WHY I’M A FEMINIST – BUT HATE FEMINISM

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A feminist is a person, male or female; feminism is an ideology, and being an ‘ism’, it shares the collective limitation of all ‘isms’ (capitalism, socialism, communism, humanism, radicalism, lesbianism, constitutionalism, etc.). And what is this collective limitation, one may ask. It is this: they are at best half-baked and at worst badly-baked ideologies; they stretch their ideals to the limits in the process of which touch with real life is sometimes lost. For instance, while capitalism prefers profit to human welfare, communism prefers human welfare to industry; neither of capitalism and communism is very correct. Of course, we’re working with capitalism because it is, in more ways than one, the lesser evil.

I’m a fan of Chimamanda’s. I like the fact that she’s a feminist and sticks her neck out to trumpeting why she thinks the existing gender structure is fraught with more negatives than positives. She first bought my admiration by her “Danger of the single story” (TED talk), which UNN’s Lionfm played every other morning of my Nsukka days. I especially enjoyed her 2015 graduation speech at Wellesley College in the US and her “Why we should all be Feminists” (TED talk). Her books – Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah – are even some of the finest books on the planet, and a budding writer like me should like her for her ‘wordsworth.’ However, Ms Adichie isn’t responsible for my feminist bent; she didn’t influence me that far. I only came to discover that we share similar views on gender and social engineering. And if you insist that a feminist must profess feminism, then we both belong to a feminism type that is unique to us: we don’t fight about it; we merely state the obvious and leave the rest to ‘your’ reason.

I became a feminist watching my mother, interacting with the women in my personal space, observing the generality of women, studying philosophy and coming out different. I became a feminist when my sense of justice, right and wrong developed. And when it did develop, some things just didn’t make sense anymore. There were things I couldn’t tolerate anymore about this whole gender stereotyping. Why on earth, for instance, should my dear sister be inferior to me – in any sense – because she is feminine? Why on earth “must” a man have something when there is a woman that could make a better delivery of the role? Why, why & why? I’m not saying this because I want to win the admiration of concerned women, but because I quite don’t get it! I don’t even understand St. Paul instructing Timothy to have women ‘shut up’ in church.

I’m a feminist because I believe in the equal access to opportunities and prestige by men and women. I’m a feminist because I believe everyone should be more merit-oriented than chauvinistic; meritocracy has remained a core value of worthy organizations. I’m a feminist because I believe in the democratization of service; everyone should serve. I’m a feminist because I need my lady-friends to be the very best of themselves and not be limited by anything artificial that goes under the aegis of ‘gender roles’. I’m a feminist for every good reason that you can think of. Yes, I preach ‘complementarity’ and decry ‘subjugation’.

Don’t get it twisted. I know enough about social engineering. I know that there ought to be some sort of roles, functions and ideals in order to achieve social order, leading to collective progress. But I also know that those that sat at table to decide the present structure didn’t mean well enough for the collective lot. If you know what Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, is, especially its four types corresponding to levels of intensity, then you’ll agree with me that that idea came from the pit of hell.

On my part, I really can’t think much of a man who dares says to a lady, “C’mon keep quiet and sit down, you’re ‘just’ a woman?” What is ‘just’ about being a woman when my very own angel mother is one? I blame the lady too who would dare open her mouth and say, “Don’t you know I’m a lady?” Am I blind? Even a blind man knows you’re a lady by the electric charges you fire at him. I especially blame the custodians of the perpetration of gender inequality who succeeded in making her think so.

Mind you, the husband is not superior to his wife in any sense; he’s only “primus inter pares” – first among equals. He is not first by right but by privilege. And the problem with every privilege is that it has the capacity to blind – and has blinded many a man. I pray for us men, that we may regain our sight, and that we may see what the future of gender struggles holds for us. Yes, it’s such a struggle where everyone gets to lose. Someone said it best: “In a family fight… there is no real winner as the entire family is the ultimate loser.”

I hate feminism, at least as we experience it in practice, for one reason: It seeks revenge instead of redress.

27 thoughts on “WHY I’M A FEMINIST – BUT HATE FEMINISM

  1. I hate feminism, at least as we experience it in practice, for one reason: It seeks revenge instead of redress. Nice write. 👍👍👍

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  2. How can I not comment on this mind blowing/ opening piece, Cornel, you dealt with this topic, and am proud I know you first hand

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  3. ‘I hate feminism as we practice it…’ though we have argued it some where. The way we practice it especially the Nigerian version and some radical misinterpretation of feminism should force you to join feministic movement. In order to liberate humanity from the worst oppressor of man kind which is ignorance. FGM is part of ignorance and superstitious belief.

