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Who Says Gender Doesn’t Matter?

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A few days ago, I was chatting with a dear friend and referred her to my website to have a look-see. Few minutes later she was back on the chat, bristling with excitement, and then she used the dreaded word.

“I sense feminist undertones,” she said, regarding the website. “I am one (a feminist) at heart so I always know when I meet a soul sister.”

Feminist. Soul Sister. She could not have painted ‘the’ picture any better. What came to my head was the image of a woman with long dreadlocks wrapped with a white scarf, wearing a white gown, drinking Beer with other ‘soul sisters’. It was an image I was not comfortable with.

Last few weeks, I posted a link on my Facebook wall of Chimamanda’s speech ‘We should all be Feminists’. The speech, eloquent and insightful, had thrilled me with its factual content more than the title had, so when I shared it expecting responses on the content of the speech, I was quite surprised when a friend of mine, a guy, posted on my wall:

“What is the big deal about the speech? You guys don’t realise that these days, men don’t care who’s important, but who gets what’s to be done, done. You guys need to move on, there’s more to life than equality between genders”.

So I sat and thought: Does the fight for gender equality really matter?

Let me break these facts down and then you be the judge –

  • If a man and a woman with the same qualification, interview for a job, there is a 70% probability that the man would be hired over his female counterpart.
  • In the same scenario as above, there is a 90% possibility that the man would be paid higher than the woman in an organisation without established benefits for different levels of staff
  • More often than not, a woman would spend at least five years of her life raising children (if she has children) and she would be more than often pressured to settle for a job that would stunt her career growth so she can have more time for her children or she would have to give up working altogether.
  • More often than not, society agrees that a wife should not earn more than her husband if she does not want to be seen as ‘controlling’.
  • Many single women have had to give up better jobs or packages or hide their worldly possessions so they can seem more attractive to men
  • When a woman is young and pretty, she will most likely get a job as a Customer Service Representative or as a Marketer without rigorous interview, almost automatically.
  • If a woman is intelligent and outspoken, she may not be a ‘good’ wife.
  • If a man helps out with the house chores, more often than not, it will be said that the woman has used her feminine wiles to charm him.
  • Many young ladies use their sexuality to get want they want – most times, what they want is a man to take care of their needs. They are never taught to reach for more other than their immediate needs, which, they are told, can be satisfied by men.
  • The writhing bodies of endowed women are best served in music videos. You never see a naked man, only women. I wonder why that is.
  • If you advocate for women to be more financially independent at every stage of life, most people who have not met you would assume you are a single older woman, bitter about life and trying to drag everyone along to your level of bitterness.
  • If you’re a woman and you tell someone you want to be a CEO of a conglomerate someday, most likely you are joking or fanciful or just had one too many drinks.
  • If a couple splits, almost everyone would assume it’s the fault of the woman.

So, after going through all these, if you think they are true, ask yourself why gender equality is a big issue in many African societies today, and if it’s worth the fight.

I rest my case.

Photo Credit: bmawufbp.blogspot.com
_________________________________________________________________________________________
Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu is a writer and marketing communications consultant, assisting SMEs grow their businesses profitably. She is also the coordinator of FabulousCity, a brand to motivate women to be the best they can be. You can follow her on Twitter: @ifesinachio_o or send her a mail on [email protected] Visit her website: www.meetifesinachi.com

98 Comments

  1. Hmmm

    May 28, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Lmao @ If a man helps out with the house chores, more often than not, it will be said that the woman has used her feminine wiles to charm him.
    Looooooool my hubby to be is a clean freak and does all the housework inc cooking. When he was away i did not know the price of meat in the market i was so lost lol i guess it means i have charmed him in the eyes of the Nigerian society right jajajajajaja

  2. Www.MyHairBeautyNIGERIA.com

    May 28, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I absolutely loved that Chimamanda Video, I do think the topic of Gender needs to be talked about more.
    Good point

    • iCrossmyHeart

      May 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      I agree too. Like I have written on other BN posts. Some men do not have leadership skills and in no way should they govern the home. Some women do not have the skills to be submissive and in no way should she be. That is why the world is turning upside down. Formerly oppressed peoples (blacks, women) are fighting back. They will not have to fight back if they have always had their rights. Some men can not lead, PERIOD. Some women can not submit, PERIOD. By setting a standardized behavior for each group, it will always end up catastrophic.

      Gender and sexuality will always be an issue. Because our systems (political, economic, etc) are highly gendered and sexualized.

      I have been told that my outspoken nature and level of intelligence will deter men from asking me out. But if I have to dumb down to get a man, then the man is even MORE DUMB to accept me like that.

  3. tbn

    May 28, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I really concur with the writer, especially on the last point. A few days ago I had to tell off a male friend of mine who was disgusted by the fact that a mutual friend of ours had divorced her deadbeat husband who she had a 3 kids with and had remarried another man. In his view she ought to be remorseful; and hide in her shell rather than move on with her life talk less of even getting married to another man, he felt it was her fault that her previous marriage broke and that she should continue to mourn the loss of the marriage. Then I asked him if it was the man who divorced the woman and married another woman would he have the same view that he should be single and should be remorseful about it and wont he have said the woman was at fault as well? Cos in our society, a woman is always at fault for anything wrong that happens in her marriage whether she the one who left or its the man who leaves. Theres no winning for a woman. But we should keep fighting one day there would be a real change in perception.

  4. Peachy_mo

    May 28, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Food for thought…Gender Does Matter

    Even subconsciously, its an enraging war! Say what you may, there is no gender equality in Africa even when cultivated, their is usually a backslide to it. True there is more to life than inequality but which has been down played? How many men are comfortable and happy that their wives earn more than they do? How many men are willing to babysit for the weekend? Yes some can (but for how long?) while others can’t even think about it! some men will say they want an independent woman who can pay her bills and support him. This same man will come out to grumble that his wife disrespects him & he’s not even sure he is the man of the house…what exactly do they want?

    young ladies have missed out on job opportunities because of their gender and the striking question is “are you getting married soon?” now the undertone meaning to that is if you are getting married soon you will go on leave for the wedding & 3-4 months maternity leave afterwards. Some companies can accommodate these distractions but others can’t. Now for those who can’t is that gender equality?

    We can go on 7 on about this but the truth is “there aint no gender equality here man”

  5. Mz Socially Awkward...

    May 28, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Very true. Even when a single Naija gal car shops, she needs to keep her preferences really toned down – I got a taste of that particular gender inequality when I went car shopping a couple of years ago. The car which I walked into the lot to buy was not the car I left with and I will admit that I considered price, mileage per gallon, etc in my final decision but one principal factor which worked itself into that process was the “hmmmm, before people go begin say this one she dey drive, e dey like she no want make any ordinary bobo to toast am”. However, I see the Nigerian bachelors in my ‘hood driving BMWs etc and nobody bats an eyelid, instead na hailing wey all man go dey hail the bros.

    The same principle applies to buying property as a single woman. However, I will beg to differ on your point about men always standing a 70% chance of being hired over women… I think, it really depends on the job in question… but, yes, I do agree that gender inequality exists in certain roles within certain industries.

    • Tiki

      May 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      looool, I feel you! I’m fixing to buy myself a Nissan Qashqai, and even my mum has been begging me to buy a Yaris. Before nko? Am I working and killing myself for the love of it!

      Any man who does not want me to enjoy what I can afford does not want my happiness, kpom kwem!

