It was a beautiful wednesday, I was sitting in the library with two of my classmates. We were talking about a lab project of decoding DNA. We didn’t look concentrated because I was throwing my jokes as always. We smiled and focused again on our project. After a while I remembered that the bus was leaving in five minutes! I stood up, packed my bag while suddenly two random girls appeared on our table.
They asked if they could talk with us.
‘U am in hurry’ I said.
One replied ‘I am going to use just five minutes of your time’
I acknowledged her courage and boldness. I put my bag on the table and grabbed a sit.
She started talking. By the way she was white, blonde, cute and really smart. Well, I cannot miss to recognize a smart person. She explained about her club and said she was a feminist.
‘Our club is for all the girls who feel they can do something in their society. We empower them…..’
She told us many things but one phrase really caught my attention. ‘en and Women should be equal. Beside that we all know women are superior to men’
I stopped her. ‘Wait, what did u just say?’
I am shocked. She repeated again the same sentence and goes on with her speech on women’s rights. After ten minutes I remembered another bus was leaving. I took my bag but many questions were still flowing. I didn’t want to miss the bus again. I thanked her and ran to take my bus.
‘She is really smart” I said to myself while lost in my thoughts sitting in the bus. Some people have a gift of convincing. With her bold voice, I am sure she had been recruiting many girls in her club. But she lacked one thing which is the key to a success and a happy life : Don’t ever compare yourself to anyone.
I went home with a desire. I wanted to know more about feminism history. I wanted to know who started the movement, what were their motivations and goals?
I grew up seeing my mom so involved in some womens clubs. I grew up seeing my grandfather honoring his six daughters exactly the same way he did with his three sons. I grew up seeing my Dad pushing me to learn a lot and to be excellent. I remember one day I worked so bad in school and he took me out. He started telling me how smart I am, how excellent I can be and how he believed in me. I grew up seeing him treating me and my three sisters exactly the same way he was treating my unique brother. I don’t remember being ashamed of who I am. There wasn’t any need to wear masks or be someone else. My parents were already proud of me that’s why I had the freedom to be myself (many have said that I am careless because I rarely care what others think as long as my heart and my beliefs are in peace. But I am not careless, I am simply so confident( A confidence one can call arrogance). I love the glorious mess that I am. I do aspire to be better but I won’t start loving myself when I will be that perfect image our society has created. Call me selfish! Yes, I love myself so much.
With years, I got to learn the reality of the world we live in as I was starting to find my way out of the little house I lived in for almost twenty years. No matter how confident, emotionally strong you may be, you will always be affected by your environment. But still you have to choose how deep it can affect you.
Anyways, I was a fan of feminism. Any woman can support the advocacy of womens rights on the ground of political, social and economical. I loved what I knew about feminism, the idea of letting a woman know that she has worth, value and that she can be everything she wanted. The idea of empowerment I had every time I heard the word ‘feminism’ was the reason I called myself sometimes a feminist. Until the day I got to meet some women so called ‘feminists’ who wanted gender supremacy not equality or fairness or justice but power over men. Shocked, I told myself that they have failed their mission the very first day they started comparing themselves to men. ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ one once said. How can you compare an ear and an eye? They all need each other. The absence of the eye may cause the malfunction of the ear. You cannot compare a man and a woman. A man always needs a woman and a woman always needs a man. A man has to be a man and a woman has to be a woman.
Instead of teaching women how to be like men, instead of pushing women to act like they are superior to men or to demand superiority over men, teach them who they really are. Teach the women to embrace their weaknesses, their strengths. Teach the women to first know their value and what they are capable of. Teach the women to embrace their softness, courage, determination and their boldness. Teach the women to not find their value on how men are labeling them or treating them. Teach them that submission does not mean being a slave. In fact, a man treated like a king will treat you as a queen ( vice versa). Teach the women that they should not compare themselves to anyone. Culture should not define them. We all know how african culture has put women into a box.
If the time some feminists use trying to prove their superiority to men, was used to empower women, to help them embrace their identity. If it was used to tell women that marriage should not define them. If it was used to help women see that they can study and pursue any career they want, their lives will be changed for good.
I personally do not want to be a man. I love the woman I am (including what I am becoming). Being a girl does not mean being weak or so emotional. There are boys who are extra emotional. I have an uncle who is so emotional by the way and I love how sensitive he is. There are many labels, society and culture gave to girls but deep considered, those labels have nothing to do with gender.
Back in Africa, you can rarely see a MAN (nyenurugo) who cook but the housemaids they have are mostly boys. Isn’t funny?
My point is that everyone should learn about his or her identity. Let us learn who we really are?
What is a woman? Big booty? Big boobs? Beautiful hair? Flawless skin?
What is a man? Rock voice? The heritage he gets from his parents? Or the fact that he was the only boy among many girls?
Who am I? We should all know that before anyone else tell us who we are.
Helping Women to embrace who they really are should be the reason behind ‘Feminism’. Otherwise how can one dare to stand against male supremacy while she dreams of a female dominion?