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Cisi Eze: Beware the Faux Feminist Fella That Seeks To Destroy Your Baby Girl Destiny

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My weekend was a hit! I was in the company of five amazing women, and from our discussions, I learnt many things. Two of them are:

  1. There are nuances in feminism, but the core idea is that our choices, as humans, should be respected on the grounds no one is getting hurt.
  2.  As a woman who subscribes to feminism, you are expected to live the Baby Girl Life.

The Baby Girl Life means living to the fullest, as long as you are not harming anyone. There are several threats to the Baby Girl Life, and one of them is a patriarch, a.k.a. sexist. Every wise feminist knows he/she has to avoid these men and women that peddle every form of sexism.

As we have patriarchs, we also have “closet patriarchs”. This term was coined by Esiri.

You see, there are men out there who claim to be feminists, but deep down in their souls, they cling to toxic anti-feminist ideas. They will pretend to be feminists, get married to you, ruin your Baby Gal Destiny, and move on to the next peng thing. Sister, pull an Orubebe on this man and scream, “I wee not take eet!” I made a Facebook post, a poem, about that. Here goes:

Beware that ONLINE pseudo-feminist man!

He’ll stitch together the right words that would enthrall you to falling into the depths of his ‘profound, feminist mind’.

His saccharine posts will assault your sense, and you will let down your defence.

Before you can catch yourself, you’re insanely in love with him, and you tell yourself, “He’s the one.”

The One.

The one man you can have marriage equality with.

The one man that will treat you as an equal, not a subordinate.

The plot takes a twist after your wedding night.

Reality would smack you hard in the face when you refuse to make him breakfast at 3 AM.

Reality would smack you some more when he expects you not to make up because “You’re beautiful enough, you don’t need it”.

Insidiously, you begin to fade into a phantom.

You can’t use weave-ons, wigs, and extensions.

Already you have become a silent, insignificant extension of him.

“But he is a feminist,” you whisper to the walls of your bedroom at night, when his snores dance around the room.

What you didn’t know about your “Online Feminist Man” is that he was actually a feminist.

Yes. He is a feminist.

He wants his daughters to be treated equally, with respect.

But you are not his daughter.

You are his wife.

Remember when they said wife means helper? A subordinate?

Wife, you are.

Beware that faux feminist fella.

As stated earlier, this poem is dedicated to those men who literally snatch away the “baby” from your “baby girl”. They marry you, only to turn you into a shadow of who you once were. These toxic men blow out the life in your life. And no one would believe he is a monster, because he is saintly in the eyes of the world. They be like, “But he is a humanist, na. How can you say he is trying to destroy your destiny?”

Esiri made a witty Facebook post to warn gals-dem about these closet patriarchs. She wrote:

If you were lucky enough to be born into the Baby Girl Life, or you have worked your butt off into upgrading your status in life into a Baby Girlicous one, you have to be very careful about the company you keep.

“And when I say “Company” in this context, I mean your choice of a partner, because SOME Men have the innate ability to snuff out the “Baby” in your ” Baby Girl” and by the time they are done with you, you shall become nothing but a “Geh!”.

“If you are a baby girl like yours truly over here, please take this post seriously because ees a seriouz sturv, and I am giving you this advice ‘based on who I be’ – a single mum unworthy of giving marital/relationship advice according to Nigerian Standards.

“Every threat to your Baby Girl-Ness should be met with stiff resistance. As a matter of fact it should Fall and Do Whaaat??? Die!! Die! Die!! Die!! Die!! Die!! Die!! Die!! (Shakes head from side to side for the matter).

“Sister in Baby Girlitude, before you met Mr.Adegboroja, you were taking flight from Lagos to Benin, a 30-45mins journey. He now said it’s a waste of money. Now it takes you four days to go from Lagos to Benin due to his recommended trekking option.

“Before you met Mr. Daddy Monsor, you were using Mac powder for a smooth and perfect finish. The day Oga saw the price, he exclaimed, “Holy Jehoshaphat! All this money for ordinary powder?!!” In exchange, he asked you to go and use dust, after all dust is free. Dust is brown and powdery.

 (…)

“You’ll tell him, “I’m saving to get myself a Cartier bracelet/ channel bag for my birthday.”

“His response: “Why all these expensive sturv? There’s nothing fantastic about all these designers..you are just buying name. There are good sturv out there..must it be designer. You are too materialistic. Who are you forming for?”

“Little by little, just like a thief in the night, HARDSHIP shall fall on you, and your baby girl nature shall be extinguished for life.

“My Dear Baby Girls, dating Uncle Suffer-Head is a threat to your life. Life as you know it shall change drastically. Men like that will never help promote your baby girl life style with their money, neither will they let you spend your own money in advancement of Baby Girlitude in peace

“Don’t let anyone Guilt Trip you with nonsense talk. Bask in your Baby Girl-Ness and relish every moment. Life is way too short for long suffering.

“In the institution of Baby Girlism, there certainly are grades, some baby girl levels are higher than others, all fingers are not equal, we know! But why must yours be the shortest finger? Don’t let any man demote you at your own level abeg. For what? He should either Step Up or Step Aside. We should all aspire to Be Better & Live Life Better.

“Mr. Suffer-Head, why are you like this? Are you a principality? You left all those beautiful hardworking women hawking bread, and groundnut on your street, and you say it’s a baby girl’s destiny that you want to change. You will not succeed.

Moral Lesson: Life is meant to be lived to the fullest. You should not stop being a baby gal because of marriage. Marriage does not mean your life has ended. Do not be fooled by faux feminist fellas that would sell you dreams of post-wedding Baby Girl Life, only to be relegated to a supporting character in your own story. Shine ya eyes! Marry a feminist, and continue the Baby Girl Life!

