Entitlement: What Are You Owed?

When it comes to someone else’s body? NOTHING!

So what is entitlement all about? It is the belief that a person is deserving of certain privileges. In this context, we can simply say: entitlement is the feeling that you have the right to do or have whatever you want, without deserving it or having to work for it, just because of who you are.

Male entitlement can be seen in every part of our society. Take a good look around. You may be able to spot traces of this in relationships, offices, families, social media and even in our education system.

As a man, there are so many things that you may not realise women have to deal with.

You don’t have to worry about being judged for not seeing marriage as life’s ultimate goal, or be called vile names because of what you wear and how you look. You don’t have to look over your shoulder at night to avoid being raped or assaulted and you hardly have to worry about someone spiking your drink in a club. There’s a host of ‘male privileges’ but somehow, some men still want to choke us and leave us with very little breathing space. Why?

Let’s take it back a few months, when #KeepTheChangeBae was trending. A male twitter user was upset because he took a lady to the movies, bought her food and she refused to start a relationship with him when he asked. What manner of entitlement would make a grown man insult a lady because he did not have his way? It’s disgusting to know that people believe they can do whatever they please to you because they made a nice gesture. This case is one of the smaller ones I’ve come across…

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There have been incidents where women were badly beaten up because they refused to give their phone numbers to complete strangers. There are also cases of sexual assault because some men think they are entitled to a woman’s body whether she consents to it or not. A certain wise woman, Jess Hill, once said, “domestic violence is not driven by anger, first and foremost. It’s driven by a need for – and a sense of entitlement to – power and control.”

I recently stumbled on another tweet. This particular man stated that if he ever brings his hungry friends to his home, his girlfriend “has to” cook for them.

Hold up!

A woman should only cook for your friends if she wants to; she really doesn’t have to. She’s under no obligation to feed a bunch of hungry grown men that should know how to fix a proper meal for themselves. You should not force us to do what we don’t want to. And no, refusing to please you all the time doesn’t make her any less of a woman.

Society’s expectations of women are overwhelming. We hear things like, “you have to stay in that marriage no matter how difficult it gets”, “you’re a single mother, nobody wants second hand baggage”, “if your husband hits you, you probably provoked him”, “you were raped because you dressed indecently”, “he cheated on you and that’s normal. Men are polygamous in nature.” We are tired of always being told that everything is our fault.

Thankfully, we no longer live in the 19th century. We are in the process of moving on from those dark days when male entitlement was normalized. We are unlearning so many things. Whilst things are changing, there’s still so much work to be done.

The sad reality is that entitlement is not something that will change overnight.

It is twisted thinking to believe that men are entitled to our bodies or affection for any reason whatsoever. No one is born with the right to someone else. Consider yourself blessed if someone is willing to share their love and affection with you. If women are treated the way that all people deserve to be treated: with respect, then things can begin to change.

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  • Adeleye Christianah

    The other day, I was coming back from work. Due to traffic, it was around 9pm and I was putting on jeans and a well covered top. Some men started their stupid calling and the next thing was “Omo yi da set o, o ma dun do!”
    I was like, what the fuck? 🙆🏽 I ran as fast as my legs could take me…
    P.S- They think I’m tush in my area and don’t understand yoruba.

    • Adebola Ade Aduwo

      I’m really sorry you had to go through that. This needs to stop!

  • Waley

    It’s appalling, the level of Decadence in the society we find ourselves today. I’m a guy and I have cut off friends not once, twice or thrice who my moral values don’t align with. It’s a male issues and a lot of men out there still feel like it’s their right to so many things. But what makes me happy is at least, there is a lot of awareness going on at the moment. That is a good step in the right direction. Hopefully when we do our part, as a generation we would influence the one behind us positively.

    • Adebola Aduwo

      I’m glad you’re playing a role in creating this change. This would go a long way and hopefully one day, we’d get the results we truly want!

  • Tayo Owonikoko

    Nice piece as always, but I feel sometimes women actually cause these entitlements for example there are lots of women who lead men on knowing they don’t want to have anything intimate with them but because they get stuffs from them they feel they can keep him and when he makes demands in return and he is turned down he becomes furious and feels he had the green light and thinks he deserves to have his way …I am not in support of domestic violence in anyway and I believe men should treat women better.. also, women have their parts to play which they don’t and end up blaming the man(in some cases)..we all have work to do individually that’s the only way the world can be a better place .. And pls we are all ENTITLED to our opinions

    • Adebola Aduwo

      You have a point. But I also believe a smart man would know when he’s being led on. Either way, nobody is entitled to anything. Buying a woman gifts doesn’t mean you deserve anything. It’s up to her to give you whatever she pleases.
      Thank you for reading!

    • Onyinye okpara

      I kind of agree with you, a lot of women are guilty of this.

