A DETAILED ANALYSIS WITH PROVES THAT FEMINISM AND FEMININITY ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE

INTRODUCTION

This particular topic have been a serious problem in the society, the notion/idea of the connection of femininity and feminism have been a popular debate among people. From my little understanding am here to give reasons and proves that feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

I have to start with one of my favourite mentor FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the tenth Suggestion

“””””” Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive. It is misogynistic to suggest that they are. Sadly, women have learned to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and makeup. But our society does not expect men to feel ashamed of pursuits considered generally male – sports cars, certain professional sports. In the same way, men’s grooming is never suspect in the way women’s grooming is – a well-dressed man does not worry that, because he is dressed well, certain assumptions might be made about his intelligence, his ability, or his seriousness. A woman, on the other hand, is always aware of how a bright lipstick or a carefully-put-together outfit might very well make others assume her to be frivolous. “”””””

From the little knowledge I have about feminism and femininity, the society is angry that most youth (girls) have reduce the attitude they have toward femininity, again most women don’t value the idea of femininity. So people have to find a way to blame feminism movement for disregarding the idea of femininity. Before the coming of feminism as a movement, they have been a decadence in morality. For the society to put the blame on a particular movement is totally wrong.

For a Broader view and understanding of the topic let look at some definitions of some terms associated with the topic;

  • FEMINISM
  • FEMININITY
  • MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE

DEFINITION OF FEMINISM

  1. ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism

Feminism is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes.

  1. ACCORDING TO MERRIAM WEBSTER DICTIONARY

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism

  1.  the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
  2. organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests
  1. ACCORDING TO  FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI

 In her popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.

  1. ACCORDING TO  FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI

In her popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender.

DEFINITION OF FEMININITY

  1. ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Femininity

Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviours, and roles generally associated with women and girls. Although femininity is socially constructed, some research indicates that some behaviours considered feminine are biologically influenced. To what extent femininity is biologically or socially influenced is subject to debate. It is distinct from the definition of the biological female sex, as both males and females can exhibit feminine traits.

  1. ACCORDING TO MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/femininity

The quality or nature of the female sex: the quality, state, or degree of being feminine or womanly.

DEFINITION OF MUTUAL EXCLUSIVE

  1. ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_exclusivity

In logic and probability theory, two events (or propositions) are mutually exclusive or disjoint if they cannot both occur at the same time. A clear example is the set of outcomes of a single coin toss, which can result in either heads or tails, but not both.

In the coin-tossing example, both outcomes are, in theory, collectively exhaustive, which means that at least one of the outcomes must happen, so these two possibilities together exhaust all the possibilities.[1] However, not all mutually exclusive events are collectively exhaustive. For example, the outcomes 1 and 4 of a single roll of a six-sided die are mutually exclusive (both cannot happen at the same time) but not collectively exhaustive (there are other possible outcomes; 2, 3, 5, 6).

  1. ACCORDING TO MERRIAM WEBSTER

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mutually%20exclusive

  1. being related such that each excludes or precludes the other
  2. also : INCOMPATIBLE
  1. ACCORDING TO COLLINS DICTIONARY

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/amp/english/mutually-exclusive

If two things are mutually exclusive, they are separate and very different from each other, so that it is impossible for them to exist or happen together.

Synonyms for mutually exclusive

For better understanding of the topic here are some similar word to mutually exclusive:

Clashing, conflicting, disagreeing, discordant, discrepant, incompatible, incongruous, inconsistent, inconsonant, inharmonious, repugnant

From the above definition of mutually exclusive I guess my readers understand the meaning of that. For two words/items like FEMINISM AND FEMININITY that are NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE, I mean they are agreeing, compatible,.  Therefore feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

The following are arguments I have with some of my colleagues about the idea of feminism and femininity being not mutually exclusive.

The arguments are as follows:

  1. First argument (attainment of equality will dismantle the conventional (norms) ideas about femininity)
  1. Second argument (society feel feminism came to remove the femininity characteristics like virginity, modesty (appearance) and motherhood)
  1. Third argument (the society have integrated this idea that women have a specific role in the society which cannot be change, so the coming of feminism was bad)
  1. Fourth argument (based on femininity the idea that culture -societal norms- social influence- social convention have to be maintain)
  1. Fifth argument (the society feel based on femininity idea that women should not be given much freedom)
  2. Sixth argument (society have this idea that femininity is synonymous with submissiveness and therefore authority and power will not be given to them)
  1. Seventh argument (society uses the knowledge of statistics to prove that women stay at home more)

FIRST ARGUMENT

(ATTAINMENT OF EQUALITY WILL DISMANTLE THE CONVENTIONAL (NORMS) IDEAS ABOUT FEMININITY)

This “ATTAINMENT OF EQUALITY” reason from the first argument is always funny to me. Society feel if women attain equality in all ramification this will dismantle conventional belief people have on femininity that have been in place.

For better understanding am going to define the meaning of EQUALITY AND SOCIAL CONVENTION from different source and with link beneath it as prove for my write-up and for the viewers/readers.

DEFINITION OF EQUALITY

ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equality

Political equality, in which all members of a society are of equal standing

  • Consociationalism, in which an ethnically, religiously, or linguistically divided state functions by cooperation of each group’s elites
  • Egalitarianism, a trend of thought that favours equality for all people
  • Equal opportunity, a stipulation that all people should be treated similarly
  • Equality of outcome, in which the general conditions of people’s lives are similar

For specific groups:

  • Gender equality
  • Racial equality
  • Equality Party (disambiguation), several political parties

Social equality, in which all people within a group have the same status, a form of social justice.

Because of my work am going to specify on the one that suits my study:

  • political equality
  • egalitarianism
  • equal opportunity
  • gender equality
  • social equality
  1. POLITICAL EQUALITY

According to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_egalitarianism

Political egalitarianism is where members of a society are of equal standing in terms of political power or influence.  A founding principle of various forms of democracy, political egalitarianism was an idea which was supported by Thomas Jefferson and it is a concept similar to moral reciprocity and legal equality. The idea suggests all citizens of a certain country must be treated equally solely depending on their citizenship status, not on their race, gender, religion and how clever or how rich they are. Equal citizenship constitute the core of political egalitarianism. This is expressed in such principles as one-person/one-vote, equality before the law and equal rights of free speech.

  1. EGALITARIANISM

According to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egalitarianism

Egalitarianism (from French égal, meaning ‘equal’), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that prioritizes equality for all people. Egalitarian doctrines are generally characterized by the idea that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or moral status.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The term has two distinct definitions in modern English, namely either as a political doctrine that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social and civil rights,  or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people, economic egalitarianism, or the decentralization of power. Some sources define egalitarianism as the point of view that equality reflects the natural state of humanity.

  1. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_opportunity

Equal opportunity is a state of fairness in which job applicants are treated similarly, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices or preferences, except when particular distinctions can be explicitly justified. The intent is that the important jobs in an organization should go to the people who are most qualified – persons most likely to perform ably in a given task – and not go to persons for reasons deemed arbitrary or irrelevant, such as circumstances of birth, upbringing, having well-connected relatives or friends, religion, sex, ethnicity, race, caste, or involuntary personal attributes such as disability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Equal opportunities is interpreted as being judged by ability, which is compatible with a free market economy. Relevant problems are horizontal inequality − the inequality of two persons of same origin and ability and differing opportunities given to individuals − such as in (education) or by inherited capital.

