This needs to be said. I am anti-physical abuse, before, during, and even after a marriage. It is simply thuggish, bully behavior that should not be tolerated. Besides which, you cannot put the words "gentleman" and "physical abuse" together. It is contradictory.
The Quintessential Nigerian Gentleman is
NOT Physically Abusive
I took a Domestic Violence class in law school. Funny enough, it was grouped under 'Family law.' I guess that's because many instances of abuse take place within a family setting.
Back to my Domestic Violence class. One of the things we learnt was that a typical abuser has a charming personality. In public. That is, if we look at our series, he is polite, and well-groomed. In short, an attractive and very desirable man. But at home, he is a lion. In a bad way.
A man who beats a woman is a thug, an agbero, a riff-raff, an animal. He belongs in a zoo.
A typical Nigerian man believes that no woman should talk to him "anyhow." And if a woman crosses that line, he can slap her or do worse. That is total nonsense.
While I do not condone rudeness from men or women, I believe there are valid ways to make your point without physically abusing another person. A gentleman, a true gentleman would never ever hit a woman. Period. The same applies to Nigerian gentlemen.
Now, for those who say women should watch their tongues or that women somehow "bring" the abuse on themselves or somehow provoke men to abuse them, let me ask you this: If you are at work, and your boss is rude to you (male or female) and your boss treats you or talks to you "anyhow" why not slap or punch your boss? I mean, it is a means of self-expression right?
You would NEVER do that because you stand to lose something: your job. For the sake of that pay check, you will endure the insults, etc from your boss. So why would you not extend the same principle to your wife, girlfriend, fiancee, sister, mother? In short, the women in your life. Because you consider yourself to be bigger, better and more powerful than them.
The reason why a man would hit his wife at home and not react the same way to his boss (or co-workers, sometimes) is because he does not consider her his equal. He has no respect for her and does not value her as a person.
Even if you grew up witnessing your father abuse your mother, you don't have to follow in his footsteps. As an adult, you should know the difference between right and wrong.
While we can never choose the family we are born into, we can definitely choose the family we will have.
I'll stop here. My point again is this: The quintessential Nigerian gentleman would never resort to physical violence to make a point. Especially not with a woman.
Question: Is physical abuse an accepted part of Nigerian culture? Should a man physically abuse a woman (or vice-versa) under any circumstances?