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Cisi Eze: 4 Truths About Misandry

Cisi Eze

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“If Celie were singing, she would be like Mamie, Bessie, and Ma Rainey, all of whom were abused. Those women were abused by men. (…) And then I think about how people took it for granted that your man would be this way. Of course you’ll be abused (…) and they got used to it. (…) People sing about this and then expect it in relationships.” – Alice Walker, “I Know What the Earth Says”.

We have institutionalised and normalised misogyny, and when you call out misogynists, they get “hurt”, and say you are misandrist.

Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Colour Purple” got many criticisms, and one of them was that she hated Black men. All she did was write a story revolving around Celie – a Black, poor, queer, female protagonist – in early 20th century Georgia, America. Writing about how women could be supportive of each other, without depending on men, is not anti-men.

Simply put, being pro-women is not anti-men.

Supporting women, loving women – sexually or non-sexually or both, does not mean hating men. These two are different things.

The sad truth is that we live in a society where a person’s privileges overshadows your human rights, and when you check that individual’s privileges, (s)he  construes it as prejudice.

It is distressing when a woman remembers we live in a society that has normalised misogyny. It crosses her mind that some people ignore her talents and personality, because they have appraised her based on a body part she did not choose.

To remedy this, some men and women decide to call out everyone – men and women – that enable this patriarchal system of society. How is this tantamount to hating men?

Misandry is “dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men.”

When men complain about female feminists being man-haters, I want to ask them how this feminism-induced misandry, as they put it, has hurt them in any way.

How often do men walk on the street and get cat-called based on feminism-induced misandry?

How often do men suffer abusive romantic relationships based on feminism-induced misandry?

How often do men lose opportunities to better themselves based on feminism-induced misandry?

Why do men decide to brew their pain, and suddenly realise they can spill it only when women start talking? Men internalise misandry when they refuse to speak up about the injustice they suffer because of this patriarchal system of society, which gives women privileges at their expense. Silence, in this context, is an act of self-loathe. Even men are misandrists. If you loved yourself, you would not protect a system that hurts you.

Here are four truths about misandry:

Calling out men is not misandry
The Average Hetero Male (AHEM) champions malevolent misogyny; ergo, he is scum. It is always funny when some men try so hard to repudiate this fact. What I tell them is this: “I did not ask average men to be average. They can do better and stop being bitter.” We call them out for wielding their privileges at our expense, and the next thing is to cry about misandry.

Misandry has nothing to do with feminism
If men-hating women were to be honest, they would admit their hate has nothing to do with gender equality. It is laughable when I see people who believe feminism is misandry. They could have channelled the energy they use in fighting feminism to read and educate their minds. “Wicked people never have time for reading. It’s one of the reasons for their wickedness” – Lemony Snicket, “The Penultimate Peril”. If they were smart, they would be feminists. All arguments for sexism do not make sense. It is like someone trying to justify racism.

Misandry is a reaction to misogyny
Hate incites hate. It is muy estupido to love someone or something that hates you. You can’t expect champagne from someone you keep offering pee, can you?

Misandry could be perpetuated by men
Asides internalised misandry, some men are biased towards other men, and we know this. They would not want to rent apartments to men or hire men to do jobs. They are mean to other men just because they are men.

To understand feminism, you should understand sexism. Sexism is prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination based on sex. The moment you treat a person differently – positively or negatively – based on sex, it counts as sexism.

“Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” – bell hooks, “Feminism Is For Everybody”.

Men should understand feminism is not a movement against them. On the contrary, it seeks social equality based on sex. It is not so hard to get. Feminism is the name. Egalitarianism is the concept. Feminism is not misandry.

P. S. You see, some men are so unfortunate! Then know what feminism is, o! Guurrrl! They know! But because they can’t let go of the fact that preeq does not make someone superior, it is na biting them. And I see these insects on social media dragging words with feminists uppandan. My friends actually have time to indulge them. Very nice women. Bless their hearts.

In my case, I ignore them because I feel they should argue with their walls, and if they want an animated argument, they can as well face their mirrors. (Laughs in Satanic powers) Seriously, I ignore them because I said what I said.

Photo Credit: Atholpady | Dreamstime

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.

11 Comments

  1. chinny

    August 2, 2017 at 6:21 am

    I am a woman and there is something that always seems off and soul lacking in cisi articles. You can always smell someone bitter/ frustrated masked as feminism or maybe trying to hard to be sophisticated and modern. I don’t trust anyone that always try and blame the opposite sex all the time and that goes for men too. From experience , they are always worse than the person or gender they are trying to blame. Cisi talks about ignoring people that do not share her warped view on gender , has she ever sit down and notice that more and more people are ignoring her articles nowadays even Nkem nDem that writes more frequently has more views than her . Women that blames men for their trouble reminds me of dumb blacks that always blame white people for their predicaments -as if ,if they put you in charge of the world ,ure condition will be better…take a look at Nigeria and you will regret why white people gave us our independence in the first instance