  1. GENDER EQUALITY

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_equality

Gender equality, also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations and needs equally, regardless of gender. Gender equality is the goal, while gender neutrality and gender equity are practices and ways of thinking that help in achieving the goal.

UNICEF says gender equality “means that women and men, and girls and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and protections. It does not require that girls and boys, or women and men, be the same, or that they be treated exactly alike.

  1. SOCIAL EQUALITY

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_equality

Social equality is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in possibly all respects, possibly including civil rights, freedom of speech, property rights and equal access to certain social goods and social services. However, it may also include health equality, economic equality and other social securities. Social equality requires the absence of legally enforced social class or caste boundaries and the absence of discrimination motivated by an inalienable part of a person’s identity. For example, sex, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, origin, caste or class, income or property, language, religion, convictions, opinions, health or disability must absolutely not result in unequal treatment under the law and should not reduce opportunities unjustifiably.

DEFINITION OF SOCIAL CONVENTION (NORM)

  1. According to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_(norm)

A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated, or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms, or criteria, often taking the form of a custom.

In a social context, a convention may retain the character of an “unwritten law” of custom (for example, the manner in which people greet each other, such as by shaking each other’s hands). Certain types of rules or customs may become law and regulatory legislation may be introduced to formalize or enforce the convention (for example, laws that define on which side of the road vehicles must be driven).

  1. According to site research/book

https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691140902/social-conventions

According to Andrei Marmor in his book   “social conventions: from language to law”

  1. Social conventions are those arbitrary rules and norms governing the countless behaviors all of us engage in every day without necessarily thinking about them, from shaking hands when greeting someone to driving on the right side of the road.
  2. Social Conventions is a much-needed reappraisal of the nature of the rules that regulate virtually every aspect of human conduct.

DETAILED EXPLANATION OF FIRST ARGUMENT

I will start my point against such argument from these men/people saying such statement:

“Women and men are different. They are not equal. There are obvious underlying biological differences between the two sexes”

This is a superficial fact – that men and women are biologically different and have different general abilities, and therefore not “equal” to one another in the physiological sense. If this is the reason for society/men to refute women’s equality, and tag them as being misandrist because women can’t get equal opportunities with them base on the physical and biological different then it is wrong.

With this they feel if women attain equality in all ramification this will dismantle conventional belief people have on femininity. So it will be a threat to the society and the female folks. But the society do forget something about “EQUALITY”.

 When people/men talk about being “equal”, they mindset is about physical differences or structure of the both sexes. The word “EQUAL” MEANS EQUAL TREATMENT BEFORE THE LAW, EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY, AND EQUAL CONSIDERATION OF INTERESTS. So, most people/men completely misses the point of equality. I guess most men/people are totally wrong in this aspect of equality.

Moreover am going to give a detailed proves that feminism was not a threat to femininity which is been declared by some group of persons. So with the following proves am going to outline below, I will convince my readers that feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

The following are proves against the argument that feminist cannot attain equality with men based on conventional/norms ideas in the society

PROVE 1 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“”””” Men and women are different. We have different hormones and different sexual organs and different biological abilities—women can have babies, men cannot. Men have more testosterone and are, in general, physically stronger than women. A man and a woman are doing the same job, with the same qualifications, and the man is paid more because he is a man. So in a literal way, men rule the world. This made sense a thousand years ago. Because human beings lived then in a world in which physical strength was the most important attribute for survival; the physically stronger person was more likely to lead. And men in general are physically stronger. (There are of course many exceptions.) Today, we live in a vastly different world. The person more qualified to lead is not the physically stronger person. It is the more intelligent, the more knowledgeable, the more creative, more innovative. And there are no hormones for those attributes. A man is as likely as a woman to be intelligent, innovative, creative. We have evolved. But our ideas of gender have not evolved very much. “””””

PROVE 2 (FROM HER BOOK)

 According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the sixth Suggestion

“”””””“Teach her, too, to question the idea of women as a special species. I once heard an American politician, in his bid to show his support for women, speak of how women should be ‘revered’ and  ‘championed’ – a sentiment that is all too common. Tell Chizalum that women actually don’t need to be championed and revered; they just need to be treated as equal human beings. There is a patronizing undertone to the idea of women needing to be ‘championed and revered’ because they are women. It makes me think of chivalry, and the premise of chivalry is female weakness.     “”””””

PROVE 3 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the second Suggestion

 “”””””   Do it together. Remember in primary school we learned that a verb was a ‘doing’ word? Well, a father is as much a verb as a mother. Chudi should do everything that biology allows – which is everything but breastfeeding. Sometimes mothers, so conditioned to be all and do all, are complicit in diminishing the role of fathers. You might think that Chudi will not bathe her exactly as you’d like, that he might not wipe her bum as perfectly as you do. But so what? What is the worst that can happen? She won’t die at the hands of her father. Seriously. He loves her.

It’s good for her to be cared for by her father. So look away, arrest your perfectionism, still your socially conditioned sense of duty. Share child care equally. ‘Equally’ of course depends on you both, and you will have to work it out, paying equal attention to each person’s needs. It does not have to mean a literal fifty-fifty or a day-by-day score-keeping but you’ll know when the child-care work is equally shared. You’ll know by your lack of resentment. Because when there is true equality, resentment does not exist.      ””””””

PROVE 4 (FROM SITE/INTERNET)

I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned “”””FEMINISM“”””

For further reading here is the link to the SPEECH convince you.

https://time.com/3921492/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-graduation-commencement-wellesley/

FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

IN HER SPEECH SHE SAYS-

“””””   I am lucky that my writing has given me a platform that I choose to use to talk about things that I care about, and I have said a few things that have not been so popular with a number of people. I have been told to shut up about certain things – such as my position on the equal rights of gay people on the continent of Africa, such as my deeply held belief that men and women are completely equal. I don’t speak to provoke. I speak because I think our time on earth is short and each moment that we are not our truest selves, each moment we pretend to be what we are not, each moment we say what we do not mean because we imagine that is what somebody wants us to say, then we are wasting our time on earth.   “”””

SECOND ARGUMENT

(SOCIETY FEEL FEMINISM CAME TO REMOVE THE FEMININITY CHARACTERISTICS LIKE VIRGINITY, MODESTY (APPERANCE) AND MOTHERHOOD)

Here the society is trying to say that virginity, modesty and motherhood ideas will be a threat to femininity if all what feminism want is given to them. That argument or ideal from the society/individual is wrong.

The above argument from the society is totally absurd. Feminism didn’t come to override femininity, feminism is just a movement that agitate for gender equality and liberation of women in the society.

I had a series of conversation with a friend of mine on this topic this was what he said as I can remember vividly:

’”””” Feminism is what I see as a threat to femininity. They don’t want women to be feminine, just as they don’t want men to be masculine. “”””

I was surprise by the response he gave me. I tried making him see reasons why FEMINISM AND FEMININITY should be NON-MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.

For further understanding of the second argument the society/people/individual should know that   Virginity, modesty (outer-inner appearance) and motherhood are a choice and decision made by individual feminist.

