to protect me from prying eyes- my foster father. I couldn't speak up because he stole my voice, locked up the truth in my mouth and threw the keys away.

Every day I lived, hoping that the memory will fade away, but the burgeoning belly began to tell on me. Every day I go out, I face humiliation, stigmatization and objectifying languages, and when I come home, I face even worst.

It's a man's world here

In a society filled with rape culture, I wish I was born a boy. I do not want to be judged by another's actions, just the way the society puts the blame on a woman when her man cheats.

They say it's her fault, she failed as a wife, but when the woman cheats, she's kicked out of the home shameful. Isn't it obvious that males enjoy more rights?

A serial killer goes around killing women in hotel rooms, and people get concerned about the women's personality. They give them a "prostitute" tag immediately, rather than focusing on the evil act carried out by the serial killer. I call it "misplaced priorities".

I could go on and on to talk about the reality of our society when it comes to gender biases, but I will stop here. I wish to be a boy, maybe that's the only way I can get to live above limitations and marginalization.

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