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William Ifeanyi Moore: Feminism and the Nigerian Woman



dreamstime_l_53436809In its infancy as an ideology, feminism was championed mostly by the most educated women in society; most notably in my opinion, Simone de Beauvoir, author of my favorite feminist literature, The Other Sex. In this book she tried to explain what I believe to be the core value of the feminist ideology (something often forgotten and sometimes unknown to a lot of modern day feminists); to recognize men and women first as beings, not just equal, but the same, on an existential level. Following the work of her lifetime partner, John-Paul Sartre, who wrote on existential philosophy in his book Being and Nothingness where he stated that existence precedes essence – meaning that we first come into existence as beings, before we are defined. Simone de Beauvoir stated that one is not born a woman, but one becomes a woman. Likewise, one is not born a man, but one becomes a man. Woman and man, in this case representing the gender construct societies lays out for us. i.e boys don’t cry and girls like pink.

Studies into the concept of gender have since gone on to prove the construct to be completely fluid. Some women like beer and football and some men like Telemundo and Cosmopolitan cocktails. However, social forces have always forced an identity on both genders; the female often receiving the short end of the stick in most societies making the male some kind of gold standard to be measured against. This is why a woman being assertive will be said to be acting like a man or other such nonsense. While it would be ideal to say that we don’t care what anyone or society thinks and we are just going to ‘do us’, the reality is that humans are social creatures; for the most part, what others think of us and how they treat us will affect our behaviour and how we feel.

Over the years, a lot of notions that restrict the liberty of women have been perpetuated by societies, and even though men are also restricted in a lot of ways, compared to women, we don’t have it so bad. It is the recognition that men and women both exist firstly as free beings with equal right to freedom of choice and liberty of the soul without any discrimination politically, socially, culturally, economically and any other ‘ally’ you might want to insert that defines a feminist.

Currently, most Nigerians aren’t even educated well enough to understand this concept and you only have to look at the overall education rate and standard in this country to understand this. Most of us have been raised in this society constantly exposed to sexism with our parents even playing a big role – by making sons feel entitled and pushing daughters towards submission. The result is a generation where men are largely sexist and women largely act in ways that perpetuate such behavior.

From the backlash in my recent posts, I have become aware of what I believe to be the greatest problem with the Nigerian feminist movement. A lot of female Nigerian feminists are of the notion that they represent the average Nigerian woman. This is reminiscent of an interview by the aforementioned Simone de Beauvoir where she confessed to have been unaware of any sexism for a long time because her partner always treated her like an equal and her work was never put down among French intellectuals of their time because she was a woman. It is normal for us to perceive our experience to represent the majority or at least the norm.

The notion that everyone sees the world like we do is probably one of the greater flaws of human psychology; but without it, we would be incapable of empathy. So, it is also necessary. As it stands today, our society is largely sexist and it is nobody’s fault. This is probably the second problem I highlighted from my post that addressed how women perpetuate sexism by identifying with submission. I would like to draw the attention of the Nigerian feminist crowd to the fact that for every one of you championing equality for the sexes, there are twenty championing for gender roles that keep women shackled in a relatively unfavorable gender construct. So when men like myself make our sweeping generalizations, we are not referring to your class, rather we are speaking of the average victim of the Nigerian sexist system. If majority of women in Nigeria did not act in ways that perpetuated sexism (demand dominance in exchange for submission), we would not have a sexist problem because it would mean we have no victims.

So when I say a lot of women contribute to the perpetuation of sexism by expecting male dominance, it is not to say that women are the cause of sexism. Sexism is not caused by anyone, neither is it anyone’s fault. It is simply symptomatic of the society we have developed; both men and women, on a daily basis, passively perpetuate it. While I will admit to be guilty of hammering down on women in my recent writing, I will also say it is not for mischievous reasons.

Every social movement for emancipation starts from the organization of the oppressed within themselves before the fight is brought to the oppressor. Imagine if MLK and Malcom X couldn’t create a united front with blacks, what chance would they have stood in shifting the culture they rebelled against?

