A regular on Nigeria’s pop culture space, Toke Makinwa’s views do not go undissected by Twitter Nigeria. It’s almost as if local registered users on the site wait with bated breath for Toke to release another “bomb” so that they can go berserk on her and her personal life.
Toke Makinwa advised ladies to get vibrators but you’re asking men for their opinion on what exactly ? What does their opinion have to do with women, their vagina and their vibrators ? https://t.co/nkVBr2ZETu
— ebele. (@ebelee_) March 26, 2020
What brings her to the fore this time is her statement that Nigerian women should own sex toys, specifically dildos, to satisfy their urges. Now, what would seem very normal to an unbiased mind appears malicious and unprecedented to tons of young men who, for one reason or the other, have come to despise this epitome of media success.
Attributing this spite towards Toke to her success as a media personality in recent years might not be very far from the truth. It’s not every day you start off as a run-of-the-mill media protégé and later rise so exponentially that your book on becoming (pun intended) mentally immune to the rules that society dishes out to women shines in its best-selling accolade.
To the average patriarchal Nigerian man, your success is not merited. It’s your skin colour, your breasts, your thighs, your hips, your pouted lips – anything but your tenacious grit. In his mind, valid success is one that men achieve and that is totally devoid of sexual innuendos. He understands that it is not true success if you have to sell more than your abilities. If you have to gain favours based on your appearance or your sexual appeal, then the average patriarchal man sees you as an infant being hastily spoon-fed on your way up and nothing irks him more than the thought of this happening to naturally endowed or cosmetic-enhanced women every now and then.
For a moment, let’s imagine that women have an unfair advantage of becoming successful. This unfair advantage, which we are constantly criticized for, is the doing – and could also be the undoing – of patriarchy itself. Patriarchy created the rule that women can only be successful through (sometimes unrealistic) beauty, aesthetics and sex appeal while men should come as they are without beauty embellishments or overt sex appeal.
It is not exactly an advantage if I have to meet a certain criterion to be considered. The real advantage is when you don’t have to try so hard at sex appeal and still get shortlisted – actually, if you are looking to working in front of the camera, sex appeal is required of both genders but it’s still not so overstated for men as it is for women.
Women don’t even complain about this. We have become accustomed to working at our sex appeal in addition to our contributing value. But like a spoilt child who never gets tired of suckling at his mother’s breasts despite having crossed the age of weaning, patriarchy blames women for being successful by the very standard that it created for women to meet in the first place. You are not conventionally attractive: you are scorned. You are conventionally attractive: you are scorned – it’s that familiar confusion of patriarchy.
With Toke, take away her conventional attractiveness and you’d still have a media and PR badass. This is the case of almost every woman but the information that makes it to mainstream media is that of women rising to the top solely on account of expensive weaves, red lips, stilettos and shapely clothing. This is what sits well with the male audience. It’s not that they would readily agree with the reverse being the case so what exactly is the rage about?
It’s not so much about Toke’s message as it is about her life. ‘That unmarried woman’. ‘That divorcee deceiving young girls’ and whatnot are most of the reactions trailing her viral video. Taking the message at face value, anyone, as earlier stated, would appreciate its sincerity and its foresight at starting off a due conversation on the ambiguity surrounding female orgasm, especially in this period of self-isolation that calls for sober reflection.
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