Paying Bride Price does not make her your property

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Bride price

I support bride price – though I believe shouldn’t be a compulsory marital requirement (thank God for the law, it’s really not). However I feel it should be regulated. What is the job of customary courts and traditional rulers if not to advocate in matters such as these.

The argument that bride price promotes domestic violence is like saying indecent dressing promotes rape, thereby giving rapists possible excuses for their actions.

In old Britain, women from elite families come with dowries attached to them and men marry based on how attractive the woman’s dowry is. Countries like India have high rates of violence against women yet it is the woman who pays dowries on the men. I believe this custom is not far from their belief that men are considered superior and highly valuable. Over here, dowry means a woman is worth little because I don’t see how a human being can be bought and paid for if not in slavery.

Bride price is a cultural thing, it places value on the woman and demand on the man to show he can be responsible for a family -at least that was the rationale behind it in the days of our fathers.

In Africa, the man is largely responsible for financing the home. Even the Bible condemns the man who cannot provide for his home. I’m all for gender equality and bride price has zilch to do with the worth of a woman unless she feels that about herself.

Equality is not a financial thing, it’s a human thing; no sex is inferior to the other and none superior -even in marriage. After all, when a woman’s worth is tied to the fact that she’s contributing 50% of the family’s finances, what happens when she gets pregnant? Does her inability to bring money make her less a human being? That it reduces a woman to a possession is not the problem of the culture but the idiots who are looking for an outlet for their wickedness.

Saying paying bride price promotes gender inequality, how come when single women are treated as inferior, daughters as inferior to sons and female employees as inferior to male employees? This should tell you the problem is not with the culture but the sadists and gluttons hiding their greed and wickedness behind it. Take bride price away and sadistic men will look for another reason to abuse their wives.

Women need to wake up and stop being timid. Why can’t you talk to your parents when you feel they’re going over board? Marriage is for mature people not toddlers who cannot speak up and make their voice heard. I’ve seen ladies who stood their ground against their greedy family demands and they prevailed. Stop allowing insensitive family piggyback off your future.

If you’re a man who’s given an outrageous list, why can’t you speak to your wife to be about it or her parents? Instead you swallow spit, do all that is required and kill her in the house after all, “you paid for her head.” You didn’t pay jack!! Nothing can buy a human being! How much will I offer you to sell your daughter to me? If the bride price is too much for you, step aside. If Dangote’s son comes along, he won’t complain but since you’re not him, stop pretending, you have no one to impress. Cut your coat according to the available material.

Why can’t bride price be regulated? I’m from Benin, ours is N24 and that is what it remains till tomorrow. Our traditional processes are clear and straight to the point, most extras are not far-fetched, however the basics remain the basics after which a woman can be said to be married. However you don’t just wake up one morning and decide the tradition to follow.

I know it’s not easy but it’s doable. The more enlightened a family is, the better. Nevertheless we have a large population of unenlightened families and the change we want to see can only come when we step up and take the bull by its horns.

If there’s anything I’m against, it is the belief that white weddings are a necessity. A Christian wedding doesn’t even have to be a white wedding. You’re not white, why can’t you do without their traditions?

A friend from one of the local Governments in Rivers State told me how their women gathered together and went to see their traditional rulers because their exorbitant bride price was keeping many of them single. Something was done about it!!! Now that’s advocacy.

If you like, pay 1 million naira as my dowry, you cannot disrespect or abuse me because you did not buy me. No amount of money can buy me as a person, women stop letting insecure men intimidate and reduce you!

P.s. Dear men, even Abraham’s servant didn’t take Rebecca away without gifting her parents. It didn’t make Isaac maltreat her either, stop believing Satan’s whispers yet quoting the Bible on marriage.

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