IN SEARCH OF MASCULINISM

Masculinism. I was quite surprised to find out the word does not exist. I guess that is probably because it has always been a “man’s world.” However given the changes in their world with rise of feminism, some men are already unknowingly searching for concept of masculinism.

Before knives are drawn I declare this isn’t an article against feminism, although like every other “ism” that has its own issues. The rise of women and the equalising effect is welcome Indeed there is still plenty of ground for women to cover in their honourable quest for equality. However in some cases there is an attempt to overtake which is confusing men as attempts to resist being subdued instigate accusations of being sexist.

MEN UNDER ATTACK

Traditionally men took care of the business of finding food, clothing and shelter for his family. As a child he was groomed towards this. In a fine balance Women managed the home and nurtured the children, grooming their children accordingly based on their genders. This was easier when life was all about farming, construction and war. In today’s capitalist world, women have rightfully found roles in every sphere of what once belonged to only men, with female urologists emerging to equate the male gynaecologist. Again this is not an issue, but there is some confusion for man who has been “softened” into housekeeping roles, whilst having to retain the brawn required for his breadwinning role. He will admit though that he can’t make enough dough for the house and is thus reliant on his wife’s support.

The challenge is with the insistence on his behaving like a woman and being told to let go of some of his traditional roles. The Pentecostal wave in Nigeria forced men to dance (like David danced, even if not emotionally charged like him) which came easily for his emotional feminine counterpart. At home there is some insistence for men not to hang with the boys and spend more time helping out. In some cases where the woman brings home the bacon, the stay home dad who grooms the family is ridiculed by the same and other women (and men). At work, sometimes an attempt to push his case strongly against feminine opposition is repelled as being ungentlemanly, while her moves to do same are cheered on for the sake of equality. Women are now been touted as being better at almost everything instead of the more accurate description of being just as good as men (true feminism seek equality not superiority). Even in the single social scene, more women are hunting down men to bed them in this game for an unnamed throne. Some men are confused and seek to react.

FIGHT LIKE A MAN

Caught in the wave of, or resistance to dwindling and suppressed testosterone levels, some men take different approaches to fighting back. The seemingly easiest way is to maintain the old status quo; work hard, drink hard, womanise hard (revenging on side chics who take their pounds, dollars and Naira of flesh), be sports crazy, resist house work, culinary duties and the like. Remain one of the boys! Some go to extremes by using religion to suppress the women and keep them “in their place”. All these moves come at a price as the increasingly vocal women resist all this, sometimes breaking the man’s resolve or with deeply fractured relationships in the wake.

Some men can’t be bothered to fight and just coast along, some submit fully and take up the traditional feminine role while some make themselves females for other men. The extreme ones change their gender altogether.

The confusion persists for the poor man.

MASCULINISM

That’s what we seek for today’s man. So what is this undiscovered term meant to be? That’s a question to be discussed as we honestly search our souls for the answer to. For sure it consists of some characteristics in today’s world:

– respect for women

– inclusivity of women in all spheres

– more involvement in home caring and building

– minimal vices or none at all

– keeping your head up and your swag on

– maintaining healthy testosterone levels

It really is not a hard balance for men and quite a lot have accepted this new order. The challenge is the rampant feminist who seeks to dominate in the war of the sexes, or who unfairly cries foul as she seeks to suppress any signs of testosterone surges (except in bed).

In summary, men must find a better balance and recognise the new world order. Some families have only female children and no man wants have his dominated and used by men. Those with male children have to teach and let their sons be brought up balanced to be a real man. He must work in the kitchen too, just like his sister is taught to change light bulbs and car tyres. Women on the other hand must realise that not all men are oppressive and a balance must be maintained. They must learn to let men be men (without their excesses) and give them the required space and mutual respect. The bible says the man is the head after God, but it seems the rib has been fully reinserted so it’s now God First and then wo(man). Tomorrow’s world’s outlook is uncertain and uncharted as marriage, homes and men are under the cosh of its change. The right adaptation and balance by masculinists and feminists is required to make that world an emotionally healthy one.

