By Ezechukwu Rufus Somkenechukwu
I don’t know what exactly it is in love that frightens and ridicules me at the same time. Okay. It might be my encounter with Kamalu. I will tell you a story, it might frighten and ridicule you the same way it did to me, or perhaps, you might feel annoyed, or bored, because you might have read, seen and experienced love stories and quotes on love more than you have read any other text of your academic endeavor. But wait, this is not just a love story, it is a tale of life and death, a tale of nothing.
For some time, I hardly had time to think about the great changes in my life until now. I will tell you all about it, and at the same time, realize for myself what had actually happened to me and what is still going to happen to me. On one of my downhearted days, while I sat, chin in my hand, feeling too bored and limp even to make up my mind whether to read, sleep or play video game, and becoming preternaturally serious in a moment, I remembered a line I read from Anne Frank’s ‘Diary of a young girl’. “A person can be lonely even if he is loved by many, because he is still not the ‘One and only’ to anyone.” In this very line, lies my story. But that was before I met her. With Kamalu coming into my life, it was a different story. The truth is that, what people now think of as love, is a blind extortion of emotional, psychological and physical balances of one another, or perhaps an infatuation phase of exchange of saliva, viruses and materials. But that wasn’t us, ours was like an explosion from within, where you temporarily lose contact with the world, you are floating somewhere in space, you are larger than life itself and smaller than a grain of sand. With Kamalu, I had incite of what true love is. But there was a single problem. We shared different views about many things and had different direction of inclinations. While I was outgoing and extroverted, Kamalu was an introvert and abhor partying, while I was devoted to the Christian teachings or at least a regular church goer, religion never excited her, while I Loved Sidney Sheldon she adored John Grisham. Yet, none of these instigated a scar in our relationship, we managed our differences maturely, because, love is not just about the excitement and physical desire and attraction, these things might be important of course, but true love is the core that remains after the infatuation has burned out.
However, it is disheartening to let you know that I am breaking up with Kamalu tomorrow. Yeah. It feels very sad to think of it, and I am very much depressed rehearsing what I would tell her tomorrow. I am breaking up with her not because she cheated or lied or did anything that shouldn’t be done. No, my Kamalu can’t misbehave in such ways, neither am I breaking up because I love some other person nor love her less. No, I love her too well, too madly for my own peace. But my problem with Kamalu is her new ideology, she now belongs to the camp of Feminists, she told me about it sometime and I loved and cherished it, I so much detest the idea of marginalizing and degrading women, or treating womanhood with little or passing interest, so I encouraged her not to be intimated. There is nothing wrong with her being a Feminist actually, but am just weeping for what it did to our relationship, and what it did to the love of my life. Kamalu was caged by her new dogma, she stopped living her life and started living the lives of the women she encountered in feminist seminars, she now chooses what annoys men over what is rational, what would make her look feminist over what would make her happy. She once told me of how she hates putting on trousers because of the discomfort and tightness she feels wearing them, she would rather wear skirts, but now, she agonizingly wears trousers simply because she heard a man telling a young girl that trousers were meant for men only, so in a bid to prove and show that women wear trousers as well as men, she now endures the discomfort. Kamalu now calls me often and opts to pay for our transport fare whenever we travel together. On asking her about this new development, she said with a warmth knowing smile “Sommy, guys shouldn’t take all the responsibility, if you call me, then I would call next time, if you pay for the Uber, then I would pay next time, Feminism encourages equality.” Wow! Isn’t that sweet? But there is more to it. This isn’t Love.
On my birthday she bought me a pair of shoe, an expensive deodorant, and a Rolex wrist watch. I felt loved, I just couldn’t convey my inner feelings. I told her how grateful I am and how I love and cherish her so much. Kamalu looked me in the eye and said smilingly “ I have told you this before, you bought me gift on my birthday, so I should buy you one on your own birthday too, Feminism suggests equal responsibility” Those statements shattered my affections, it was like a sharp cut into the very marrow of my emotional bank. I just told my friend how I appreciate and love her and she is talking about equality. Can she not just leave out this idea of equality and understand love, feel love and show love and live happily? When I call Kamalu, when I take her out, when I buy her gifts, I do that out of love and cherishment, but now, when Kamalu does any of these, it is more, out of an obligation to maintain her Feminist propaganda, than out of love and affection. She rarely lives and loves, or does what she really wants to do. Kamalu is simply no longer her happy self.
Nevertheless, I know that Feminism is an advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of sexual equality, it stresses the need to secure equal rights and opportunities for women in comparison to those of men. It serves as a mechanism to demolish the ideological and socio-cultural constraints that permanently deprive women of certain rights. If that is the case, then feminism in itself has no necessary existence and is just a counter activity or a remedy, it arose in reaction to an abnormality it seeks to redress. Invariably, when the abnormality goes away, feminism dies on its own. People shouldn’t go about raising dust of feminism where there is no male chauvinism or inequality. Kamalu should understand that she is in no war with men neither are we in any war with her, she should understand that men and women are biologically different and can’t be solely equal in everything. She should know that her saneness and happiness is prior to any feminist propaganda, as such she should value her happiness more than fighting battles even where no war exists. And most importantly, she should know that I love her dearly and miss passionately every bit of what she used to be, of what she should be and of what I know she really wants to be.
I am not young – I am old in heart and feeling
Rufus Somkenechukwu Ezechukwu