I find it really disturbing whenever women who are misandrists get automatically addressed as feminists, or when women who are badly behaved are considered feminists, as though there isn’t a definition for Feminism in the dictionary. Recently, I saw a video about a popular female judge blasting feminists, I clicked on it and lo and behold, it was a case of a young white female trying to extort money from her ex boyfriend whom she used to live with, because they broke up, even though she never paid any bill for the house when they were living together. Another video of the Judge ‘bashing feminists’ was her actually scolding some of girls for insulting a group of guys they saw on the street. I’m not entirely sure why these women were tagged as feminists, even when they didn’t identify or behave like the definition of ‘feminist’ (a person who believes in the equal social, political and economic right of both sexes) implies, because Feminism doesn’t support extorting ex boyfriends, or insulting random guys on the street.
Going by the definition of who a feminist is, we can see that a lot of people who are addressed as Feminists do not exactly want gender equality and are definitely not feminists, but just people, majorly women, whom sexists use as an excuse to dismiss gender equality, so as to put a stereotype on the movement, and cover for their misogynistic mindsets. In so many scenarios, I have seen misogynistic Nigerian men dismiss gender equality by saying ‘Nigerian feminists’, as if it’s impossible to be Nigerian and be a feminist. Or when they say ‘Nigerian feminists just want to be like men these days’ anytime the double standards that favor men are brought up, without knowing that they are also highlighting the existence of inequality and their level of ignorance. Well, just as my favorite quote goes ‘Equality will feel like discrimination to the privileged’, they way some white people believe there’s no longer racism, and therefore movements like Black lives matter are unnecessary, is the same way some men believe there is no need for a movement that fights for the equality of both genders, even though racism and gender inequality still clearly exist.
One time, a man asked why ‘Feminism’ is referred to as ‘feminism’ if it truly supports equality not the selfish interests of women, and not simply ‘equality’. Well that’s obviously because men are seen as the superior gender, hence the point of feminism is for women to rise up to where men are. Even though women have very few advantages of being the lesser gender (e.g having a man open the door for you and being able to cry in public), feminism is majorly about females, because women are the gender that have been continuously marginalized and oppressed over thousands of years now, it would be very pointless to not at least highlight the very essence of the movement, in the name used to address it. Someone simple answered the question saying ‘because everybody is referred to as ‘mankind’ (I liked that reply better). Nevertheless, it is very important to highlight the essence of Feminism and to identify who really is a feminist, in other for the movement to move forward.
A Feminist is a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of both sexes, not a person carries a banner with ‘I am a feminist’ written on it, or wears a vest with ‘feminist’ written on it. A feminist isn’t a lady that uses her body to get positions she isn’t qualified for, neither is she a person that believes it’s a man’s obligation to pay all her bills. Feminism shouldn’t be defined by men hating or refusing to shave armpits or any negativity at all, it should be defined by the reason behind the movement, which is having equal rights and opportunities as men, for example, right of a woman to be able to decide what she wants with her body (as against the law guiding abortion in Nigeria for example). Going by the definition of who a feminist is, a feminist isn’t necessarily a person who calls him or herself a feminist, because you don’t have to call yourself something in other to be that thing. Which means that the definition of who a feminist is, is what should be used to identify feminists, not people who use the movement for purposes that are not in line with the agenda, or to place an ignorant stereotype on the movement.
So, pick up a book or use google to read up on the history of feminism, learn what it has achieved and what it is yet to achieve, look around your environment, it screams ‘unfairness to women’, so that you can understand this movement, and not be ignorant and blinded by ugly stereotypes.