Still in honor of South Africa’s women’s month.
I wrote about the beauty of womanhood and how I loved being female yesterday. I felt as though every woman must love being a woman; that every girl must see and appreciate femininity. Thinking on though, I realized that this was not the case. There are women around the world who curse femininity every day; women who can’t appreciate the beauty of being a woman because of the people around them.
So many Nigerians (especially the men) talk about feminism as though it were something ridiculous, something completely wrong. They talk of it like it depreciates our culture or makes it less than it really is. This isn’t so and we have to change our mind set about it. Now, trust me, I love culture a lot. I love Nigerian culture; the diversity, the colour, the beauty and all that it encompasses. However, there are certain cultures I believe we don’t have to follow blindly. Now, a culture that encourages killing can be part of the people, but that doesn’t make it right. In the same vein, while we must appreciate and embrace our culture, we have to sieve what is right from what is wrong. We have begun the process. Polygamous marriages were part of our culture but a lot of us no longer practice it because of our new beliefs, a new culture we were able to embrace. I’m not saying we should leave our beliefs and embrace that of the western world, but sometimes emulation of what is good helps us grow, as a nation and as individuals.
What point exactly am I driving at? I believe in feminism a lot and to some extent I consider myself a feminist. This is because I believe so much in the strength of a woman and that women are equally as important as men in the world. Now, we might not be equal in terms of strength; men are usually physically stronger than women, but women carry a strength on the inside that men can only hope to have. Why then do some men treat women like commodities and things just in the name of culture? Men beat up their wives, rape them, and justify it in the name of culture. What kind of barbaric culture is that? Old men marry girls young enough to be their granddaughters, girls that cannot think for themselves, girls that are so young they haven’t even gone through puberty yet. How can a fifty year old man look at a girl of twelve, thirteen years, even ten, and lust for her? And then you marry her and justify it in the name of culture! What kind of barbaric culture is this?! A barbaric culture that insane people, sick people and paedophilic bastards hide behind! How can we encourage this culture? A culture where a man beats and rapes his wife and tells her, “I bought you with a lot of hard earned money. Therefore I can do with you as I please.” This is a culture that needs to be scrubbed out. Women need to be able to stand strong and tall and men need to appreciate women. Appreciating a woman is not measuring her by how well she cooks, or by how well she cleans your house, or by how well she does your laundry. If a woman can’t measure a man by all these things, then a man should not either. Gone are the days when all women had to do was stay at home, cook, clean, bear children and look after them, while the men go to the farm or to the forest to feed the family. Now, women work just as hard as men, why then is it that a woman and a man come in at the same time, equally tired and equally in need of rest, and then it is expected that the woman should somehow get divine strength and cook for him while he showers and sits with his leg stretched out watching television and shouting, “is the food ready yet?!” this to me is just unfair. To me, feminism isn’t just equality, it’s equity. Be reasonable, be fair, be just. Let’s scrap out a culture that degrades women and let’s embrace a culture that loves and appreciates women. Women, please let’s also not encourage this barbaric culture that belittles our kind. When a friend comes to you and complains about domestic violence, don’t tell her to bear it, that it’s part of being a wife. Don’t give your little girls out in marriage. Let’s stand united and strong.
I know this is a very sensitive matter. So go ahead and criticize me, leave a comment. If you agree with me, abeg hail and share. Peace!