Eniola Hundeyin’s tweet recently went viral for stating that she and her partner had a mutual agreement that she would not kneel for him submissively as part of the Yoruba engagement ceremony, and this set off a national conversation about culture and submission.
In her new vlog titled, “Submission is not in my dictionary and I define my culture,” she talks about why she would not agree with everything in culture.
Submission is towards authority. It is a word that should come nowhere near intimate relationships. And Culture is not static. People design it according to their needs. By nature, these beliefs were present during our traditional wedding in so many small acts. We found joy and peace in honouring who we were, and touched so many in the process. I believe that the ones who lead with love will change their society one idea at a time so that this world becomes a place that serves ALL OF US.
I encourage people to challenge culture. If your culture is holding you back, drop it. if you need to edit to be more comfortable, do it. but if you even need to let something go because it dishonours you, drop it and that’s what I decided to do.
I had my Yoruba wedding and we maintained the aesthetics and a lot of culture but we brought in our own. I don’t believe in working for culture, culture should work for me and that’s how it should be for anybody.
Yoruba culture, as much as it has a lot of good parts of it, its also been very corrupted by misogyny and if I see a part that is misogynistic, I’ll change it. I think that the act of telling a woman to kneel while her husband who she’s going into the marriage with as one is submission and I don’t believe in it. that’s not in my dictionary. I think that intimate relationships should be partnerships, and both people should be equal.
You should look at each other in the eye. That’s how you get married. If both of you are going to kneel, both of you should, but it shouldn’t be one person kneeling for the other because that clearly symbolizes a hierarchy and I don’t do that in my intimate relationships.
The whole concept of submission is biblical and we all know the bible isn’t our culture. Even if we go back to the creation of the Yoruba people and its premise was on submission, I still have the right to change it. if men want bride price to be lower, then I have the right to also change what I don’t like.
The point of everything is if religion or your culture doesn’t make space for you as a person, then, its not for you. I wasn’t willing to discard my entire Yorubaness because a big part of my identity lies in that but I was willing to edit. My husband was willing to edit as well.
Watch her talk here