Feminism as a concept tilts towards creating a world where the women folk are treated fairly and justly as equals to men in all regard…socially, politically, economically and intellectually.
In contextual forms, feminism can be said to involve at least two claims; normative and descriptive. The normative view point explains how women ‘ought or ought not’ to be treated based on justice and on a moral stand point of view.
The descriptive claim faces the concern of how women are viewed and treated, disregarding the standards of justice and morality that should be obtainable, as in the normative claim. This, one can more or less say, is a reality check point of the present day state of affairs for the women folk.
These two claims, provide a foundation for the change movement in the feminism notion. Hence, from all grounds, as mentioned above, the women gender ‘want to’(normative) and ‘represent’ (descriptive) a home, city, state, nation and the world at large in every state of affair, where they believe the men folk have done their best, not done at all or enough or have failed to produce the desired result.
Hence, so many personalities have propagated this movement in Africa. People like Yaba Badoe, Ghananian-British documentary filmmaker, producer and writer; Leymah Gbowee, Liberian peace activist, women’s rights advocate and Nobel Peace Laureate and Chimamanda Adichie, Nigeria’s acclaimed author. They have all professed themselves as feminists with various topics and lectures relating to women’s issues in Africa and beyond.
In present day Nigeria, this concept is gradually following a new dimension, where it won’t be: ‘behind every successful man, there is a woman,’ but rather, ‘before every successful man, there stands a woman’ or the notion of ‘Whatever a man can do, a woman can do better,’ superseded by, ‘ What men can’t do, women can do much more and far better.’
The sexism claim that existed prior to the modern day Nigeria, has been overturned, that the gender equality meant to emanate from it has become synonymous with man – hating or has become a tussle; men versus women, who wins the tug where women must win the tug, no matter how.
Could it not be an over flogging of the movement where women in some countries (yet to trickle down fully to Nigeria), are now seen as superior beings entitled to some privileges or much more privileges than men, thus losing the true essence of equality between sexes and creating a groundwork for intimidations, power flaunt and outright derision of men by women. A situation, non- existent in the past.
The home, work places, society, environment, global connectivity of the world and conditions prevalent have all joined in creating this notion that is deepening by the day and if I might add, somersaulting in perception and practice.
The question remains… Is Feminism a movement that is truly represented as it should be or is there a wrong perception and practice of this notion?
(Chioma Emezie, Author and Creative Arts Facilitator)……… Feedbacks and Comments are welcome.