There has been a lot of controversy regarding feminism in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. Because everyone has their own opinion, it makes it difficult to understand what feminism truly is. Although we all have a right to our own opinions on different topics, we still need to understand that our opinion might not actually be right.
First of all, feminism according to ‘Britannica’ is a belief in the social, economic and political equality of sexes.
The general idea of the feminist movement is to create a world free of gender discrimination. These discriminations happen everywhere, in schools, work even in families. There is a popular belief of the mighty male and the timid female. A belief that not only suppresses the rights of females as humans but also puts a lot of pressure on the males. It holds the idea that the male specie always has to be strong, commanding and should possess strong emotion suppressing abilities. Females on the other hand are expected to be fragile, emotional creatures.
In a society where a female who finds it hard to show her emotions is considered a ‘sadist’. Or the insane double standards involved in different genders ability to express their sexuality, where a sexually overactive male is considered cool and the female is considered a slut. The idea of society deciding what is right and wrong for a female to wear, or how she expresses herself. These are the beliefs that have some females fighting each other and trying to bring each other down. It’s these beliefs that have children looking in the mirror searching for flaws in their perfect bodies. It’s these beliefs that has us striving to please our fellow humans, forgetting ourselves and our creator. A belief that teaches male children that a female never really means what she says and there is always a hidden meaning behind every ‘no’, ‘I’m fine’ or ‘it’s okay’ forgetting that every human is different and females as shocking as it may sound are also different, with some actually being very straight forward in their ways.
The feminist movement was started by people who wanted not just equal rights but for everyone to be treated humanely. But these days, feminists are not just females who after a few years on earth got tired of being treated badly and decided to fight for themselves, feminists are now people born with a desire to be heard, to make their mark in the world and to be given as much rights as any other human.
I used to have mixed feelings when people called me a feminist, because I’d first imagine that I was being mocked, as some people see feminists as ‘deeply hurt females lashing out at the world for their pain’, but then almost immediately, I’d think, ‘screw that, I don’t need to be deeply hurt to want to be treated humanely.’
I have come to a point where calling me a feminist makes my heart swell more than being called beautiful. Because for me feminism is more than just a movement, it is a way of life. Because being called a feminist means I am a smart, confident female well aware of her worth, working towards not only making a place for herself in the world but also for her sisters. But it’s not just females who are feminists, it is also males with the ability to understand that you don’t need to be a particular gender to be treated as a human. The ones who know the worth of humans, and that no one is obligated to them.
Undoubtedly, we still have a long way to go in making the world discrimination free, but for now one can happily bring a child into the world knowing that the world is filled with humans doing great things in the world and most importantly females who love and support each other so much.