The thing with Feminism
Recently. Morning of Saturday I woke up with an appetite for trouble. You know the way you feel like a rich kid. Like you can just step on people’s toes, they lock you up at central police and your dad chauviers in to bail you out. The previous evening some group I belong had a late evening physical meet up on feminism which i missed to partake and no one was feeling philanthropic to share details of. So I wrote
Today if you don’t mind and the world please allow I write about feminism for the very first and probably last time. Dating from about 1919, feminism has undergone three liberations. First seeking political inclusion. Second pursuing professional inclusion. And third fighting equality rights on matters such as property and divorce etc. Now there is this Gandhi overused quote “become the change you want” first and second liberation feminists believed in that. You want political inclusiveness, you get into politics and get elected. You think you are worth career, you get into college, get degrees and become lawyers, doctor’s etc. Currently however, feminism has morphed into a tribe. Third liberation feminists are fighting against feelings and being hurt. They form online movements and bark on Twitter and Facebook.
And all of a sudden they were reliving the evening bruised by my ‘mean’ words. Some chap wrote back in w boys handwriting;
What happens to the many girls and women who want to get educated but are discriminated against because of their gender, eg, by the people controlling resources in their lives, who are men in most cases, deciding not to pay for their fees or marrying them off in exchange for dowry. What happens to the many women who want to join politics and actually do, but that very decision is invites mockery, death threats and sexual violation from male counterparts who believe politics is a man’s world? Women are already the change they want. But we must illuminate the structural limitations/injustices put in place by oppressive systems/patriarchy, to hinder them from actualizing that change. We must be willing to listen and feel the pain of this world that has sidelined a whole gender which constitutes half the world. It doesn’t end at saying if you want to go to school then just wake up and go. It doesn’t happen like that everywhere the way it would to a man. Someone will ask her for sex to give her good grades even when she actually got them, someone will want to sleep with her to promote her even when she has the qualifications, someone will insult her because they don’t think she can share bright ideas in the boardroom out of her being a woman, someone will be going out of their way to ensure she remains down there. This is what feminism is fighting.
And yes, the waves you’ve mentioned have been written about on Wikipedia. But unless we fully understand the details of what a wave and liberation entail, we’ll always be giving shallow arguments, and this is what drives women to remark that men are trash. We are comfortable with being shallow. Not getting into their lives and empathize with what’s really happening. If anyone trivializes your pain because of their comfort and ignorance, they become your enemy.
Some girls clapped for him. They felt I was a bad guy despite the fact that we were complete strangers and no one knew what exactly I took for breakfast on Sunday mornings. I put some more wood to the fire I had started by replying to the ladies hero;
Great insight buddy. What you raise is a concern of great. Allow I accept that I am not as versed about the subject matter as perhaps it would measure.
Look at it this way, myself and you didn’t fight for democracy but currently we’re enjoying what democracy offers. Perhaps today and just like Ugandans they could be taxing us to write on this platform (internet freedom) I don’t want to mention names but (wikipedia or not) history tells us some people sacrificed to ensure that the future (our present) was habitable.
Yes the vices you raise exist and neither i am in support of them.We are not (rather I am not) trivialising anyone’s pain but we’re only saying that it took the waves and liberations for us to be talking about feminism today .otherwise it would be long forgotten.
Sorry you missed a point along the way. My take clearly, feminism or not, we’re the influencers. We shape society. Making noise online alone is not enough. We must venture out and cause action. Like how this group organised a session to talk about feminism alongside talking about it here. The small steps matter. *Dong’e*
Someone was typing. I paused. I was afraid they were preparing a warning letter. The way someone more powerful would order “admin, please remove that noisy chap” luckily that person never finished typing. I proceeded….
Like you know why we are dysfunctional as a society ? we are not sincere about some of these causes. On the surface we lie that we want gender equality. Then we go ahead to pass and implement fucked up policies as the two thirds gender rule. That in itself becomes illusional. Very temporary. Its like a lie to them.
The thing with power is earned. It will be a completely different scope if the femine being the majority by statistics just ventured out and voted in one of their own and tasked them with pursuing their policy cause.
