One question I’ve had to ask myself again and again – just to answer my own question of what Nigerian women are up to – is if feminism is nothing more than a trend to Nigerian women.
It’s the 21st century! The average human being wants to be trendy in whatever areas of living they consider relevant to them. People buy things because their status needs them; people pursue opportunities because hypothetically everyone is pursuing those opportunities; people get into ventures because those ventures are supposedly the new money-mines; people alter their lives to match the lives of others because of the illusion of different represented states of affairs.
Nigerian women are the champions of that movement: The Global Trend Followers’ Movement. They blindly copy trends – hair styles, fitness, fashion, ideologies, culinary, and much more – from the western world without evaluating the substance of those trends and deciding if they themselves are suitable followers of the trend. They don’t weigh the content and demands of the trends against their peculiar circumstances – location, environment, resources, values, beliefs, lifestyle, etc. – before adopting them. Unfortunately but not unsurprisingly, Nigerian women in their numbers have done this with feminism. Some of them ooze so much unenlightenment about the topic and it’s application in their lives that I just shudder at their speeches.
I do not identify myself as a feminist. Matter of fact, I don’t come with any labels – that’s what I tell people when they start to categorise me. Nonetheless, I share some of the ideas entertained by feminists, to certain degrees, some of which I will discuss in relation to the topics below that address that the application of some of these ideas.
Income Inequality & Performance Qualities
For instance, I believe that men and women should be treated equally as far as is practical and possibly so. If they both have the same job description but perform their duties to different degrees of quality, I don’t see a problem with them being paid differently.
I can’t for the life of me spot any injustice or inequality in rewarding person A more than person B, where person A’s output is more than that of his/her colleague, person B, who is doing the exact same job. Now, some of the people I’ve talked to, who claim to be feminists, will categorically tell you that they don’t subscribe to that mindset. You’d hear some of them tell you that in so far as persons A and B are delivering the minimum required quality on the job, paying one more than the other for doing more breeds inequality 😐. Really? Ok.
That is one. The next thing that actually makes me realise that some of these Nigerian women crying feminism don’t know what they’re on about, is where you hear them talk about equality and female independence, without wanting to put in the work required to activate that. Independence is a constant state of being; you don’t achieve independence once and for all, you have to keep it going. Equality is the same.
Equality & Adjustments
A lot of Nigerian women don’t seem to understand that if you want to be equal to someone, you have to do what it takes to be on the same level as they are. If you rearrange your fingers to match lengths, some are going to have to look taller, some will have to look shorter. You need to make adjustments; they just don’t fall into place.
If you see a man you want to be equal to, you have to make adjustments to match his levels. You may have to earn the same amount, have the same expenses and income influxes; you may have to consume the same products that he consumers; you may have to match his residence, car(s), social circles; and so much more. If we are to be honest with ourselves, pursuing equality in some areas is impractical and pointless. I don’t see the need for comparison.
“This product is not for the lazy nor the ‘all-talk-and-no-action’ people.” That’s a warning label that ought to come with independence as a pursuit. So many people crave, no, want independence, but they aren’t willing to put in the work needed to achieve it. Some others talk about independence so much you think it’s a done deal for them, but they’re not going to achieve it because they’re never going to move from talk to action.
For you to stand on your own two feet, it means that you are able to afford what you desire without contribution from other sources; you are able to fend for yourself and singularly bear and perform your financial responsibilities.
Now, let me tell you what some “feminists” do or believe in Nigeria. They go out on dates and expect the guy to pay for expense they incur. They go to the salons to get their hairs done and expect their men to pay for the expenses. They splurge on products for themselves and expect their men to pay for the expenses. They travel to exotic locations and expect their men to foot the bills and make it an all-expense-paid trip. 😐
I haven’t started o! Some of these women are working and earning incomes, but do me the favour of asking them exactly what they do with their income. Some of them don’t even have a single stream of income, but they’re the most spending people. They’re buying the latest of everything; buying what they definitely cannot afford; spending someone else’s hard earned money on themselves… and they claim to be equal to those people and demand to be treated equally… how?
And if you’re by chance thinking “Oh, but it’s not all about money…”, let me tell you, it is. Money answers all things. All things. Money will fetch you the resources you need to achieve independence. If you don’t have the financial capability to build your own independence, don’t live off of someone else’s resources and expect to be placed on the same level as they are on. You’re not a match for them and that’s the truth. So you either get your own copy of independence or you humbly live off of another person’s benevolence.
In case you still don’t get it: everything is not what it seems! That is the case with feminism. If you think it’s something that you want to get into, error; it’s not a profession or industry. If you think it’s a school of thought you want to enrol in, you’re half way there; there’s a whole lifestyle behind it that you have to be willing to adopt. As is with every other lifestyle change or decision, you have to evaluate if feminism is for you, and if you are for feminism.
Until you see me again, 🤞🏾