For the most part, Nigerian men are enjoying a good deal at the moment. As long as there are women out there willing to play into submission (which the majority are as our parents, society and religion have convinced them to), men will have no need for change besides extreme altruism (you wish). This makes the first course of action for women to be getting organized and united in their front; otherwise, feminism will remain nothing but an online blame game with a few exposed men sympathizing, while the society carries on with little or no change at all.

In my opinion, the conflict between women in defining the ethos of the feminist movement remains the biggest roadblock to any effective change but you are free to disagree. In more developed societies where the fight for equality still rages, the level of education and exposure has made it easy for majority of the women to get onboard so preaching can be directed at the men. In Nigeria, we aren’t even remotely close to that part of the struggle yet. Don’t be fooled by your Lagos metropolitan life, go to Onitsha and preach feminism and see how far that gets you.

Personally, I believe for my generation, the boat of equality has sailed for women. The average 25-year-old has already formed his or her world view and not a thousand posts on the Internet is going to convince him or her otherwise. If you met a 25-year-old female that tells you the man is the head, nne, just leave the matter, your preaching mostly likely will only fall on deaf ears. For men, the subject of feminism within us is mostly treated with dismissal and referred to as a madness Chimamanda and Beyonce continue to spread.

The fight is not for the young woman today, but for the daughters to come. Without an awareness of how women continue to reinforce the stereotype that both men and women were raised to believe in, how can women even begin to correct the society’s line of thinking? If men are raised to believe they are superior, only to go out and find the majority of women playing up to the idea with a few feminists trying to debunk it, how aren’t the men going to dismiss the feminists to the back as a bunch of noise makers?

Again, sexism is not anyone’s fault. It is not something men do to women or something women make men do to them, it is just a symptom of a social structure we were born into and socialized with.

Lastly, when it comes to conversation about sexism, it is easy to degenerate into name-calling and pointless bickering because the issue can be rather personal for a lot of people, most notably women, as they are the primary victims. If any progress is to be made in this fight, no party can be exempt from criticism and we need our emotions in check to allow the voice of reason because the issue cuts across gender. And in fact, for Nigeria where education isn’t so great, females will have to endure more criticism to wake up to the situation, as they are the primary victims. Lack of nationwide female awareness of the situation will guarantee a standstill regardless of how many speeches and articles shared by a few concerned citizens.

I will end it here as this is already uncharacteristically long for my articles, but I guess not everything can fit on a page.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

William Ifeanyi Moore is an MPharm graduate from the University of Portsmouth, UK. His true passion is in novels and poetry but he cheats on them with movies, plays, and music. He believes sacrifice and compromise is the bedrock of any healthy relationship. His debut novel Lonely Roads is out on 10/12/2015. Blog: Twitter: @willifmoore Instagram: willifmoore


  1. Ann

    March 8, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I really wish Bellanaija would stop letting men speak for women on their site. Every time I see this particular author’s name I just roll my eyes.

    • Proverbs31woman

      March 8, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      The truth is bitter isn’t it?

    • DAME

      March 9, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Thank you o jere…it is not hating but we have heard enough about feminism especially from williams …IT IS OK
      Everyone is entitled to their views and opinions…yes i get that but do not constantly shove yours while trying to prove you understand the term better…it haff do biko

    • Tosin

      March 9, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      i disagree with Ann. if you want to be a woman or whatever, be. It is not even a club. You too write and submit. Me, I’m here to learn from different people.

    • Bola

      March 10, 2016 at 12:13 am

      I am a woman & I am a feminist. All that he has said is extremely true and I have been aware of this for a while now.
      The fact that he is a man does not stop him from speaking on the matter. Feminism is NOT restricted to women only. From the sound of things, he is a feminist as well. And anyone willing to support equal rights for women is welcome to speak on it!