Virginity, modesty (outer-inner appearance) and motherhood was never the aim or purpose of feminism but rather gender equality. 

Again the society/individual should know that feminism

“””” Is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes  “””””

DETAILED EXPLANATION AGAINST SECOND ARGUMENT

The detailed explanation comprises of the 3 major femininity characteristics that society see in female:

  1. VIRGINITY
  2. MODESTY (APPERANCE)
  3. MOTHERHOOD)

A PERSONAL REFUTATION AGAINST THE SECOND ARGUMENT IN TERMS OF VIRGINITY

For a better understanding of these SECOND ARGUMENT I will give a clear definition of virginity.

ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginity

Virginity is the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. There are cultural and religious traditions that place special value and significance on this state, predominantly towards unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth.

Here In my view, feminism is not necessarily about just letting women do whatever they want instead it’s a complicated movement with a lot of goals and a lot of layers.

I personally kick against this statement made by some people/persons I discuss this topic with. This is what most of them said:

Person 1: Feminism have created a big gap between young girls and the idea to keep their morality and virginity

Person 2: Feminism have destroys women understanding of true femininity, but ruptures the relation between the sexes

Every woman have the choice to keep her virginity or not.  Feminist are not only after choice of a particular thing but after equality of both sexes. Why are we talking about choice, the last time I checked choice was not part of the agitation made by the feminist.

For proper understanding, am going to use a popular feminist statement on her two major books on feminism to prove a point about virginity. This is the one other reason I like her, she explained the idea of virginity for us to understand.

Here are some of the statement made by her in her two books to prove my point that feminism was never a threat to femininity based on decadence of virginity as been said by some people and also the idea that feminism and femininity are mutually exclusive.

So with the following proves am going to outline below, I will convince my readers that feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

PROVE 1 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the Twelfth Suggestion

“”””Do not ever make ‘virginity’ a focus. Every conversation about virginity becomes a conversation about shame. Teach her to reject the linking of shame and female biology. “”””

PROVE 2 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“””””   We police girls. We praise girls for virginity but we don’t praise boys for virginity (and it makes me wonder how exactly this is supposed to work out, since the loss of virginity is a process that usually involves two people of opposite genders). “”””” 

A PERSONAL REFUTATION AGAINST THE SECOND ARGUMENT IN TERMS OF MODESTY (APPERANCE)

For a better understanding of these SECOND ARGUMENT I will give a clear definition of modesty (in connection to appearance, sexuality and shame) from various source and with links for further reading.

DEFINITION OF MODESTY

  1. ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modesty

Modesty, sometimes known as demureness, is a mode of dress and deportment which intends to avoid the encouraging of sexual attraction in others. The word “modesty” comes from the Latin word modestus which means “keeping within measure”. Standards of modesty are culturally and context dependent and vary widely. In this use, it may be considered inappropriate or immodest to reveal certain parts of the body. In some societies, modesty may involve women covering their bodies completely and not talking to men who are not immediate family members.

  • ACCORDING TO MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/modesty

1: the quality of not being too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities

2: propriety in dress, speech, or conduct

  • ACCORDING TO CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/modesty

 (QUIET SUCCESS)

The quality of not talking about or not trying to make people notice your abilities and achievements: She does a lot of work for charities, but her modesty forbids her from talking about it.

 (CLOTHES/BEHAVIOUR)

The quality, in women, of dressing or behaving in a way that is intended to avoid attracting sexual interest

 (CORRECTNESS)

Correct or socially acceptable behavior and clothes, representing traditional cultural values: Modesty is expected in the dorms as well as in the classrooms.

  • ACCORDING TO OXFORD DICTIONARY

https://www.lexico.com/definition/modesty

  1. The quality or state of being unassuming in the estimation of one’s abilities.

‘With typical modesty he insisted on sharing the credit with others’

  1. The quality of being relatively moderate, limited, or small in amount, rate, or level.

‘The modesty of his political aspirations’

  1. Behaviour, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency.

‘Modesty forbade her to undress in front of so many people’

DEFINITION OF APPEARANCE

  1. According to. Cambridge dictionary

https://www.google.com/amp/s/dictionary.cambridge.org/amp/english/appearance

  1. An occasion when someone appears in public
  2. An occasion when someone goes to court to be officially involved in a trial:
  3. a public performance by an entertainer:
  4. To be present somewhere for a short time
  • According to merriam-webster dictionary

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/appearance

  1. External show: SEMBLANCE
  2. Outward aspect: LOOK

DEFINITION OF SEXUALITY

  1. According to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sexuality

Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviours.

  • According to Cambridge dictionary

https://www.google.com/amp/s/dictionary.cambridge.org/amp/english/sexuality

  1. Someone’s ability to experience or express sexual feelings:
  2. Attitudes and activities relating to sex
  • According to merriam-webster dictionary

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sexuality

  1. The quality or state of being sexual:
  2. The condition of having sex
  3. Sexual activity
  4. Expression of sexual receptivity or interest especially when excessive

DEFINITION OF SHAME

  1. According to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shame

Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self, withdrawal motivations, and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness.

  • According to merriam-webster dictionary

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shame

  1. A painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.
  2. The susceptibility to such emotion.
  3. Condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute: IGNOMINY.
  4. Something that brings censure or reproach.
  5. Something to be regretted: PITY.

The above definitions is to enlighten my readers and viewers about what I have to say about modesty linking it with shame, sexuality and appearance (inward and outward).

Here the society/individual are  trying to say being modest as a female is more feminine but since the introduction of feminism the modesty of our young girls have drop drastically.

From society/people talk about Modesty-  ””” A WOMAN SHOULD NOT TALK MORE ABOUT ACHIEVEMENT, SHE SHOULD NOT ACHIEVE MUCH, OR SHOULD NOT OWN MUCH PROPERTY BECAUSE OF THE IDEA OF MODESTY “””

What I understand from the above statement here is the fact that woman should be modest in her achievement, anger, appearance, intelligent, career/job pursuit and her establishment as a female.

Again the society feel women should have modesty so not to get angry or aggressive so they can be likable by their counterpart in church, organizations and place of work.

Achievement, anger, appearance, intelligent, career/job pursuit and establishment as a female in terms of modesty is never a threat to femininity but instead an empowerment or encouragement to femininity. Since it’s an encouragement, I see no reason why people feel feminism is incompatible with femininity.

Moreover it has not be recorded that any feminist was going against the idea of been modest as in respect to femininity. Here the society is narrowing modesty to femininity. Modesty goes to both gender. I guess the society is been biased here. Feminist did not reject any idea of modesty, what they were concern was that equality of both sexes.

For my own opinion, I feel the society or individual have problem personally with feminist. May be because feminist choose what to wear, what to do with their body and they choose to talk about their achievement and abilities any time anywhere.

Here some individual feel most feminist are not modest in their character(anger, aggressiveness), abilities and achievement, instead the society feel they reject the idea of modesty in femininity and they  go preaching and telling people that modesty is feminine and it ruins them and put them as prisoner of oneself. Because of all this, people just feel feminism and femininity are mutually exclusive.