  • Seyi Suara

    I love this write up… this “entitlement’’ thing goes both ways, a lot of women too feel entitled too. For instance most women feel if they are dating you they are entitled to getting money or some sort of material thing on a regular basis. Same way some guys feel they must get sex. I read one of the comments here and its sad that if dress a certain way in this country and something bad happens to you, trust me most people will blame you. YES we are in the 21st century. YES the world is changing. but our society isn’t really because of our culture. It’s up to us and the next generation.

    • Akinwale Justina

      Trust me, this is a nice write up and it’s a discussion that really needs to be given more attention in this 21st century. Relationships have been abused seriously and until we come to the realization that it takes two mature minds to be in a relationship, it’ll keep growing.
      We shouldn’t mistake ‘entitlement’ with ‘possessiveness’. In my own thinking, you’re entitled to the person you’re in a relationship with depending on the type of relationship tho and the aim of the relationship but you shouldn’t be possessive. Possessiveness is what leads to assault, causes a man to think he owns the body of the lady even when it’s not legal yet, causes a lady to think she can stalk the man without a breathing space hereby giving herself unnecessary headache. Entitlement in a relationship means being accountable for whosoever you’re in a relationship with.
      NB: Depends on the type of relationship.

      • Tayo Owonikoko

        There goes another good angle

  • olufemie emmanuel

    Nice piece Adebola, just like Ty has said some ladies are the cause of this ‘Entitlement’ thing….Why kick a chick if u dont wanna see the wrath of mother Hen…Yea, a smart man should know but like u said SMART MAN….Not all men are smart, it’s better for ladies not 2 play along for d materialistic tyns nd den give xcuse wen he demands sumtyn greater… So i tynk its up to both parties to play a role in dis entitlement of a thing

    • Adebola Aduwo

      Thank you Femi.

      • Tayo Owonikoko

        God bless up Femi At least u were able to butress my poin..we no fight again

  • 🅕🅘🅐🅒🅗

    A
    really important issue to explore as part of the 16 Day of activism.
    The insidious and too often invisible forms of aggressive and hegemonic
    masculinities should be up front and centre in our work to end violence
    against women and girls.

    • Adebola Aduwo

      Thank you for reading ❤️

  • Olubori Omogbeja

    This feeling of entitlement can be quite disgusting. Had someone I just met while serving, we went out once for just a cup of ice cream and on our way back home he tried touching, I slapped his hands off and gave him that “if you don’t want to die”look. Got home and this mistake of a man had the effrontery to text me “I deserve to touch you if I feel the need to, afterall we had ice cream today”. I immediately transferred 2k airtime to him as I didn’t have his account number, and blocked his number.
    You’re friends or nice with certain people and they begin to feel they have a right to your life.

    • Adebola Aduwo

      It’s a good thing that you put him in his place. We need to stop normalizing these things.
      Thank you for reading!

  • Rhoda Ade

    I feel the sense of entitlement wouldn’t stop until we are all aware especially men that whether married or in a relationship we are still “single”. Single, I mean whole as individuals and we still have the responsibility of taking care of ourselves. Having a female friend/fiancee/wife doesn’t give you ownership over her.
    I think this is an issue to be addressed.
    Thanks Adebola.

    • Adebola Aduwo

      Thank you for this!

  • bolu adeosun

    Great write up, in my own opinion i think Tradition is the major cause of this entitlement , majority of our doctrines, and laws acts as enabling factors to this problem, you go to traditional weddings and you be hearing them give some unbelievable advise to the wife all in the name of submission.

  • Olumide Obafemi-Adewale

    As much as this is true, it’s a common human problem, not gender specific. What we need is a change of orientation- nobody owes you shit

  • Temitope Olarewaju

    Ha ha. Debola yaff vex. This is apt though, sadly. Good thing more people are speaking out about this ‘I have power over you’ craze.
    The entitlement feeling starts with the little things and thank God, we can raise children who are aware of this from the beginning.

    Nobody owes you anything, don't go about expecting anything. Whatever you get, appreciate.— Temitope Ogunlana (@TopeOgunlana) June 9, 2014

  • – Yetunde

    That’s the thing people should realise it’s the 21st century, i don’t have to do anything. We are all equal, you can cook and i can cook for you its not a must. This kind of thing has been in society for too long, it needs to change.

  • Onyinye okpara

    The feeling of entitlement is disgusting, and i’m glad we are finally having discussions on this issue. I feel like it goes both ways, male and female.
    Ladies please don’t put yourselves in awkward situations first, no man is your atm even your husband. Even if a man is willing to pay the bills don’t take advantage of it. Don’t hang out with immature people(if you can tell) it saves you a lot of headache, the free lunch might not be worth the nonsense you would’ve to deal with later. Don’t sell yourself short or cheap. Carry yourself with pride and know your worth. A lot would be avoided when we as ladies do what’s right.
    But sometimes doing all this isn’t enough, I remember my nysc days my boss’s friend had been asking me out for a while and I refused all his advances, the free lunch, the ice cream. One day, he saw me outside the office, asked me out again , I refused and he said ” Do you’ve a boyfriend?
    Me: No
    Him: Ahn ahn Then who is touching this your fine body? “