I took out time at the close of 2021 to ask random young men and women what their take is on the topic: Feminism. I couldn’t have done it without Grace Adesanya. She had (still has) a knack for finding the right mixture of people for an audience. Let’s read how they responded.
Feminism is just women trying to show that they deserve equal rights and not that they want to better than men. They just want what all humans want; equal rights and opportunities.
Feminism cannot be treated in isolation. Talking about feminism is talking about gender equality, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), about giving females the quality of life that they deserve.
Ada: Feminism is a quest embarked on by the members of the female gender to attain the same level of equality as the male gender. But I do not think that it is a necessary movement because equality is not realistic. It is very relative. There are certain roles that men and women play in the society. For example colour biases and home roles biases.
Do you think the concept of feminism at its core is doable?
Ada: People mistake equity for equality. The feminist movement, I believe, was born of out the confusion between what equality is and what equity is.
Feminism is a movement that fights for female rights.
What are the issues?
Basically rape and ill-treatment in marriage, sexualization of women etc. And I should mention that it’s not the right thing for men to bring up their issues when the discussion on feminism comes up.
Why are men not taking their issues very seriously at other times?
Men don’t want to. Men who are raped don’t usually see it as rape for example.
Why don’t men speak out on their issues?
I don’t know. Men just need to learn that they are a part of society and they can and should look out for themselves like women do.
I don’t follow the modern idea of feminism. For me, feminism is just women being open to equal rights and opportunities. Feminism is just women not being segregated in their workplace and stuff like that. Nobody should reduce my salary because I’m a woman.
I only listen to CAN (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie). She says that feminism is equal rights for all sexes. Nowadays people have very skewed ideas of feminism. Now people don’t know what feminism means anymore.
Do you think there’s anything like traditional feminism and modern day feminism?
Traditional feminism is just women wanting equality. Modern feminism is now about modern issues. Things that didn’t matter so much before, like who will cook at home and stuff like that…
It’s bullsh*t. I believe girls are created to be our help-mates and not equals. They are special, but in that way (in being our help-mates).
So, the idea of women having equal rights and opportunities and social standing is bullsh*t?
Faith: I don’t entirely think it’s good. But if we’re to take that (idea) seriously then there shouldn’t be special treatment for ladies in troubled times, like in wars or other emergencies where ladies are helped first.
It’s true that in many emergency cases, women are prioritised, and the reason for this is the problem we’re tackling, which is “inequality”. Perhaps, if they had the same rights and opportunities in the first place, they’d have the necessary resources to save themselves.
Faith: See if we’re to take this topic seriously, then women shouldn’t be treated specially in difficult times and till everyone accepts that fact, I believe feminism is bullsh*t.
(Later made an attempt at creating a balance)
And to add, I think men should treat women the way they want their sisters to be treated. The reason for this feminist sh*t (came about in) the first place because of how brutally men treat women, at home, organisations and in social places. I think if women are treated well it’ll help with this.
What’s there to make of all these? It’s simple. It’s a new year, but it’s the same old stigma on many women, same old look of disdain, same old ridicule and same old dissatisfaction…until she’s married, or until she has a child, or until she’s humble.
Many people don’t believe that there is still so much work to do to change the status quo about a woman’s worth—about how little her presence matters when she’s in the company of men, about how she isn’t fulfilled until a man goes down on one knee with a ring in hand, about how she’s incapable of leading and managing and directing people, just because her chromosomes are XX.
But that’s why we’re here. Because we won’t stop talking. Herstory is here to remind you that you have a duty to humanity, to be humane, to love your neighbour as yourself, to give everyone the accord they deserve simply because they are human, as you are. Happy New Year!