While we really can’t expect our celebrities to be the vanguard of new ideas and reformist thinking on social media, it’s important to note that they are first humans and cultured from the same ideological stew as with ordinary people. In a belated response to Chimamanda Adichie’s controversial comments on chivalry when she came on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah last week, Toke Makinwa took to Twitter to say this:
Chivalry is not dead, at least not in Nigeria, shoutout to the real men. I can’t even lie y’all need accolades. I stopped counting, each time I’m out and I ask for my bill, someone has paid it. Cheers 🥂
— Toke Makinwa (@tokstarr) June 16, 2018
Excuse you, Toke? Based on the details in that tweet, I’m assuming she’s been dining alone at some fancy restaurant and, whenever the bill comes, some creepy rich guy across the room offers to pay it, you know, the ones who put “into golden showers and whips” on their dating profiles. Not that I’m shaming anyone on that; #ExpressYourKink, people.
So back to Toke, who has lumped the perks of being a celebrity (male or female or other) with the insidious concept of chivalry (benevolent sexism towards women wrapped as niceness). Chivalry is why women and girls have, for a long time, been taken as the weaker sex, limiting their aspirations to the things that are culturally acceptable for women so that they won’t “crack.” And this is also why they aren’t taken seriously in fields like science or tech. And, in other worst forms, not allowed to participate.
The world has moved past chivalry, or at least has started a conversation around it. It is left to Toke, whether or not she will catch on.