P.S. We live in a material world; it is okay to be materialistic. It is okay to want the best things in life on the grounds you are not hurting anyone. Let no one shame you for wanting what you want.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime| Rohappy

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based freelance journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. She feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her works on Bella Naija and her blog – Shades of Cisi. Aside these, she has works on Western Post NG, Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, Gender IT, Outcast Magazine, Rustin Times, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2, and Sweet Deluge (Issue 2). Her first book, published by Tamarind Hill Press, UK, is titled “Of Women, Edges, and Parks”. Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.

14 Comments

  1. Weezy

    July 17, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Who is Esiri?

    The best way to sort out who is a faux feminist is to ask questions, not just once:
    1) Why do you support gender equality (or why are you a feminist?)
    2) How does your support for feminism play out in your personal life? If he starts talking about the education of girls, tell him that is nice and all but even Buhari supports the education of girls and he said his wife belongs in the other room.
    3) Do you believe the man is head of his wife? Why? or Why not?
    4) What do you think about splitting household chores?

    If you get to question 4 and are both still talking to each other, congratulations! The two of you are staunch feminists.

    In my view, no one can deceive you into thinking he is a feminist without you also deceiving yourself. Feminism is not for everyone, and it is not by force to claim it. I have more respect for people who will tell you straight up that they are not feminists, than those who pretend.

    • Busted

      July 17, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      Is the man the head of the home? I am definitely not a feminist lol. Does feminism come to play totally in marriage? Real question oh. I will appreciate logical answers.

  2. Baby girl by personal struggle

    July 17, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Let no one shame you for wanting what you want is all I saw.

    It doesn’t even have to be the men sef, all those people that won’t let you drive your tokunbo SUV(tokunbo or not tear leather) in peace or you dedication to the spa or LV bag you saved six months to buy (I speak for myself) please if I’m not asking you for money, allow me to be a baby girl at my level in peace.

    Uwa bu ofu mbia Biko, there’s no special reward for suffer head

  3. rose

    July 17, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    i officially lerrve (love) the writer of this pošt! best post evvvveerrrrrr!

  4. S

    July 17, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    “Men like that will never help promote your baby girl life style with their money.” I have a problem with feminist women looking to be with a man who will promote their babygirlitude. And the “babygirl’ tag sounds infantile to me, the very antithesis of someone who wants to take responsibility for their own life and have an equal say in any partnership.

  5. Victor Adegoke

    July 18, 2017 at 5:31 am

    Women trying to promote equality. When the Holy Books has stated that the Man is the Head. That is the cause of problems in relationship or marriages.

    • Lady S

      July 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      Oga stick to selling your real estate abeg

    • anon

      July 18, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      nah nigerian men committing adultery and domestic violence and allowing their family members interfere is the cause of family breakdowns in Nigeria, Women with all their submission and cooking and cleaning hasnt stopped them from chopping beating and std from their husbands. If feminism is causing the breakdown of marriages, does that mean that oppressed women is what keeps Nigerian marriage together? GERROUT !

  6. meelikey

    July 18, 2017 at 8:44 am

    All I saw was ‘don’t allow any man demote you’ and I shout a resounding YES OH!

  7. Black panther

    July 18, 2017 at 10:01 am

    I am all for people being the best of themselves and not allowing insecure men to try and oppress them. However I am a big proponent of financial literacy and wealth building especially in the black community. As black people we tend to have more of a consumer mentality than a producer one which i believe contributes to why we are behind the rest of the world. Do you have 6 months worth of wages saved in an emergency fund? Do you have a varied investment portfolio? Is your money working for you are are you working for your money? If you can answer yes to all of the above then you can ‘babygirl’ all you like. However if you are living on garri to be able to afford that Chanel or LV bag, whilst you have no savings or investments then I would strongly advise you to re-evaluate your priorities.
    As for the men, many of you too dey like shiny things. You won’t go and disturb that deeper life chic with her cute Afro puff but you’ll be running after the nicely packaged Kim k look alikes with their Brazilian hair, face beat make up and designer bags. If you found them like that and that’s what attracted you then WHY try to change them? (Serious answers needed). Why not find someone compatible that doesn’t need changing? I think for some men there is an insecurity in knowing that they cannot afford said lifestyle for the girl which is a blow to their egos as men like to feel like they are the provider. On the contrary there are some men would like to take the credit for their babes appearance when they didn’t contribute one kobo. *(Serious side eye)*

  8. Abominable snow girl

    July 18, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Hahaha “you play waaay too much “. ?Loved this. You’re so cool.
    One life y’all. ??#babygurlforlife.

  9. ANON

    July 18, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    nah nigerian men committing adultery and domestic violence and allowing their family members interfere is the cause of family breakdowns in Nigeria, Women with all their submission and cooking and cleaning hasnt stopped them from chopping beating and std from their husbands. If feminism is causing the breakdown of marriages, does that mean that oppressed women is what keeps Nigerian marriage together? GERROUT !

  10. Black power

    July 18, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    I’ll try this again since my initial comment wasn’t published. I’ll start my saying that a deep desire of mine is to see black people uplifted all over the world. Wealth creation is one of such streams. In Nigeria we try to keep up with the joneses forgetting that they are sometimes broke.
    If you have or are actively working towards a solid investment portfolio, an emergency fund and retirement savings then you can babygirl all you like. If however you are soaking Garri to be able to buy that channel bag whilst your savings are zero then I would greatly encourage you to reassess your priorities in life.

    As for the men I think it’s important to date/ marry someone compatible. If you want to be able to provide for your woman and you cannot afford her lifestyle then either find someone who’s level you can provide for or allow her to keep doing her. Don’t be attracted to someone’s ‘bling’ only to then try and change the person for selfish reasons.

  11. Hadji

    July 18, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Story

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