That was never the aim of feminism, but instead, feminism

“””” IS A RANGE OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, POLITICAL MOVEMENTS, AND IDEOLOGIES THAT AIM TO DEFINE, ESTABLISH, AND ACHIEVE THE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, PERSONAL, AND SOCIAL EQUALITY OF THE SEXES  “””””

Moreover am going to give a detailed proves that feminism was not a threat to femininity which is been declared by some group of persons. So with the following proves am going to outline below, I will convince my readers that FEMINISM AND FEMININITY ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE judging from the angle of modesty (appearance)

PROVE 1 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“”””””” Not long ago, I wrote an article about being young and female in Lagos. And an acquaintance told me that it was an angry article, and I should not have made it so angry. But I was unapologetic. Of course it was angry. Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change. In addition to anger, I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to remake themselves for the better.

But back to anger. I heard the caution in the acquaintance’s tone, and I knew that the comment was as much about the article as it was about my character. Anger, the tone said, is particularly not good for a woman. If you are a woman, you are not supposed to express anger, because it is threatening. I have a friend, an American woman, who took over a managerial position from a man. Her predecessor had been considered a “tough go-getter”; he was blunt and hard-charging and was particularly strict about the signing of time sheets. She took on her new job, and imagined herself equally tough, but perhaps a little kinder than him—he didn’t always realize that people had families, she said, and she did. Only weeks into her new job, she disciplined an employee about a forgery on a time sheet, the same thing her predecessor would have done. The employee then complained to top management about her style. She was aggressive and difficult to work with, the employee said. Other employees agreed.

One said they had expected she would bring a “woman’s touch” to her job but that she hadn’t. It didn’t occur to any of them that she was doing the same thing for which a man had been praised. I have another friend, also an American woman, who has a high-paying job in advertising. She is one of two women in her team. Once, at a meeting, she said she had felt slighted by her boss, who had ignored her comments and then praised something similar when it came from a man. She wanted to speak up, to challenge her boss. But she didn’t. Instead, after the meeting, she went to the bathroom and cried, then called me to vent about it. She didn’t want to speak up because she didn’t want to seem aggressive. She let her resentments simmer. What struck me—with her and with many other female American friends I have—is how invested they are in being “liked.” How they have been raised to believe that their being likable is very important and that this “likable” trait is a specific thing. And that specific thing does not include showing anger or being aggressive or disagreeing too loudly. “”””””

PROVE 2 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“””The sad truth of the matter is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm. Many of us think that the less feminine a woman appears, the more likely she is to be taken seriously. A man going to a business meeting doesn’t wonder about being taken seriously based on what he is wearing—but a woman does. ”””

PROVE 3 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“””” We teach girls shame. Close your legs. Cover yourself. We make them feel as though by being born female, they are already guilty of something. And so girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. Who silence themselves. Who cannot say what they truly think. Who have turned pretence into an art form. “””””

PROVE 4 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the tenth Suggestion

“”””” Sadly, women have learned to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and make-up. But our society does not expect men to feel ashamed of pursuits considered generally male – sports cars, certain professional sports. In the same way, men’s grooming is never suspect in the way women’s grooming is – a well-dressed man does not worry that, because he is dressed well, certain assumptions might be made about his intelligence, his ability, or his seriousness. A woman, on the other hand, is always aware of how a bright lipstick or a carefully put-together outfit might very well make others assume her to be frivolous. “””””

PROVE 5 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“”””” I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femininity. And I want to be respected in all my femaleness. Because I deserve to be. I like politics and history and am happiest when having a good argument about ideas. I am girly. I am happily girly.

 I like high heels and trying on lipsticks. It’s nice to be complimented by both men and women (although I have to be honest and say that I prefer the compliments of stylish women), but I often wear clothes that men don’t like or don’t “understand.” I wear them because I like them and because I feel good in them. The “male gaze,” as a shaper of my life’s choices, is largely incidental. “””””

PROVE 6 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“”””  We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way boys are. If we have sons, we don’t mind knowing about their girlfriends. But our daughters’ boyfriends? God forbid. (But we of course expect them to bring home the perfect man for marriage when the time is right. “””””

PROVE 7 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the twelfth Suggestion

“”””” In every culture in the world, female sexuality is about shame. Even cultures that expect women to be sexy – like many in the West – still do not expect them to be sexual. The shame we attach to female sexuality is about control. Many cultures and religions control women’s bodies in one way or another. If the justification for controlling women’s bodies were about women themselves, then it would be understandable. If, for example, the reason was ‘women should not wear short skirts because they can get cancer if they do’.

Instead the reason is not about women, but about men. Women must be ‘covered up’ to protect men. I find this deeply dehumanizing because it reduces women to mere props used to manage the appetites of men. “””””

PROVE 8 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the Suggestion

“”””””“Teach her, too, to question the idea of women as a special species. I once heard an American politician, in his bid to show his support for women, speak of how women should be ‘revered’ and  ‘championed’ – a sentiment that is all too common. Tell Chizalum that women actually don’t need to be championed and revered; they just need to be treated as equal human beings. There is a patronizing undertone to the idea of women needing to be ‘championed and revered’ because they are women. It makes me think of chivalry, and the premise of chivalry is female weakness.     “”””””

PROVE 9 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the tenth Suggestion

‘’”” Be deliberate about how you engage with her and her appearance. Encourage her participation in sports. Teach her to be physically active. Take walks with her. Swim. Run. Play tennis. Football. Table tennis. All kinds of sports. Any kind of sports. I think this is important not only because of the obvious health benefits but because it can help with all the body-image insecurities that the world thrusts on girls. Let Chizalum know that there is great value in being active. Studies show that girls generally stop playing sports as puberty arrives. Not surprising. Breasts and self-consciousness can get in the way of sports – I stopped playing football when my breasts first appeared because all I wanted to do was hide the existence of my breasts, and running and tackling didn’t help. Please try not to let that get in her way. ‘’”””

PROVE 10 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the twelfth Suggestion

“””And speaking of shame – never, ever link sexuality and shame. Or nakedness and shame. Do not ever make ‘virginity’ a focus. Every conversation about virginity becomes a conversation about shame. Teach her to reject the linking of shame and female biology. Why were we raised to speak in low tones about periods? To be filled with shame if our menstrual blood happened to stain our skirt? Periods are nothing to be ashamed of. Periods are normal and natural, and the human species would not be here if periods did not exist. I remember a man who said a period was like shit. Well, sacred shit, I told him, because you wouldn’t be here if periods didn’t happen.”””

