Sexy Sassy Wahala! What Modern African Women Say They Don’t Want In A Man

Jun 21, 2016 at 3:58pm


by Efe Plange/

There is a class activity I always do with each passing set of students in my First-year Composition classroom – It is almost becoming a tradition. I pull up three magazine cover pages side by side on the projected screen and ask my students to observe the covers simultaneously for some minutes and share their observations with the rest of the class by asking questions about the magazine covers.

A typical example would be for example the feature of three popular female pop-stars usually in the same postures: bold stares into the camera, long flowing hair, sultry makeup artistry and every other prop needed to produce a commercialized, sexual and objectified look in these women.

Now I have done this activity several times and with each different set of students, we have had amazing conversations and topics erupt from just magazine covers (note I didn’t say magazines). Now magazine covers are useful because they are supposed to sell the contents of the entire magazine. To create anticipation, captions of some of the most interesting articles inside the mag are featured on the cover as well as other catch phrases.

So far the most intriguing of all questions raised by the 18 year olds in my class has been, “Why are these women’s magazines focused on men?,” a male student once asked after comparing highlighted article titles such as “101 ways to keep a man,” “How To Know He is the One,” etc.

This activity is not exclusive of a deliberate Google search I make occasionally to compare articles that seek to equip 21st generational boys and men on how to cope with the 21st Century woman whose value is no longer bound only to her biological affordances. Now while there are tons of the reverse, there seems to be very little concern or rather lack of interest in the version for males. Not only is this worrying, but it could also be the result of much bigger problems in the future.

This article is the result of a series of conversations I have had with my fellow womankind on the topic. Contrary to what society thinks, the 21st century African woman has something to say about her ‘kind’ of man. Before you dismiss this post off as one of my usual feminist gibberish, be informed that the following comments are from both fully identifying feminists and the average educated modern African woman who might not necessarily identify with the term but still believes certain things need to change.

On a more serious note, the following comments might not be useful to the African men whose expectations of a woman are still stuck in the 50s (Your kind of women don’t need any manual). These tips are for the men who are ready to take on the challenge of an African woman who has developed a mind of her own. We love you and we want to see you evolve with us (Grin)

1. Its either you are funny or you are not!

Seriously, 100 percent of my respondents admit forcing to be funny especially on the first date is one of the biggest turn-offs ever! I know that in our society comedy and humor comes by naturally to most of us but real humor/comedy takes a lot more effort than a few twisted short stories. Some of the world’s talented comedians are some of the smartest people on this earth. Their humor develops from wits, sarcasm, and a well vested knowledge of a wide range of topics and cultures. Our dear men, just be yourselves; if you got it, you got it! The myth that a woman who truly likes you laughs at even your dumbest jokes may no longer be feasible in our modern world. They might be jokes alright, but make sure they are smart ones otherwise, you, may become the joke (Grin)…

2.Out with the Mama’s boy syndrome!

In the past, a ‘Mama’s boy’ might have been an overlooked trait. But now, women are dismissing it from ‘the one.’ Guys, the fact that you have two sisters and a close affinity to your mother should not make you think you know all types of women, or that you have a grip on how women-folk should function. What ‘Mama’s boys’ usually do is to either go after women with their mother’s traits or impose their mother’s traits on a woman who doesn’t posses them. This is what leads to the insane comparisons and futile feat to replace the role of these women figures in their lives. ‘Mama’s boys’ are also likely to allow their mothers intrude in their marriages and when it becomes very crucial, even dishonor their wives to please their mothers. The woman you are hoping to marry is also made up of several environmental and psychological antecedents. More So, she has developed a mind of her own. You should appreciate her as she is and both of you should anticipate making your own home rules when the time comes. If you are going to expect her every move to resemble that of your mother’s or sister’s, then you might as well just stay home forever!

3.Your opinion about women’s personal grooming choices is really unsolicited.

Simply desist from comments like “I don’t like women who do makeup,” “I prefer natural girls,” and the like, when your relationship is still new. Personally, I just recently went natural (hair-wise) and I try to maintain makeup for days I shoot episodes for the YouTube channel or special events. However, if there’s one thing I have learnt about African women embracing their naturalness, it is that is very much a spiritual journey. As I discussed in an article When Going Natural Gets Kinky, beauty for all colored people is defined elsewhere and brought to us. Our world view of beauty, is that we have to look like someone else other than ourselves. Therefore the many recommendations for beauty while very expensive, cumbersome and even life-threatening, might seem like our only choice. Finding the confidence to rack our God-given looks would have to come to us naturally. Meaning, she has to get tired, sick and exhausted! She first of all has to believe it for herself, although every other thing is telling her otherwise. And even when she does find it, it should be because she wants to not because it is what pleases a man. And like I always say, 95% of what women do to look good is not even aimed at attracting men. Sometimes it’s just for competition with other women. So chill-out and let her find herself on her own terms and at her own pace.

