Dear Mr. OBAMA Ernest & Co,
Buddha (560-480 BC)
“Do not hurt others by means that you find yourself hurtful.”
I was appalled by the horrendous statements you dished out on TV a couple of days ago with regards to the treatment husbands should mete out to and on their wives.
It is preposterous, that in the 21st century, a man, and so-called journalist will dare to utter such trash, and more so, a few days to the celebration of the International Women’s Day! Mr. Obama & Co, certain things are unsayable, not even if/when joking.
After listening to you, I shut my eyes in disgust, distrust and disdain and thought of my grandmother, mother, sisters, aunts, female neighbors, friends, teachers and colleagues, and I wondered what would or could push a man … or a normal person in possession of their senses to evoke such remarks. If it were a different topic, I might have guffawed at it and just let it slither by, but this time, no, I couldn’t as it was not a what being alluded to, but a who!!!
Allow me to quote from the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, “Unfortunately the Christian message about the dignity of women is contradicted by that persistent mentality which considers the human being not as a person but as a thing, as an object of trade, at the service of selfish interest and mere pleasure: the first victims of this mentality are WOMEN.
This mentality produces very bitter fruits, such as contempt for men and for women, slavery, oppression of the weak, pornography, prostitution-especially in an organized form-and all those various forms of discrimination that exist in the fields of education, employment, wages, etc. Besides, many forms of degrading discrimination persist today in a great part of our society that affect and seriously harm particular categories of women, as for example childless wives, widows, separated or divorced women, and unmarried mothers. […]”
Mr. Obama & Co, do you think you are talking about a dog or an object? Violence in all its forms should be condemned, and vehemently so, in lieu of fostering it via tips on how to execute it effectively!!! Women, and every human being in general, enjoys an inviolable and non-negotiable dignity.
That a man has a wife does not give him the rights to lay hands on or maltreat her. It is inconceivable that we deify objects (ex: our phones, cars, clothes, watches, etc.) to the point of “getting sick” if something (low battery, crack on the screen, scratch, theft, etc.) were to happen to them. If we care so much about objects, whence does it stem to start giving lessons on how to beat a person (be they male or female)?! That is an unconscious yet erratic view which unveils a double condescending connotation of deformed moral and ethical values.
Mr. Obama & Co, my humble piece of advice to is that you endeavour to seek forgiveness from these women, and Cameroonians in general, and that should be done via the same means you employed to emit such junk. For common sense’s sake, you cannot say such things in 2019! Mr. Obama & Co, “Within the conjugal and family communion-community, the man is called upon to live his gift and role as husband and father. In his wife he sees the fulfillment of God’s intention: “It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper fit for him,” (Gen 2:18); and he makes his own the cry of Adam, the first husband: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” (Gen 2:23)
“Authentic conjugal love presupposes and requires that a man have a profound respect for the equal dignity of his wife: “You are not her master,” writes St. Ambrose, “but her husband; she was not given to you to be your slave, but your wife…. Reciprocate her attentiveness to you and be grateful to her for her love.” With his wife a man should live “a very special form of personal friendship.” Love for his wife as mother of their children and love for the children themselves are for the man the natural way of understanding and fulfilling his own fatherhood. We must say no to “the oppressive presence of a father, especially where there still prevails the phenomenon of “machismo,” or a wrong superiority of male prerogatives which humiliates women and inhibits the development of healthy family relationships.”
Such utterances gravely corrupt the judgmental evaluation of children who are still struggling to grasp what is wrong and what is right. This leads to children and even adults thinking and perceiving women as objects or creatures to be beaten and maltreated as pleased. What results from this deformation of conscience? Boys and men maltreat and assault their female friends, girlfriends, fiancées, wives and women in general. Such uncanny “advice” from you might cause a young boy who sees his father or uncle physically assaulting their spouse as “normal”, and instead of calling out the aggressor with childlike innocence, might instead encourage them to go on, or attempt to give “corrections” on where and how to effectively strike. We are human beings, whether we acknowledge it or not and should behave as such! Unfortunately dishing out such statements on air turns you into a mere physical human with the being and essence of a beast, gargoyle, fiend and hellion, barely falling short of being a demonic goblin.
To conclude, I suggest you observe a minute of silence as a sign of remorse, in the course of which you should picture how you’d feel if you saw someone beating your wife, mother, sister, aunt, etc. Well, you might probably not have to stress your imagination that much if you grew up in an atmosphere where violence against spouses was the order of the day. Nevertheless, Mr. Obama and & Co, we are in 2019! Yikes! If it happens that you grew up in an environment where women were abused (physically, verbally or otherwise) that doesn’t mean you are to keep the streak. It is time to mark a new era: one in which the woman ceases to be perceived as an object, or less than an object. Women are not inferior to men, No!
Mr. Obama & Co, I offer you the assurances of my prayers for your person, colleagues and ambitions, and I beg you to pray for me. If you do not know how to pray for me, cannot pray for me or do not want to pray for me, please simply send good wishes my way. Thank you very much.
“Anything that disgusts you, do not do it to others either.” (Shayast-na-Shayast 13.29, around 1000 BC)
“That (human) nature is good only when it does not do to others what is not good for itself.” (Dadistan-i Dinik, 94: 5, circa 800 BC)
Br. Godlove AMUNGWA
First Published CNA