Let’s Talk Feminism by Karo Oforofuo

Photo credit: Canstock photos

A lot of posts of social media shows that feminism has been turned into the new hate towards men. And this should not be the case. When I see certain posts made by some women, I start to wonder if it is the same feminism I believe in that has been written about.

See ehn, I have always supported feminism, even when I didn’t know the word, let alone its meaning. As far back as my primary 5 days, I never liked the fact that I was made to do the house chores with my mum, while my brothers played around the house or watched TV. When I complained, I was told, “you’re a girl. You have to start learning to care for the home”. The worst part then was that, I am the only girl with 3 brothers. So after primary school, secondary followed. It seemed that as I grew older, the chores grew in number. I had to ask my mum at one time that if it was the girl’s place to do all the chores, why didn’t she give me more sisters? Brothers were of no use. Lol. Beside, those words, “you’re the girl”, started to really irritate me.

This went on to the extent of my brothers using same words for me. They’d eat and dump their plates. I’ll ask them to wash up and they’ll tell me “are you not the girl?”

If I sweep the sitting room, they’ll mess it up and run away. If I complain they’ll say, “ehn, you’re the girl na”.

I never slept past 6:00am. If I did, my dad will complain to my mum. “She’s the girl, why are you letting her sleep after 6:00am?” Mind you, during weekends, the boys could stay up to 8 or 9am in bed.

Those words, “you’re the girl”, became a slogan I hated with passion.

Fast forward to over twenty years later, my mum now says “when you have your kids, don’t make the mistake I made. Don’t assign chores to the girl alone and leave the boys out. Train all of them same way”. Of course, we both know why she has a change of heart.

See ehn, I believe that in as much as the woman should care for the home, the man must assist in keeping house. It is team work, not a case of one being a slave to the other.

– If your son is going to school, send your girl to school too.

– If you give your son 20k allowance, give your daughter same, not less.

– If your girl has her chores cut out for her, your boy should have his cut out for him too. Lazing around should not be allowed.

– Concerning relationships, family, business, political or social matters, women should also be allowed to air their opinion. We shouldn’t only be seen but heard too.

– If you’re writing your WILL, include your girl child in it. Wether she’s married or not, she’s still your flesh and blood.

– Yes, we want respect and equal treatment. That doesn’t mean we don’t recognize our husbands as head of the home. It doesn’t mean we don’t respect them. It has been so since the days of Adam and it wouldn’t change overnight. But he must see us as his assistant. He should still bring us in on whatever he is doing and also seek our opinion in matters that affect us and the home diectly.

– No, we are not out to insult or abuse men. Unfortunately, some women have turned feminism to mean backlashing at men. They do this at every given opportunity, not minding if the man deserves it or not.

– Yes, we want a man in our life. We want to be loved and love in return. We want to get married and have kids.

– We want to live in peace and understanding with our partners and in-laws.

– We don’t want to be undermined, enslaved, beaten, and worse, locked out of giving suggestions or taking firm decisions in critical moments. We don’t want to be misunderstood. And if you as our husband is soaking garri, we should soak it too. If you’re eating chicken with fried rice, we should eat same.

Just as the man does his own share of house chores and even cooking, a woman should also contribute financially to the upkeep of the home. Remember, its team work.

The above is my own definition of the feminism I believe in.

So dear men, if she’s abusing you, calling bad gangs or police for you or going all out to bring you down all because of a little argument or misunderstanding that can be resolved by talking things over, then it is not feminism. It is hatred. Simple. Unless of course, the man in question is fond of beating her, abusing her and subjecting her to all sort of maltreatment. Then she has a right to defend herself.