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Blood donor?

Blood donation is a simple noble act that saves lives. It really is harmless and more people should be involved as we can’t manufacture blood.

I used to donate blood every 6months when I was a medical student. But…..

……….there was this one day when my pockets were lean and I hadn’t had breakfast (which was a prerequisite to donating blood). Nonetheless I decided to go and donate blood that day so I could get the free Malt drink that came with the procedure.

As always I answered yes and no the the routine questions (including a “yes” to the “have you eaten today” question).

After the donation as I stood up to go to the waiting room (and my free Malt drink), the room started spinning. I stumbled and had to hold on from falling. The smart laboratory personnel caught me and made me lie flat again.

“Ah, what happened? Are you sure you ate this morning?” She asked.

“Erm, no, I sheepishly replied.

“Ha! Why now? You know you are supposed to eat! E ma gba mi lowo awon Medical students yi?! (Deliver from from these medical students?!)

“Oya, sit down, attendant please bring 2 bottles of Malt for him(😄😄)Pele, you will feel better soon. Don’t to that again o.”

Me: 🙁 without speaking “I don wise”…..speaking, “Thank you.”🙂

I didn’t donate for a while after that, more because of the embarrassment rather than the side effect. I have donated severally after that, and it’s not unusual to see some of my colleagues and other hospital staff donating blood for that acutely bleeding patient who needs fresh blood.

Be a blood donor today. After all someone else shed blood to save you. You can save a life too 😇

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CAN WE LIVE TOGETHER?

Written June 26 2016

Well, the U.K. Has said no to Europe. We can live together but I must retain a bigger chunk of my individuality seems to be the summary. My geography teacher (in that wonderful school named FGCL) taught me that the world once existed as one and then broke up over centuries to form the continents as we know them today. This makes me look at the world map like a jigsaw puzzle. The Tower of Babel chaos, conquests in Africa and “discoveries” of Asia and America also add to the narrative of the world many of us were born into. There were so many unions of peoples which have been separated over time by way of independence and civil wars.

And so we saw the break up of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Sudan and Korea to name a few. When I visited Zanzibar there was a clamouring for seperation from Tanzania. In the alliance of Europe, Britain has voted to opt out (and who knows who else might follow) ; Scotland and Ireland begin to insist on leaving the UK. One of Donald Trump’s major thrusts has been anti-immigration largely supported by those who consider themselves “true Americans” (the real Americans are almost extinct and never had a say since Columbus’s ship landed on their soil).

In Nigeria we have gone from divisions into 3 to 19 states and now we have 36. At the last National Conference I think a case was made for more States. However now we are hearing restructuring and cries for an independent Biafra and Avenger Nation.

It does appear that it’s difficult to live together, more so as these cries for individualism are from the people themselves. No one trusts others or wants others to impinge on their freedom or rights. Sometimes it’s because people feel they are oppressed by others. Even in marriages divorce rates are high as people find it hard to live together due to their individuality (a better word for selfishness).

Living together is hard and calls for selflessness and trust. These are commodities that are hard to find in today’s world. It brings greater reward for common good but it’s applications appear hard to do just like the simple and right things. Indeed even siblings who shared a room as children find it hard to do so as adults. We all know we need each other but on what terms is the question and at what cost? Earthlings will continue to look for that balance and hopefully find positions that work with some degree of equity and freedom from oppression. Thankfully there are no clear lines for calls of seperation based on religious differences which is another area of conflict. In fact even within religions there are division lines. Makes one wonder if we will all be able to live together in heaven…..if and when we get there.

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THE HAUNTING HOSPITAL

Google photos threw up these pictures I took a year ago. I wanted to write this then but couldn’t bring it all together, not sure I can now either, but I will just ramble.

