Most people who identify as feminists have a memory or two of spending hours trying to argue, educate and prove to unbelievers why we deserve to have equal rights, why we deserve to be treated as equals, why we are neither subjects or objects. Etc.. Over the past 3 months I’ve found myself doing this more and more and at the end of every one of these “debates” I find myself feeling drained and irate. Why did I spend 2 hours getting ready and doing my makeup to come to this party only to be accosted and baited into a 3 hour argument that has no head or tail. I use the word baited because in my experience, I don’t go around looking to start a debate, it’s usually people who know I identify as a feminist and feel the need to challenge me.
Imagine spending 3 hours of a party arguing about whose responsibility it is to change tires when you could have spent that time sharing your phone number out like party pack? Is that wise? You tell me.
The truth is most of these people just want to either hear their own voices or see you sweat and if you happen to be beautiful (like me) they really just want to see your (presumably) nice lips move. They have no real interest in learning about feminism or even opening their minds or hearts up enough to even entertain or respect points of views that challenge what they know and have been taught over the years. What’s interesting to me is, in my personal experience, majority of these people are educated, some, VERY educated. They have no problem learning new things or exploring different schools of thought but when it comes to feminism it becomes a threat to the life they are accustomed to. “When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression”- anonymous. How dare we, really? How dare we radical godless women even suggest that men play an active role in raising the kids we created with them?
Secondly, it is not your responsibility to educate or try to convince and not confuse anyone about anything. It is not. Especially when this convincing requires a time investment and possible emotional upset. I don’t know about you but every time I hear people advocate for beating women as a form of “discipline” I want to destroy things and possibly people and livestock. Women have so much bullshit to deal with on a daily basis; ensuring that no one follows you home if you live alone, turning down advances in a way that will not get you killed or raped, condescension from coworkers of the opposite sex, ensuring a professional yet friendly demeanor at all times to prevent being labelled a “bitch” or a “slut”. These are just a few off the top of my head, I’m sure you guys are aware of how bad it can be. It is CRAZY to be expected to be a crusader/evangelist in addition to ALL this and let’s not forget that your choice to be a feminist already demonizes you in the eyes of many people both male and female (Older women, I have a ruthless drag brewing for you, anticipate). I know what you’re thinking, if we don’t evangelize how do we change the status quo?. You’re absolutely right. This entire perspective is self serving and I am 100% unapologetic about that. I’m not saying this is what all feminists should do, not even close. I appreciate all the feminists who spend their days fighting the good fight, we would be nowhere without you guys. I’m simply stating MY choice based on who I am as an individual. I believe that I can contribute to the evangelism and the general conversation in other ways (this raggedy little blog right here) that are not harmful to me or my energy and are impactful.
I hate to insult or use derogatory language when describing other people’s opinions and points of view but to be frank, the vast majority of these arguments are usually useless and baseless. There are two genetic fallacies that they often employ; religion and “culture”. “The bible says”, “as an African”. Those two approaches are exactly what they are, fallacies. They are not based in any kind of factual or logical reasoning. Before you scream not everything in life is logical, I KNOW!, this is not one of those things though. And to soothe those whose throats are itching to ask if we should “throw away our culture”, y’all still go around killing twins? Do you still circumcise female children? Would you agree if a white man came to colonize us again? there’s your answer. Although as feminists we know that what matters is not necessarily who fries yam vs who boils plantain somehow those are the juvenile arguments we end up falling into. My personal opinion is that each couples domestic situation/arrangement is different. My two rules of thumb are no forms of abuse (physical, emotional, financial, spiritual) will be tolerated and men must participate in child care. Outside of that you can bath your husband and wipe him up after he poos if that’s what makes you happy, that is between you, your husband and God. If you are not being forced, pressured or coerced into anything you don’t want to do, I’ m happy and so is God. So why then am I trying to convince a random man I have absolutely no intention of marrying that he should put his dirty clothes in the laundry basket like a human being and not throw them on the floor like an animal and expect me to pick up after him? Is that not a true waste of my time?.
Side note: anyone engaging in any kind of violence, oppression or harassment (sexual or otherwise) against not just women but anyone should be reported to the authorities and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Now, this may or may not sound like some abstract BS but I genuinely believe in protecting my energy. To many people, feminism is something very very personal. It is something that they are passionate about and rightfully so! After all, it directly relates to the survival of women and girls in a society that is and has been unreasonably cruel and dangerous to us since the beginning of time. So how possible is it to spend 3 hours of your day basically arguing for the right to be allowed to exist in peace without leaving emotionally drained? How can I come out of said argument without feeling depleted and discouraged about the future of women, MY future, in this society? Bear in mind that not only do you have to argue, you also have to simultaneously project an appearance of being unbiased and “unemotional” because God forbid you get overly emotional and passionate when someone says to your face “women are like kids, they need to be beaten to be corrected”.
The final reason I will not be engaging in these kinds of debates is I TRULY DON’T CARE. I absolutely no longer care to convert or convince anyone and I have reached an age/stage where being likeable is no longer desirable to me, being impactful is where it’s at. I’ve actually never been likeable so I’ve just been deceiving myself tbh. My main focus is establishing systems and processes in our society that protect women from abuse, discrimination, inequality, deprivation and death. We need systems that assign harsh punishments to perpetrators of injustice against women, especially in the 3rd world. We need to ensure that we are not only enacting these policies into law, but also creating programs that help at risk women, creating safe havens for victims of abuse and giving second chances to women whose lives and childhoods were stolen from them. That’s my focus. So arguing with Nduka from Ipaja about whether or not his wife should be allowed to drive him is quiet, homeboy can like, not get it. (good on you if you got that one 😉 )
So, to the young women who are proponents and gate keepers of misogyny, you are on your own! O.Y.O!. If your choice is to be beaten and slapped around all day or be a married single mother, more grease to your elbow sis. We love and support you regardless and should you one day become wary, you can lean on us. We will be here to fight for you, support you, love you and heal with you. My only ask is that you not spend your time tearing down and destroying the hard work that women before you have done. Face your front and live a life that makes you happy. To the men who practice misogyny, the bible says that there is no rest for the wicked. Do with that what you will and know that by law, you will be held accountable. Also, remember that feminists are actually a minority. If we aren’t your spec, I guarantee you that there are girls out there who are willing to occupy the guest room every Friday while your side ting comes thru for the weekend, find them and let us hear word. Lastly and most importantly, to all my badass feminists and feminist allies killing the game on a daily basis and putting satan to shame, keep fighting the good fight! Protect your energy, take care of yourself, don’t let this world wear you down because when you die they (the they Khalid has been warning us about) will dance on your grave. So find your happiness, live your truth and continue to confuse your enemies, their papa!, tbh.
**My next post will be something for the boys, if you’re not sick of my shit already, see you next time :)**
Love and light always,
(p.s. Send Dollars.)