    • Liro xo

      August 2, 2017 at 7:30 am

      Am also a woman and an ardent BN reader the truth is how you perceive cici articles is entirely up to u…..i dont see her blaming anybody male/female and am not here to support or defend her but the truth remains we need equality and this fact has to be accepted by not just men but also women….nobody is saying you should stop being a woman or u should stop playing the role you were born into but can we all agree that there is a need for equality….Maybe this wont apply to you and honestly it doesnt apply to me either but there are millions of women out there who are not as privelged or educated as any of us that are at the of this “misgony’ and they are suffering……. you dont have to be born as a woman to lend a voice if you are in any way human you would understand their pain and contribute in anyway possible to stop it……. same way we are all collectively fighting to end racism,why is this one fight any different?

    • David Goodfriend

      August 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      I don’t know whether to laugh at your internalized anti-blackness or to feel sorry for you. What a way to think about yourself and your nation.

    • Icrossmyheart

      August 2, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      While I understand where you are coming from concerning Cisi’s articles, your comment got dumber than the blacks you speak of towards the end.

      I wish you would still be colonized. Not Nigeria, not other African countries. Just YOU!!! And then let’s see how much you enjoy it.

      Secondly, it is not kind to you and others around you including BN readers to be ignorant. Read on systemic and systematic racism and you will understand how sometimes no matter how the ‘dumb’ black tries, the system is just stacked against you. In some areas it is worse than others.

      Systemic racism is not only within systems but psychological especially if you are a direct descendant of a slave.

  2. tola

    August 2, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Women that blames men for their trouble reminds me of dumb blacks that always blame white people for their predicaments -??????????? nice one

  3. ***

    August 2, 2017 at 10:17 am

    The fact that you sneer at the ‘unfortunate’ men who don’t understand the good values of feminism and egalitarianism makes your effort pointless…real activists don’t shame the ignorant and the adamant, they dedicate their lives to motivating, educating and inspiring the ‘unfortunate’ on whatever belief(s) they stand for… an activist has no benefit being unapologetic and arrogant, it only reinvigorates the opposing energy in the ‘unfortunate’… mandela, martin luther king, gandhi etc all wore the cloak of humility, so cisi eze you can pass your very useful message without being cocky and hateful
    If you care less about what the ‘insects’ say why did you write about them?
    I strongly believe we should all be feminists but my model for promoting feminism is certainly not inspired by this display of I.Q superiority and arrogance… don’t always expect everybody has your impeccable logic…you always make brilliant points and perceive things intelligently from the average person, your flaw is you impart it without being condescending…be better!
    Yours faithfully
    Your biggest fan

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi

      August 2, 2017 at 11:50 am

      ?? True but I have to say it gets frustrating sometimes as most men no wan listen. They are mega comfortable being ignorant and what have you

    • Girl bye!

      August 2, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      Activism does not have to include hand holding of intentionally obtuse opposition. Don’t conflate activism with what you’ve described. Activism of any kind is the demand that any kind of marginalization be stopped. I should not have to hold anyone’s hand and explain, educate or justify my humanity to them. In this case, it is not that people do not know that women should have equity in this world. They are quite aware. But privilege and power are hard to let go of and the detractors of feminism will continue to misinterpret and vilify it to suit their narrative. Women should not have to sugar coat their demands for egalitarianism. We shouldn’t have to speak our truths and present them on a platter with a bow. These truths are hard and bitter and they should be spoken as such, in the raw ugly form we experience them in. If pacifism is your cup of tea, that’s okay. But don’t tell women that we have to be nice and beg for our rights because that’s a crock of bull. It will not change the mind of a raging misogynist because delivery is not and has never been the bone of contention in this matter.

    • ***

      August 2, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Gosh errors
      ***you impart condescendingly***
      ***intelligently and differently from the average person***

  4. Johnny

    August 6, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Misandry is a reaction to misogyny which is a reaction to misandry which is a reaction to misogyny which is a reaction to misandry….. why all the hate. We should love each other more and show it. This world is getting colder by the minute and all I see is hatred all around.

  5. RingoSchplingo

    August 15, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    The Color Purple is a bad example to use by the author as it destroys her own argument – there is not a single positive trait portrayed about any man in the story.

    In fact just the opposite, every man in the story is portrayed in an utterly two dimensional manner; each is in every way, evil/cruel/pathetic with absolutely no redeeming, human qualities.

    Feminists have been for years complaining about the way they are portrayed in literature and film and if a story were to be written about a man’s struggle, with each woman in the story written as awful as the men in the color purple, there would understandably be cries of sexism/misogyny from all angles (in fact we get this all the time when women are portrayed as sex objects).

    According to the author “We have institutionalised and normalised misogyny” as a society; yet if we watch a film like The Color Purple and do not see the hatred against men that it portrays, then we have equally (if not moreso judging by the success of the film and the relative lack of criticism) institutionalised hatred against males and masculinity.

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