PROVE 11 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the tenth Suggestion

“”””” If she likes make-up, let her wear it. If she likes fashion, let her dress up. But if she doesn’t like either, let her be. Don’t think that raising her feminist means forcing her to reject femininity. Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive. It is misogynistic to suggest that they are. “”””

PROVE 12 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the tenth Suggestion

“””””” Never ever link Chizalum’s appearance with morality. Never tell her that a short skirt is ‘immoral’. Make dressing a question of taste and attractiveness instead of a question of morality. If you both clash over what she wants to wear, never say things like ‘You look like a prostitute’, as I know your mother once told you. Instead say: ‘That dress doesn’t flatter you like this other one.’ Or doesn’t fit as well. Or doesn’t look as attractive. Or is simply ugly. But never ‘immoral’. Because clothes have absolutely nothing to do with morality. “”””””

PROVE 13 (FROM INTERNET/SITE-SPEECH)

I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned/talk on “””” culture and appearance “””

For further reading here is the link to convince you.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/karenhua/2016/10/21/the-cultural-importance-of-chimamanda-ngozi-adichies-boots-beauty-campaign/amp/

FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE says-

  1.  “””Our culture teaches us that to be taken seriously, women should not care too much about their appearance. So I stopped wearing makeup and became a false version of myself,”  “But then I woke up because makeup doesn’t actually mean anything. It’s about how I feel when I get it right—what makes me walk ever so taller. It’s about the face I choose to show the world and what I choose to say.”””
  1. In her Feminists TED Talk, she recalls preparing to teach a graduate class and thinking, “I was worried that if I looked too feminine, I would not be taken seriously. I really wanted to wear my shiny lip gloss and my girly skirt, but I decided not to. I wore a very serious, very manly, and very ugly suit… I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femininity. And I want to be respected in all my femaleness because I deserve to be.”
  1. Adichie told FORBES, “”“I love makeup and its possibilities for temporary transformation, but I also love my face after I wash it all off. (Makeup is) about what I like—what makes me feel slightly better on a dull day—what makes me comfortable.”””

PROVE 14 (FROM HER BOOK)

I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned/talk on “””” culture and appearance “””

For further reading here is the link to convince you.

https://time.com/3921492/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-graduation-commencement-wellesley/

FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE says-

“”””” I’m truly, truly happy to be here today, so happy, in fact, that when I found out your class colour was yellow, I decided I would wear yellow eye shadow. But on second thoughts, I realized that as much as I admire Wellesley, even yellow eye-shadow was a bit too much of a gesture. So I dug out this yellow—yellowish—head wrap instead.

“It’s Heart breaking for us.” Syrian Students’ Struggle to Study in the U.S.

Speaking of eye shadow, I wasn’t very interested in makeup until I was in my twenties, which is when I began to wear makeup. Because of a man. A loud, unpleasant man. He was one of the guests at a friend’s dinner party. I was also a guest. I was about 23, but people often told me I looked 12. The conversation at dinner was about traditional Igbo culture, about the custom that allows only men to break the kola nut, and the kola nut is a deeply symbolic part of Igbo cosmology.

I argued that it would be better if that honour were based on achievement rather than gender, and he looked at me and said, dismissively, “You don’t know what you are talking about, you’re a small girl.”

I wanted him to disagree with the substance of my argument, but by looking at me, young and female, it was easy for him to dismiss what I said. So I decided to try to look older.

So I thought lipstick might help. And eyeliner.And I am grateful to that man because I have since come to love makeup, and its wonderful possibilities for temporary transformation.

So, I have not told you this anecdote as a way to illustrate my discovery of gender injustice. If anything,

PROVE 15 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“””” When women say “I did it for peace in my marriage,” it is usually because they have given up a job, a career goal, a dream. We teach females that in relationships, compromise is what a woman is more likely to do. We raise girls to see each other as competitors—not for jobs or accomplishments, which in my opinion can be a good thing—but for the attention of men. “””

A PERSONAL REFUTATION AGAINST THE SECOND ARGUMENT IN TERMS OF MOTHERHOOD

Feminism obviously has a lot to do with examining gender roles, and women are under constant judgement for their decisions. Whether they are right or wrong about their ideas someone always has something negative to say about it, including misinformed people who  sometimes say   “””” Feminism has cause more harm to  Femininity so therefore they are mutually exclusive “””

 Questioning the idea of one about motherhood can be in two forms:

  1. Individual choice
  2.  societal influence
  1. INDIVIDUAL CHOICE

Feminism generally pushes for equal opportunities. It does not demand that a woman has to be a mother. I personally think it is individual choice to be a mother.  

Bringing life to the world is a choice to any women, if she decide to be a mother or not is her individual choice. With that being said, you can be a feminist and still practise the idea of motherhood because it’s a movement.

As long as you’re aware of your privilege and your marginalization and you advocate for oppression on many levels to end, you can be a damn good feminist regardless of what path you’ve chosen in life as a mother or not. If you are self-identify as a feminist, you almost certainly believe that women shouldn’t be forced but instead given choice to decide whether to be a mother.

Motherhood in relation to childcare, childbearing and pregnancy is not a threat to femininity. Therefore feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

  • SOCIETAL INFLUENCE

You also probably believe that society influences women to the idea of motherhood like  stay at home in various ways—e.g., signaling that childcare is for women, offering better maternal leave than paternal leave, etc. This is all about societal influence.

A woman can believe all this and still say: Given the actual real situation of my life, they choose to follow it or not. The “why” and “how” of her life situation is still based on individual choices. But it doesn’t really matter when it comes to what makes sense for her. This is about individual choice which is more powerful than societal influences.

“””” THERE IS NOTHING LIKE FEMINISM ATTACHED TO SIT ABOUT THAT DECISION. IT’S JUST ABOUT INDIVIDUAL CHOICE. “”””

Therefore feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

Moreover am going to give a detailed proves that feminism was not a threat to femininity which is been declared by some group of persons. So with the following proves am going to outline below, I will convince my readers that feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

PROVE 1 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the first Suggestion

“”””” Be a full person. Motherhood is a glorious gift, but do not define yourself solely by motherhood. Be a full person. Your child will benefit from that.

It doesn’t surprise me that your sister-in-law says you should be a ‘traditional’ mother and stay home, that Chudi can afford not to have a double-income family. People will selectively use ‘tradition’ to justify anything. Tell her that a double-income family is actually the true Igbo tradition because not only did mothers farm and trade before British colonialism, trading was exclusively done by women in some parts of Igboland. She would know this if reading books were not such an alien enterprise to her. Everybody will have an opinion about what you should do, but what matters is what you want for yourself, and not what others want you to want. Please reject the idea that motherhood and work are mutually exclusive.

Our mothers worked full-time while we were growing up, and we turned out well – at least you did; the jury is still out on me. In these coming weeks of early motherhood, be kind to yourself. Ask for help. Expect to be helped. There is no such thing as a Superwoman. Parenting is about practice – and love. (I do wish, though, that ‘parent’ had not been turned into a verb, which I think is the root of the global middle-class phenomenon of ‘parenting’ as one endless, anxious journey of guilt.) Give yourself room to fail. A new mother does not necessarily know how to calm a crying baby. Don’t assume that you should know everything.

Read books, look things up on the Internet, ask older parents, or just use trial and error. But above all, let your focus be on remaining a full person. Take time for yourself. Nurture your own needs. I have no interest in the debate about women ‘doing it all’ because it is a debate that assumes that care-giving and domestic work are singularly female domains, an idea that I strongly reject. Domestic work and care-giving should be gender-neutral, and we should be asking not whether a woman can ‘do it all’ but how best to support parents in their dual duties at work and at home.   “””””

PROVE 2 (FROM SITE/ INTERVIEWS)

I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned/talk on “””” motherhood and feminism “””

For further reading here is the link to convince you.

https://time.com/4443256/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-motherhood-feminism/?amp=true

FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE says-

“I still look at [my daughter] in absolute wonder and I think ‘You’re really here and you’re really mine,’”

“She really is the most beautiful human being in the world.”