    • Damilola

      March 10, 2016 at 12:53 am

      Women do whatever crap you want to do with your life. This whole feminist parade is getting rather irritating. I’m all for women’s rights, treat me with respect, equally as intelligent and give me a position that I’m very much qualified for and pay me what I deserve/earned. I don’t believe any man is better than me bcos of his gender.
      I’m a woman, I love being a woman and not interested competing with a man. I accept, I’m wired differently than man and I like the uniqueness. I have my own profession, job and money to take care of myself. However, I also love the idea of being taken care of. I enjoy to cook, clean and be domestic at my own volition. Future hubby, prepare to take care of me, vice versa. But if you mess up, decides to disrespect me or be abusive. I’m gone. I’m not tied to any Man. And I can take care and survive by myself.

  2. Phew

    March 8, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Can we please hear word?! Feminism day in, day out. It’s okay abeg

  3. Mr. Egghead

    March 8, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    USMLE prep will not allow me to read this article. . . .I just know there will be an explosion of comments

  4. Nahum

    March 8, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    I really like this article and I have to say that you did justice to it with your research. I agree with you wholeheartedly that for our generation, the feminist fight is lost and YES, women do act in ways that perpetuate sexism. If women of our generation still believe in this saying “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine” then we can’t blame men for being sexist. If a woman feels that she should not act like an equal partner in a marriage and still demands to be catered for, then why should the man treat her any different from a child? we have to focus on our daughters and hope we can make a difference in them.

    • Oh sigh!

      March 8, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      Nahum for Christ sake everyone is entitled to their beliefs! Your guys are beginning to look stupid! If a woman says what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine and she gets a man that believes that to, I don’t exactly know what crime they committed. If you want to use your money and train your children and liv your partner to flex with his that’s your business. If you want to carry all the financial responsibilities in the house and let your husband flex, please keep it to yourself and your home. Most women that say that still do a lot of things for the family with their own money. If they are not married and the want their boyfriends to pamper them with his money, so let it be! A man that love you only because you’re working/ ambitious/ feminist, what happens to the day you can’t work anymore or something happens. I want to work but women who don’t want to work and take care of the home front should be left alone! Yes her money is her money and his money his her money for those that it works for. Leave people and their ideologies alone for christsake! I see all you guys on BN coming to talk bla bla bla up and down but your reality is different. Don’t do this, don’t do that. Everybody thinking they have the monopoly on ways to make society better. Mistchewww!

    • Engoz

      March 8, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      Am I missing something? Why the aggression? From what I gathered from Nahum’s position, you can’t blame men for being sexist or discriminatory, when the women they are partnered with hold on strongly to certain ideologies that places them as mere appendages to the male existence. What she/he is implying is that if you choose to hold on to certain rules like a man must pay, you dare not complain if you are being treated as a child. You dare not complain about the Nigerian male antics because he who pays the piper, dictates the tune. Nowhere in the comment did she/he say you cannot live your life the way you deem fit.

    • Adaku

      March 8, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      Where did nahum say these women shouldn’t live their lives as they wish? He only pointed out the inconsistency in some nigerian women’s convictions. Every action has a corresponding reaction. This is science. If a woman says “what is mine is yours and what is mine is mine”, that is her prerogative. With that sense of entitlement she should be ready for the possibility of her husband probably resenting, disrespecting, infantilizing her or seeing her as a liability. Don’t come and be crying here for us.

      All nahum is saying is that these women can’t dabble in feminism when it is convenient for them… This has absolutely nothing to do with women wanting to be pampered or spoilt by the men in their life.

    • Nahum

      March 8, 2016 at 11:02 pm

      Thank you @Engoz and @Adaku, I thought I was going crazy myself. I did not understand his/her comment

    • Nahum

      March 8, 2016 at 11:11 pm

      Babe, I know you are one of those “crab in a barrel” people that feel you need to bring people down to shine. Newsflash, this is a blog, attacking me to make yourself look good won’t do anything for you. I am an anonymous, no one knows me or cares for me so you are really attacking a shadow. Why don’t you try to form your own opinions independent of mine rather than stalking my comments from post to post? Why don’t we try that out??? I post mine and I am cool with what I post, grow some backbone and put yours out there irrespective of what anyone has to say about it.

