When people offer their opinions against feminism, I do not listen from a position of defence, I rather listen to learn from their opinions as I expect they also listen to learn from my opinion. In most cases, I have noticed that our problem is usually semantics and a mix up of separate issues. Sometimes, certain people who are against feminism are simply against the extremes.
In the end, we often admit that indeed, women have been greatly mistreated. You have to be a deliberate liar to deny it and you have to be deliberately wicked to endorse the mistreatment of women. The extremes could also be a response to the overly mistreatment.
Let me make this straight for the umpteenth time.
Feminism, at least, the ideology I believe in, is not about women domination, it is not about women taking over power, it is not about the defeat of men for the enthronement of women. Feminism is never a fight against men but an endorsement of equal opportunities for both gender in society without discrimination.
The call for equal opportunities does not mean that all roles are the same. If we should judge based on roles, women have greater and more complex roles than the man. While the majority of men may have so much physical strength, women have greater inner strength which proves why mothers have so much influence in the family much more than fathers. Most times, when people want to destroy a great man, they don’t use strong men, they use a woman to break down the defences of the man. That’s a topic for another day.
A woman should be able to access all that she can access, she should be allowed to operate on what she is qualified for without limitations. It doesn’t matter if a woman looks like it or not, the most important thing is that she is allowed to do what she wants to do, she should pursue what she wants to pursue to get to the highest heights that she can get to. This is what feminism is all about.
Although “feminism” sounds feminine, it is a call to human right. It sounds feminine because it arose to address the marginalisation of women. It doesn’t call for sameness, it calls for equality not in the sense of both genders being the same but in the sense of access to opportunities available to humans.
Male and female are not the same and can never be the same, our roles are diverse in certain areas but we are all open to equal opportunities, to become the best that we can be. I am making this clear so that you understand what we stand for. As unique and different as we are, we are all important. No gender is more important or superior to another.
If feminism is a fight, then it is a fight against a wrong ideology, not people or the male gender. Once we deal with the ideology, people will become right. The ideology that calls women an afterthought is evil. The ideology that sees women as less privileged and weak is evil. Feminism is a fight against an evil that was designed to suppress the women
If you are concerned that some women are using the platform of feminism to champion hate against men, women domination and so on, I am equally worried as you, I am equally as concerned as you and I tell you this truth, just because they identify as feminists do not make them an authority on this subject nor does it make them the standard of feminism. However, we must also not downplay the reasons for these excesses. Sometimes, people act extremely because they have been pushed to the wall for a long time.
Does quack doctors mean all doctors are bad? Do fake Pastors make all Pastors bad? Does terrorist Muslims make all Muslims terrorists? It would be a problem if those who identify as feminists go soft on feminists who are full of hate and bitterness, it is a problem when we make excuses for their excesses.
So, if your argument against feminism is because you stand against women domination, it’s my pleasure to let you know that this is not what feminism is about, we also believe that no gender should dominate another. No human was created and designed to dominate another person. If your argument against feminism is because you believe a woman should make the dish in her home, it is my pleasure to inform you that every family is unique and they have every right to choose what works for them… This is not what feminism is about.
But, if you believe that a man is better than a woman, a man deserves leadership roles in society than women, a man has better thoughts and opinion than women, women are subject to men, girls are subject to boys and other similar ideologies, then your ideas are what we are up and against.
There are deep parts of this discussion but if we can get the basics right, respect for all regardless of gender, equal opportunities for all, access to equal training and so on, then we have gotten those deep parts right. Because we have not gotten the basic is the reason why we are still having the first female vice president of the United States after 400 years of existence, it is the reason why in 27 years of existence, the United Nations have never had a woman as the President, it is the reason World Trade Organisation is only having its first female chair after many years of existence.
If we bring the argument back home, it is the reason why even with so many over-qualified female police officers, none has gotten to the position of the Inspector General of Police since the history of Nigeria, none in the army has gotten to the position of Chief of Army staff despite their over qualifications. This is so in many countries.
For a woman to get to the position where certain men are in society, they have to fight double, they have to put double efforts. Why? Because the basics have not been gotten right.
I wouldn’t say that a tremendous improvement has not been recorded in regards to women empowerment. However, these improvements wouldn’t have been there without feminism. If feminism was relevant for these improvements to be recorded and still being recorded, then it is still relevant until no single man will regard the female gender as inferior.
My name is George Onyedikachukwu, and I am a feminist.