On Wednesday, presidential aspirant Eunice Atuejide and founder of the National Interest Party (NIP) declared on Twitter that she’s not a feminist. Which is bitterly funny, and ironic, and also feels like a reckless political subterfuge. The offensive tweet from her account (I’m dead sure she tweeted it herself) was in reaction to a grainy clip of an all-male presidential aspirant gathering, with the men solemnly swearing “We have all agreed to work together” in a room.
With no visible female representation in the meeting, Atuejide was understandably peeved. But why did she have to drag feminism in her silly caption game?
Again, I’m not a feminist!
I actually hate it when people call me feminist because that word means too many things, many of which I DON’T LIKE!
EVERYONE should have a fair chance.
Be yourself and be treated right being yourself
So guys, lets caption this picture!#ANigeria4All pic.twitter.com/JPJkebOU3W
— Eunice Atuejide (@eunice_atuejide) August 1, 2018
Of course, it won’t be social media if there were no reactions from feminist and non-feminist camps. But even more annoying was Atuejide reiterating that she is not a feminist in her subsequent tweets that should have acted as damage control. A retraction. An apology. Anything. Last month, Punch headlined a story: “Mother of Five Declares for Presidential Bid, Says Nepotism Hindering Nigeria.”
I AM NOT FEMINIST! However, it’ll be over my dead body that anyone infringes on the rights of my fellow women, our children, or our men.
I am here for every human, because no matter how we choose to see it, no matter the labels we bring it under, we all have the same rights.
— Eunice Atuejide (@eunice_atuejide) August 2, 2018
That mother is Eunice Atuejide, who, on a pinned tweet on Twitter, rolls out outstanding qualifications and multilingual proficiency before adding that she’s a “Mum of Five” and a “Wife.” Keenly enough, she didn’t do a Hillary Clinton, whose Twitter bio did the reverse and caused a controversy. But a foremost press outlet like Punch reduced Atuejide to a domestic skillset and I vividly remember feminists fighting on her behalf, and dragging Punch from pole to pole for using feminism (or lack thereof) as clickbait.
And just to remind you Ma’am @eunice_atuejide when that newspaper publication subjected your ambition to just your domestic abilities, it was feminists here and other social media platforms that spoke up for you. They went to war on your behalf and they won. Think again.
— Enwongo C. Cleopas (@Enwongocleopas) August 1, 2018
Atuejide disidentifying from feminism, and going further to parrot the misconceptions about the movement shows the tone-deafness of her gender politics. Politically, she has single-handedly alienated a potential support base that could facilitate her 2019 presidential ambitions. And it’s not a good look.