  6. Bimpe

    May 28, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I am a modern woman but also a woman who has her head screwed on very well. Women, we have lost our way let us be honest. Our place (I know I will offend some people) is in the home really, that is my truth. To be in the background and direct and control things from within. Yes you can be in the boardroom and all but you have no business trying to fight a man in his own world, it only makes you lose your femininity and you become coarse and harsher. There is a reason why the male specie was created. The Lord that created men knew what he was doing. Yes some societies trample on women abilities to flourish (Asia, Africa, Middle East etc) and that is wrong, but the answer is not to fight your way to the boardroom and demand to be heard but for us to let the men know what our abilities are, and the way to do that is not battling with a testosterone male because you will get nowhere. He has history on his side and society too. Knowing your place is not derogatory because there is a lot of power in that place. The power to mold, the power to shape, the power to define an entire generation, the power to lead without being in the forefront. The man is designed for that. We women have power we just are not using it properly. There’s no need for you to be doing gra gra with any man. I am an IT Consultant by profession, educated to masters degree level, I work with a Fortune 500 company, so I’m not some lazy or ignorant woman who has a man take care of her. I’ve done everything I wanted to do personally and professionally and when I get married and have kids I intend to slow down and focus on my family. My company gives me the option of working part time and I will take it once my first child is born. I am going to be my husband’s rock, stand by him, be his motivator, push him to succeed, encourage his drive and at the same time give him a peaceful home he can’t wait to get back to because the source of his strength lies in there. His secret weapon is me and his home. I am very well educated and experienced so there is no business or venture hubby can be in that I will not be able to discuss or contribute to. Women we have redirected our energy at the wrong place, neglecting where our purpose is supposed to be. Take a look at very very successful men, and then look at most of their wives and mothers and that will tell you a lot. As far as I am concerned, Obama has the most powerful woman on earth. Without being the one who is at the fore front doing gra gra, she has been able to support her husband to the highest office on earth and he recognises that. He knows her abilities, her “power” to influence him and everyone recognises that. Obama said at a speech one time ” After people meet my wife, they say to me. No offence sir, we like and respect you and all but your wife is an incredible woman. That is a woman who knows her place and her role and has used her skills well as a woman. Attack me if you want, but until you look within and ask yourself and pray for your own pupose in life, you will continue to be fighting a battle that you will not win, because you know what, you are not designed for that battle. Meanwhile the one you should be fighting for you have neglected. In our clamour for equality especially in societies where they have not let us flourish, let us not also forget that when you now get that equality, you should not forget that at the end of the day, you are still a woman and you have God given roles to fulfill.

    • 1 word

      May 28, 2013 at 11:54 am

      Gbam! that’s it!

    • Bleed blue

      May 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      I’m in a love/hate relationship with your comment Bimpe…ok let me go back and read through, perhaps I will find clarity afterwards.

    • Kurinko

      May 28, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      I love your response!!! God bless you richly

    • jcsgrl

      May 28, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Bimpe flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but the spirit of God. You have spoken like a strong, beautiful and submissive woman. Wish you posted this on that post attacking Monalisa for saying she is designed to be under a man. I know my place as a woman and I’m happy to let a man lead so me I can rest. I fight at work, in school, everywhere else, pls let someone else fight for me at home. Chikena

    • madam Y

      May 28, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      “If a man and a woman with the same qualification, interview for a job, there is a 70% probability that the man would be hired over his female counterpart.”
      I don’t think that still applies in the civilised countries. I’ve seen quite a lot of companies, even the previously male-dominant ones e.g. engineering, where a lot of the top managers are women, and they hire a lot of women as well. Some of them take it a step too far and mainly look our for women employees because they want to win Athena Swan awards.

      “In the same scenario as above, there is a 90% possibility that the man would be paid higher than the woman in an organisation without established benefits for different levels of staff”
      Recall above explanation, but also in those organisations without established benefits you negotiate your benefits with management when getting hired. So whether male or female, if you cannot negotiate then you are left with poor benefits.

      “More often than not, a woman would spend at least five years of her life raising children (if she has children) and she would be more than often pressured to settle for a job that would stunt her career growth so she can have more time for her children or she would have to give up working altogether”
      Well, men cannot bear kids. So we women have to make a choice. That’s where proper career planning comes in. Know what you want, plan for it and include child bearing and raising in those plans!

      “More often than not, society agrees that a wife should not earn more than her husband if she does not want to be seen as ‘controlling’”
      Once again, I shall say not the case for civilised societies. Plus, what does it matter where more/less comes in from? As long as both husband and wife can provide for the family. Plus, how does society know how much you and you husband earn? Maybe if people stopped involving society in their marriage then they’d avoid such problems.

      “Many single women have had to give up better jobs or packages or hide their worldly possessions so they can seem more attractive to men”
      Why should smart, focused and confident women do such? As long as you know what you want and what you are worth, you should be fine. A lot of men are attracted to brains as well as beauty you know. As long as the woman is not an “I too sabi”, then she should be fine.

      “When a woman is young and pretty, she will most likely get a job as a Customer Service Representative or as a Marketer without rigorous interview, almost automatically.”
      How is this a bad thing, if that is the job the woman wants?

      “If a woman is intelligent and outspoken, she may not be a ‘good’ wife”
      Says who? Only an unintelligent man would want such a wife. There’s outspoken, and then there’s disrespectful, there’s a difference between the two.

      “If a man helps out with the house chores, more often than not, it will be said that the woman has used her feminine wiles to charm him.”
      Re: civilised society, and men helping out when necessary or when asked politely. I’m pretty certain the man will always enjoy the “feminine wiles used to charm him when necessary”. Plus, as long as said man has a mind and will of his own, no amount of charming will make him do it if he doesn’t want to.

      “Many young ladies use their sexuality to get want they want – most times, what they want is a man to take care of their needs. They are never taught to reach for more other than their immediate needs, which, they are told, can be satisfied by men.”
      Well, who teaches these ‘many ladies’ such things? We are all to some extent, products of our upbringing. Good upbringing = being taught to work hard for what we want, and not been told that a man is the solution to all our problems.

      “The writhing bodies of endowed women are best served in music videos. You never see a naked man, only women. I wonder why that is.”
      Well because we women have objectified ourselves. I’ve been told a lot of men judge how we women portray ourselves and treat us accordingly.

      “If you advocate for women to be more financially independent at every stage of life, most people who have not met you would assume you are a single older woman, bitter about life and trying to drag everyone along to your level of bitterness.”
      LOL. So I’m supposed to run to my husband when I need to buy toiletries or the likes?

      “If you’re a woman and you tell someone you want to be a CEO of a conglomerate someday, most likely you are joking or fanciful or just had one too many drinks.”
      You probably shouldn’t keep such people around. That said, civilised people’s reactions to that would depend on the person making such a statement. If you are focused and driven and utter such, then you would probably be taken seriously.

      “If a couple splits, almost everyone would assume it’s the fault of the woman.”
      Once again, doesn’t really apply for civilised societies.

      To be honest, I do not think there should be a “fight” for gender equality, it just implies that you think you have something to prove. We have nothing to prove to anybody…As long as you have self-respect, are intelligent, focused, hardworking and respectful, and you know your worth, you will be respected wherever, be it by your husband or at work! I think that term “feminism” is so misused and overrated! For the people who say it is about the right to make your own choices, then I think God created us all with free-will, use it to make your own choices! The “fight” should be for equality across all walks of life, and not “feminism”. The more noise is made about it, the more we women just set ourselves apart, and isn’t that what we are trying to avoid in the first place?

    • joke

      May 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Did you just write : fighting a man in his own world…that was all i had to read and thefeeling of disgust and irritation overwhelmed me. who made it a man’s world? Where did u read it from that its a man’s world?
      Woman, if your calling is to be in the home, at the background, God bless you, enjoy it and be fulfilled. Dont come on social media and spread your ignorance to people.
      There are those of us that want more out of life than cooking and cleaning homes, that God has put in us desires to affect our generation n the generations to come, to be role models to young ladues, that get our fulfillments from our careers and businesses without neglecting our responsibilities as mothers and wives. We are the women that gets our sanity from the joy of our careers.
      I work at a middle level management in an IT environment, my husband of seven yrs work in similar fields, last week he told me: baby, one of the things that turns me own is when you talk all the IT terms, your knowledge of IT and the fact that i can come home and my wife n i are bith speaking apples n apples, not one speaking apples and other speaking tomatoes….
      To ladies out there, u can be married, have good job ,be a good wife n mum….its called balanced living.

    • Ulo

      May 31, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Gbam.

