Sometime this year, this writer put up a Twitter thread and a blog post that can still be read here <insert post link> with her – terribly misogynistic – views on the lifestyle that is Feminism.
Essentially, what I did was blame women for the social injustices we face every day and I was duly dragged for my insolence.
It took a while for me to understand the rage I had provoked in Feminist Twitter with my ‘pick me’ thread. I didn’t realize I had internalized the patriarchy a lot of brave women are fighting 24/7 to end; I sincerely thought I had a point. My argument that women created patriarchy and helped enforce it was damaging to me and every other woman that would come in contact with me and the negative feedback I got from Twitter had me shook to my soul. I did believe I was insane, and maybe I was (the reason my blog post is tagged I Am Not A Feminist – I Am Now Mad).
In conversation with people who were interested enough in understanding why I would say the things I said; my defense was that my father never treated me or any of my sisters any different from our brothers; he doesn’t subscribe to a lot of gender roles: “My father isn’t misogynistic.” or so I thought. While he really isn’t a misogynistic person, he’s not a Feminist either and as long as these social issues did not affect us as a family, then it’s fine. My mother on the other hand who did the “you’re a woman, you don’t do ….” thing from time to time is more Feministic in attitude than he is. She’s not Feminist either, but I have learned more about fighting for my rights as a woman from her actions and the things she has thrown at me than I’ll ever learn from Papa Bear’s coddling no matter how much I deny it.
Nothing particularly earth shattering happened to change my opinions on what Feminism is and the problems that Patriarchy and hyper-masculinity present for women; its thanks to the dragging on Twitter this writer decided to calm down and pay proper attention to the things she faces every day as a result of her lack of testicles. Also, the realization that I am now able to say ‘no’ and do certain things because of a number of ‘unruly’ women from past generations who threw caution to the wind and fought – are still fighting for gender equality was a bitch slap to my entitled misogynistic views.
Patriarchy is a problem. Yes, gender roles are a limitation of sorts to everyone, but patriarchy as it is in 2017 is a bigger problem.
Girls are told to not be forward and have boundaries and the boys are taught nothing. This isn’t the fault of the mothers; the fathers that do not make their presence known in the lives of their children because ‘that’s the woman’s job’. Patriarchal culture is joking about the obvious absences of our fathers and blaming the mothers for everything that goes wrong. Patriarchal culture is dead beat men disrespecting women because they can. Patriarchal culture is my younger brother’s belief that “where is it in the Bible that you should not hit a woman?” is a valid and intelligent question. Patriarchal culture is his friend’s belief that women should not own houses because they’ll get married to a husband and move into his house.
It’s sad that women complain about social injustices and men try to negate their complaints with the “we’re harassed too” argument. Please complain on your own time; let your anger cause you to write and shout and rant, but not when I’m upset because some guy in Yaba market disrespected my mother and I and threatened to hit me in her presence ‘if I don’t behave myself’.
A self search has caused this writer to change her views and opinions on Feminism. The mindset that it has no direct effect on me and therefore is not my problem is delusional. It’s everybody’s problem. The ‘not all men’ argument is invalid; don’t believe me? Listen closely to your friend’s responses in a normal conversation. Someone I know said we ‘should not criminalize rapists’ because ‘people are different.’ Another said ‘its in women’ DNA to victimize themselves, men don’t complain.’ And yet another says ‘its not rape if you’re looking for it.’ The saddest is one who claims ‘a man cannot be raped. How can a woman rape a man? Is he a man if that happens?’
I am not afraid to change my mindset on any issue; I’m willing to learn as we should all be. Unlearning misogyny and sexism is an everyday process; it is slow and somewhat shocking in its teachings, but it is possible and it is a process we all need to imbibe.