4. Go for exactly what you want!

This is closely related to point 3. I really don’t get guys who seem to like slim and slender women but would date a plump or chubby lady and try to change her into what he really likes. You like natural girls but go in for Nicki Minaj and try to change Nicki to suit your preferences within a week of meeting her. You like ladies who are fashionable, but go in for the ‘lady Mary’ type and try to induce a Nicki Minaj gene in her. You like light-skinned girls but only date dark ones and push them into bleaching. Well, the women in this forum are not having any of that!

5.Personal Hygiene! (Teeth, clothes and the whole shebang!)

I think the long years of grooming women and girls for their social activities has created a huge gap. Not only do we seem to have more empowered women than men, but we seem to have over-prepared women and girls for relationships and marriage to the neglect of our male counterparts. Therefore, we have empowered and well groomed women on the one hand, and men who seem to be clueless in both areas. Guys, invest in yourselves. Stop laughing at women’s cosmetic investments on social media and take some notes from us instead. As silly as it may sound, no matter how great of a catch you are, the thought of not being able to even imagine a kiss with you is enough to forget every other great thing about you. Invest in a good dentist. Not to mock any genetic issues like that of arrangement of the teeth but you know, the kind of teeth that have accumulated stuff for so many years that simple routine brushing cannot even save it. Visit a good dentist for some thorough cleaning. Daily body cleansing, a good deodorant and perfume can also give u a refreshing appeal. Be abreast with modern fashion trends and learn what to wear to what event.

6.By All Means Have Opinions, But Make Sure They Are Informed Ones

Women are taking notes on your opinions about general issues. The modern woman is faced with many problems. Having an open mind and general awareness of some of these issues is evidence of your thoughtfulness and spontaneity. How you answer questions on gender roles in the home, child birth, sex, other women, your exes, etc should be very tactical. Guys who come to the table with some very myopic approach to some of these topics might not even receive a “thank u-Good night” text; Guys who are misinterpreting the mandate of a woman’s submission for their own lazy, selfish and dubious gains would not make it to a second date. Guys who come thinking they are doing the woman a favor and expect a woman’s life to be wrapped around their beck and call might be even carried off to therapy. Be abreast with evolving conversations around the changing dynamics of gender norms and prove that your presence in her life would be pleasurable and not burdensome!

7.Don’t be Shallow

Undressing a woman with your eyes on the first date is a no no! Neither should you get too touchy. Complimenting women only on their physique without finding anything admirable about their personalities, academic and professional exploits is very shallow of you. Until you two are far in the relationship, limit physical compliments to vague statements like “you look good.” Show interest in her achievements and interests because the women in this forum are consumed with bigger things and they like to know you are as encouraged as they are.

8.Don’t Be A Cliche

Having experienced the whole chasing game from African men over a decade now, I must say our men have become almost predictable. The worrying aspect is that it cuts across. The pick-up lines, the reactions towards certain outcomes such as rejection, etc. makes dating almost uneventful. Even the smartest and educated of them is most likely a cliche: if you sleep with him you are whore, if you don’t you are out of date. If you accept his proposal too soon, you are cheap, if you don’t you are playing too hard to get. If you are not the kind to engage in domestic chores for him (Cooking and Cleaning) you are not a wife/marriage material, if you do, you are too desperate. I could go on and on, but I guess you catch the drift by now. The women on this forum are looking for men who are truly evolved so be the change you are looking for.

9.Don’t operate on assumptions.

Most of our guys assume that once you talk with a lady for while she automatically becomes your girlfriend. They also believe that being nice is all they need to win a woman’s heart and immediately feel no reason to be nice when they get rejected. For the women on this forum, traits like thoughtfulness, kindness, resourcefulness, knows no gender. Be very intentional about your input into a relationship.

10.Expand Your Knowledge Base

In a previous post, Own Your Age, I stated how the commercialization of education and our educated ends up robbing us. In our system, it has become almost impossible or even a waste of time to read anything extracurricular. And so while most guys you meet are straight ‘A’ students, they only appear to know so much about very little. Indulge in other learning opportunities by reading novels, watching movies, documentaries, etc. Get familiar with topics that interest her and let your conversation starters revolve around some of them.

Source: Outside Ghana/ Plange


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