“Feminism is not a cloak that I put on on certain days and take off on certain days,” she responded. “I did not get the memo that says men and women are not equal. Being a mother, sister, daughter is not mutually exclusive.”

PROVE 3 (FROM SITE/ INTERVIEWS)

I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned/talk on “””” motherhood and pregnancy “””

Here she was asked about her pregnancy status and as a mother

For further reading here is the link to convince you.

As Adichie explains to David Pilling who runs the famous Lunch with FT series, she is not into making pregnancy into a public spectacle.

FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE says-

 ““I just feel like we live in an age when women are supposed to perform pregnancy. I went into hiding, I wanted it to be as personal as possible.””

Here is the full quote from Pilling’s account of his conversation with Adichie:

“””” Our drinks appear. Drostdy-Hof turns out to be a mouth-puckering South African chardonnay. The color of her Chapman matches her shoes. “This is just very sugary, very sweet. I would probably have a glass of wine, but I’m breastfeeding, I’m happy to announce.”

It takes me a moment to process. Adichie, 38, is famously protective of her private life. I had no idea she had a baby. Is this my world scoop? I ask. “This is the first time I’m saying it publicly. I have a lovely little girl so I feel like I haven’t slept … but it’s also just really lovely and strange.” Her voice has a wonderfully rich timbre. When she says “lovely” — soft and round as a peach — it feels like a gift.

“I have some friends who probably don’t know I was pregnant or that I had a baby. I just feel like we live in an age when women are supposed to perform pregnancy. We don’t expect fathers to perform fatherhood. I went into hiding. I wanted it to be as personal as possible.

“In this country of mine that I love,” she goes on, sliding to a halt on the word “love”, “people think that you’re incomplete unless you’re married.” Her husband, also a bit of a secret, is a Nigerian doctor who works in the US, where Adichie spends time when she’s not in Lagos. Can I ask the baby’s name? “No, I won’t say,” she says with a disarming smile. “”””

THIRD ARGUMENT

(THE SOCIETY HAVE INTEGRATED THIS IDEA THAT WOMEN HAVE A SPECIFIC ROLE IN THE SOCIETY WHICH CANNOT BE CHANGE, SO THE COMING OF FEMINISM WAS BAD)

Here society/individual have internalize that women will continue to have these roles no matter how, so when feminism came most of the role of the female changed from time to time. So people neglected the idea of feminism saying it came to overthrown femininity.

But that is totally nonsense, feminism didn’t replace femininity but instead it encourage femininity therefore feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

Here feminist are trying to say that a women should not be placed on a particular/specific role in the society, that theses role over the years become a tradition which is passed down to generations. So when feminist call such roles as absurd, the society/individual had a negative label on feminism for downgrading femininity which is totally wrong.

For me personally I tagged these specific role as gender role.  Here are the list of gender roles for both male and female which society have place for them:

FEMALE GENDER/SEX ROLES

 Gender/sex roles that describe all women in the society include:

  1. Women are supposed to have “clean jobs” such as secretaries, teachers, and librarians
  2. Women are not good at maths
  3. Women are nurses, not doctors
  4. Women are not as strong as men
  5. Women are supposed to make less money than men
  6. The best women are stay at home moms
  7. Women don’t need to go to college
  8. Women don’t play sports
  9. Women are not politicians
  10. Women are quieter than men and not meant to speak out
  11. Women are supposed to be submissive and do as they are told
  12. Women are supposed to cook and do housework
  13. Women are responsible for raising children
  14. Women do not have technical skills and are not good at “hands on” projects such as car repairs
  15. Women are meant to be the damsel in distress; never the hero
  16. Women are supposed to look pretty and be looked at
  17. Women love to sing and dance
  18. Women do not play video games
  19. Women are never in charge
  20. Women should be secretaries
  1. Women should be “ladylike.”

MALE GENDER/SEX ROLES

Gender/sex roles that describe all men in the society are:

  1. All men enjoy working on cars
  2. Men are not nurses, they are doctors
  3. Men do “dirty jobs” such as construction and mechanics; they are not secretaries, teachers, or cosmetologists
  4. Men do not do housework and they are not responsible for taking care of children
  5. Men play video games
  6. Men play sports
  7. Men enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, and hiking
  8. Men are in charge; they are always at the top
  9. As husbands, men tell their wives what to do
  10. Men are good at math
  11. It is always men who work in science, engineering, and other technical fields
  12. Men do not cook, sew, or do crafts or cooking
  13. Men should be macho.
  14. Men shouldn’t kindergarten teachers.

A PERSONAL REFUTATION AGAINST THE THIRD ARGUMENT BASED ON THE IDEA THAT WOMEN HAVE A SPECIFIC ROLE IN THE SOCIETY WHICH CANNOT BE CHANGE

From the above analysis and detail examples of gender roles designated to both male and female in the society.  Am able to come with some proves to underpin that feminism didn’t change the roles of women in the society but to make the society understand that gendered roles have a lot of effect on males and females. Again feminism didn’t override femininity, instead it came to solve the problem of gendered roles designated to a particular of persons.

Some individual/society feel that gendered roles for a woman can’t change in the society therefore feminism and femininity are not compatible. I personally refute against such idea or mentality.

From what am saying now, before the coming of feminism, femininity has been in existence, therefore roles have been in existence also. What feminism came to do was to solve the idea of these gender roles. So therefore feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

Here are the list of a little draft/excerpt from our renowned feminist   FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI    to underpin my argument against such idea that women have a specific role in the society which cannot be change thereby labelling feminist as a movement that came to downgrade femininity.

Again feminism didn’t come to override femininity (mutually exclusive) but instead it came to encourage femininity (non-mutually exclusive).Moreover am going to give a detailed proves that feminism was not a threat to femininity which is been declared by some group of persons.

So with the following proves am going to outline below, I will convince my readers that feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

PROVE 1(FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“””””” Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently. “””””

PROVE 2(FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:       

“”””” That many men do not actively think about gender or notice gender. Because gender can be uncomfortable, there are easy ways to close this conversation. Other men might respond by saying: Okay, this is interesting, but I don’t think like that. I don’t even think about gender. Some people will bring up evolutionary biology and apes, how female apes bow to male apes—that sort of thing. But the point is this: We are not apes. Apes also live in trees and eat earthworms. We do not. “””””

PROVE 3(FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:      

“”””” I know a woman who hates domestic work, but she pretends that she likes it, because she has been taught that to be “good wife material,” she has to be—to use that Nigerian word—homely. And then she got married. And her husband’s family began to complain that she had changed. Actually, she had not changed. She just got tired of pretending to be what she was not. The problem with gender is that it prescribeSs how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations. “””””

PROVE 4 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“””” I am trying to unlearn many lessons of gender I internalized while growing up. But I sometimes still feel vulnerable in the face of gender expectations. “”””

PROVE 5 (FROM HER BOOK)

 According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the third Suggestion

““” Gender roles are so deeply conditioned in us that we will often follow them even when they chafe against our true desires, our needs, our happiness. They are very difficult to unlearn, and so it is important to try to make sure that Chizalum rejects them from the beginning. Instead of letting her internalize the idea of gender roles, teach her self-reliance.”””

