I don’t like being called a feminist and I have had people call me this a lot of times. I really do not know why. Or, well, maybe I do know why but do not just think it is enough reason for anybody to see me as one. If you know me personally or follow me personally on My Personal Facebook account, one of the things you probably know about me is that I am very assertive. I am everything that speaks confident (and I am not ashamed to say this) and I am not one to think I should be seen as less than capable or less than a man. I didn’t grow up this way either.
So, whenever I mention something that tilts in the favour of women, someone somewhere just happens to think that I am a feminist because to them, a feminist is someone who can speak in favour of women. People happen to think that any lady who refuses to lower her standards for a man has to be a feminist. If she is intelligent, confident and outspoken, then she also has to be a feminist. And if she ever has to speak against injustice against women then, she is very much a feminist.
Well… I don’t want to bore you with too much talk. You’re here because you want to know why I do not like being called a feminist and I am going to tell you just that.
ONE, I don’t like being called a feminist because I feel that it is a wildly-misconstrued term. Last time I checked what feminism meant in the dictionary, its meaning sounded cool and reasonable. I mean, advocating for equal rights for women when it comes to education and employment opportunities is not a bad idea, right? But leave the dictionary meaning and take it up to the real world and you will find out that many women who call themselves feminists are only mad at men and the fact that they exist. So, for many “feminists”, the battle goes way beyond advocating fundamental rights for women but is now an attack on whoever is a man. And many people also see feminism as the movement of women who hate men.
TWO, I do not like the fact that people who label me as that do not mean it in a positive way. People who call me a feminist rarely do so because they like feminists or the idea of feminism but because they think I am too “strong-willed” to be a lady. Another annoying this about this premise is that they expect me to be someone who can do everything herself and who doesn’t need help from anybody, especially men. I do not like the idea of that.
THREE, to me, being a feminist would mean not making exceptions for any part of your life. In other words, you can’t claim to advocate for equality in an area and permit inequality in another area. Even though I believe that women should not be seen as lesser or inferior and I make that clearly-known, I strongly believe that in marriage, the narrative changes. I am a Christian and my Bible teaches me that the man is the head of the wife. The woman is to submit to the man. The Bible makes clear a hierarchy where the man is the head and the woman follows his leadership. I am not obliged to submit to any man out there but I am obliged, according to my Bible, to submit to my husband. However, I am not sure feminism makes arrangement for exceptions such as this.
FOUR, I believe that to compare two different variables with each other, then there should be a sort of similar point which makes it easy to compare them with each other. And in my opinion, that similar point doesn’t exist when it comes to men and women. I believe it is quite erroneous to compare men and women together when they are obviously different. Men have their strengths and weaknesses and women also do. In essence, doing so would force us to give men roles that they may not be able to handle and that women may not be comfortable taking up. It’s like saying that men should also be allowed to breastfeed their babies because it is “injustice and degrading” to ask a woman to breastfeed her own baby.
WHAT I DO STAND FOR
Irrespective of the reasons I have given for why I do not like being called a feminist, some things stand for me, however.
- That I do not like being called a feminist does not mean I will allow anybody see me as less, inferior or incapable. If anything, I really will not stop to prove people wrong that call me a woman or not, it doesn’t make you able to make better decisions than I can.
- That I do not like being called a feminist does not mean that if I see an injustice being perpetrated against a woman, I will then keep quiet. No, if that happens, I will speak against injustice against women if I am exposed to real-life stories about them. The twist to this is that I will not speak in the favour of women alone. If the tables turn and a man is the one who is being threatened or mistreated, I will speak in the favour of the man. That’s the reasonable thing to do, I guess.
- That I do not like being called a feminist does not mean that I will be less confident in who I am. Or whatever makes me, Me.
Perhaps what I am saying, at the end of the day, is that the most important part of me isn’t that I am a woman. It is that I am human.