    • slice

      May 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      Without agreeing or disagreeing with u, I ve to say using michelle as ur example ruined your point. Before obma became president, michelle worked with one of the top schools in the nation in one of the top offices and made more yes more money than obama. And their marriage survived that for many years. Now when obama became president, it was his turn and she quit her job for another public position, that of the first lady. In this job, she has her own office and runs her own programs and travels widely across the world sometimes without obama. In other words, the marriage has give and take. Plus frankly there hasn’t been any first lady in recent times who had another job. Its just not realistic.. the vp’s wife jill biden kept her job as a prof and continues to support her man. There’s nothing wrong with the choice to slow down professionally to focus on family and there’s nothing wrong with nt slowing down as long as u feel and know you can handle both

    • Mo

      May 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Actually Michelle is a very good example because same as this Bimpe person is well educated, works in a Fortune 500 company. Michelle was well educated, doing well, earning well and she decided to support Barack. Learn to comprehend well Biko Even Hilary Clinton too was well educated, very good home, earning her own money before her husband picked up a political career. She supported her man through his ambition and was his backbone. Even though I don’t particularly agree with her staying after the Monica Lewinsky saga but it was her personal decison to make. Where I don’t agree with feminism is the approach used. Which is where I get where @Bimpe is coming from. No need for gra gra. You don’t have to prove yourself for your power and strengths to show as a woman. I work in a male dominated role and I am very well respected and my views are listened to. My female colleague who is domineering, aggressive and just overly her own too much doesn’t get as much respect as i do. Recently I was promoted before her and she beefs me die. I wish i could just hug her and tell her to cool down for Jesus. You catch flies with honey and not vinegar.

    • slice

      May 28, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      Mo, actually michelle did not slow down after marriage and kids. That’s my point there. She changed careers to another high powered one after barack became president. I’m not saying don’t support ur man. In fact I’m begging that you do. Well supported men make for better coworkers and I dare say while supporting them, pls make love on the regular cause that makes them even happier workers. My point is if u choose to slow down ur career, let it be well…ur choice

    • Tox

      May 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      I think, in a way, you’ve missed the point of feminism and equality. Its not that we are fighting to be the same as men, but to have choices that are not predetermined by men. Yes, its fabulous to want to be a husbands rock, but how about the woman who chooses (like the apostle Paul) to be celibate and dedicate her life to something other than a man? Feminism gives her the right to do that, without being labelled as a man hater or as being abnormal.
      Your so called choice to work part time and support your future man can only be made because those hard-line feminists whom you criticize made it possible for you to be educated and to work, and THEN fought for the right for women with kids to work part time. There was a time we could not vote, work, buy property or do almost anything without a man’s permission.
      Think of feminism as the right to choose whatever path you like, without hinderance and then you may reconsider your point about women choosing not to fight for the things that make them equally human.

    • Mo

      May 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      So you think there is a place for those had line feminists in today’s world. Sit down there. Times have changed to a large extent and women have to change tactics. Yes feminism has made it possible for women like us to have a better life now, what are we women of today doing with those rights? How have we continued the cause of sisterhood if not to pull each other down, debase ourselves in front of the man and outright “gra gra”. I didn’t live in that era and I am grateful for all the effort that they put in to make my life easier today but I choose not to feel like I have to prove myself or compete with any man to get ahead. I know what my role is, I know where my strengths lie and the inner power that I carry within me and I intend to use it to benefit me and my family. Neither do I consider myself weak or a 2nd class citizen if I dont go out in the streets and burn my bra or something. I hope that the boys that I raise will see that and treat women fairly and I hope that the girls I raise too will understand their womanly role. Like someone said below we should campaign for gender equity instead.

    • Ready

      May 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      I agree with Tox…and I think we’re pretty much all saying the same thing. I don’t know how many women, hell men too, who want to go about life struggling and fighting with men. I just would like for my life to not have to be a certain way because I am a woman. If a man gets to choose what he wants, women should too. A woman who wants to be an engineer should be able to be one, and make the same money. That’s what I understand this gender equality thing to be about. If a woman gets divorced, she shouldn’t be stigmatized because we all know a man would not be stigmatized. It really is that simple. The fight for women’s rights in my view is the same as the fight for Black people’s rights. I was born the way I was, my opportunities and access to them should not be limited.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Take 5 and receive a portion of God’s blessing while you’re at it. Complete misapprehension of the point being made here. Who’s talking about burning bras, or not knowing both sexes need to support each other in any familial or societal setting?

      The point of this article is that gender inequality is an evident problem which doesn’t allow women to explore the same options that men do. And anyone who wants to come and preach to me that we’re not expected to explore these options needs to justify to me why exactly they decided to take advantage of the education which permits them to hop on this site and type their response. Because that makes no damn sense, if you’ve enjoyed an enriched education and want to come and argue that a woman’s place is at home behind her man.

      Why did your parents not leave you at home and educate all your brothers first before considering the question of whether you deserve an education? Even Bimpe opened her own speech by admitting that she “is an IT Consultant by profession, educated to masters degree level, I work with a Fortune 500 company, so I’m not some lazy or ignorant woman who has a man take care of her.”

      So Bimpe, as you appear very keen to disassociate yourself from ignorant women permit me to ask you this – what about that ignorant woman who never got an opportunity to elevate her knowledge because nobody thought it was important to educate her? Who knows only to submit to her husband’s beating and his cheating because her society/family frown heavily on any effort to leave him? Who doesn’t have the means to go out to make her own money because there’s never been any woman around her to show her there’s a better life than spreading her legs for a man’s money? How can you ignore these gender inequalities which are so evident in Nigeria??

      You enjoyed the luxury of being well educated, having a career and deciding to give it all up voluntarily but let me explain to you that you are in a very small minority of women who are lucky to have that option. Your point of view may apply to a group of women like you but they don’t apply to every woman’s situation and hence the need to keep feminism alive so that more women get a chance at what you and a number of commenters on this blog have – the right to choose. Or don’t you think women deserve this right?

    • Oreos

      May 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      I can like kiss you right now…( and for some of you get your mind out of the gutter) I hate when people automatically associate feminism to a woman been gra gra! Feminism at its core is allowing you make a choice of how you choose to live your life. I remember an episode of good wife when Diane was disappointed that a new law associate quit to have a family and Alicia reminder her that strong feminist like Diane are wining the battle because that young lady had the opportunity to choose how to leave her life instead of just staying at home.

      Additionally, it’s okay to be your husband’s rock, I think if you ask any woman, that what she want, in whatever shape that may take in their family and in their personal life. However, you also have to understand that while women are still mamed and disfigured by Acid because they cannot pay their bride price in India, or women been raped or beaten in their homes without any recourse in Nigeria, then you will understand why the “gra gra” feminist are needed because as they were able to create, implement and push pro-women policies in the 50’s, we still need them to push for such policies that continue to expand the rights of women and their ability to make choice for their own lives.

      So yes! I am a proud Feminist and as Ms Adiche said, I am a feminist who wears lipstick, skits, figure forming clothes, love me some men, wants to be married and have two children and want to be my husband’s rock while still having a life and actively, aggressively going after my dreams with the support and love of my husband who understand that a relationship is a give and take and understands that he needs to do house chores because we both have lives and jobs and that if we do things together, we will have more “alone” time to do whatever!

    • iCrossmyHeart

      May 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      I agree with you. Bimpe missed the point to some extent. While I agree with her. Her view is just as acceptable as mine and that is what womanism is. For women to DECIDE WHAT SUITS THEM. I will not be at the background if GOD HAS DESIGNED FOR ME TO BE AT THE FOREFRONT. What God has determined for one woman is not the same FOR ALL WOMEN. He made us UNIQUELY HIS.

      I work in many environments and HOW YOU CONDUCT YOURSELF DETERMINES THE RESPECT YOU GAIN. It is not based on GENDER OR HOW FEMININE OR LESS FEMININE YOU APPEAR. Hell, Margaret Thatcher is an IRON LADY for a reason, yet the woman was IMPECCABLY DRESSED. Though feminine in appearance, the woman was a man in a nicely designed clothing.

    • whocares

      May 28, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      ooh i love you! thats exactly it! honestly at this moment, i am in love with you. lool.

    • Anonymous

      May 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      GBAM!!! You have echoed my EXACT sentiments. I am exactly like you, very educated and career driven. But I have promised myself not to forget my place. Once I get married, my priorities will change – husband and kids first. I firmly believe in the natural order of things according to God’s plan, and a woman’s place in that picture is exactly as you have described. God bless you!

    • Tiki

      May 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      You have no idea what feminism and equality is about. It is about having the right to choose what you want your place to be, and not having someone else dictate to you where your place is. Congratulations on you for deciding that your purpose on this life is to be at home waiting for your husband, but what if I think my purpose in life is to be in the boardroom taking decisions which DIRECTLY, without passing through the conduit of a male being, impact the lives of people? Does that make me less of a woman.