PROVE 6 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the third Suggestion

””If we don’t place the straitjacket of gender roles on young children, we give them space to reach their full potential. Please see Chizalum as an individual. Not as a girl who should be a certain way. See her weaknesses and her strengths in an individual way. Do not measure her on a scale of what a girl should be. Measure her on a scale of being the best version of herself.””

PROVE 7 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the Tenth Suggestion

 ““”” She can counter ideas about static ‘gender roles’ if she has been empowered by her familiarity with alternatives. If she knows an uncle who cooks well – and does so with indifference – then she can smile and brush off the foolishness of somebody who claims that ‘women must do the cooking. “”””

PROVE 8 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the third Suggestion

“”””Teach her that the idea of ‘gender roles’ is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl. ‘Because you are a girl’ is never a reason for anything ever “”””

PROVE 9 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

””””” The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina. Cooking is learned. Cooking – domestic work in general – is a life skill that both men and women should ideally have. It is also a skill that can elude both men and women. We also need to question the idea of marriage as a prize to women, because that is the basis of these absurd debates. If we stop conditioning women to see marriage as a prize, then we would have fewer debates about a wife needing to cook in order to earn that prize. It is interesting to me how early the world starts to invent gender roles. “””””

PROVE 10 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“””” Now here’s a story from my childhood: When I was in primary school in Nsukka, a university town in southeastern Nigeria, my teacher said at the beginning of term that she would give the class a test and whoever got the highest score would be the class monitor. Class monitor was a big deal. If you were class monitor, you would write down the names of noisemakers each day, which was heady enough power on its own, but my teacher would also give you a cane to hold in your hand while you walked around and patrolled the class for noise makers. Of course you were not allowed to actually use the cane. But it was an exciting prospect for the nine-year-old me. I very much wanted to be class monitor. And I got the highest score on the test.  Then, to my surprise, my teacher said the monitor had to be a boy. She had forgotten to make that clear earlier; she assumed it was obvious. A boy had the second-highest score on the test. And he would be monitor. What was even more interesting is that this boy was a sweet, gentle soul who had no interest in patrolling the class with a stick. While I was full of ambition to do so. But I was female and he was male and he became class monitor. I have never forgotten that incident. If we do something over and over, it becomes normal. If we see the same thing over and over, it becomes normal. If only boys are made class monitor, then at some point we will all think, even if unconsciously, that the class monitor has to be a boy. If we keep seeing only men as heads of corporations, it starts to seem “natural” that only men should be heads of corporations.  ””””””

PROVE 11 (FROM SITE/INTERNET)

I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned about the sexualisation of girls on media (marketing strategy)

Here is a backup to that statement of yours from our own popular Nigeria feminist: FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi

Here is an interview with her.

For further reading here is the link to convince you.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/quartzy/1133732/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-talks-about-feminism-and-raising-her-daughter-in-a-gendered-world/amp/

Here is the question that was asked her about raising a girl child.

LAUREN ALIX BROWNSo in terms of teaching people how to be feminists, has raising a girl changed or challenged any of your suggestions for how to raise a feminist?

FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI:  “”””” It hasn’t challenged anything, it’s just that it’s made me realize how difficult it is. Because I think I felt that. I’m only just realizing that sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring against me. Because I am trying to push against ideas and norms that are so ingrained that they can start to feel invisible. And it’s little things. I’m just amazed at how everything is GENDERED—diapers. I mean baby bodies are the same. But now there are diapers where there’s the girl picture. Some months ago we wanted to get the overnight diapers for Baby because she was starting to wake up quite wet. So we wanted to get the diapers marketed as overnight because they absorb more and there’s girls and boys. I remember saying to my husband, who’s a physician, I said, “Do you think maybe the boys’ has a little thing to hold the penis? I mean, why are they different? He had a good laugh and he’s like, “It’s just marketing.” I remember thinking, there has to be a reason for this because it made no sense to me. But there’s no reason for it. Also, I’m just realizing how early the sexualization of girls starts. Four-year-old girls’ dresses. I find many of them disturbing. It’s sort of like four year olds’ now have to be mini women. I’m noticing these things a lot more just because of my child. And children’s books and cartoons. It does sometimes feel that there’s a conspiracy of the universe. But at the same time, I’m utterly undeterred.

It requires pushing back, but I’m going to push back. I want to equip her with the tools. I’m hoping that she grows up to be the girl who sort of mocks these things—who gets it and who mocks them. That’s my hope, that would be ideal for me.   “”””””

PROVE 12 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book“” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“”” But what matters even more is our attitude, our mind-set. What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?  “””

PROVE 13 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

””””Gender is not an easy conversation to have. It makes people uncomfortable, sometimes even irritable. Both men and women are resistant to talk about gender, or are quick to dismiss the problems of gender. Because thinking of changing the status quo is always uncomfortable. ””””

PROVE 14 (FROM SITE/INTERNET-SPEECH)

I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned “””” MOTHER IN RELATON TO FEMININITY“”””

For further reading here is the link to the SPEECH convince you:

https://time.com/3921492/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-graduation-commencement-wellesley/

FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

IN HER SPEECH SHE SAYS-

“”””” Okay, one last thing about my mother. My mother and I do not agree on many things regarding gender. There are certain things my mother believes a person should do, for the simple reason that said person ‘is a woman.’ Such as nod occasionally and smile even when smiling is the last thing one wants to do. Such as strategically give in to certain arguments, especially when arguing with a non-female. Such as get married and have children. I can think of fairly good reasons for doing any of these. But ‘because you are a woman’ is not one of them. And so, Class of 2015, never ever accept ‘Because you are a Woman’ as a reason for doing or not doing anything. “”””

FOURTH ARGUMENT

(BASED ON FEMININITY THE IDEA THAT CULTURE -SOCIETAL NORMS- SOCIAL INFLUENCE- SOCIAL CONVENTION HAVE TO BE MAINTAIN)

Another annoying claim I need to tackle is the fact that some group of persons still give assumptions as stated below:

””””The convention of segregating women and assigning them to certain tasks is deeply ingrained in our society. You cannot just ignore the power of culture -societal norms- social influence- social convention. Culture- societal norms- social influence- social convention are what most people generally believe is correct “”””

For better understanding of the fourth argument, am going to define the meaning of culture -societal norms- social influence- social convention from different source and with link beneath it as prove for my write-up and for the viewers/readers.

DEFINITION OF CULTURE

  1. According to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture

Culture is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behaviour and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities and habits of the individuals in these groups.  Humans acquire culture through the learning processes of enculturation and socialization, which is shown by the diversity of cultures across societies. A cultural norm codifies acceptable conduct in society; it serves as guideline for behaviour, dress, language, and demeanour in a situation, which serves as a template for expectations in a social group.

  1. According to merriam-webster dictionary

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culture

  1. The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group.
  1. The characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time.
  1. The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.
  1. The set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic.
  1. The integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behaviour that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.
  1. According to Cambridge dictionary

https://www.google.com/amp/s/dictionary.cambridge.org/amp/english/culture

  1. The way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time.
  1. The way of life of a particular people, esp. as shown in their ordinary behaviour and habits, their attitudes toward each other, and their moral and religious beliefs.
  1. The arts of describing, showing, or performing that represent the traditions or the way of life of a particular people or group; literature, art, music, dance, theatre, etc.