  5. Natu

    March 8, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    African women will never enjoy true freedom and liberation. They are bounded by the chains of patriarchy, religion and culture. William, do not waste your time or energy trying to convince a group of individuals that suffer from internal misogyny. At this point, I don’t even blame them for their mindset. We were all dealt with different cards. I was fortunate enough to be born in an educated and enlightened family.
    #feminist #leader

    • Mr. Egghead

      March 8, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      I swear, this girl’s activism cracks me up every time.
      What in God’s name is “internal misogyny?”

    • Natu

      March 8, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Internalized misogyny is the involuntary internalization by women of the sexist messages that are present in their societies and culture. You are welcome eggy. I hope you are now enlightened,

    • Ijebujesha

      March 9, 2016 at 5:43 am

      I like your line of reasoning but I have an issue with it. I have a couple of female friends who hold similiar belief, they are very successful financially. Howvever, they are very, very bitter and sad. I wouldn’t know why and I couldn’t ask them but none of married and they are in their late 30’s. They all are Nigerians living in the US by the way. So I am thinking, is feminism worth it, afterall?

    • Mz_Danielz

      March 9, 2016 at 7:23 am

      Feminist. Someone who believes in the equality of the sexes. It is not synonymous with bitter, angry or hurt. It’s just the need to appreciate the equality and difference of the sexes. There are happy married people and happy single people, bitter married people and bitter single people. It’s all a choice.
      There are docile, sweet people unmarried in their late 30s and cantakerous people who have been married.

      In all, can we stop using marriage as a yardstick to judge female success?

    • MIA

      March 9, 2016 at 8:26 am

      Can we stop using marriage as a yard stick to measure women? We have bitter married women as well. Being feminist: A person who believes in opportunity for men and women.

    • Natu

      March 9, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      @ijrbujesha yes feminism is worth it for me. My happiness is not dependent on a man. I derive joy from helping disadvantaged women and children. I am not against marriage or commitment but my existence on this earth is to make a difference and touch lives.

  6. oyin

    March 8, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    this guy is back with his crap

  7. Laila

    March 8, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    “One is not born a woman but becomes a woman”. Really ??? Talk about some “twisted Caitlin Jenner” ideology.Well,since it’s all up to you,I will like to see you become a woman then,Mr Moore. What a boring and confusing article.

    • Tosin

      March 9, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      but it’s true. gender is on a spectrum, not black or white. even sex is on a spectrum although most people are somewhat clearly one or the other based on observed genitalia or whatever.

      sometimes people just use anger to cover up sha. relax. open.

  8. Weezy

    March 8, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Condescending much?

    This guy is like the man who attends a gender sensitization workshop and learns that violence and discrimination against women is wrong. He returns home and starts lecturing his wife who has been cooking all day. “You dis ignorant woman, do you know that your mates are out there fighting for equality and heading companies?”

    Congratulations William. You read the Second Sex. One single book. Maybe you even read it in French :). That qualifies you to lecture Nigerian feminists who (in your mind) are not as knowledgeable as you with your Simone de Beauvoir and who need to be told by you that their struggles are not representative of “real women”,of which you are of course an expert.

    When you can apply the ideas of at least three feminist writers or activists, only one of which can be European or American, then I’ll be impressed.

    • Goldyn Gurl

      March 9, 2016 at 2:13 am

      Gbam. Gbammer. GBAMMEST!!!

    • Tosin

      March 9, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      this was my favourite, because it began “Condescending much?” and proceeded with a dictionary definition looooool. Oh Lord.

  9. Engoz

    March 8, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    “I have become aware of what I believe to be the greatest problem with the Nigerian feminist movement. A lot of female Nigerian feminists are of the notion that they represent the average Nigerian woman.”

    Well, my views as a feminist are to protect my own interest as fairly as possible. I’m not on a mission to ‘save nigerian women’ o. I’ve already saved myself, lmao. Too selfish to be bothered about others. I didn’t even need the ideology of feminism to understand that females and males are equal. It was innate in me to realize the ridiculousness of certain social, cultural and religious constructs. It just so happens there is a word called feminism that challenges this ridiculousness.