Too often, I read stories of ladies who fall prey to guys who break off their relationships in the most inconsiderate manner. What usually makes it very painful is that on most occasions, the relationship would have lasted more than 3 or 4 years. And no, usually, this is not a simple relationship but one where a ring has been involved. So imagine the pain the lady goes through when it dawns on her that she has wasted time, emotions and opportunities she had for other potential suitors to come into the picture.
I strongly feel this is something that can be avoided a lot of times by ladies and I’ll be sharing tips on how to know if your fiancé is serious about marrying you or if he just put the ring on your finger till further notice.
1. He never says anything about you both starting marriage preparations after putting the ring on your finger.
I believe that proposing to a lady means that you see her marrying her really soon, say in one or two years. It’s not a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that you’re still trying to figure out. However if he keeps mute after you’ve said yes and doesn’t bring it up again at all, then you should raise your eyebrows. Unless he has amnesia and has forgotten he proposed to you.
2. He tries to avoid any talks about marriage with you.
If after he’s proposed he starts to avoid marriage talks with you or starts to postpone the discussion, then it could be time to rethink. Many guys give ladies engagement rings not because they’re ready to get married to them but because they’re scared of someone else taking her. In some cases, they’re not even sure if they’ll eventually marry her. If your man finds a way to change the subject when marriage comes up, take a cue and start thinking of exit routes. Or for starters, take the ring off your finger first of all.
3. He actually talks marriage with you but never seems ready.
I understand the place of your man having everything in place before getting married. However, if for three, four, five years or more, he’s still trying to fix something here and there, you just may have to start thinking of leaving. If he knew he wasn’t ready for it very soon, I don’t think he should have proposed to you yet. There’s nothing bad in waiting for his life to be in order but if it’s taking too long then it’s not too good, baby.
Please understand that the above conditions only hold for relationships where a ring is already involved. A relationship where the guy hasn’t proposed would definitely have different (even though slight) conditions.
So, what did I miss out on? How can a lady know if the guy is really serious or if she’s just a lord (or lady) of the rings?
P.S: Opinions and constructive criticism are welcome!
I grew up in a society where being a housewife was totally frowned at by the literates of the society. And that society is the same society where I still live. I have begun to really wonder why being a housewife seems like such a taboo for both men and women alike. Everybody seems to agree on the fact that no woman should consider being a housewife, especially if she’s educated. Why spend so many years going to school when you’re going to sit down for the rest of your marriage in your house doing “nothing”?
While I am not of the opinion that a woman should be stuck in the home after marriage, I still believe doing so is not a bad idea. I have always been an ambitious person and I have never much fancied not having a regular job. But then, I am beginning to have a re-think. While I don’t want to sit down at home absolutely doing nothing, I do not think I am mentally ready for the stress of going to work all day and then coming back to face the stress of the house. Lol, yes I am that lazy. I would prefer a job where I can sit down at home and keep getting the money and still be able to keep an eye on my children.
Okay, this post isn’t about me. What I’m saying is, there is really nothing wrong with being a full housewife. What if a lady thinks she wants to approach being a full-time housewife as a full-time job? Why disagree with her? “Funke, times have changed. We’re no longer in ‘those days'”, you want to protest. And I totally understand. But who says being a housewife isn’t a job anyway? No, it isn’t just a job, it is a life.
Imagine having to pay someone who will wholeheartedly take care of and look after your kids. Or someone who will cook your meals. Or watch after the house. And at the end of the day, function well in “za oda room”. Imagine having to pay for each of them. Well, unless you’re wealthy, paying for these may not be so easy.
What am I saying? There is nothing wrong with being a housewife. A woman should be able to make her own decisions and we should be able to respect that. If a woman decides that with all her degrees, she wants to stay at home and be a housewife, leave her be. It doesn’t make her irrelevant or less important than other “career women”.
So here’s for all the full housewives out there who are receiving little or no recognition for their jobs well done. You all are doing an amazing job and I celebrate you for it. For all I know, housewives are pretty much as relevant to our society as much as every other career woman. They shouldn’t be looked down on or seen as “unambitious” or weak.
Or, what do you think?