That place turned silent as a cemetery. We were back to square one. No one wanted to speak first. I broke the ice by typing the words of a famous writer;
If you can’t love anybody, you are dangerous. You have no way of learning humility. No way of knowing that other people suffer. And no way of learning how to use your suffering and theirs to get from one place to another.”
– James Baldwin
It changed the game. It cooled the temperatures. I sneaked back to finishing the write up I had started on feminism …
f you were born and raised in the nineties, you and I can allude to the kind of parenting where the male (Father) was the absolute head of the family unit with the female (wife) Playing submissive. We will talk about parenting in a different more elaborative post. By way nature there is a way by which we pick up from the past going forward and want to relive the it; a past of male dominance. But thanks to among many other factors; technology, internet, globalization and around the clock information sharing we are seeing that change real fast! We are seeing easier sharing of roles and the human race becoming more accommodative to change. After all we are all humans before we are male or female. The accommodativeness is what has engineered the mushrooming of such ideas as Feminism
What are we talking about? We are talking about the new age feminism. Why are we even there in the first place? Across town, a fair majority feel that the male gender is overly empowered as would compare to the femine counterpart. Is that an issue? Yes, because our sisters feel that translates to lack of equality. Like from their view of it, we lack equality rights and the universe seems like it bows to the male race. What do we want exactly? We need to be boys and owe no one an explanation for being boys just as they’d be girls and owe no one an explanation all the same! Is it tenable? Be the jury
But wait, how did we get here to start with. I will say it couples from countless things. But to give a bird view, just as reiterated above with regards to our upbringing, add to it how society thinks, rather functions. Here is the icing of the cake; long enough, society has viewed the boy child as naturally bestowed of strength. That he can venture out and fight out for his space. He is a man! And top on the list of the things men are forbidden to do is CRY. Crying or attempting to cry is being sissy; we are told often. So what happens? Boy child doesn’t cry. He lives the man he is told he is. He hits the jungle and creates his own space. And such space mark you is meant to be guarded. The boy child faces society with some grit; grit that the girl child admires and envies in alternate measures.
Where do we end at? That place of angry chants for equality rights. What transpired? As boy child was happening, his counter; girl child was being fed on some shiny silver platter. It shown from her face and made her future reflect all bright. She sat at home and got pampered as the weaker gender. She was confined to the household.. She was hungry, she was told the men are out hunting and they will sure bring home something in the evening for the household. They are the men. So she felt at home and curled up and waited. She woke up to defined roles. Whenever she felt the urge to put her hands on something other than what the society approved as her roles, she was asked to seat back and pick lighter duties (like our Waiguru becoming governor) It stuck. And became law.
Until recently the scope is just changed. Everyone wants what everyone can get; male or female undefined. The space becoming smaller and the race tougher, our sisters feeling the heat realize their male counterparts seem to be doing better in the race and boom! Feminism is word in town!
Back to the waves and liberation above and perhaps the contra opinion raised by that internet friend and the kind of response that I wrote back, at different levels of the evolution of the feminism cause there is an objective to achieve and there is an action pursued. Coming to the later phase, basking in the glory of explosive internet, the definition of both objective and action get lost in between. Misunderstanding is at the core. It fuels the online based third world war of trading feelings word for word. Emotion for emotion. Some girl is angry at some boy who took her out for a coffee date and ordered tea instead of guacamole tea (But I still think they were meant to order coffee lest they switched plans to tea dates.) She fires her data icon and pours it out to her online community (the fury not the tea) we light up our data and read her. Some of us silently. Others loudly. The ladies check in in numbers. They empathize and sympathize. All of a sudden there is a whole legion of similar case scenarios who feel elevated to share out in the comments section in solidarity. They come in numbers armed with time fed screenshots of direct conversations they had after the not so satisfying coffee dates turned tea dates.
Let us first get clear here. We are not bashing anyone’s feelings of pain or being hurt. We are only saying that in comparison to the first, second, and third liberation, currently feminism activism lacks action taking for complaining on Facebook (read online) alone is not action enough! We have the option to venture out and take up actions towards equality but we don’t necessarily do that.