      Please don’t mislead people in the name of sensibility. Feminism is not about fighting to occupy ‘a man’s place’ in the world. It is about being given a chance to create and find your own place, irrespective of your gender.

    • slice

      May 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Thanks Tiki. It’s all about choice. I’m saying michelle had a choice. You too have a choice. If your choice is to stay home more, that’s good. Ladies be careful. Not all men want this “support” you cram down their throats. As God will have it, I also work with somewhat highly placed people and I promise u there r so many times I hear from guys who feel cheated that the woman they married who was a go getter in the work place has now slowed down or refuses to work. Remember when u do that, u r cutting the income and he has to work more. He’s spending long days at work and you r supporting him in ur opinion and the resentment is building that u r not really bringing in money. Make sure it’s what he wants too. A man complained to us at work the other day. His girlfriend took loans for law school and now she’s not working, she’s “supporting” him and raising kids but gues who is paying her loans……I know not all woman slow down to use the man as a paycheck but be sure he feels good about bringing all that money u both were bringing in

    • zsa zsa

      May 29, 2013 at 6:16 am

      This issue again*long sigh*.
      @Tiki i agree with you and most of the comments so far. I have come to the conclusion that it is all a matter of choice but i just don’t understand why the cause to have a choice is seen as a FIGHT for the mans position. The thought that a woman has her “place” just doesn’t sit well with me or maybe its just my interpretation of it.
      I believe we as adults are products of our upbringing and experiences….my choices and ideas are influenced by my experiences. My mother was a widow at 22 before then she schooled part time and worked so my dad could stay in school full time and just when it was her turn to pursue her own dreams, he died. She had to pick herself up and figure life out on her own, she had to assume the role that was always meant for my dad. She remarried a decade later and quickly settled into the background possibly because she was tired and wanted someone to care for her for a change. My step dad made all decisions and my mum was usually never privy to any of them till disaster struck. In my eyes she slowly gave up who she was in order to fit the role that had been defined for her by society and i told myself that would never be me.
      My husband had a similar experience with his parents. He watched his father make terrible decisions and it was his mothers strength that held the family together and her determination that made his dreams of going to med school come true. For these reasons we have chosen to see each other as partners, we BOTH have roles to play in each others lives. I support him and he supports me, when we had our baby he changed his work schedule so that he could get home earlier to care for the baby so i can catch a break. When he was studying for exams i altered my schedule a bit t make things easier for him. I make compromises and so does he. Because of the role his mom played in his family he realizes the importance of being with someone who can stand next to him and possibly give him a good shake when he is about to mess up.
      Feminism is not or should not be a FIGHT for a mans balls. Michelle supported Barack’s decision to run for president just as Bill Clinton supported Hillary’s bid for presidency, abi we don forget that one? A couple of weeks ago BN featured an event honoring women in Nigerian history including Fumilayo Ransome Kuti, Queen Amina and Madam Tinubu. If these women felt it was not their “place” to do what they did would we be talking about them today?
      For the ladies that feel it is up to the man to lead, thats fine. I am not comfortable sitting in the background because i have faced to many harsh realities in my lifetime, i choose to be involved all the way and it is not a fight, as a matter of fact it takes the pressure of my hubby. My home is very peaceful cause WE made it so.
      Make everybody do wetin sweet am for bodi. Sorry about the epistle 🙂

      I dey go sleep.

    • krystals

      May 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      you are right its more about freedom to choose, if i decide to be a full time housewife it doesn’t make me less than a man i do so because its MY CHOICE and not because society feels its right thing for me to do, if i decide to become the CEO of a fortune 500 company i do so because its MY CHOICE, and not because of the need to be seen as equal or better than a man. i believe its time feminist focus more on freedom of choice rather than gender equality (though they are same thing) but i feel the gender equality talk is being misinterpreted. my 2 kobo…………

    • Oma

      May 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      *sigh* can I love you a million times for this comment. *hug*

    • whocares

      May 28, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      this makes no sense.. to me anyways.. in what way will equality hinder the “god given role assigned to a woman” what is the God given role? to have kids, support the family? etc is the same obligation not on the man? are the kids not half of his blood? so why should child care and general maintenance of the home fall on the woman? one who will most likely make gigantic changes in her life to accommodate her family, and possibly regret it later in life (those missed opportunities).. why cant it be an equal undertaking by both partners as a realisation of the commitment they have made to each other?

      secondly, “fighting” to be head in the board room. the way i see it, in a world where even you have admitted that some societies systematically put women down, do you not think that the first step towards reclaiming respect for womanhood is to meet men on equal terms in all facets of life? both in domestic situations and god forbid the board room too? I see no correlation with how being a successful negotiator or career woman will affect a woman’s femininity.. if by that you mean she becomes more ambitious, focused, sharper.. and other such attributes then do you mean to say these characters are prima facie manly and a female who exhibits it is not truly a female? I respect the need to be there for your better half etc etc to each his own.. but lets try somethign drastic and flip the coin.. what about YOUR dreams? your goals? does it not sound better if both partners work together to achieve success as opposed to one again mostly the woman giving up almost everything to support “her man”? should we be mindless drones who go to university, obtain our masters degree, get a job, work for a while after which we have fulfilled our duty to womanity, showed our mothers that we have truly gone where they have not gone and so sit back home, push our dreams and ambitions to the side and support our men? if thats it, again to each his own.. but if i remember correctly just recently aged women in ogun state marched in the nude to show their consternation at the hoodlum activities in their areas.. no i am not advocatiing a protect but my point is, we come from a lineage of strong women who have managed to make themselves heard even above their husbands and changed things and history as we know it.. so why someone will come up with an argument that essentially advocates that we “know our place in the society” i will never understand.. our place in the society is not static, it is not written, it is not fated.. we only have a “place” so long as we resign ourselves to that.. my point is.. you can have it all.

    • mogu

      May 29, 2013 at 7:25 am

      You talk about supporting your husband but you did not depend on a man for your success .God did not make you a fully functioning human being for you to be someones crutch.All of a sudden you get married and u want to be a mans cheerleader .Who propelled you to success ?Did you not personally work you butt off with no man in sight ?It is good for couples to be supportive of each other BUT do not make it your job to make your husband “great”.

  7. gistyinka blog

    May 28, 2013 at 11:51 am

    great point from the writer…

  8. Gender equality is like a dog and cat fighting to be equal! Unfortunately they can’t because they are DIFFERENT, if we understand our differences and our purpose everyone can win. I am very pro-woman and I do think they are smarter than men on many levels and these days have more opportunities than times past. Ladies play your cards right, Michelle Obama is the perfect example she is a strong woman and does not go around trying to prove anything because she knows is who she. #2 cents

  9. Scope

    May 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    @bimpe,
    You don win (23m). Fantastic reasoning!!!!!!! If only all women are like you. If only they know a woman is more powerful than a man.

  10. Libra

    May 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    @ Bimpe nice one …..i really agree with u…thou am not married but that is the truth ,bin submissive doesnt mean u cant be recon with in the public its all about applying wisdom u dont always have to fight.

  11. Precious

    May 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    OOOOOOoooookay! differen point of views different contributors. but one fact remains, it is what it is.

  12. Bamz

    May 28, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you so very much Bimpe. I absolutely agree with many of the areas you have talked on + I am not offended 1 bit by your comment. Just by the depth of ur words I can tell that u r a strong & intelligent (VERY) woman. You husband would be 1 favored man.It takes great wisdom & tact to speak the way you have. We women really dont have to make so much noise to be heard, we dont have to do “gr gra” to show our strength as women. The truth is (however hard it is to accept) we are not equal to men. We were not made to be but that does not make us inferior in any way. This fight shouldnt be about equality but about Equity. It is asking that we be treated fairly & be given a level playing ground. If there’s a position to be filled and a woman is better qualified by all means let her. I am of the opinion that women have amazing strenth in them. Afterall, they are the mothers that raise these men & the wives that support these men too. We do have leadership powers without necessarily being at the forefront Let us not misplace our priorities, many homes and indeed the world all over is suffreing the consequences of this misplaced priorities.

