By Wisdom Olobayo
“Arrests were made this morning on Allen Ave—my street. A particular flat was busted and a couple men were dragged out rather roughly—one of them bleeding through his nose and mouth—and handcuffed. They were crammed into a sedan and wheeled to the police station.
I heard some ladies mocking and jeering. Last week, there was a march on this same street. We moved out with our banners and placards screaming, “SAY NO TO MARGINALISATION!”, “WOMEN ARE NOT LESS HUMAN!”, “MY BODY, MY CHOICE!”, and we were harassed. Many men laughed at us, and many others still were angry that we were angry, fed-up and protesting.
And our incessant cries and protests and advocacy haven’t changed the half of it, because they still don’t get it. Femicide, rape, culture-based discrimination, role disparities in the workplace and family and yet…they still don’t see any problem.
It’s very hard to not understand why those women acted the way they did.”
• FEMINISM IS NOT gloating over the misfortunes of men because now they can finally understand what it feels like to be mistreated or denied the full rights of their being.
It might sound ridiculous, but I’ve come to know about a certain perspective on feminism from a friend. I felt (still feel) that feminism is a very inclusive fight. Meaning that the umbrella of feminism shelters the male folk too. I believe that negligence towards women, based on several religious and socio-cultural factors, led us to the point where we all truly believed that men are born the ‘greater’ sex. So I asked, “supposing you had twins—a boy and a girl, how would you raise them?” And they replied by saying that because of the systemic discrimination that women have suffered for centuries, it’s only right if they do all they can to pave the way for their girl child. They’ll expose her to better opportunities and give her relatively increased support and patronage.
I wondered if their response isn’t the same thing we’re fighting against currently. Because I’m sure that…
• FEMINISM IS NOT a usurping power-grabbing scheme: an attempt to take over and rule over mankind (pun intended); an attempt at making all things feminine; an attempt at calling a man a woman; an attempt at tilting the “dominance” goalpost in order to win by a landslide.
• FEMINISM IS NOT raising your children in prejudice: telling that girl that her brother cannot do dishes because he’s going to be a man. Or refusing to teach that young boy courtesy, patience, love and respect.
• FEMINISM IS absolutely to NOT be inhumane.