I am not your ATM

I am not your ATM

“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented #woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence”, stated Mandy Hale and I couldn’t agree less when a cherished #friend asked me about what I thought. The girl who does not wait to be validated calls her shots with self-confidence. Such a girl would not have any man talk down at her, labelling her a liability, drain, or failure. The same man would not dare to tell her that he is not her Automated Teller Machine (ATM)! In a partnership where mutual love and understanding thrives, one looks out for and after the other, but when that becomes a burden or cumbersome routine, things are bound to fall apart.

Every #girl needs to own her voice and should be able to raise it wherever and whenever the need arises. More often than not, especially in #Africa, the society and culture is #patriarchal, which encourages #gender discrimination and abuse. Most #girls sacrifice their financial independence on the altar of marriage or a partnership because they take up the responsibility of other salient matters in the home that can not be cash-quantified, which is often taken for granted. Several #women are the breadwinners of their families though. A handful of #men appreciate this kind of woman and become involved in other domestic duties or gender-stereotyped roles, in addition to investing ample emotional support in such a relationship. However, many men run down a woman like this instead, neither giving cash, nor kind in the relationship. Some men would even find every excuse under the sun not to work, hiding under the patriarchy…specifically religion, hence such relationships sit on a time-bomb, heading for the rocks eventually, should we not want to dance around the truth.

For a girl not to be trampled on, each girl should work towards her material wealth, intellectual prowess, and self-confidence. That way, no one would think she is a drain, failure, or liability.

Everything except change has either changed or is changing. Hence, I would admonish every girl to be economically empowered and independent. It is a saving grace from #gender-based abuse and being treated as the ‘insignificant other’. It also helps with #mental stability. A girl who is busy being a change-maker has no time to mope or wail, waiting for a man. We can, we should, and are enough. The bible, in Amos 3: 3 says “can two walk together, except they agree”? If both parties can not respect or celebrate one another, appreciating the sacrificial roles they each play in the lives of one another, then they are not practising the love advocated in 1 Corinthians 13.

No one should feel like a drain, ATM, failure, or liability in any relationship. No one should be intimidated or threatened by the success or otherwise of the other. They can and should complement one another. Nonetheless, for a girl not to be trampled on, each girl should work towards her material wealth, intellectual prowess, and self-confidence. That way, no one would think she is a drain, failure, or liability because no man has the wand to be any woman’s ATM, except the one who holds the universe in the hollow of His hands and is the ultimate provider- Jehovah Jireh or ‘ATM’.

This piece was first published on World Pulse to celebrate the 2020 #International Day of the Girl (IDOG).