I went browsing through a bookstore with a friend, and he showed me the book We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I had to get it because it’s this mini booklet, that has been adapted from her now famous TEDx talk. I now carry it wherever I go in my handbag so I can read it to the non-believers I happen to encounter. My friend then said I shouldn’t get it because I am not a feminist, so why would I get one? He clearly didn’t know me as well as he thought he did, and it’s a big no-no he doesn’t believe in feminism. His statement which I felt was quite insulting, led me to buy it. And after reading it, I had to write this piece. You all need to watch the talk, YouTube it or get yourself a copy of this book, you won’t regret it.
I guess it’s time for me to expatiate and have a reference post for people who don’t understand what being a feminist is all about to me or why I recognise myself as one i.e. my little sister, who hates feminists and feminism blasphemy.
It’s so hard being a female Nigerian feminist, women just have it hard here that the male feminists are more appreciated, respected and listened to than the female feminists because women just like to fuss, shout and cause drama.
The mentality that a man is greater than a woman is still a major key here.
Women are born to be wives, bowing to every wish of their husband’s for we are bought, slaves. Women belong in the kitchen and not knowing how to cook is blasphemous. Women are the ones to raise the kids as if men don’t have a hand in the creation of a child. It’s the norm for women to be sexualised at their offices for their organisation’s benefit.
Ever since I was small, my mother would call me to the kitchen to learn how to cook, but I don’t like cooking and once I learn something and don’t practice it I forget it. So I’m a meagre cook at best, I have my good and bad moments. She said if I don’t learn how to cook, I wouldn’t find a husband or my husband would leave me cause I can’t cook. Back then I used to get worried cause it was a scary thought, my mother raised me with the mentality that I must know how to cook, not for myself but my husband. – This is a prime example of how we have been raised to cater to the needs of men before ourselves.
In the past, it was understandable I guess, the men hunted and did all the heavyweight works, because it’s a scientifically known fact that males produce more testosterone than females, hence are stronger and in those days, it was survival of the fittest, be at your strongest physique or die and lose your family. I really don’t understand how cooking became the woman’s job, especially now in these modern time and days, a lot of educated and working women and men still don’t grasp how bad this mentality is or want to lose it. I don’t see why both the man and woman can’t cook. The kitchen doesn’t belong to the women, the kitchen is for everyone and because I am female doesn’t mean I know how to cook, my mother taught me, I love cooking or belong in the kitchen.
When a child does well, he or she is the father’s child and when a child does bad she or he is the mother’s child – why is that? It’s a mentality that needs to be gone. I hate it when Nigerians get offended in general and before you know it “your mother didn’t raise you right.” is out of their mouth and it makes my blood boil, whenever I hear that because – who says a feminine figure was in the person’s life? why do you have to bring mothers into this? who are you to judge another person? mothers get all the blame if a child does wrong.
It’s appalling how women shrink themselves for men. I’ve seen these thousands of times from different women even my own mother. How women act like subordinates to their male spouses, as if they don’t have a right to be free spirits, and their fire constantly being put out. Do not outshine their husbands in public, because their egos would be hurt. Let the men take the lead in all decisions as if their own opinion is irrelevant. Hiding their success or not making it blatant if it succeeds that of their male spouse because the man is meant to be the breadwinner of the family. This is a huge problem here in Nigeria, for generally they don’t expect women to succeed or earn their own money, but get it from a man.
There is nothing wrong with a woman also providing financially for her family. A stay at home dad and a working mum can be the norm for a family, it really doesn’t matter. The mentality that men are the one’s to be financially strong, pay for everything is also wrong, women pull up your weight, treat your partner… what’ wrong with you paying? Why must a man do these things for you? Aren’t you capable yourself? We need to remember, if we want equality, we also need to loose the traditional mentality. Why can’t we ask a guy on a date, marriage proposals, pay when we can or provide support in any form? I noticed that women are women’s biggest enemies, we love tearing ourselves down, instead of finding a middle ground and helping ourselves to succeed in a world dominated by men. We women also have a lot of traits, that we need to lose if we want equal rights.
