Excuse me sir, before I submit…


I have a few questions. Scratch that I have a lot of questions about this submission business. Let me put it out there now that I have grown to hate the word submission because of the way it is loosely thrown around. Every Tom, Dick and Harry believe a woman’s submission is the ONLY way a relationship can work. Every Sarah, Beth and Maria blame fellow women for not being submissive enough when they experience abuse. Submission is the new aspirin for every relationship headache, and really I have just had enough of it. It creams my corn and I can’t stand creamed corn.

I hate submission… there I’ve said it so now I can safely say no African man will want to even look my way. I’m alright with that. Nothing will change the way I feel about this new wave of submission preachings that are just void of depth and meaning. Almost every African man I meet these days wants to talk about a woman’s submission in a relationship. Almost every African man I’ve had a conversation with has mentioned in very clear terms the need to have a woman whom you can tell to “sit down there!”  And she will. Every African man feels entitled to a woman’s submission; but before I submit, I have questions.

What exactly have you done to earn my submission? Have you protected me? Have you defended me? Have you shown me that you GENUINELY love me, and I’m not just the preferred option out of the many options lined up on your phone? Have you asked about my dreams and aspirations and encouraged them? Have you spent time investing in me? Have you thought of ways to help me improve myself? Have you thought of helping me fulfil my goals? Do you even know my goals? No really, do you? Do you care about how I grew to become the woman I am now, or are you just waiting for me to uproot all that so I can cower beneath the shadow of your identity? Do you know what makes my heart dance? Can you tell when I am exhausted or are you too busy watching TV with your boys to notice? When was the last time you did something nice for me just because…? Have you ever tried to ask how I’m coping with the pressures of my work and the home? Have you thought to let me shine? Have you thought to let me be me? Have you been with me through my darkest days? Have you given me a much-need boost when all I could give myself was doubt? Have you been a shoulder to cry on, and a pillar to rely on? What exactly have you done to prove you are worth my submission?

You young men are so quick to yell about submission and how the bible states it as a requirement, yet you forget that the same bible requests for you to love as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it – the ‘unsurpassable’ act of submission. Oh wait… did you think love is about buying expensive gifts and leaving enough money for the upkeep of the home? If that is what you think, then you are not only confused about what love is, you are confused about what submission means too.

Many of you think submission is about a woman uprooting her identity to build your dreams and satisfy your ego. You think submission is about a woman building the home while you build yourself. You actually think submission is about who washes the dishes and who cooks dinner… Are you kidding me? You think submission is about mundane domestic issues?  You are so wrong, I feel like weeping for you, but I won’t because I can’t.

But let’s talk about a couple of women in the bible shall we? Since the bible is your go-to book when you start squealing about submission, let’s go to the bible. Let’s talk about submissive Esther and her ‘unsubmissive’ predecessor Vashti. Vashti was banished for not obeying the King’s orders, yet Esther was forgiven for breaking one of the Kingdom’s sacred rules; and not only was she forgiven, she got what wanted. What made the difference? Love!

Vashti was described as beautiful; she satisfied the King’s ego and gave him reasons to boast in the presence of his officials. But the fact is that to him, she was like property- an acquisition to be paraded before friends and family. She knew this, hence found it difficult to turn up simply because he said so. She must have thought to herself ‘He is simply using me to satisfy his ego. I’m not going!’  She was a woman with emotions but was treated like a gold chalice or the finest wood from Lebanon.

Esther, on the other hand, captured the heart of the king. He listened to her and spent time with her because he loved her. She was not an acquisition to make him feel like a man; she was his Queen and that fact was evident in the way he treated her. The king did not parade Esther before his officials. She was not just another woman to him; She was Queen Esther!

Many of you young men are in search Vashtis to satisfy your fragile egos. You want women who will validate you by submitting to you even though you have done absolutely nothing to prove you are worth the thought or effort. You want a woman to submit her whole being to you without you investing your emotions or energy in her. You want women who will submit so you can dump the responsibility of building the home on her shoulders while you go in pursuit of exciting exploits. You want to be validated for one single reason – you have a penis and that gives you all the power in the world.

 Well, get this: Esther’s marriage to the king did not result in her uprooting her identity and bowing to her husband’s every demand. If there is one woman in the bible who proved it is highly important for a woman to stay connected to her true identity and not absorb her husband’s in this submission craze, it’s Esther. If she had lost her identity, she would have watched her people being massacred by an enemy. She stood her ground; she went against the rules for them, and because the king loved her deeply, he accepted her, and let her be herself.

