What She Said: Don’t Call Me A Feminist

July 3, 2019

Navigating life as a woman in the world today is incredibly difficult. From Nigeria to Timbuktu it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are. 

Every Wednesday at 9am, women the world over will share their takes on everything from sex to politics right here. 

In the past year, I’ve seen and heard the word ‘feminist’ more times in a day than I ever have in the first 23 years of my life. And I grew up with a mother who often writes academic papers on feminist theories.

When people ask if I’m a feminist I don’t think twice before I reply yes unequivocally. Equality of rights for both sexes? Sign me up, please. I found it hard to understand why any woman won’t be a feminist so I talked to one. 

What’s feminism to you?

I think there are two definitions of what feminism is. There’s what it was and what it has become. Feminism is the fight for equal rights, yes and that’s what our great grandmothers did, actually fight for our rights to vote, go to school, drive, etc. Now ‘feminists’ spend all day trolling men and spend more time talking about what they will never do instead of what they could do. They say they are fighting for equal rights but how exactly does talking about all these mundane things achieve that.

What mundane things exactly?

Like cooking, or who will pay on dates, or who will take whose last name. Inconsequential stuff that won’t cause any groundbreaking changes in history. The women who fought for us to vote and drive weren’t losing sleep over who is cooking for who.

What do you think it means to be a feminist today?

Being a feminist today means being loud and brash. It means shouting down anyone who doesn’t think like you or has a different opinion from yours. I see it on Twitter all the time. Anytime women who have a differing opinion from these ‘feminists’ say something they don’t like everyone screams ‘pick me’ at them and bullies them into keeping quiet. I was telling my ‘feminist’ friend that even though I don’t think it’s my place to do it I don’t mind taking on the role of caretaker in my home when I marry. She said I was oppressed and shallow minded.

You don’t think that’s an important conversation to have? 

Not important enough to die on the matter the way people do. There are more important conversations we can dedicate our time and energy to. Child trafficking, sexual assault and abuse etc. Instead, all they do is degrade men. If men are your oppressors and you spend all day insulting and degrading them instead of educating them, what makes you any better than them?

You don’t feel oppressed by men in society in any way?

No, I don’t because I’m a hard worker. I recognize that there are certain inequalities between men and women, like with how we’ve never had a female president. But I refuse to be oppressed. In my own little corner of life and work I excel above men and I’ve never been held back from getting anything because of my gender.

Were you aware of the Market March and #ChurchToo protests

Yes, I was and I must say I’m very proud of those women. They exemplify what the word feminist used to mean. What I found interesting is that a large number of self-proclaimed feminists across all our popular social media platforms weren’t there. Sure they tweeted their support and were sending love and light and all of that nonsense. But the most vocal ones were nowhere to be seen when it came down to doing the grunt work.

Did you participate?

No I didn’t. But if that kind of thing happens again I’ll be sure to join in.

You do believe in equal rights?

Yes, I do I’m not a moron I believe men and women deserve equal pay for the same work. I believe they deserve to have equal rights, but that doesn’t mean you should call me a feminist because I no longer believe in what the name connotes. When I tell people that I believe in equal rights for men and women but I’m not a feminist they mockingly ask me what’s the difference or why am I deceiving myself and I simply tell them it’s 2019 and the word feminist might as well be a synonym for misandrist and I refuse to associate myself with it.

Do you think you’ve benefited from feminism in anyway?

Of course. I can drive, I can vote, I can get an education, own property etc. I could never discount the work OG feminists put into getting women to where we are today. I just don’t see what this current wave of feminists are doing.

Toketemu Ohwovoriole

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