Okay okay I know this is a hot topic. But before you read it I will like to plead with you to read it till the end before leaving a comment because I don’t want thunder and brimstone falling on me in the comment session haha!
Feminism is a word that almost everyone has heard of and people have strong opinions for or against. Discussions on this topic can get heated quickly if not carefully handled. But I believe passion can be destructive if not controlled. So before you go any further with this post, i would like to repeat again, please calm down (whether you are for or against it), take a deep breath and try to read the blog till the end before leaving a comment. Thank you😊
What is Feminism?
According to google, it is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
To explain this post a little more, I will be sharing real life examples just so readers can have a better understanding.
I have been involved in conversations about feminism. I have heard and seen how the roles of women are often talked about in the world and in the church. Being born and raised in Nigeria, I witnessed what the power of gender is like. I have heard where a woman who just had a baby girl is congratulated with the phrase “ah you need a boy”. As if to say nothing is worth celebrating if it’s not a boy.
I have seen where women are being spoken to in a very degrading way and still expected to answer “yes sir” to the person insulting them. A woman who is beaten mercilessly by her husband is expected to kneel and apologise to her husband because her husband is superior to her. I have seen where a man and his wife walks into an audience and the man is well respected and recognised but the woman’s presence isn’t even acknowledged. I have seen where a couple is walked up to and the person walking up to them focuses his attention on the man without realising there is a woman standing by him. And I would like to quickly point out that this won’t be the same if they were both men.
In my primary and secondary school days, school prefects were selected on academic performance basis. From primary 1-4, I came out first position all through but was denied this role because I am a girl. I was told I could only be an assistant as the head had to always be a boy. Interestingly girls occupied first to fifth positions and the boy who emerged 6th was elected as the class prefects. This never made any sense to me and it still doesn’t till today.
It’s almost like from the moment you are born a girl, a lot isn’t really expected from you. This comes with a psychological feeling that you are less than men.
A girl child is expected to know and do ALL domestic work as she watches her male siblings watching TV all day and if she ask for help from them, she’ll be told off and reminded that the boys have to place in the kitchen followed by a lecture on how she needed to learn all of this for when she gets married. Even though this rule didn’t apply in my house, I saw it happening around us a lot.
A woman who has big dreams and career aspiration is quickly stereotyped even more painfully by her fellow women because of the stigma placed on women like this. They are often called rude, over ambitious and bossy. Sadly years down the line, I still see this trait although not as pronounced as it was back then.
Engaging in conversations with people, I hear the undertone in their voice “a woman should sit at home and look after her children”. I’m by no means saying this is wrong. If this is what you want to do, it’s absolutely fine. I am a mum of 3 and I know how hard it is to raise kids and to stay with them all day as I have done before. However it isn’t good to stereotype another woman for wanting something different.
What do Feminist really want?
I think the definition of feminism by Chimamanda Adichie explains this. She defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”
Looking at the above as it is doesn’t sound bad. Does it?
Just like almost everything else, there are those who have taken this feminism thing to a whole new level that I don’t agree with; painting men to be our rivals.
In Genesis 2, God created woman to join the man in his team. We are helpmeets. Eve was created to help Adam to look after the garden and also to be his companion.
The power of women is shown in the bible. We see someone like Deborah who rose to the position of a judge. I don’t think God want women to be doormat to men. He doesn’t want us to be rivals to men either.
I feel when we understand our place as women, and when we know the power and the privileges we have, we won’t want to compete with men. There is a glory that is attached to being a woman and that glory is only shown when we stay within the confinement of our calling. The moment we start trying to be men, we rob ourselves of that glow and honour.
As a married woman, I know my husband is the head of my home and I am to accord him the respect that is due him. I am to submit to him and to his authority. Does this mean I loose my voice and myself in this process? No.
The cultural stigma regarding women has been going on for ages. The woman in the bible who was caught in the act of adulterer was brought alone to Jesus Christ. If she was caught in the act then she must have been with a man. Why was the man not brought to Jesus Christ as well?
Thanks to women of old who fought for our rights. If they had brushed everything aside, and not had the courage to press for what they wanted, we wouldn’t have even been able to vote today amongst many other things.
Is there gender inequality? Yes
Is there gender discrimination? Yes. You might not agree because you live in a world where women are empowered. But you will certainly see things differently if you are exposed to life the other way.
There is a new trend where when people gather courage to speak up against something, most times it’s interpreted as an attack and it’s a shame. Whether you agree with how they go about it or not, the truth is that there are fundamental issues that needs attention. There are legitimate issues raised by the feminist movement that truly needs to be acknowledged and looked into and taking them as noise makers or demon possessed individuals isn’t going to help in resolving these issues. You might not feel the impact of what they are fighting for but that doesn’t mean most of their points aren’t valid. And like they say “he that wears a shoe, knows where it hurts”.
With these been said, I for one cringe at some of the things I hear people say about these rights people are fighting for. As a Christian, it should be our desire to see everyone irrespective of gender, treated with respect.
I also cringe at the way I see some activist talking about feminism as though it’s a phrase to let men know that we are fighting them with everything we have and we are here to push them away from their God given positions. A woman is a woman and not a man.
My husband is my head, my friend, my team mate and partner. We don’t fight each other. We help to build each other.
If we all raise our kids to respect everyone, if we teach our sons that their sisters aren’t their slaves, if we teach our sons how to do domestic works, if we teach them to be gentle, nice and loving to their sisters, maybe in few years time, the word feminism will be a thing of the past. Because by then, it will become natural for us all to respect each other irrespective of our gender.
The best way to do the above is to model this before our children. Let’s be intentional about what we do.
“For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[a] He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.”
And just in case you’re not married, the bible says “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”
So whether you like the term feminism or not, I pray that you believe in loving and treating everyone as you would like to be treated.
Blessings to you❤️