Words by Akintoye Abdulraheem
Yesterday, in an unprecedented display of animosity towards men, Sugabelly wrote an article in which she more or less demanded and wished for a Nigeria in which women were more violent towards men. Her article was fittingly titled ‘Why Aren’t Nigerian Women Bloodthirstier?’
Her narrative was straightforward. It is the standard feminist narrative these days: that patriarchy has committed untold atrocities against women, and continues to do so; and that patriarchy should be fought tooth and nail, with outright violence and viciousness if need be.
While Sugabelly’s passion can and should indeed be commended, her ideas, especially this not-so-subtle call to violence, are at once intellectually bankrupt and amazingly silly.
Let me make this important concession: Feminism is a good idea, on paper. Many of the feminist attacks on patriarchy are justified. Patriarchy has held women back; there can be no doubt about that.
But patriarchy, too, has its own narrative. For instance, “In the event of a disaster, save women and children first” is a product of patriarchy. “Men should fight in the wars; and if they do not want to, they should be conscripted” is a product of patriarchy.
So let us be clear: while many patriarchal notions of how society should be ordered can no longer be justified in the modern world, patriarchy is not the three-headed monster that set out to subjugate and annihilate women – the monster that certain feminists would have us believe it is.
While I identify with efforts to move womankind forward, I am extremely uncomfortable with the label of feminism. Let me tell you why.
First, feminism seems to me to deal too much in generalizations. Sugabelly’s tweets often fall in this category. All men are this! Nigerian men are that! And the evidence for these categorical assertions that demonize men is almost always anecdotal.
Second, feminism often seems to me to be hypocritical. Because it is biased in favour of demonizing men, it easily creates double standards in matters such as rape. An allegation of rape more often than not becomes evidence of the rape. And none of these feminists seems to understand the damage that a false allegation of rape can do to a man. The feminists are so desperate to prove that their much-touted rape culture exists, that they are not ready to let a little thing like legal proof hold them back.
Third, feminism seems to me to be fascistic. It censors. It shouts down opposing viewpoints. It shuns debate. Two recent examples of this phenomenon are the cases of Sir Tim Hunt and Chess Grandmaster Nigel Short. Sir Tim had made a harmless self-deprecating remark and Nigel short had insinuated that perhaps men are better than women at chess because men’s brains are differently wired from women’s brains. The two men were hounded to no end. Remember #distractinglysexy?!
Fourth, feminism appears to me to be a movement that will never give up the victim narrative. No matter how much progress is made, feminists will always claim that they are victims. This is evidenced by feminism in the first world where women have made tremendous progress in recent times. Claiming victim status is a sad feature of identity politics generally, but is no less an unattractive feature of feminism for that reason.
Fifth, feminism alienates. The language of feminists as epitomized by Sugabelly is almost always divisive.
Now, should women cook for their husbands? I don’t know about hunters and gatherers, but I feel that women are entitled to choose whether or not to cook for their husbands. However, the idea that women have some kind of duty NOT to cook for their husbands is repugnant to me, and this is where I think @chxta may have been onto something.
Sugabelly is right that women go through an awful lot. But violence? Viciousness? TONE. IT. DOWN.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.