An African, A Woman and A Feminist

An African, A Woman and A Feminist

I remember being 13 years of age when I and my dad were walking down the streets of Anderlecht in a bid to get some fresh air.  It was a hot summer evening, the sun was still in sight and people where walking past us to and fro. Seeing how these American teens celebrated their Sweet Sixteen with brand new Range Rovers on MTV, inevitably I wanted to have one as well. I told my dad that day that I would buy  a range rover when I grew up and, unexpectedly, his reply left me astound. “ Don’t you know that you will chase men away from you? And even if they ask for your hand in marriage it will because of your money”. I looked at my dad and replied him saying: “Then I will find a man that has a bigger car than my range rover”.  Nowadays, if you grow up as a female in a Nigerian household, you will not go a day without having to deal with the “Is this how you will treat your husband?” standard. It as if…rather I am being trained to get married and pop out babies every other year. I’m being trained to feed his ego. And after that, what happens? I can’t ignore the fact that African female celebrities who aren’t married before the “BIG 30” are considered unsuccessful and bad examples just because they aren’t married.  Men would like to label them as angry feminists who are out to get the world and emasculate the man.  Someone called me a feminist and I quickly became defensive because the word feminist carries a negative connotation. But it took me sometime to realize that I actually am a feminist. I have a mind of mine which many don’t like. I think differently, I’m over ambitious and I dislike manipulation with a passion. As I always say, it’s a man’s world… but it’s empty without the woman.  Why exactly does feminism have to be bad?

Because I am an African woman, I’m being held to a certain level of perfection while my African groom (to be) is free to live and re-live his experiences. I have to cook & clean not for myself but for my African prince. I have to look sexy, not because I want my mind to validate my body but because I want to attract suitors. From facing firing squads to constantly being scolded on what and what not to do, I can’t help but ask my audience who goes by the name society “Why can’t you talk to the man too? Why can’t he mend his ways”. Don’t get me wrong I am a hopeless romantic. It is bliss to have man in charge… Here comes the big “but”.  Double standards they say… I noticed that a few single women who above 30 are seen as irresponsible and unhappy. This is not because they actually are but because society makes them believe that they have to feel that way. Society is wicked in a few ways. Society wants you to bend but is never willing to bend for you whether you’re a man or a woman.

I know what my bible says about being submissive to your husbands. The Book of Proverbs chapter  31 describes what I am meant to be: a virtuous woman. Apostle Paul said a woman ought to be quiet in church and if it be that she has a question, she is to ask her husband at home… In private.  Agreed! Opposition would use this as an argument. But then the Bible also says a man is to love and honour his wife as himself. What did we see in times past? What do we see today? In the times of Abraham and Isaac, marriage and companionship was indeed honourable. Nowadays, many young boys and men grow up playing and not worrying about tomorrow. They don’t have to think about every step they take and ask “What will my future wife think of me”. They tell themselves “ She’s strong enough anyway. She’ll put up with it”.  What we all fail to realize is that strength has earned itself a different meaning over the centuries. The average man is physically stronger than the woman. This has always been the case. Clearly, the man was and is still expected to provide for the woman because he is stronger. Today, strength has moved from being physical to being mental.  Despite the fact that women are emotional and often times think with their heart, a lot reason and make use of their heads well enough.  If a woman is in the position to provide, while she’s not complaining or bragging about it, why does it intimidate the man? Feeding a man’s ego when the ego is weak isn’t a thing to be proud of.

I’d like to state clearly that not all men are the same. But many are quickly intimidated by a woman’s intellectual potential that they tend to forget that it is their duty to lead by example. How I feel is (correct me if I’m wrong) that when it comes to emotional challenges, the woman is the strongest. On a financial, intellectual and career aspect, the woman is usually pushed behind. The ironic thing about this is the fact that it’s stated on paper but isn’t actually practiced. It doesn’t just have to do with feminism, racism is another good example to testify to this.

Feminism is about social, political and economic equality and mutual understanding. I’d have to admit that a few women believe it is the perfect opportunity for them to ride over a man and rub it in his face. I’d have to also admit that some men are ignorant when it comes to the matters of feminism. Both are wrong. What if we started to train our kids to meet up with each other’s standards? That way we wouldn’t have to look over our shoulders all the time wondering who we are intimidating and who not.

I do not aspire to be married. I aspire to be fulfilled, satisfied and happy with what I would have achieved before I get called back home to rest.

I do not aspire to be marginalized and manipulated into believing that I am a machine that doesn’t have to voice out her opinion when needed.

I do not aspire to meet up with any one’s standard, certainly not that of society. I aspire to live and be the individual I was created to be.

I aspire to be a woman full of promise, potential and greatness.

I aspire to be me.

- The Alpha Female 

Comments

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