How can I not be feminist?

I haven’t talked about feminism in a while around here, I have actually missed weighing in on issues with a feminist slant. Let me share a funny story- I shared these pictures with the caption #idon’tknowwhattosay on Facebook.

I was surprised when I got a comment from one of my senior colleagues that the reason I don’t know what to say is because my feminist pistol was emptied of its contents by RMD’s calm reply. I found it hilarious because I was just so amazed at Joro (I saw him in my dream this week, we were both in the US when I ran into him) and the people who send him stories. I normally dismiss Joro’s stories as made up but this one struck a chord, I have met a few young women who were so obsessed by a man that they even resorted to diabolical means to get such men.

 

I often get the questions why are you a feminist? What’s the difference between gender equality and feminism (none by the way) and who are your feminist role models (Chimamanda isn’t even in the top five). I’ll probably start a feminism series soon, however I saw a picture on facebook (I have a new crush btw) and I knew I had to write this post.wp-1479393121333.jpg

 

In real life, I am rather reserved and quiet. I am a typical wallflower and I do not mind- mostly, because I tend to listen more than I talk, people open up to me and tell me things. With older people (women especially) it’s almost crazy, they begin to tell me their life histories and pains and regrets. I was close to my grandparents before they departed from this world, maybe that’s where I get the patience and the knack for these encounters. The stories these women tell will break your heart, the kind of things they endured in the name of marriage upset me even now as I remember some of those stories. Maybe one day I will write some of those stories, when my blood doesn’t boil so much.

 

It is for this reason I laugh at people who talk about decaying morals being the reason more divorces are occurring these days due to their theory that our young women are weak and silly because they cannot endure like their mothers and grandmothers did and I always want to ask- Do you know what those women endured? Many of our octogenarians that are celebrating golden jubilees and collecting other marriage long service awards did not stay in those hellholes because they ‘come from a generation that fixes broken things and not throws them away’. Many of them stayed because of the crushing stigma that divorce carried back then (not even for them btw, but for their children especially their daughters who would have very low chances of getting married) and because these women had minimal education that equipped them with paltry skills that weren’t sufficient to provide their daily bread how much more butter and school fees.

 

Listening to these stories, observing the dynamics that run our society and writing stories I cannot even share with the world because they break my heart time after time, bring me to this point where being anything other than a fulltime feminist is ridiculous for me. Consider this entry one in the Feminism series.

 

PS: While I was writing this post, I came across the defence post written by John Edobor- the man accused of injuring his wife Ivie Edobor. Calling him a savage beast is an insult to savage beasts.

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. My sister’s friend’s mother, told her(i.e. her daughter), not to talk/ be friends with my sister anymore because ‘mama fa na papa fa ad’eye önu. (Translation – because her mother and father don’t talk to each other)
    If my sister could become persona non grata just for that, imagine what the reaction would be if my parents were doing more than iye önu?

    That is how bad things were in our parents’ and grandparents’ generation. I grew up in a town where some parents DID NOT speak to each other BUT they lives in the same house, bore children every year and went to church together on Sunday wearing ‘and Co’. They used their children as mouthpieces -” John, go and tell your father that food is ready”; “Tell your mother that I’m not hungry.” – THIS is how they communicated for the decades they were married until their children left home.

    ‘Purple Hibiscus’ is based on real life, trust me.

    Reply

    1. This just brings home the enormity of the stigma, imagine the rubbish o and this was friendship between girls! Imagine if her son liked your sister…
      My mother told me the story of one of her elder sister’s suitors who my grandmother swore that my aunt would not marry- her reason? The man behaved exactly like my grandfather had when he first came to marry her, she would not let her daughter walk into that kind of terrible marriage. Now my grandfather was an excellent father and doting grandpa but as a husband, he was a monster but my grandma was married to him for 48 years until death did them part. My other grandmother’s story… I don’t even have the energy to type it. Now both men were good fathers and by the time I came along, they’d become angels. If I wasn’t close to them and to my mum, I’d be one of those mouthing off about my grandmothers who were married happily for so long.
      I haven’t finished Purple Hibiscus, I haven’t been able to. It hurt too much.

      Reply

      1. 48 years!😳😳😳
        Wow! Just wow!!!
        So many hidden hurts, resentments, wounds!
        What these women carried! Phew! Words cannot begin to describe!!!
        That’s why it galls me when people make sweeping statements about our mothers/older generations of women blah, blah, blah! If only they knew!
        Having said that, one of the major killers of our indigenous tradition that, to a large extent, had solutions to these problems was Christianity; or the way it was presented – Victorian values in disguise, imposed upon the ‘unsuspecting’ African. The much I know about some parts of Igbo culture, if you were treated abominably in your husband’s home, your family members will just come and collect you! No skin pain. Divorce is not an Igbo word! This is not a topic for today. One day, I’ll tell you stories from my own family and how aunties who were being abused were collected by my father’s family and taken home; abusers dealt with. Finish!

        Purple Hibiscus – it could have been lifted straight out of the lives of some neighbour I used to know😐

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