    The fewer the number of Nigerian feminist the better as far as I’m concerned because Nigerian female archetype is being hijacked by females who believe in being equal to men, but can’t pay for a meal on a date. These people are being tagged as feminist, which should not be so. Most women on this board are like that. And the angry males can’t wait to point out the hypocrisy of such, whereas these women never claim to be feminist, but these males tag them as such just to taint the concept of feminism.

    Most Nigerian women are not feminist, I repeat most nigerian women are not feminist…I don’t have a problem with that, just don’t cross the gutter any time you like to the other side when it fits you. If I catch you, I’ll return you back to where you came from.

  10. Cindy

    March 8, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Who else didn’t read this? I no longer read posts by Williams. He used to be my favorite back in the day but not anymore. From the comments, I think I can conclude that this is the same-old coming from him. When the comments hit 30 maybe I’ll come back. For now, au revoir.

    • Ada Nnewi

      March 9, 2016 at 1:32 am

      i did not read it as well…his articles are becoming just plain slightly veiled attacks on females..

    • ReadIt

      March 9, 2016 at 1:40 am

      Try and read it, it is actually a good read.

    • Dilish

      March 9, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Didnt as well. The comments are even annoying. Feminists and their wahala. Please everybody should paddle their respective canoes and stop acting as if they stole ya pant. Nahum said if you let your husband pay your bills he will treat u like pikin. I laugh in congolese..hahahhahaha. You never see where man will be chopping ya money and still be treating u like househelp. I have to use pidgin english to drive home my point because y”all are ridiculous.

      You think the rubbish people come to write on here is gospel? Ladies, if you meet a man who wants to take care of all your shit, please allow him, so far he loves and respects you wth? Let him!

      Dont let this feminist pple come and be deceiving u. By all means work hard, get your paper, if brother says my money is our money, you better let him give you his money. My brothers do the same for their wives and the ladies are balling. Me im here pursuing career and spending 3 hours in traffic.
      Do i love my job? Absolutely. Will i take a break if given the opportunity to be spoilt? You better believe it. Will i keep my money if boo says keep it? True. Will i share if asked? absolutely.
      Dont come and start imposing shit on your man and be forming feminist. When you get into the relationship, you both discover the right rhythm that works

      It all depends on the kinda man im with

  11. Simbi

    March 8, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Total crap. Feminism this Feminism that. What’s wrong with equality. I believe in equality and what’s annoying is when a female says she isn’t a feminist, all these angry feminists attack her like she is a bad egg. In fact the insults make you feel like you are the fault in the stars. Please don’t shove it down our throat. Same way some people don’t adhere to the idea of been part of a movement. And to think that they are confuse set of beings that have branches of Feminism is amusing. Some will tell you how they are for Beyonce, some for chi, some for the Renaissance, some for Nigeria lmfao

  12. Guest

    March 9, 2016 at 12:24 am

    What is this one blabbing again? Mr. Ifeanyi did you get dumped by a feminist? Did a feminist piss in ya soup? Did a feminist scrub ya crawcraw with iron sponge? I am trying to understand why all your posts are about feminists. Why the obsession? Aren’t there other pressing issues to write about? So boring and predictable. All these men who want to speak on the experiences and opinions of women all the time. Why are you so concerned? Are you a woman in disguise? If not, pray tell, how can you know the motivations and realities of all women, all African women, all Nigerian women? Please write about something else next time, you are becoming irritating.

  13. Ashley B

    March 9, 2016 at 2:46 am

    Abegiii………… lemme hear word joor!! Feminist this, feminist that!!! In my own opinion, though i stand to be corrected. This feminism movement is nothing more than d ideology of girl/woman supremacy being brought to the fore front!! I mean, if the struggle is really about equality, then why i’m not hearing women campaign that they want equality in the number of soldiers goin to die in Conflict zones around the world. why are only boys sent to die in wars? Perhaps, the writer should advise the so called”highly intellectual wowen” in d so called” 1st world” that Equality is not given but should be earned. Call me out of touch, or a caveman, but to rile the feminists up, my parting advice would be that they should stay home and look after their kids!! particularly the boys, becuz if ur busy concentrating on being a feminist now, then imagine how many more girlss/women,these boys u didnt raise right now will hurt in the Future.

