THE WOMAN AT THE BARBER SHOP! by Akin Olawale



I took the boys to cut their hair as usual. It's a Nigerian shop owned by a younger Lasgidi guy. Good boy. Making ends meet. I love his drive and the zeal to survive. Cheap too. £5 for a hair cut! Not bad in this recession. 

When we got there, we met a woman who came to do her hair and instantly began to play with my 3 year old Jisola. I was very uncomfortable and knowing fully well that Jisola is a no nonsense boy told her off instantly "I'm not playing with you". I giggled! She continued to poke him. I wanted to tell her to stop but didn't want to embarrass her. She continued to play with Jisola and he kept moving away from her. It was my turn on the chair and soon heard my son cry out loud. 

I turned around and saw Jisola on her lap trying to wriggle out of her grip. I was like "what da...". Our eyes met and I asked her why she had my son on her lap when it was obvious that he doesn't want to be carried? She responded "I'm just playing with him". I wanted to give a vitriolic but controlled myself. I was livid! "She's a woman, Wale, leave her alone"

Now, here's why I was upset. If my child was a 3 year old girl and I saw her on a male stranger's lap trying to wriggle out, I'd beat the hell out of such man and report to the police immediately but why didn't I do same to this woman? Cos she's an "innocent female"? Is there a stereotype involved?

Do women sometimes get away with murder? Do we have sympathy for women when infact they should be treated as same with erring men? We jail male teachers who had intimate relationships with female students but we will always find a clause in the law not to jail a female teacher who has had a relationship with a male student. Why?

Tony Porter, a New Yorker did a Ted presentation last year talking about "Boxing the male sapien" and it was an eye opener for me on the stereotypes we engage in which are entirely based on falsehood and absolute idiocy: 
"Paedophiles are always pony tailed dirty men". 
"An average Nigerian is a fraudster" 
"A typical Chinese man is a fake DVD seller". 
"Black American boys are drug takers". 
"Women are nicer than men" 
"Hispanic American women are gold diggers" 
"London is a leveller"-No, London is not. I was at a birthday bash some years back on Bishop's Avenue. Leveller? Says who? Lol. 

Back to this woman. Did I treat her too softly based on the "stereotype" that women can't do any evil"? I know what I would have done if I had my 3 year old "daughter" in the same "wahala" on a strange man's lap. One person "go wound" and it won't be me. Confirmed!

I got home and told IB and she even shocked me "Wales, relax now, she's a woman, she can't possibly do anything untoward". I rolled my eyes at her and gave her a KJV "Woman, thou knowest not what thou sayest because thou hath biased". I then asked her, what if we have a 3 year old gal forcefully trying to wriggle out of a stranger's grasp, what will you do as a mother?

IB's face changed into a "searing hot" frying pan! 

Ah! So men are the evil brand? I asked her? 

I left my next to be verbalised comment hanging.....
 
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