  13. Bella

    May 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Be confortable in your own skin, the world doesnt need a woman to prove who she is. Live your life.

  14. dp

    May 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    @bimpe so on point

  15. loveth O.

    May 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    God made every one of us for a Purpose be it male or female

  16. Esther

    May 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Well said Bimpe, totally support the majority of your points. The ideals are what you have just expressed, but the reality is far from that. I used to live in the Uk and the society is a lot more relaxed due to laws that protect women. In Nigeria we deal with greater societal Issues and you need God’s grace on a daily basis. We don’t trust or respect our fellow citizens anymore. Even if you meet a gentleman that values and respects women you still have to put up with the ignorant 99% that were not nurtured properly or shown how to by their Parent. A typical challenge I face daily is driving on the street of Lagos, you literally have to fight your way or people just take you for granted. So my dear we can talk about the ideals but daily pray for God’s grace to utilise the power and wisdom he deposed in Us.

  17. Kikelomo

    May 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Bimpe!!!!!!! well said. Gbam!!!!

  18. Lecker

    May 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    to win as a woman you have to ride on the wings of a man, Bimpe, you’ve said it all and Michelle happens to be more popular than her husband just doing normal women tinz than ruling the world like her hubby.

    • Mo'blezzing

      May 28, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      As cliche as my example is, it is still very valid, so please answer: Abeg on whose wings did Oprah ride?
      Coming home, how about Okonjo-Iweala or the the female supreme court judges in our very own Naija?
      Abeg make una shift make I sleep….

  19. Autoprincess

    May 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Personally, I am tired of all this talks of gender equality or the lack of it.
    Firstly, as someone has pointed out, men and women are created/moulded differently. Whether we acknowledge it or not, it is the truth. We are different biologically, mentally, physically, emotionally and in so many other ways. So why will someone want me to behave like a man when I can be some much more. There are so many things I can do as a woman that a man can only dream about, so why will I limit myself by benchmarking myself against a man. I’d rather compete with myself and ensure that I am the best “me” ever.
    Secondly, a woman that wants to compete with a man is only wasting time. I say this because. There are questions we should ask ourselves as women: what is your purpose/goal as a HUMAN BEING? What are you doing to achieve the goals? Are you doing your best the get the best results or are you doing little and expecting “God” to do the rest? As with all other issues in Nigeria, albeit Africa, when do we stop talking and start acting? We talk about how we should aim for the sky but when it comes to acting, we are nowhere to be found.
    Thirdly, truth is that any woman that wants to be in a successful marriage needs to understand gender roles not gender equality. I mean, to put it crudely, you cannot impregnate your husband with the intention of him giving birth to your kids. The thing is that if you are not ready to lose a little bit of yourself (this goes to the men too) to make your marriage work, then it is better you do not marry at all. Marriage is about two coming together to make one, not two coming together to make two!
    Finally, I think the writer underestimates the number of women that are doing well in their lives, careers and martially. I know that we are not there yet, but we live in a larger society where the economy is failing. The number of people, both men and women, looking to do well in the work place is directly proportional to the rate of unemployment we have in the society.
    Please let us do more than just talking

    • Mo

      May 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Correct. You put it very well just like @Bimpe but not everyone will agree and that is fine. Let everyone choose their own path. She has chosen hers. What is your own purpose? Your own goal as a human being.

  20. Lecker

    May 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    yeah and Maryam Babagida, thats one very gracious woman like Michelle

  21. pynk

    May 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    women, face front and “do you”. Make no apologies for the woman u are and the one u aspire to be. Comparisons dull us as people, and they only bring us down.

  22. Nomy

    May 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Abeg am tired of this Gender talk, apologies to the author but very recently I was preferred over my male colleague. I expect to give more than 5 years raising my kids, shey na me gree born them? Yes I will marry and be submissive to my husband and expect his love in return, if not I will remain single, as I no wan remain single, I will marry and I will be submissive. Yes I am educated, work at a very good place, well spoken with good writing skills, being female and a wife and mother will not take that away from me. Where then is the struggle? Where then is this battle? Enough already! Finally, about the naked female bodies writhing on T.V. it is what we have made ourselves not what we have been made! Proverbs 31 people, no be fight, na truth, take your place and stop the needless struggle already. Apologies to my fellow females wey no go gree o!

    • iCrossmyHeart

      May 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      It is your choice to be SUBMISSIVE. But I do not want to submit to anyone just as I do not want anyone to submit to me. I want an equal partnership where I function in the role I am best at, and he functions in the role that he is best at. It is called specialization of labor. But when your submission gets mistaken for enslavement, and many people in Nigeria do not know the difference, then there is the issue.

      I am not feminist. I am a WOMANIST. I believe every woman should decide what works for them. If staying at home suits you, FINE. If working your butts off suits, FINE. But just because MEN expect and want WOMEN to stay at home or work and take care of the home at the time, there is the issue. ANYONE WHO CAN EAT, SHOULD BE ABLE TO COOK. ANYONE WHO CAN SH*T, SHOULD BE ABLE TO CLEAN THE TOILET. AND IF YOU WANT CLEAN CLOTHES, WASH THEM. OR HIRE SOMEONE TO ENSURE YOUR LIFE IS EASY. But you should not expect it from your wife because you paid dowry.

    • Curious

      May 29, 2013 at 6:03 am

      Bless you heart! Keep preaching that good news!

  23. Abiola

    May 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    My problem with Bimpe’s comment is , as much as there are feminine roles that some people have to play, it doesn’t mean a woman should not dare to achieve whatever she wants to achieve.
    I say DARE, because, who should say if a woman can or cannot become a president if she wants. So, if your little daughter says, “Mommy, I want to be the president when I grow up”, you’ll tell her, no you can never be that, because it’s a man’s role, seriously?
    Let’s stop generalizing, the fact that you want to be a man’s backbone doesn’t mean all women should want that.
    At the end of the day, we are first and foremost HUMAN BEINGS, so my opinion is , man or woman, do you, make yourself happy, never let anyone tell you you can’t be what you want, just because of some ‘rules’.

    • Tiki

      May 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      Abiola God bless you, your comment has re-assured me that somewhere out there, women are thinking.

      Feminism is not about overriding men, else we would be guilty of the same inequality we rail against – we would just be switching roles. It is about leveling the playing field, so that women get to CHOOSE what they want to be, whether housewife or President, and do not suffer marginalization on the basis of gender.

  24. Glossy

    May 28, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    @ Bimpe great write up, @ Bamz, the fight is not about equality like u rightly pointed out its EQUITY. A guy told me sometimes that his problem with the gender equity fight is that, its the ladies that misunderstands it and gives it a different meaning, which is evident in some of the write ups here.
    We can never be equal with men, we are from two different planets, we think and reason differently and God has placed them above us. All we are saying is that, give us equal appurtunities when it comes to work after all we attend the same school, write the same Exams, if we are qualify for the job, give it to us, dont deprive us of our oppurtunities because of our biolgical roles. @ Bimpe if u were refused that job cos u were about to get married how will u feel? now that is the point. Its only a stupid woman that does not recognise her powers. I know my place as a woman, family is sure important, but dont look down on me because of my gender.

  25. Kome Olori Agulonu

    May 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I really hate it when people try to use the bible/ religion to rationalize injustice in the society. @Bimpe, I appreciate what you have said about the role of the woman being a nurturer in her family and it is admirable that you are prepared to put your family’s needs first on your list but what worries me is how no one talks about a man’s role. Let me remind us that the man was appointed as spiritual head of the family and is meant to serve his family like Christ served/led the church but that leadership call only applies to his family!! The woman and man are both equal stakeholders in the home and nobody is superior!
    Hence let us stop making excuses for what has gone wrong in our society as a result of culture. For as long as the world remains occupied by men and women, then it is our world-not a man’s world. By my thinking, if God wanted the men to rule, he would have given them three eyes or legs or two heads, but he did not. So please go back and read your bible very well because in my own bible, I did not see a place where it was written that I should be content with mediocrity or 2nd place or being in the background simply because I am a woman which is the vibe I am getting from your contribution.
    Michelle Obama is a strong woman-I agree but so is Hilary Clinton who has shown that she has the wits and confidence to stand on her own. So as much as I appreciate Michelle’s strength for supporting the most powerful man on earth, I aspire to be like Hillary; having the gumption to pursue my dreams instead of just benefiting from my husband’s laurels. I refuse to hide how smart I am or how rich I am or hunch my back because society does not think that it is womanly for me to be so tall.
    So the talk of equality is not an issue of gra gra, it is a call for justice and for equality in the society. It is a stand that hopefully will make the future better for us and our daughters-the same way that the fight against slavery has made my life better than my ancestors.
    A usual, Ify, you have done a great job with this piece. Kudos!!

