I am writing this post in response to a number of misunderstandings I see in discussions about Feminism. There are arguments for and against this subject matter and I sense a lot of anger versus misconception. I will try to clear the air a bit in my discussion here.
Now note, you may not agree with all the points I will make here but it promises to be interesting, down to earth and straight from my heart. So please indulge me as I take you true “the blue waters of the world of feminism”.
My definition: “Feminism” is all about celebrating womanhood. It is a movement to give girls and women a voice where they have been relegated to the background. Feminism is empowering the female gender with opportunities and skills required for her to achieve her purpose and dreams. It is fighting for the rights of women and girls. So first of all as a woman you should revel in your gender, it is who you are by the creator’s design.
In recent times the line has become blurry and feminism has become something men feel it is all about losing control and therefore they resist almost in fear or should I say bitterness. On the other hand, some ladies use the movement of feminism as a tool to raise false alarm where it is not necessary or as means to witch hunt a man in their black books.
I believe in having a balanced view of the issue of feminism. It should not be about having a world without men simply because some of the male genders hurt women or because society tends to be a patriarchal one. Come on we all have fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and even male friends who are good people. Society will lose its balance should it try to operate with only one of the genders.
Also some weeks ago the social media was agog with a backlash against a renowned Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adiche because she challenged Hillary Clinton about why she started her Twitter profile page with the word “wife” instead of “mother” first. The argument was that her husband Bill Clinton didn’t even have the title “a husband” as an identity on his twitter page. As much as Chimamanda’s argument is valid I feel it brings up a core understanding of what feminism might mean to this dear lady that I hold in high esteem. It sounded like there was something wrong with Hillary wanting to be identified as a “wife”, on her twitter page. Interestingly I hear Madam Hillary Clinton did change that identity on her twitter page.😊
My Take on this: If a woman chose to be identified as a wife in her profile, seriously it is her right and prerogative. Is Chimamanda trying to make Hillary think less of her husband or not hold dear her family or role as a wife just to show that she is a feminist who must prove a point to her husband and society? I don’t know, she has a right to her own opinion on the issue.
When it comes to family life we must as women recognize the role each partner has to play in the relationship and respect and love each other. If you are a Chief Executive Director in your office or organization don’t go backing orders at home to your husband! You are courting problems because one of the men’s needs is the need for respect, especially in a marriage setting. So please, by all means, write whatever you wish to be identified as in your profile and don’t let anyone bully you into his or her mold of thinking.
Some Men’s Perspective On the other hand: I have a friend on one of my social media platforms who seems to have drawn a battle line against every female in my opinion and not just us feminists. He practically attacks women and even uses words that I find insulting. I am wondering whether he is married or intends to get married. Looks like someone broke his heart and he hasn’t forgiven whoever that is and every other woman gets the backlash. I also sense that the way some of us feminist brand the flag of fighting the rights of women sounds like men are actually now our enemies. So now on the two side of the divide instead of bridging the gap we are widening it by our actions and misconceptions.
Here is my Take on what Feminism Is and Isn’t
What Feminism Is:
- It is allowing girls to mature biologically and ensuring that she is given an opportunity to acquire the skills for a meaningful and profitable life before marrying her off. So “Child Marriage or Adolescent marriage” is an act that steals the future and life of a girl.
- It is giving equal rights to boys and girls to get an education
- The voice of feminism argues that equal opportunities should be given to boys and girls; men and women to flourish and become all they ever dreamed of. What this means is that If men are going to space a woman should also have the same opportunity to fly to space as long as she is got what it takes. When men are in a leadership position and a woman is got the same skills then she shouldn’t be denied stepping into that position simply because she is a woman.
- Men and women on the same job should earn equal pay, there should be no discrimination based on gender bases.
- Feminism promotes the well-being of girls and women and speaks against all forms of cultural, traditional and religious beliefs that cause harm to the female gender. These include issues like the right to own property and land; the right to work even though she is a wife; reproductive health rights ( Ending discriminatory and harmful practices like female genital mutilation);
- Feminism drives and speaks for social justice
Now to what Feminism is not:
- It is not a war with men; as women, we have fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons.
- Feminism is not a tool of blackmail against any male a woman wishes to take advantage of.
- It is not a flag women wave every time we want to have our way.
- Feminism is not an excuse to not acquiring the necessary skills required to occupy a leadership position. You have got to work for it and be better than the men even so that any male chauvinist in the room will have no choice but to respect your skills and guts.
- Feminism is not a magic wand in a marriage relationship. Be careful how you use this in a marriage situation. Except in a situation where abuse is the other of the day then a woman can speak up and say no to the injustice and harm.
As we say in debate clubs in my secondary school days: “I hope I have been able to convince and not confuse you with my arguments”. 😀Hey …I am only saying we should take things easy; we need each other. Let us all reach out across the table and try to understand one another as men and women and work together!
Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
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