I learn new things every day. It’s quite enlightening to see things clearly, the bigger picture. For example, I used to be proud of being different from the other girls. I loved it when a guy told me “you’re not like the other girls, you’re better.” “I don’t like the other girls, but you’re different and I like that.” I even liked telling guys I’m not like the other girls like the other girls did me dirty. But now I’ve seen the light. I’m not different from the other girls, I’m not better than the rest of them. I am simply me because everyone is different and we all do things our own way, no need to be judged for it and I like the other girls, so I’m insulted on their behalf.
I turned to ice once, when a guy told me to stop talking about my period, that it is not something I should openly discuss or be proud of because it made men uncomfortable. Did you go to school? Because I remember learning about the menstrual cycle in biology, I remember this being in tests and exams… how on earth would I be ashamed to discuss this. I blame our parents, who treated periods like it was a deadly secret and all that and raised us with the mentality that we shouldn’t discuss our periods in public or around males like we should be ashamed of it. God made us this way, it is natural and nothing to be ashamed of and besides you guys need to be enlightened on this.
Because I am female, I have had to prove my worth and justify all my actions in situations where no one would bat an eyelid if it was a male.
Why are women condemned for owning their sexuality for themselves? Like a woman who likes having sex is a slut, and is heavily frowned upon but if it’s a guy he is praised and it doesn’t even cross anyone’s mind to call him a gigolo. Last I checked a woman isn’t any less of a human than a man is, and women, as well as men, have needs also. For your information women aren’t the only people who exchange sex for money, it’s like people and the media tend to forget this. There’s no difference between a male or female who do the exchange, the male isn’t better than the female or is excused nor spared because men have needs, in fact, the men are envied? It’s just a means to an end for the women and men period. I find it wrong how the women are the ones that are condemned and are the target of spite for this, mind your own darn business.
I hate shaving because I don’t shave occasionally and have armpit hair doesn’t make me any less feminine or unladylike, it’s just unhygienic period. It has nothing to do with gender.
I rarely wear make-up, doesn’t mean I’m proud or feel superior to others that wear make-up, I’m just happy with how I look and that is what I like. I am very lazy and on lazy days may not shower or bath, yet again I am only human, I don’t like cooking but love eating, I rather lay in bed and read books more than anything, I’m not a super mum.
I can be very grouchy, mean, sharp, a bitch – I am allergic to bullshit because I am female doesn’t mean, my default is soft. I have every right to feel all sorts of emotions and express myself as I feel fit, and not to be told to act like a woman. What do you think I am? A man? Please.
I like short shorts, skirts and dresses. I am not calling for attention, I’m not looking to be pestered by men, I’m not asking to be raped… why can’t I dress the way I like, why is it my fault… the monsters that call themselves men shed their skin to let loose the monster that they really are?
My no means no. I am serious, I don’t play no games. It’s heart-wrenching when I have to repeat no a gazillion time before some take the hint. Some get offended and become nasty as if it’s my fault you didn’t accept my no and get offended if I am no longer docile or polite – don’t poke a sleeping dragon.
My point in sharing this is to explain that everyone is different and shouldn’t be judged or classified due to stereotypes. Because I act or respond a certain way doesn’t make me any less what I biologically am, a female and my sex don’t excuse the unjust treatments or reactions I receive.
Finally being a feminist isn’t about hating men. God do I hate this misconception about what feminism is all about. Don’t get it twisted, it is all about equality for women, showing that gender doesn’t have to be a barrier, fighting the wrongful treatment of women, the oppression, discrimination and to enlighten people and change the culture. Culture is always changing it isn’t stagnant, why do people forget this fact when it is bright as day?
I can’t think of anything more to say. I always wanted to write a post on feminism but I never feel like my knowledge is substantial enough to pass across my point, I even think this article sucks, because it doesn’t really go anywhere but I just had to get it off my chest, because so many things about the way people think and believe life should be is so wrong and it annoys me and I had reached my breaking point, because my sister first said she hated feminists and screamed while I tried educating her on what it is all about, so I gave up.