  26. justmii

    May 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I think what the writer was talking about was not so much gender equality but respect for females, I think when people use the term “gender equality” people tend to turn all spiritual and talk about being submissive. I agree with Bimpe as a woman on learning to pick your battles and fighting your battles in a mature way; with the right man you would not have any problems but that only takes care of the home front. The Author was not speaking only in the terms of the home but our society at large, the african society does not respect the female gender, one may disagree but if we are being honest we will know it is the truth. I have read an article by a so called motivation speaker/ marriage counselor saying a woman, is supposed to work; if she doesn’t she will become a liability to her husband but in the same breathe this said speaker said we women need to get home from work,have our man’s food ready, kids cleaned, bathed and settled and herself all cleaned and made up ( as in make up and all) before her husband gets home so that he does not go out to cheat. I know Alicia Keys sang that she is a super woman but trust even Alicia cannot do all this.
    I am fortunate to be married to a good man and an African too and having a leader was paramount when i decided to get married note I said a leader not a boss man and that makes for a good home being submissive does not mean the responsibility of my home being a happy home falls solely on me, it means I have a good leader for a husband who takes me by the hand and tells me who are in this together and as a team we will make it work. but that does not mean I don’t encounter men disrespecting me outside my home. My husband once helped me with my purse (handbag) and he does that from time to time (no jazz used) and my father saw this and actually sat both of us down saying people will miscontrue what is going on. I was not doing gra gra or fighting for equality and I thank God for wisdom but really what is wrong with a man helping the woman he loves with her handbag if he wants to. I had to tell my father what people think is none of our business, what matters most is what is happening between us but that is our society, if I was helping him (my husband) with his suitcase we would probably not have gotten a speech. @ Bimpe, you work for a fortune 500 company but what if you could not pursue your career interest to the point you want to get in life before settling down to family life because of your gender? we know it exists don’t we? And you have decided you want to take time off to have a family i.e work part time, I don’t; I take pride in my job, and I see myself being a CEO and my husband infact does not support the idea of any part time wife or housewife or house mother policy, I have to fight to earn my place in the industry where I work more so than a man because that’s just reality. I know I am not a man and I am not trying to be and I don’t want to be one, but I am a woman, a scientist by profession so no dummy there, who is powerful in her own right but who is not ignorant to the fact that our society has not placed the right value on us has women. Look closely at the points the Author made , you would most likely agree with most of them, so did she make good points, I sure bet she did, but instead of looking at it from an equality or inequality point of view we should be looking at it from how do we teach men in our society to respect us as women, because like she said in our society gender does matter.

  27. foluke

    May 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    @Bimpe, two statements I love the most. Look at very very successful men and look at their wives AND mothers and that tells you a lot. Women let us raise men who will treat and respect women otherwise it is the men that are badly raised that will marry your daughters, your nieces, your goddaughters and so on. To those who don’t agree with that comment, may I refer you to this lin- look within, ask yourself and pray for your own purpose in life. Your own purpose and you will find the answer rather than wasting energy trying to battle with one man. Very beautiful comment @Bimpe. I will take it further by saying by our actions we will show the men what our abilities are and they will slowly learn to defer to us on some things. The wares where we are strong, they won’t need to Lord their “manness” over us because they will just realise our power. As for women going naked in sports and music videos, they are the ones that let the men turn them into sex objects. No one forced them, at the same time it doesn’t stop us women who have our head screwed on well from showing the men the right way. Womanhood is noble, womanhood is glorious, we are called to a higher goal and a higher role. Leave the men to shine where they have been designed to. Do you and do your part like someone said above

  28. Colin

    May 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Gender equality , Feminist – this are words emanting so strongly in our present generation. I adore and cherish it, people are realising it doesnt matter anymore on the organ You have to be considered as equal . I watched Adichie’s speech on why we should all be feminist just last night and I suddenly decided to apply it to Nigeria context- Lagos in particular . Women are gradually becoming aware they have a voice, a feature that has been achieved by women from the west over the past decades but yet not fully resolved .

    But are women in Nigeria generally ready to accept the terms and conditions of gender equality in marriages / career/ religion and all spheres of life ? Are Nigerian men equally ready to contribute a voice of reasoning and promote this worthy curse. This is a question I pratically want to see an answer to .Discussions with two soul sisters earlier this year about this same topic made me realise how biased and short sighted some women are . Speaking about relationships I was told solely a man should cater for all responsibilites at the homefront , a man’s failure to do so is seen as a weakness , a castereted term every human being dissociates from.

    In a professional circle women want to be at the forefront like their male counterparts. Any ambitous person should do the same. Is your ideology of equality in order ? Build your home first before deciding to perfect the society.Is that the norm on how gender equality should be praticsed ? why pick on some of the important issues and leave the rest like it doesnt matter. Who caters for the bill- leave it to the man , who takes care of the baby – leave that for the women. This is a misguided concept, relationships – marriage is a partnership , two people whole heartedly made this commitment to stick by each other through all conditions. So same as career , two contenders be it a man or women should be given same basis of measurement for advancement .

    Rootcause – No wonder why young men in professional cirlces and businesses in lagos and other states are so eager to achieve wealth at all cost, to flaunt and be in the big society leagues of “lagos big boys”. A term associated that with money – You can control a lot , You have power over women , You are almost equal to God . So sheepisly more women still succumb to gender inequality getting married or get used by this big leaguers and yet it seems the problem is all from the man. Materalism contributes ,at a certain stage materalism deprives a being the true essence of living but why is it so beautifully associated with women more than men .

    In a workplace ,some ambitious women are meticuluos in report writing , bold in strategic thinking and very effective in action implementation and same rate caring , respectful and loving wife at home . She is a living being just as a HE is a man , so they both set forward to achieve the same near perfection needed to advance , it is solely wrong to use gender as a prerequiste

    Be proud You are woman , don’t promote inequality in certain cirlces and champion it in other areas . have your set virtues and never stoop so low believing another individual is better than You because its a He . If He can do it so can You, but generally practice the term equality in all areas You see fit .

  29. Partyrider

    May 28, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Not another article on gender equality and feminism…una bore me

  30. AdaOzom

    May 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    LoL! Points 4,5, 7 & 8 are very much a Nigerian thing, though could happen else where but…

  31. Meeeee

    May 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    @ Bimpe, almost all your points are about how you will support your husband to the nth degree. What about how your husband will support you? I am the type of woman that loves to be in the forefront and control companies and I strongly believe that with the way things are going in my life, I will do so soonest by the grace of God. You made some good points but the general vibe am getting from your write up is that women should be in the shadows and support their husbands while their husbands achieve whatever goals and attain whatever heights they want to. Not all women are the “stay at home type”. Some of us like to go out there and run things. I am married to the best man in the world and he understands that am a go getter just like he is. I respect, love and adore my husband but am just not the “stay at home type”. I support my husband to be the best he can be and the way he gives me ultimate support in my chosen career and the future career am about to go into God willing, makes me appreciate and love him the more.

    Feminism is not about fighting men, rather, its about women having equal opportunities and avenues to shine. Some replies written on here makes it seem as if men are created better than women and it brings to mind the saying, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”.

  32. Peps

    May 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    This madam is just quoting statistics up and down! 70% this, 90% that! No sources to back anything up! What sort of unsubstantiated, anecdotal data is this one, biko? Bella you have to raise standards o!

    • whocares

      May 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      the madam as far as im concerned has valid points.. and if you need accreditation for the statistics, its a simple matter of going to “google.com”, pick an area that interests you and go from there… it is everywhere and not contained in one single source.

    • Peps

      May 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Of course she has valid points, but you cannot just quote statistics without giving context. A woman is 70% less likely to get a job in an interview? Fine. According to who or which organization? In which country was this research carried out?

