Feminism and You
Over the years, I have eventually grown to love myself and my own version of me for there are those with other versions of me in their head. The me without pretense, the me that is not apologetic for being unfeigned and finally, to accept my form of feminism. The inclusive kind of feminism.
I am sure I am not the only one who has being at crossroads, I am not the only one who has had to fight to accept who they are becoming and ultimately who they are. Very often we have began to see feminism as a segregated cult of women who hate men, who cannot find husbands and who are not African like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says. We have somehow given it a negative connotation and stopped including other women in it as if we are not actually fighting for those women. We have become lax in our thinking of the word as only one associated with angry women. We forget that equality does not mean preference and that feminism does not exclude men. Too often we assume the fight is already over and that the only thing women are now fighting against is actually equality itself for they now want to be above men but we forget. We forget that women are still battered and told to keep quiet, we still pay dowry for women seeing her as the man's property, we still see some professions as predominantly female or male. As a society, we still treat the woman as inferior no matter her status or standing in the society. Even in the free country, they find it almost impossible to accept that a woman can be president, some outrightly saying it is wrong. We say these because we are privileged and 'privilege too often blinds' in the words of Adichie. It blinds us to look beyond our own privilege to see the challenges others go through. We become desensitized if we are not careful and we start to see our privilege as the only way.
Feminism is about being uncomfortable with the status quo, it is about fighting for the right of men to also be vulnerable, to not be the only 'provider' and to fight for the right of the women to be recognized as complete human beings capable of thought and decisions that can change the world too. And yes some women have done it, are doing it and more will do the same but to assume that the fight is already over is to remain blinded by our privilege. We have to continue until gender roles are abolished and men and women are seen equally whether socially, politically or economically not because of gender but because of their abilities and capabilities. And recognising this is the foundation of true feminism.
Feminism is not just for me but it is also for you. Yes you, the pretty lady who loves makeup but is angered by the association of her makeup with her intelligence, it is for you who loves singing but is also politically conscious. Feminism is for the intellectual introvert, the sporty introvert, the masculine male who is tired of seeing his mother continually limited by gender roles, feminism is for the male who is tired of being made to feel somehow less for wanting an intellectual but beautiful wife. Feminism is for every single one of you. Create your own version of feminism, be inclusive in your views and accept that our differences make that word. Your feminism can be happily married with kids. " Your feminism can cook for her husband" to quote one of my favorite poets Ijeoma Umebinyuo. Your feminism is you.