I was back in UCH (University College Hospital Ibadan) for a 3 day workshop. Found it strange that I hadn’t been back there in quite a while, and that twelve years had gone by since I left after concluding my residency. Twelve years since I had left a “family”, but thankfully Tomi Ilesanmi Omololu agreed to follow me with the abundance of knowledge, skills and pleasant memories I was taking with me. So many relationships in those seven years, not to mention the earlier ones from three years as a medical student……

There was an ongoing strike at the time I visited so it was ironical and quite eerie walking down the corridors. It was a ghost town and felt like I was visiting the ruins of my once glorious past as the empty beds, bare corridors, dilapidated buildings, dirt and rubbles made my heart ache. Occasionally I heard the shuffle of medical students scuttling down the corridor to a ward round all head bowing as they passed me. The greeting culture in UCH made one feel like an agama lizard. I smiled as the imaginary students walked past. I saw one medical student reading on the staircase and asked him why. He said there was no power in the hostel and the nurses had chased him out of the wards. A closer look at his frustrated face revealed that he was me in my final year as a medical student. I smiled again as I remembered how we medical students protested at the VC lodge the next day, got reprimanded by him, but got a generator installed the same week.

I walked into the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology which was dark as there was still no power. I checked on my mentors, Drs Odukogbe and Sina Oladokun who were expectedly not hanging around the desolate offices. The departmental “classroom” where we had laughed, learnt and been bullied as residents was empty, but I could see all the consultants in the front row from the time of Prof Adeleye through the days of Profs Isaac Adewole, Ojengbede and Omigbodun culminating in the days of now Profs Oladapo Olayemi and Fawole (RIP). I also saw Olumide Bisi Fakulujo with his mischievous smile, Nkwocha Gerald (RIP) with his reassuring smile, Kamil Shoretire with his laughter smile and Akinwunmi Akinwuntan with his friendly respectful smile. Dr Otegbayo popped out of his office and looked like he had seen a ghost when he saw me. My wife’s favourite consultant he was. We exchanged pleasantries and I later heard he was in line to be the next CMD which I felt was a splendid choice.

I peeked into the residents lounge half expecting to see gang, Damola Sparrow Mosuro, Obitade Julius Obimakinde, Chris Aimakhu, Banji Adesoji, Adewole Ayodele DrStephenStephen, Bayonle Ayanleke, etc all waiting to hail me before banter, but the few strange faces within gave me empty stares. I shifted to the consultants lounge where I got a warmer reception from old teachers Drs Irabor and Ekong amongst others, mates and even former students who were now consultants. One who didn’t even know me said she had heard about me and was caught up in the wave of emotion that had greeted me. I felt like a celebrity. The current MDCAN President Victor Adesola Makanjuola seemingly brought out the red carpet. These ghosts were alive. Nike Bello who had escorted me in knew she had to leave me there.

All goosebumped and after the mandatory visit to Tinu Agunloye’s office, I headed to my brother Olayinka Ogunbode’s office and Adetola Ogunbode was there too. Ma familia. Their house had hosted our fellowship meetings. I had more eruptions later on as I drove past the football field where I had played alongside Gbenga Fadipe, Alex and earlier shone against Kayode Oremakinde Yomi Salawu and many others winning a golden boot😎; ABH where my memories thereof will write a book or two or indeed a TV series featuring Azuka Okpor, Alwin Jeyakumar, Akeem Ali, Bielose Konwe (ladies names are censored😜)etc; the House Officers Residences; and Alhaja’s buka, where I resisted ordering a meal.

It’s amazing when I think of how the same compound has hosted so many lives especially for people like me who did both undergraduate and postgraduate studies there (ten years!). I’m in some awe of those who remained as consultants after their own tutelage (Drs JK Ladipo and Adefemi Afolabi must be mentioned here) and continue tradition of grooming doctors and saving lives at the same step. Putting University of Ibadan as first choice on my JAMB form for Medicine (because they said it was the best) was a big challenge at the time. I’m glad I succeeded. I’m blessed with all the people I met in my time in UCH. I’m blessed by who and what UCH made me to be….DOCTOR Olufemi Omololu.

