It’s not a complete week in Nigerian twitter unless feminism comes up in some form or fashion, and more times than not, it turns into a huge discussion about what women should or should not do or rather are supposed to do.
Inevitably, somehow the discussion always ends up in women’s roles in marriage, and 70% of the time it ends up in the cooking discussion. But isn’t feminism much bigger than that? Are we reducing a huge movement to a few domestic chores being done or not done?
Being a man, I can’t say that I know a lot about being a woman but from the definition of it, feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”
Women equality on political, social, and economic grounds can only be better for everyone in the long run. Right? It means your wife, mother, daughter will make the same amount as you do for similar qualifications. It means she wont be discriminated against because she’s a woman. It means she can be the president or hold any political office without someone shouting go and cook for your husband? It means she can do just as much as any man can do in society. Pardon me if I miss the point but how exactly can that be a bad thing? Doesn’t that benefit everyone in the long run?
So why is that anytime this discussion comes up, a lot of Nigerian men (yes it’s the truth) begin to pretty much “feel some type of way about it”? Is there something we’re scared about? Is cooking the main issue? Are we going to say because we’re scared our wives wont cook for us, we end bashing something that will be improve their overall lives? Cooking can’t be that damn deep? Anyone can cook really. Husband or wife. Or are we satisfied in a society where women are first thought of in the domestic sense before the professional sense? To be forever relegated to serving her husband and children at all times?
You only need to look at the reactions of many of on news that Chimamanda (self proclaimed feminist) was pregnant to see how many Nigerians associate feminism with something negative.
I would think that most of us would support any movement that will make our women equal in all aspects of life. It might go against the grain in what we are used to as a society in Nigeria, but really it will only benefit all of us in the long run. As a man raised in Nigeria, there are some things that are engrained in me via the society I was raised in that I’ll find hard to let go off, but that shouldn’t stop me from learning and trying to reverse some of that.
I plan to be a father someday, and if God blesses me with a daughter, I would hope that I can tell her definitely that there are no restrictions to what you can do or be in life if you put your mind to it. That learning to cook is for her personal benefit not for her future husband. I’m not perfect. I’m a different man today than I was 5 years ago, and I only hope to learn more, and grow, and I would think collectively as Nigerian men we would want to also.
Because really, Feminism is not only for women. It’s for everyone.
Maybe I’m completely missing the plot here, but I ask fellow Naija guys, What exactly is it about feminism that scares most of us? Makes us definsive? Makes us resist? Why are we scared?