Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pull a Seat; Let's Talk About Sex 2

Temitayo Olofinlua's post is continued here...

Almost every weekend in Nigeria, there are weddings. People spend so much to plan for these weddings. My average observation is that after the wedding, the multiplication aka breeding aka breeding aka childbirth starts, as if on auto-tune, without much planning for the children. It's like misplaced priorities. We sit down to plan for marriages, spend hours before marriage counsellors; spend months with event planners; yet when the children come there is no plan for them? It baffles me. You know people joke about it how obviously struggling families spend so much in my area in Sango Ota on baby naming ceremonies; I say something like "They spend so much, even borrow sometimes, then, the next day the child starts drinking garri." Is there something wrong with us? With that part of us that thinks that we have a point to prove to others, that everything is about that point? Poor, middle class and rich seem to be guilty of this.

This is not just about married couples. Population increase is related to childbirth, which in turn is related to sexual intercourse aka lovemaking aka shagging aka fucking. Call it what you want, it remains the same act, by old or young, married or single. If you are old enough to have sex, you should be old enough to be "held responsible" for whatever comes from it. Male or female. Sex is pleasurable. Like Shuga. The sitcom I love watching because they give you the truth, about sex, the way it is. No longer should we keep a veil on the sacred subject. Many people have sex, or dream of having sex. We all came to the world by sex. Haha! Goats and chickens do it in the open, even five-year-olds know what it is about. Though most parents are shy to pull their seats and talk about it. So, it is time to talk about it, and its consequences. If a girl (and boy) is old enough to have sex, they should be bold enough to carry condoms in their purses or wallets. I am not talking irresponsible casual sex but we need to pull a seat and talk. The ignorance has to stop. More like the pretense has to stop.

We seem to have a culture where contraception is seen as the woman's responsibility. She is the one who knows the calendar matters; the guy just dives in; zips up, is as free as the blowing wind. It is interesting that according to research, many women get the HIV/AIDS virus on their matrimonial beds. That's a discussion for another day. Many men are free agents, free to spread their wild oats anywhere. Truly, both parties should be held responsible. The ovary alone does not make a foetus. Men should stop being sperm donors and take charge, responsibility. If you want it "au naturel" you should know there would be consequences, likely right? If you are not ready to be a Baby Mama or Papa, or ready to use contraceptives; put a sign "Vagina/Penis under construction" on your panties or boxers.

The government knows what they need to do; the UN likely is on their case; maybe even gives them a long to-do list every year. Maybe they are trying. Maybe they need to do more. Or re-strategise. However, this population question is more about deep-seated attitudes, more about individual choices than government policies.

Much more than ever, there is a need for an aggressive orientation, about sex, about family planning. Many Catholics won't like this. However, it is not quite about religion, but about your choice. Would you rather have a tired body from children that you cannot take care of? Or would you have a family properly planned for, well catered for? The choice is yours to make.

My mother loves children. If she had her way, if the economy didn't start a spiral downward in the late 80s, she would have had ten children. We are five. The economic has spiraled lower since then. Forget what they said last week that the economy is getting better.  Many women (and men) love children, like my mother. They love the voices of children humming around them. They love to meet the needs of children. They love the smiles that come with the tingling sensation from a suckling child. Or the unadulterated love that a child gives. My response, there are so many children out there, looking for that love. You don't compulsorily need to be the ones to have them. The joys of motherhood (and fatherhood) is better expressed not in the multitude of children, but children planned for, well spaced out, well catered for.

Talk over. Put the seat back in place. Start acting. The next time you want to have sex or decide to have a child, pause and think about how to take care of them, yourself. First, your child is yours, your burden, not the government's. Pause and think about a more clustered Nigeria in 25 years; people holding talks through the windows of closely knitted shanties pressed for space; cars stuck in a gridlock, sweaty faces breathing directly into one another.

1 comment:

  1. You are soo right. But another cause is something we also joke about-poverty stricken people have sex to take their minds of their worries. I know a family that has about 8 kids spread out over lyk 7 yrs and the wife is pregnant again. I guess this is one of the major reasons we have so many children that are not well catered for. These people believe that condoms are just useless expenses. This is ignorance at its peak.
    The only way this particular problem can be cured is if the family planning campaign is taken more seriously and to the doorsteps of these people. And emphasis laid on what the future holds for these children.