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DOCTORS DAY

Saturday 30th March was world Doctors Day. It just went by without much fuss, probably because it was a weekend, not because people don’t like us or appreciate us, I don’t think.

Why do people decide to be doctors? Why do people decide to be specialists in a specific field?

The following focuses on the latter in my specialty…..

Obstetrician and Gynaecologist! It sounds like getting two for the price of one doesn’t it? I wonder if that is the attraction for you. There are many fields in medicine, and as technology and social issues advance and broaden, more sub-specialities are bound to open up in medicine. Traditionally we have the 4 core areas of medicine namely surgery, paediatrics, internal medicine and of course, the two in one, obstetrics and gynaecology. There are other major specialities such as anaesthesia, radiology, pathology and community or public health. General practice seems to encompass them all. Quite often many a doctor opts to specialise in one of these specialities. Due to the shortage of doctors in our country and the non-progressive nature of health care systems, it is possible for a doctor not to specialise and continue to, literally, practice!

With the broadening of the information age in which we are, there are other areas where doctors can explore now. The health insurance scheme with the introduction of HMO’s has created employment opportunities for doctors, and the fields of health economics and health management create an escape route for those who probably missed their way and ended up becoming doctors.

There are many reasons why a doctor decides on which speciality to be further trained. A survey of some of my colleagues in obstetrics and gynaecology revealed the following reasons:

-My dad is an obstetrician gynaecologist

-It’s the easiest of the lot.

-It’s the most fun.

-It’s the most lucrative.

-It was my best posting in medical school.

-I had my highest grades in obstetrics and gynaecology.

-I love women.

-I have always tried to understand women but could not. So I figured if I could understand them physically and chemically I’d be halfway to understanding them completely😃 (this was my reason. I’ll let you know of my success when I retire😄)

Whatever your reason may be, there is one important reason why we should do anything we do. That reason is love. If you love the study and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology, your journey to being a specialist in this field will be much easier. Love breeds desire and desire leads to commitment. Commitment can produce dedication and together all these factors help achieve the goal. When you love what you are doing, you are also more likely to be very successful at it.

I suppose this is a good time to ask……do you really want to be an obstetrician and gynaecologist? If so, why?

1992, Me, in Alexander Brown Hall, just before my final medical school exams 😥

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HERE I STAND

HERE I STAND

I’ve always wondered what I will look like when I grow old. I guess it might take others to tell me because for as long as I can remember, any time I look in the mirror, even today, what I see is not too different……

I see the eyes that first looked lovingly into Dupe Omololu’s reciprocating eyes, as she cradled me after labouring. Her husband was on call and missed the show, but when he later showed up, there was a feeling of completeness with his strength and essence. The love and strength from those two remains endless as I continue to tap from them and dissipate to the world…..

I see my same self I saw joined in that first decade by BBD, not Bell Biv Devoe, but Bayo Bunmi and Deroju. Wonderful cherished siblings with whom I adventured and adapted to the world through curious mischief, playfulness, discipline and great nurturing…..

I see my same self I saw dumped in middle of a bush with about seven hundred children in the first six years of my second decade. Probably the best years of my life as I developed great relationships, learnt how to really laugh, and sowed seeds of potential that would continue to dictate who I am till today. FGCL Ijanikin, wow!

The next six years were probably the most confused of my life as I struggled to balance the knowledge of medicine, knowledge of the birds and the bees and how to handle alcohol. Thankfully more friends and mates were there to carry me along with still more laughter in tow…….

I see my same self who in the latter part of that third decade, met a man called Jesus who I had heard a lot about before. My life would never be the same again and as I returned to Ibadan for specialist knowledge and skills in OBGYN at the turn into the decade of the new millennium, my fourth decade of life. The balance of knowledge was easier as God had replaced alcohol. Surrounded and aided by some many more truly special people, our hands fulfilled their potential of being gifted…..