      If it was just a convo between friends then it would be fine, but she is supposed to be a writer and a communications consultant and she does this? Mbanu….o make ro sense!

  33. Donna

    May 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Ever heard of the saying Board room meeting starts from the bed room.. women already rule the world. Stop arguing and let us celebrate because with all these hurdles we still solder on. We give birth whiles standing, and we are back to work the next day. We work 10-18hrs a day and still manage to cook, read to the kids and tuck them in bed and share a romantic time with hubby. Goosh ……

  34. sherri

    May 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you Tox and Colin!
    it’s females like Bimpe who continue to perpetuate female subjugation by churning out goats instead of men and third rate females.
    she intends to “slow down” does the man have that option? of course not, he now has the burden of providing for the family alone!
    please stop confusing family dynamics and economics with Human Rights!

    • slice

      May 28, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      thank you. i’m not even so much standing up for women now as I’m standing up for my poor male brothers, friends and coworkers. you wonderful daughters of Eve are overburdening with the task of bringing in the income and you’re all doing it in the name of Jesus. Not fair. He’s working and moaning. YOu have two good hands, a B Sc and you refuse to work (all in the name of God). Stop IT. I know not all ladies are like that and I know some men are fine with a full time homemaker or part time worker but please don’t force them to accept your “submission” that comes in the form of quitting your job.

  35. Aryah

    May 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I’m female.
    I remember telling my uncle (who is like a father to me) that I was going to build a flour mill one day. He told me “stop dreaming big. Go and get married”. I was so hurt.

    • Tosin

      May 29, 2013 at 5:30 am

      eeyaaa, don’t be. and have you built it? what’re you waiting for, if you haven’t?

  36. I hate people that say that me later

    May 28, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    But this Bimpe’s comment kinda of rests on the fact that the woman is or will get married. How does a widowed , divorced or even never-married woman flourish? how does she navigate a “man’s ” world? Since there is no ‘background’ work for her to do like Michelle Obama, does that relegate her to a life of obscurity just because she doesn’t have a man to shine through or must she then hunt for a man on whose wings she can soar before she can have a fulfilling life?? I’m sorry but her logic only works very well when a woman is married. I myself was raised by a single mother, she raised 5 biological children (later adopted one), with the oldest being 12 at the death of my pops. All at the same time making it to the pinnacle of her career. I think women don’t know the power/stength they belly until push comes to shove. My mum refused to remarry because she didn’t want a potentially abusive step-dad, not that she wasn’t pretty enough to find a new husband even with five kids (plenty proposals even till date @ mid-fifties,lol). She stepped up to the plate, raised Godly children and at the same time had to work extra-hard, not because she wanted to be a star but because she had to feed us and give us a better life. A magazine once interviewed my mum, they asked if she always wanted to be as successful as she turned out to be, her response was(my paraphrase): ” I was a regular young woman, I graduated university and got married (to a medical doctor) during my service year, got a 9-4 job at the ministry and thought I was made for life, all I needed to do was be a supportive wife, raise my family and all was good. After my husband died, I had to step up, not to compete with men, but because I had a family to cater for. And then came the realization I could have had all these dreams/goals even when/if my husband was alive. He was always encouraging me to do more, he always told me he would love to brag to his friends about his wife being a boss-lady, but I was never motivated. In fact the journey would have been so much easier because he would have been here to give me emotional and intellectual support with a lot of my decisions and also be there to help raise the kids”
    My mum has inspired a lot of women and men to overcome their disadvantages, myself included.
    I am a black (African) female petroleum engineer in (white) America, a lot of disadvantages associated with the prefixes in this “title”, and even though I know I have to prove myself even more than 98% of my colleagues, I have never let it change my attitude. Before every interview and meeting, I tell myself all they see is a black African female….the Pet.Eng part is what they are about to witness, and without gragra or nothing I show my professionalism or crass(with field hands,lol), simple. I know i’d like to get married soon, but making it to the top of my career is not hinged on that. Yes, I may slow down to have kids, yes I’d be a supportive wife, I even have a stay-at-home mum business plan that I’m ready to launch if need be. However, I know that God has placed so much greatness in me, and with a good head on my shoulders, I can be all I’m created to be, a wife, mother and blessing to my generation (I know the last one sounds cliche, but y’all don’t know,lols) irrespective of what the society dictates to my gender.

    • Meeeee

      May 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      So sorry about your husband’s death. More grease to your elbow and may God take you to greater heights.

    • somebody

      May 28, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      She said “dad”, not “husband”.

    • Sel

      May 29, 2013 at 1:00 am

      Lol she meant her mums husband( her father) is dead not her husband

    • slice

      May 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      and may the good lord continue to bless your hustle 🙂

    • Meeeee

      May 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Oh pardon my mistake…lol. Read that part wrong. God forbid that your husband would die. All the same, keep keeping on.

  37. ...

    May 28, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    this women rights thing is overrated jor! the one thing that stunts women’s growth is the need to seek and get approval from people. dont tell them, show them.

  38. Aryah

    May 28, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Em Bimpe, let me address some things you have said:
    A: ” but you have no business trying to fight a man in his own world”: Who is fighting the man? We went to school, we graduated, we have knowledge. We all learnt the same thing in that classroom. So are we to go home with our knowledge and become baby factories? Nobody here is saying ‘let us riot’. All we are saying is ‘recognise’.
    B:”There is a reason why the male specie was created. The Lord that created men knew what he was doing. ” “The power to mold, the power to shape, the power to define an entire generation, the power to lead without being in the forefront. The man is designed for that. “: This same Lord is the one who used Deborah to deliver his people. Were there not men there that he could have used? This same Lord used Esther to deliver his people. Were there not men he could have used? Sweetie let’s be reasonable here. When you don’t step up to the plate to do your assignment, the Lord uses somebody else. All he wants to know is whether you are willing.

  39. LADE

    May 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    After reading all these comments I’m tired yet happy. what I’ve pulled out from all I’ve read is “do whatever makes you happy and surround yourself with people that her in alignment with you and would help you achieve happiness”. For me, individualism is the way.

  40. Amoeba

    May 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    This gender equality thing again???

  41. Davon

    May 29, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Women sexualize men just as much, have you seen female artists music videos – tiwa savage, nicki minaj? There are ‘naked’ men as well, how about you feature one with nude men – feel better?

  42. Tosin

    May 29, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Look, if after travelling the world, reading so many books, watching so much television, reading so much Bella, you still let society ruin your life in the name of gender, isn’t that partly your fault?
    Why are women so bent on sacrificing themselves?

  43. Tosin

    May 29, 2013 at 5:28 am

    I also blame religion. The kinds of rubbish they try to preach to me, and tell me that God said…my dear, maybe a male God said that one o. They should tell me what the female God said. 419.

  44. Adetokunbo

    May 29, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I feel the fight for/or against gender equality is a function majorly of society and culture. Here in Africa, we tend to fight against it whereas in the Western world they don’t. No wonder we have wwomen rising to power out there than here in Africa.

  45. Adaeze

    May 29, 2013 at 10:52 am

    We both suffer inequities.

    I mean, women face inequalities but it is wrong to assume that all the power has gone to the men.

    Take all the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan or even Boko Haram Suppression for example. How many women do you think are in the armies fighting? All the police officers slained in Naija recently were male too.

    So, men are expected to give up their lives in times of trouble (trouble is everywhere, mind u) protecting women and children. Why? Are their lives less precious than ours? Funny thing, the Woolwich murderer apologised for killing in broad daylight in front of ‘women and children’. Does that make us feel special? I don’t.

    In terms of childbirth, smart women determine when it happens, how many times, and can even make a man pay for child support although he didn’t want her to keep the pregnancy in the first place.

    Men aren’t that powerful. We both suffer inequities. They are just different inequities.

    Also, I believe that hard-lined feminists balance out hard-core chauvinists. If you, as a woman, has ever been treated as a mere sex object by a man of means, you would appreciate more these haters of men who return fire for fire. Like I did at an AWID conference in Cape Town, SA.

    And to the extent that there are more men in NASS determining whether a woman should get 3 months maternity leave not 6months or more, I am a feminist.

    To the extent that more men discuss whether I vote, or can abort or not (since they may be working with fear of not having children when they want because their bodies cannot carry children), I am a feminist.

