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Expounding the Unicity and Mystique of the Feminine Gender, By Yusuf Alhaji Lawan

FILE: Yusuf Alhaji Lawal. 

While in company of colleagues, a discussion popped-up and a lady said the world is not fair to women. I found her statement astonishing. She continued, if a man visits his in-laws, he's received like a king but if a woman does such, the story is mostly different. The submission made me ponder deeply, provoked my interest and instigated my conscience to dwell extensively on the unicity and mystique of the feminine gender to know more and also tests the hypothesis formulated.

Psychologists opined that both genders need each other for purposeful life. A professor of psychology, David Buss, proposed that men and women have evolved to depend on each other in different ways. Buss suggests that women need men for economic resources and protection, while men need women for emotional support and companionship.

It is apparently difficult to make a generalisation about who needs the other more as there are wide range of experiences and circumstances among men and women. Despite these, there are also evidences that view women, on the average, tending to take on more of the "invisible labour" in society, such as household chores, child care, and emotional support.

However, considering our set-up, tradition and culture, one may be tempted to accept that men need women more. Women are more independent of men. At points, some prefer living alone which is mostly hard for men. Widowers at old age; 60, 70, 80 still remarry due to the unique services women render to their lives while some widows even at much younger age accept/choose to live without resorting to remarrying. This may be in line with a popular saying "if a man makes money, he feels like he needs more women. If a woman makes money, she feels like she doesn't need a man.

In terms of physical and psychological development, girls tend to reach puberty faster than boys. They show greater emotional maturity and cognitive development at younger age. A boy of 12 years may not take care of himself the way a girl of same age will. Her mental ability may also take some responsibilities at home which the male mental faculty may not be able to reason at that level. It is established that parents find training of female children easier to males especially at the beginning.

When we talk about the "unicity" of the feminine gender, we're referring to the idea that there are certain qualities or characteristics that are uniquely associated with women. This might include things like love, caring, empathy, nurturing, or emotional intelligence. While it's important to remember that every individual is unique, and gender is not always a predictor of behaviour, there are some trends that suggest certain traits are more common in women than men. There is always a special vacuum in the heart of men that only women fill. Every man needs a woman in his life to be complete; as a mother, sister, spouse, daughter.

On women's close relationships, love and support for each other, a study conducted by Robin Simon and colleagues, found that women's friendships with other women are often characterised by deep emotional intimacy and support, and that these relationships can be incredibly fulfilling and meaningful. Another study, conducted by Charlotte Tate, found that many women describe their friendships with other women as being more intimate and fulfilling than their romantic relationships.

Women are more likely than men to engage in what's called "tend and befriend" behaviour, meaning that they are more likely to offer emotional support, practical help, and social support to their friends. Additionally, research has found that women are more likely than men to engage in what's called "emotional labour" in their friendships, meaning that they are more likely to take on the role of listening, empathising, and providing support to their friends.

Despite all the above accolades and encomiums, it is also discovered that at some points, women can be very aggressive and ruthless to fellows. Such exist in a questionable manner. A female student is afraid of a female teacher, a female student does not want to have a female supervisor. A female employee is not comfortable to be under a female boss. When there are issues with daughter-in-law in family, they are mostly with mother and sisters-in-law. Some ladies prefer marrying a guy whose mother isn't alive just to avoid woman-woman relationship.

Why would a female lecturer derive pleasure to disgrace female students unnecessarily? Why won't a mother-in-law accept her daughter-in-law like her own biological daughter the way she'll like her own daughter to be treated where she's a daughter-in-law? Why would older women, especially in authority descend so low to competing with younger subordinates? Why? Why? Why?.......

There is the "Queen Bee" theory proposed by Rosabeth Moss Kanter which suggests that women in positions of power feel pressured to conform to a masculine model of leadership and act in a way that distances themselves from other women. This manifests in several ways, such as being competitive with other women, playing down their femininity, or even actively excluding other women from positions of power. The theory also suggests that women who are seen as "Queen Bees" may be seen as less likeable and more ruthless than their male counterparts.

There are many different factors that may influence a woman's behaviour towards other women. In addition to the "Queen Bee theory", some researchers have suggested that internalized misogyny may also play a role. Internalised misogyny refers to a woman's own internalisation of sexist attitudes or beliefs about women, which can lead her to act in ways that are harmful to herself or other women. For example, a woman might feel like she has to compete with other women for attention or success, or she might feel like she has to act in a certain way to fit in with societal expectations.

If the discoveries enumerated and these theories outlined are to go by, then it's possible that the challenges women face in their relationships can be adjudged to be self inflicted. Whether in power or otherwise, women are better as women and no matter the temptation, they should not succumb to pressure of acting otherwise. They should accept being themselves and be natural. The empathy, love, affection, help, support, care and concern they are known for, should be seen in practice. This should be more especially with fellows. They should lead with feminity not masculinity, with these, a better result is guaranteed.

After these circumnavigation of research, the findings are more with null hypothesis. The world is actually fair to women, but it's women that are likely not fair to themselves.

Lawan, a Public Affairs Analyst writes from Hausawa Asibiti Ward, Potiskum Yobe State. He can be reached via nasidi30@gmail.com

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