  14. Fadekemi

    March 9, 2016 at 3:55 am

    It’s not even “the other sex,” it’s “the second sex.” Teacher nor teach me nonsense o. Tor. Good night

  15. Madame

    March 9, 2016 at 4:34 am

    “Most of us have been raised in this society constantly exposed to sexism with our parents even playing a big role – by making sons feel entitled and pushing daughters towards submission. The result is a generation where men are largely sexist and women largely act in ways that perpetuate such behavior.” Quite true.

    Agreed that the fight now is for a better future for the children that are coming.

    • iyke

      March 9, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      @ Madame
      Spot on! But let’s not also forget that our society has a role to play as well….Parents can play their roles but if the environment and the society where these kids are raised doesn’t support that vision,there is bound to be conflict at the end of the day.The structures that support equality in Nigeria and Africa in general, are just NOT there.
      It will take generations to achieve that but it’s good to begin with a step.
      Therefore I concur with the article.It is quite insightful,objective and intellectually stimulating.

  16. Puzzles

    March 9, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Dear William,
    First of all, I like your articles. Sometimes I agree with them, other times I don’t.

    Just a piece of advice. You have to accept one fact: not everybody will agree with your line of reasoning. Some will read another meaning into it (I noticed that from your previous article). Some will attack you for it.

    There was no need to write another article to pacify your readers. Do not allow BN commenters deny you for your fundamental human right; the right to freedom of expression.

    My fellow BNers, that a writer has a different opinion from your own does not make them wrong. The words some of you used on William’s last article was appalling to say the least. We really should learn to accept that people will have a different view of life from ours. I have noticed that Feminism has been a sore topic on BN. A’s view of feminism is different from B’s view. Please live and let live.

    You don’t like William’s articles? Then don’t click on the link and start commenting “I didn’t read…”. It’s not a nice thing to do.

  17. MEE

    March 9, 2016 at 8:36 am

    William Ifeanyi Moore, I try to read your articles objectively, but I must say, I hate this article. It deeply saddens me, I hope you’re happy.

  18. Adelaide

    March 9, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Most of the females keep back lashing William for writing or talking about women issues, how bout one of you women write for women then?

  19. Ifeanyi is Bae!!!

    March 9, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Please you all should allow Ifeanyi be!!!!….He always makes sense BUT then again you can’t please everyone. You people on this blog can kill someone’s dream if care is not taken. Ifeanyi please don’t mind them oh and continue being you as they say; ‘those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind’.

  20. Tosin

    March 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm


    Wanted to say this long ago but mennnn, NEPA/PHCN/….DC is punishing folks.

  21. Precious

    March 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I enjoyed this, even though I don’t agree with every point, I thoroughly did. I try to read articles and guess who the author is, before checking, and I totally missed the mark on this (no offense). I think we keep learning till the day we die, so 25 is a very young age to write off people as set in their way, they might not go from 0-100, but even if it’s 0-25, it’s still something.

    I don’t also agree it seeming like Submission and Feminism are mutually exclusive or mutually apart, there’s a place for Submission and Feminism to co exist. There’s a power to submission especially when the woman is choosing what that means to her. Embracing that power can sometimes make the playing field equal, with is what the movement is about anyway.

    I don’t want to bombard you with my opinion, but nice article.

  22. Sherri

    March 9, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    It’s really sad to read the comments of some seemingly intelligent females on this issue!!
    The article raised a lot of valid points!
    the same females who were all up in arms in the “should a man beat a woman post”!
    if I remember correctly, many asked, “why is that even a question to ask?”
    William is trying to highlight the root of the why. right or wrong he’s still entitled to his opinion and deserves credit for trying to have a logical dialog.
    what is the point of commenting without reading?

    Most of the comments support the widely held notion that most people don’t really understand what Feminism is! and most females want to reap the benefits of feminism without taking a real stand!