    This seems to be what Ms. Chimamanda Adichie is talking about.

    I doubt that women can mould children to be the kind of men they want because we have had centuries for practice, yet what? More power is exerted by societal pressure. Society just has to agree more for a change in the roles. And it is NO JOKE to get society to agree . No wonder those bra-burning females had to go to that extreme to get a listen. I’m glad we don’t have to do that.

    That’s why I’m grateful that modern husbands are trying this Partnership thing. Although my husband and I find instances where we struggle for lack of precedence and in such times we tend to go with traditional roles of men and women. Its the easier thing to do though it doesn’t work for long. We end up re-negotiating. It’s the one way I know he loves me, btw.

    So, aluta continua… There are times when I feel like to know if we are succeeding with gender equality, there has to be more marriages like Jay-Z and Beyonce’s.

    Let’s tweet! @DestinationAda

  46. Eniola

    May 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Wao, I love all the responses. Infact, I am proud to be a woman. All the comments opened my eyes to the fact that we have the right to choose whatever we want from life regardless of what society think we deserve. The onus is therefore on us to ensure our daughters are given the support they need to choose their course in life just as we do with our sons. As mothers let’s start training our boys cos our little sons today will be the men tomorrow

  47. alwayshappy

    May 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Na identity crisis dey worry una no be gender inequality or marginalization or womanism or feminism. He/She whose identity is found in their relationship with God does not need some label nor will they die on the hill of expectations on man/woman or society. The truth is at the end of the day, so far person reach heaven…. miliki. Too many folks are too selfish to see beyond their own nose or their own next goal or their own next need.

  48. ebony

    May 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    hmmn!!!! if God wanted women to take such active and leadership role in life, he wld ve created Eve first before creating Adam. but lo! he created every thing(work, food etc) in the garden of Eden before he created Eve. a lot of us dont realise that at the end of the day women are at the helm of affairs.. a lot of powerful men often consult their wives(the wise and submissive ones) before taking any action be it country or a conglomerate.. look at Esther in the bible, Ruth was a judge but was firmly under her husband’s leadership… i wonder why women are so hell bent on taking such hard roles thereby ruining their feminine grace in return.. it wld please you to know that tho i put on the generator when my hubby travels, i never ever put it on when i know he is around… he fills up the cars at the petrol station, he changes electric bulb when it burns out.. i can do all that but when he is around i dont.. i am too feminine for that.. yet i am the director, manager, secretary, administrator etc of our home.. i never ever question his authority in front of the children or in public. all these does not make me less of a woman… in fact it has earned me a lot of respect in his eyes… what women dont know is the subtle power that lies in the hands of a submissive woman…

    • ebony

      May 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      * deborah* not ruth

    • Diseye

      May 31, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Sorry what you just described isn’t submission but a slave who’s happy with her chains.

  49. ebony

    May 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    slave!!!lolzzz… oomy!!! do u really understand what was written?

  50. Anonymous

    June 3, 2013 at 10:09 am

    You av said it all. If a lady feels her life purpose is to be subdued by a man, good for her….if another lady feels her purpose is odawise, good for her too…to each her own. we ladies should should stop killing our life purpose and ambitions all for the sake of being submissve..Each human (be it man or woman) has a purpose to fulfill as designed by God.

  51. Grace Ojekwe

    June 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Okay this is my take, I totally subscribe to this whole gender equality debate. However I think we should try to always be balanced in the portrayal of gender inequality especially as we think it is in Africa. The facts which the writer raised to me are as it were in the past and not how it is now unless I and the writer belong to two different worlds. I remember having a discussion with a company’s CEO (who happens to be a woman with 4 kids)over gender and recruitment and this was what she said; 1. Most times women do better than the men in interviews both by oral presentation and physical appearance because women always take the time to take care of how they look and women speak better. 2. Women always outshine the men even in written tests. So why do companies pick men over women still? Her reasons: Most women over time begin to depreciate in terms of added value to the company. They still get the job done but are not interested to achieve more than the specific tasks cut out for them and she believes this is due to a shift in passion. Women get married and then start having children and then think their life is just centered around their husbands and children. Don’t get me wrong our family should be ‘our world’ but I believe women should also strive for excellence, to reach the top of that ladder in their career without listening to people telling you ‘you are better with a less tasking job’ because you have a family to take care of. No man is stopping any man from achieving what she wants to achieve (in this modern times).
    Most men these days prefer hard working women who have either achieved or seem like they have prospects because no one wants to be saddled with the effects of high blood pressure at an early age because women are still fond of keeping their monies to themselves without helping their partners. So I believe that the ideology of women earning more and men running away from women who earn more is becoming extinct.

  52. that9jageh

    June 10, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    lol… Gender equality again? well as for me, I have chosen to shut my eyes and ears to society, and any other external force, and do whatever makes me happy. if e pain any body, go hug transformer, my biggest dream at the moment is to be a naval architect, there you have it. If you’re pained, try being raised by a single mum, then you’ll appreciate this feminism stuff more. #TeamWomenRights all the way.
    Oh, and for those of you on here who down play this feminism stuff, think of the women in India who keep being raped on a steady, think of the female fetuses who are aborted, just because they are female, think of the women who cannot talk for themselves and are constantly raped and abused by their husbands, think of the girls who are sold into marriage at age 12, think of the girls who are killed because of an act of violence comitted against them. thank God you were born into a society that sort of protects you as a woman. My mum is the only educated one of her 5 sisters, because she fought. I thank God she did, because I can’t imagine what would have become of myself and my two sisters, seeing as she literally raised us alone. Don’t decieve yourselves, even professions are stereotyped. Women engineers, and women in other ‘testosterone- driven’ jobs are like aliens. For those of you using religion as basis for your argument, remember that the man being the head was not mentioned under any other context than the home. Feminism does not seek to undermine the man’s role as the leader, but seeks to create a more healthy, women-friendly world. Simply, letting women have the rights to dream big, dream wide and feel fulfilled. If I choose to be a house wife, my efforts should still be appreciated, not undermined at all. I’ve come to the understanding that no one is inferior, a working class mum and a stay-at-home mum. Whatever rocks your boat. On killing your dreams to raise a family sha, except you are sure and convinced you can bear the long term effects and not rub it in anybody’s face like you’re paying the ultimate price, I beg you DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER ATTEMPTING IT!!! Apparently science says a woman’s role is to nurture, however you want to go about it is your own business.
    And to my fellow sistehs out there who want to dream big and wide, please do. Believe that only you can place a limitation on yourself. No man can, no society, no church, no family, after all, the bible says ‘ I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me’ not ‘A man can do all things through Christ who strengthens him’. If he is right for you, he’ll love you and love what you stand for. I dream of a powerful man, who will drive me to stretch the limits of my ability, not one that would turn me to a yes-man, attending to his plans. Its a two-way thing, we both have dreams, and we both have each other to support our dreams. and when the children come, we’ll find a way to strike a balance, I’m sure. Oh and on men being better, now I’m a student of petroleum engineering, I can tell you that on the top nine in my class, there are only two guys, the best is a girl, chew on that for a while eh?

  53. The Nigerian

    July 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    The comments on this blog post are even more thought provoking than the main post.

  54. Morenike

    July 8, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I have always found the whole gender equality debate alil tiresome, cos i was of the opinion that excellence had no gender, if you deserve it, you get it simple. But i was humbled last year, when i interviewed for a position at an oil services company but was told that even though i was qualified(having passed written and oral test and first stage interview) coupled with the fact that they were impressed by my personality, that they had reservations taking me because i was newly married (at the time) and would most likely be pregnant soon enough. They were quite patronizing saying it was for my own good bla bla that the pressure of work might weigh me down MORE BLA BLA BLA. Honestly dunno which was more infuriating, the let down or the patronizing tone.

  55. OY

    October 15, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I totally agree with you, I’m a feminist also and I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not against men but I don’t think women have to be sidelined just to look good in the eyes of the society. But the truth is, our sermons should be more to the women, women are the worst enemies of women. If a woman decides to be the CEO of a company, it is her fellow women that will raise heads first. Have you experienced how a mother-in-law treats her daughter-in-law?in fact, it’s a sorry case. and so on…..

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