Hi everyone, welcome back to Palacedaughter. Today, I will address a controversial issue and I will start with the quote below. I would love to have your view.
“Feminism is not gender specific. It’s also beneficial to men in some ways. It’s an umbrella of fairness not defiance. Stop misusing it or attacking people who appropriately utilize it”.
According to google dictionary, feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. Equality of sexes is fairness, which reduces expectation from both sexes and in turn prevents disappointment. For example, a man is always seen as not vulnerable and a woman is always disappointed when she sees a man’s vulnerability. However, with feminism, a man is free to express his vulnerability instead of hiding it which can lead to a worst situation. This way a woman is not disappointed when she sees a man showing vulnerability. It is important to note that “Everyone is vulnerable irrespective of who they are because they are human”. In the same way, the expectation of woman should be more active in raising a child is erased. Feminism wipes away that feeling of “entitlement”.
Merriam-Wester Dictionary states that feminism is the theory of the political economic, and social equality of sexes. This social equality suggests fairness because it acknowledges the fact that everyone living in a community are entitled to a public right. For example, the same way fundamental human right is not gender discriminating is the way opportunities should not be limited to sexes because both sexes contribute equally to the society. According to Eyawu Kasseye Bayu, feminism internationally aims to realizing the liberation of women from all types of oppression and providing solidarity among women of all countries. (International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology).
It is important to note that there are two types of feminism. Western and African feminism. Western feminism makes equality between men and women the center of struggle while African feminism considers gender discrimination neither the sole nor perhaps the primary focus of the oppression of third world women. (Eyawu Kasseye Bayu 55) In as much as western feminism advocates for equality of both sexes, while African feminism fights against oppression of the female gender, both western and African feminism propagates fairness.
What feminism is not…
Feminism is not gender specific: Anybody can be a feminist icon so far he/she propagates fairness. Feminism also beneficial to both sexes. Therefore, feminism is not for angry women as people perceive it to be.
Feminism is not for bitter women: Most times some bitter women misuse the umbrella of feminism by hiding under it to voice their anger on nothing that has to do with fairness. No, feminism is not about expressing bitterness or defiance rather it is an umbrella that brings into consideration fairness in other words “humanness” for all. If you are human, you won’t want a fellow human being to be treated less. As a woman you can only end up alone if you marry someone who does not have your ideology of fairness and what were you people doing together in the first place? It’s better to be alone than to be with someone who does not acknowledge fairness. There is so much loneliness when you are married to someone who does not recognise fairness or humanity or who considers you as a mere sex object or walking womb.
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Feminism is not evil: Even God loves fairness. He does not discriminate. It is biblical that a man is the head of the home but remember that being the head does not mean subjugation. When you say feminism is evil, it’s a way of using religion to silence the truth.
Feminism is not defiance or verbal abuse: You can be a feminist without being verbally abusive or defiant. Feminism is not a battle of gender but fairness. Find below examples of the misunderstanding/misuse of the word “feminist” and the context “feminism”.
Feminism is not anti-marriage/pregnancy: It is baffling when people say of a woman who is pregnant, “And she called herself a feminist, why would she get pregnant?” It does not resonate with me. Again, it is important to note that there are feminists who have gotten married/are married and are currently enjoying their marriages. The idea that feminists are angry women who do not get married and enjoy their marriages is not true. Examples of married feminists include:
Late Flora Nwapa who was a feminist even though she never considered herself one but everything about her yelled “feminist”.
“When Efuru went home, Ajanupu could not help admiring her character. She is a woman among women. I like the way she is carrying her burden. She still loves that imbecile husband of hers and she is going in search of him”. (From Flora Nwapa’s Efuru)
Late Buchi Emecheta was a feminist married to Sylvester Onwordi but later separated from him because she was abused. On one occasion he burnt one of her manuscripts. She had a rough childhood, she was kept from attending school, simply because she was a girl, betrothed as a child to a man, she was denied the opportunity to choose and therefore most of her works revolve around the discrimination she encountered as a girl child and a freedom of choice she was denied as human. She did not become an author to only express her ill treatment but to also fulfil her childhood dream. Her notable works included Joys of Motherhood, the Rape of Shavi and Second Class Citizen, among others.
“God, when will you create a woman who will be fulfilled in herself, a full human being, not anybody’s appendage? She prayed desperately” (From Buchi Emecheta’s Joys of Motherhood)
What feminism is…
Feminism is an umbrella of fairness: Kathy Caprino in a Forbes article wrote, “Feminism at its core is about equality of men and women and not “sameness”. So many people offer up the argument that women are not the “same” as men so there can’t be equality…Men and women don’t have to be the “same” in physicality to have the right to equality”.
In Myles Munroe’s “Understanding the Power and Purpose of being a Woman”, he explained that male and female are both man. Gen5:1-2 says, “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them (together) ‘man”. A woman is a man but a wombed-man (Myles 64). “Men and women are equal”. (Myles 67). “Man is created male and female because of their functions and regardless of what that culture and society may say, the highest worth and dignity were given to female by God in creation” (Myles 67) Having this understanding, should a woman be treated like a second class citizen?
Additionally, the basic assignment of male and female is the same, but the execution of it is different and the difference does not mean inferiority or superiority (Myles70, 72). It is important to note that one of the role of a woman is to submit to a man and submission does not mean subjugation. In the same way a man is to love, which comes first and you can’t love something genuinely and maltreat it. Again, you can’t love a woman genuinely and she won’t be forced to submit to you. “A woman is a man’s helper not a slave. Whatever the man is not, it is the woman’s job to help him become” (Myles 111)
In conclusion, feminism is an umbrella of strength especially for men because it is a considerate umbrella that does not condone selfishness and it reduces expectations. Feminist are not cowards. It takes maximum bravery to be a feminist because it’s the real definition of humanity. Long Live Feminism.
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