  23. Ada Mbano

    March 10, 2016 at 7:19 am

    O dear sherri, God bless you. William this article is 100ppercent true. I can’t believe all the comments I read. Is it that some didn’t grasp what the article is talking about or just an old beef against the writer. Williams made a very valid point and this is unarguably, 100percent the reality of the feminist movement especially in Nigerian society.

  24. Tunmi

    March 10, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    But but but…. We are feminists. Feminism is so broad that we need to look at each country and each culture differently. For example, Yoruba practice feminism. Take the names for example. Having gender neutral names is a highlight of feminism. Also have non-member pronouns is another. This means that there isn’t a separate distinction for men and women. No special or different title has to be made to address them. This is so important because there is no thinking like “only boys can be called a particular name” or only girls can be called a particular name. And names like Babatunde or Iyabo are more focused on the mother and father, the parental units.

    Also, the same Onitsha market will have men and women traders. We have men and women competing for economic opportunities basically. We do still need feminism but let’s realize that we do have aspects of it before condemning the entire movement. The Adventures of Cosmic Yoruba goes into more detail of historical examples:

    I will admit that there was a shift in the past two generations. Was it the advent of technology or the exposure to other cultures? Something happened that reduced a woman’s worth to the derivative of a man, and something happened to how society perceives women and their sexual expression.

    • Tosin

      March 10, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      Would love to learn more from you / about this.

      I try to avoid gendering unnecessarily (in the English language) , it’s easier in Yoruba 🙂 I try to avoid specifying things unnecessarily , like if I write a story, and it depends on humid tropical weather and a certain landscape and certain income level, I’ll leave it open that it may be a Caribbean, or coastal African, or deep Southern USA, or maybe Pacific Island or Desi story, not necessarily a Lagos story. But people jump in and start saying it’s a Nigerian tale (because I am), and I’m like when did I say that?
      Same with gender.
      So many things can be said and done in life without reference to whether a person is male or female. The main difference is man no fit born. Other than that special bit of information, we can have a slew of actors of no-sex / in-between-gender, and they can play plausible characters , well, I often played such. (a god, a goddess, a character that was written as an effeminate man now played as a gender-bending woman, a lot of women, a nun, …) Movie industries though? Hollywood , Nollywood , Bollywood ? Men are hypermale and women are hyperfemale and gender is soooo strong with them. Maybe that’s what makes people think the rest of us human beings have to fit the types?

    • Sherri

      March 10, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      @ Tunmi,
      Feminism is not broad, It is quite simply: NO PENALTIES OR RESTRICTIONS ON THE BASIS OF ONE’S SEX.
      This is my favorite definition:
      Gender equality and feminism are not about oppressing men or restricting masculinity, they’re about decriminalizing the act of being born a woman. Being a woman is having to always think about being a woman. Gender equality and feminism are about getting to a place where women don’t have to constantly think about being born as women, and where society doesn’t punish them in various ways for it either.

    • nyazivea

      July 30, 2016 at 8:07 am


  25. pearl_

    March 12, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    I don’t agree 100percent with Williams but he has valid points,in other news congrats on your engagement…kuddos

  26. Haste

    October 31, 2016 at 1:28 am

    I thought this was an intelligent and objective article until I got to this bit: “personally, I believe for my generation, the boat of equality has sailed for women.” The author lost me from that point. In one breath he observes, that a strong obstacle to feminism in Nigeria is that the majority of Nigerian women accept the submissive role. In another breath, he suggests that the hope of gender equality is lost in this generation but rather lies with the next generation of daughters. But who is going to raise this next generation of daughters? Would it not be the women of our generation whom the author claims have majorly accepted male dominance?
    In my view it is irrelevant that true gender equality is not achieved in my lifetime. What is relevant is that the agitation for gender equality should not stop. I can’t afford to say “o I won’t ever live to see gender equality as a reality in Nigeria so why bother”. Such an attitude will perpetuate a vicious cycle of patriarchy many generations hence. If the push for gender equality is abandoned today, there is no chance that the dream will be realized with our daughters.

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