In the mirror I see my same self who was overwhelmed by yet another feeling of completeness in a chapel in the middle of that fourth decade. This time, the loving eyes of Ibitomilayo nee Ilesanmi being the stimulus. No longer alone I was now ready for the next phase of life. Our car backseat gracefully became occupied by FDT (Funmi, Dami and Temi) as love blossomed exponentially throughout the fifth decade…..

The sixth decade starts today 25th February 2019. As I look into the mirror I see the same eyes, the same person. A few lines here and there but beyond the eyes are loads of memories. Memories of so much laughter. Memories of all the people who have touched this life and who it has touched. So many friends and acquaintances. People. God’s best gift to man after Jesus. Some tears well up in gratitude (because I am sheepish like that despite the hard looks). I’m truly blessed.

I thank God for you all on this day, like I always do on the occasional days I fall into the trance of gratitude prayers. I apologise for any hurt I’ve caused and I accept all the accolades I truly deserve. Today, as I stand at the youth of old age, I’m ready to walk into the future with God, family and friends (yup, Facebook friends too) all around me. Lets continue walking together, making the journey as tolerable and as pleasant as we can, laughing and smiling more than frowning and crying, all the way into decade after decade…..

Thank you for being a part of my life story thus far.

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DOCTOR ON THE RUN

The call was to start at 7pm. It was my first labour ward call as a medical student. I was at that stage where I wasn’t sure if I still wanted to be a doctor and I was just going through the motions. However the continuous revelations of medicine still fascinated me and the mystery of birth which I was yet to witness beckoned.

It was about 8pm when I strolled into the labour ward. There was a corridor, which on the right, had a first stage delivery suite with four beds, where women laboured. At the end of the corridor was an inner chamber with second stage rooms where deliveries actually took place, and a theatre suite. It was quiet when I entered which was surprising given the tales from other classmates on how women shouted in labour. I peeped into the first stage room and there were three labouring women therein. Two of them were oblivious of my presence and the third was on her feet. Her face lit up when she saw me.

“Doctor, I feel like going to the toilet, please can I go?”

She called me doctor. In the University College Hospital Ibadan, patients had this magical way of knowing that you were an ignorant medical student which always made us feel small. However this lady called me doctor! Maybe she was deceived by the moustache I had been grooming. A glimpse of the future hit me. The authority I would have, the ability to help a person in distress, the answer to prayers, a doctor.

“Of course you can madam, just take it easy, ok?” I replied with the deepest tone of voice as reassuringly as I could with a smile to boot.

“Thank you doctor,” she said as she waddled towards the rest room.

I felt cool as I swaggered towards the inner chamber. A woman had delivered a few minutes before I came in and it was quite dramatic which was why everyone had rushed in to be of assistance. The show was over and everyone was settled talking about the escapade. I tried to catch the gist from one of my colleagues as we all, five medical students and two midwives, strolled back towards the first stage room.

“Where is the woman that was on this bed?” One of the nurses shouted with an alarmed look on her face.

“Oh, she wanted to use the toilet so I said she could go,” I confidently responded.

“Oh dear, she’s ruptured her membranes and is almost ready for delivery, the urge she had might have been the baby! I hope she hasn’t delivered in the toilet!” screamed the nurse as she and four medical students rushed to the rest room.

The fifth medical student, yours truly, who was feeling quite sheepish at that moment, did a moonwalk in the opposite direction and ran out of the labour ward before he could be arrested.

It was a tense wait for my colleagues to come back to the hostel and inform me the lady had a smooth delivery without any complications. Little did I know then that I would become an obstetrician and would suffer many more anxious waits for women to safely put to bed. Thankfully in a very large majority of cases (99.5%), it has always ended well. May it continue to be so for the would be mothers and for me and my colleagues.

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