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  4. lemme just comment. the world is not just one big space where things happen haphazardly. Gen.3:16 is a pointer to the fact that the man shall rule over the woman. we can try but we cant change it. no thanks to mummy eve.

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  5. Nice write up… this mentality about the supposed “inferiority” of women mus be stopped through proper enlightenment of the populace, availability of equal opportunities to individuals of each sex, and proper reorientation of our female folks.

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  6. Subjugation of women is as old as creation. Why would Eve be created from an insignificant part of Adam’s body? and here is the task of women “helper” (Gen. 2:20). Eve’s inability to make right judgment is the cause of her situation (Gen3:6) What then do you expect, trust women to disapoint again? believe her to fail you?

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  7. I laugh and moan sorrily whenever I come across a treatise like ths. Equality is a mirage. Pple wil neva stop protesting or fighting 4 one course or the other unless we embrace the only true reality and solution which LOVE. Proletariat protested and then communist surfaced. When U love U wil carry out ur responsibilities with discrimination. When Love is applied Meritocracy wil be the order of activities. At times Women take the advantage of the concept Weakness or Weaker vessel to victimize men. Haven’t U seen a scenario where a lady slap a man 4 no course even in the pubilc and nobody take it serious bt let a guy tries it I may even intervene without knowing the course. Love is the answer if harmonious coexistence is desired. Raising of *ism and ist* cn be likened to adding fuel to a fire that is already disastrous

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  8. Nice write up. I detest such discrimination based on gender. Feminism is flawed and I do suggest feminism advocates to read
    Lt Dr Myles Munroe books on the roles of men and women “understanding the power and purpose of man” and “understanding the power and purpose of woman”

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  9. Feminism as is practised in these climes may still have some sense of direction but the problem stems from where it originated. It has metamorphosed into something oddly different over there so much that even the social engineering aforementioned has gone on to another extreme. The males are slowly being emasculated and it will only get worse. Concessions will be sought but nobody likes to ‘lose ground’- the females are no exception. The solution is in the word of God 1Pet 3:1-7. Let God help us all.

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  10. I think, Cornel, the problem is a bit complex and quite a delicate one. The word ‘feminism’ has also become ambiguous as several currents of feminism has emerged. I don’t know if the core illuminati feminist, Beyonce Knowles, shares the same view as you.

    Just a question for reflection: Do you think, Cornel, that what you’ve just raised is not simply a problem of social/political injustice which could be addressed on a neutral ground just like every other injustice, without the feminist ideology which has led many a women astray? Underestimation and disrespect of women, has it no link with certain cultures and traditions?

    Some of the problems you’ve raised: denial of women certain roles, FGM, etc. have link with tradition. You couldn’t understand Paul urging women to remain silent during their gathering? He was a Jew, and you know the place of women in the jewish tradition. Perhaps he was influenced; but I don’ t think he meant any harm since he was speaking under the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Cornel, you’re surprised by St. Paul’s ‘seemingly pejorative remark’, are you not more surprised that Jesus himself was born and spent all his earthly life in that context – in which women (also children) are not counted. Yet, such issue didn’t appear in his teachings. Are women not human beings? Why are they not counted? Furthermore, we may also ask why he called no woman to the office of Apostleship. We can go on and on, search the bible from Genesis to Revelation, we’ll find no place where such issue was treated; yet, the issue of the ‘apparently gender imbalance’ has been a reality of all the ages past.

    However, I don’t think it is completely neglected in the bible: it is part of the problems of injustice which the bible addresses. St. Paul certainly didn’t mean to underestimate women, but to ensure order in their assembly. Neither did he urge men to neglect or disrespect them.

    Men and women are equal in dignity as humans. We have equal brain cells; the same essence. Our difference is ‘accidental’: gender and natural disposition, in accordance with the divine plan for each person. I personally condemn, with my last drop of blood, any practice or whatsoever that disrespect, or denies them the right to all privileges that men enjoy, insofar as it is on the basis of our equality as humans. But we must recognize that nature has given men the privilege of being the first of the human creatumore

    In fact, I think, if we are honest with ourselves, men and women, we know that there are certain things, be it role or whatever, that each gender is more naturally disposed or adapted to play. Take cooking , for instance. In most traditions, it is women that cook. Can’t men cook? It is a natural disposition that women have. we can cite numerous other examples. I think we need to recognize where our differences lie, and reconcile them. But I don’t think the feminism projected before us will solve the problem. For there is more in the ideology than what you think.

    I hate injustice against women whatsoever, and work against it as much as it is in my power to do so. But I hate feminism!

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