So you understand now the reason I wonder about men who seek submission first before they show love. Where there is genuine love, you DO NOT NEED to demand submission. Where love is, identities are not lost, they flourish. Where love is, every responsibility is shared! Where love is, one person doesn’t spend hours lazing around on the couch while the other runs around like a headless chicken trying to catch all the balls in the air at once. Where love is, whoever arrives home first gets dinner started. Yes, I went there. Happy relationships are not built on the premise of one party soaring while the other is drowning. They may have appeared functional when we were growing up but now we know better. Where there is no genuine love, there is no submission. There is only fear!

Now is the time for young men to dump the patriarchal mentality and STOP demanding submission. Really, the tune is getting old, and if I hear it one more time, I cannot be held responsible for whatever falls out of my mouth. Now is the time to unlearn the idea that a woman is created to satisfy you and massage your ego. If you want your ego to be massaged, work hard and get a promotion at work, or invent something the world has never seen. Achievements are ego massagers; human beings (which also include women, just in case you’ve been in doubt all this while) are not.

Do not ask me to submit when you have done nothing to show you are dedicated to building my future and pushing me beyond limits I have set for myself. Do not ask me to submit when you know nothing about the pinnacle of success I am reaching for. Please, I am telling you in as simple terms as possible, do not ask me to submit because I am a woman and you are a man. That is the dumbest reason I have ever heard and I don’t want to hear it again. It’s the source of instant migraines for any progressive thinking individual. Do not ask me to submit when you have not proven what makes you my man; because if my submission is your masculinity factor, you are barking up the wrong tree. Some men are not worth submitting to but I won’t even go there right now. That’s a post for another day. Love in itself is submission so before you demand my submission, show me yours!

If you need more reasons to detest me, check out my post on why I’m not just a woman here. But I have to warn you….keep reading my posts and you might just fall in love with me. Hehe! XOXO people!

2 thoughts on “Excuse me sir, before I submit…

  1. You’re amazing Demi! No hate for you from this quarter 🙂 It always amazes me that men throw the word submission around (inside & outside of church) as if *they* came up with the concept and the rules that govern the action. God did. So if you’re going to act like you (men) came up with it than what you’re saying is, *you* are a above God and no one is. What’s more, submission is done in marriage. I’ve had a guy say to me I had to submit to him and we weren’t even in a romantic relationship. I burst out laughing of course. Because 1) that’s not going to happen outside of marriage and 2) even then God has certain requirements for submission to happen. A man who’s gorverned & submitted to God and His Holy Spirit understands what submission truly means and will NOT abuse it. A pastor I love to watch some Sundays on the Faith channel (surname is Joseph, can’t remember is name right now. But he’s got a multicultural church and his wife loves wearing huge hats! *smiles), he illustrated this point. His wife started to notice that whenever he wanted something *his* way, he would play the submission card. So she took a shoe box and placed an amount of cards in there to the brim. Each one literally a submission card. He could use it whenever he wanted, but the understanding was that once he’s used all of them, he has to listen to her input as well and not dismiss what she has to say. Needless to say he used the cards indiscriminately whether it was on big issues or not. One day he dunk his hand in the box and it came out empty. He shook it around and she just looked at him. He had to listen to her now because that was their agreement. And she told him, the box wasn’t just about the issue of submission but about how he had abused something God has entrusted to him. It shook him up. He thought he’d been fair all along when in fact he wasn’t. And you know why I love this story, not because of how “clever” or “smart” his wife was, but because she’s clearly a woman led by God. Because only God can give you the necessary wisdom and patience to execute something like this. Because that box was filled to the brim with cards! And he’d used them up in a matter of weeks! He could’ve had that box for years and he had wasted it on his misguided notions on what a wife’s submission truly meant. He’s never gone back to abusing what God has given! Ah I love his sermons, why can’t I remember his name! 🙂

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    1. Inge I LOVE LOVE LOVE this story! It is the best illustration of how young men, old men, religious men and all the forms of three-legged species abuse submission, with that sense of entitlement. Gosh! Many men do not understand what submission truly is. They demand automatic submission because they are men. Huh?! If that’s the case every man I come in contact with should love me and give himself for me because I’m a woman. Clearly doesn’t work that way. And to think they believe submission is about them living their lives while women build them up is just laughable.

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