DEFINITION OF SOCIAL NORMS

According to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_norm

Social norms are regarded as collective representations of acceptable group conduct as well as individual perceptions of particular group conduct. They can be viewed as cultural products (including values, customs, and traditions) which represent individuals’ basic knowledge of what others do and think that they should do.

From a sociological perspective, social norms are informal understandings that govern the behavior of members of a society. Social psychology recognizes smaller group units (such as a team or an office) may also endorse norms separately or in addition to cultural or societal expectations.

DEFINITION OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE

According to site research/book

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/social-sciences/social-influence
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/referencework/9780080970875/international-encyclopedia-of-the-social-and-behavioral-sciences#book-info

According Robert H. Gass,   Social Influence, Sociology of in “International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition), 2015”

Social influence involves intentional and unintentional efforts to change another person’s beliefs, attitudes, or behavior. Unlike persuasion, which is typically intentional and requires some degree of awareness on the part of the target, social influence may be inadvertent or accidental. Social influence often operates via peripheral processing. Hence, the target may be unaware of the influence attempt. Unlike compliance gaining, which is usually goal directed, social influence is often non-goal directed and the outcomes may be inconsistent with, or unrelated to, a communicator’s goals. Social influence encompasses such strategies as indebtedness or reciprocity, commitment, social proof, liking and attractiveness, authority, and scarcity.

DEFINITION OF SOCIAL CONVENTION (NORM)

According to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_(norm)

A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated, or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms, or criteria, often taking the form of a custom.

In a social context, a convention may retain the character of an “unwritten law” of custom (for example, the manner in which people greet each other, such as by shaking each other’s hands). Certain types of rules or customs may become law and regulatory legislation may be introduced to formalize or enforce the convention (for example, laws that define on which side of the road vehicles must be driven).

According to site research/book

https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691140902/social-conventions

According to Andrei Marmor in his book   “social conventions: from language to law”

  1. Social conventions are those arbitrary rules and norms governing the countless behaviors all of us engage in every day without necessarily thinking about them, from shaking hands when greeting someone to driving on the right side of the road.
  2. Social Conventions is a much-needed reappraisal of the nature of the rules that regulate virtually every aspect of human conduct.

DETAILED EXPLANATION OF FOURTH ARGUMENT

This statement is a fallacy and totally incorrect.  Here the society feel feminist that kick or go against culture (social influence, societal norms and social convention) are still going against femininity.  The society labelled feminism movement as a bad influence  because the society feel when the culture (social influence, social norms and social convention)  based is removed/disrupted through feminism  , it override the femininity, thereby making it to be mutually exclusive.

So the labelling of feminist as a bad influence on femininity goes a long way that it didn’t favour the society. But sometimes the society do forget that feminism is about equality. 

In reference to social influence, societal norms and social convention in the above statement made by some people. What people are saying if the society norms says child marriage is good, we should accept it, despite knowing it’s totally wrong to do it? That is stupid. Most of the societal norms are wrong sometimes, like the idea of the cooking or women place in kitchen is still totally wrong.

We are in the 21 century, some people have drop that absurd idea about WOMEN BELONG IN THE KITCHEN/WOMEN SHOULD NOT WORK. Change is constant, so culture- societal norms- social conventions must have change.   

In fact, it could be just the opposite, it could be that certain societal norms are very immoral (for instance, in some societies using Nigeria as reference, it may have been considered the right thing to do by killing live infants twins, and in other African societies like it is considered acceptable to take a 10 years old and make her your wife and I call that child marriage).

Now I want to ask the men/people a simple question, who believe that culture-social influence, societal norms and social convention can’t be change   

Is child marriage or killing of twins wrong or right according to social conventions or culture or social norms?  Please ponder on that.

Moreover am going to give a detailed proves that feminism was not a threat to femininity which is been declared by some group of persons. So with the following proves am going to outline below, I will convince my readers that feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

The following are the 3 proves to counter the idea/notion of saying that feminism and femininity are mutually exclusive thereby saying that the idea that culture -social norms- social influence- social convention have to be maintain and not changed:

PROVE 1 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“”””” Some people will say a woman is subordinate to men because it’s our culture. But culture is constantly changing. I have beautiful twin nieces who are fifteen. If they had been born a hundred years ago, they would have been taken away and killed. Because a hundred years ago, Igbo culture considered the birth of twins to be an evil omen. Today that practice is unimaginable to all Igbo people.

What is the point of culture? Culture functions ultimately to ensure the preservation and continuity of a people. In my family, I am the child who is most interested in the story of who we are, in ancestral lands, in our tradition. My brothers are not as interested as I am. But I cannot participate, because Igbo culture privileges men and only the male members of the extended family can attend the meetings where major family decisions are taken. So although I am the one who is most interested in these things, I cannot attend the meeting. I cannot have a formal say. Because I am female. Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture. “””””

PROVE 2 (INTERNET/SITE)

I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned/talk on “””” culture integrated with appearance (make up) “””

For further reading here is the link to convince you.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/karenhua/2016/10/21/the-cultural-importance-of-chimamanda-ngozi-adichies-boots-beauty-campaign/amp/

Here is her speech:

“”” Our culture teaches us that to be taken seriously, women should not care too much about their appearance. So I stopped wearing makeup and became a false version of myself,” Adichie said. “But then I woke up because makeup doesn’t actually mean anything. It’s about how I feel when I get it right—what makes me walk ever so taller. It’s about the face I choose to show the world and what I choose to say. ”””

PROVE 3 (FROM SITE/ INTERNET-TALK)

I will backed it up with a powerful ted talk made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned/talk on “””” culture integrated with single story“”””

For further reading here is the link to convince you.

Here is her speech: THE DANGERS OF SINGLR STORY

00:12

I’m a storyteller. And I would like to tell you a few personal stories about what I like to call “the danger of the single story.” I grew up on a university campus in eastern Nigeria. My mother says that I started reading at the age of two, although I think four is probably close to the truth. So I was an early reader, and what I read were British and American children’s books.

00:39

I was also an early writer, and when I began to write, at about the age of seven, stories in pencil with crayon illustrations that my poor mother was obligated to read, I wrote exactly the kinds of stories I was reading: All my characters were white and blue-eyed, they played in the snow, they ate apples,

01:04

(Laughter)

01:06

And they talked a lot about the weather, how lovely it was that the sun had come out.

01:10

(Laughter)

01:12

Now, this despite the fact that I lived in Nigeria. I had never been outside Nigeria. We didn’t have snow, we ate mangoes, and we never talked about the weather, because there was no need to.

01:26

My characters also drank a lot of ginger beer, because the characters in the British books I read drank ginger beer. Never mind that I had no idea what ginger beer was.

01:36

(Laughter)

01:37

And for many years afterwards, I would have a desperate desire to taste ginger beer. But that is another story.

01:44

What this demonstrates, I think, is how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children. Because all I had read were books in which characters were foreign, I had become convinced that books by their very nature had to have foreigners in them and had to be about things with which I could not personally identify. Now, things changed when I discovered African books. There weren’t many of them available, and they weren’t quite as easy to find as the foreign books.

02:15

But because of writers like Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye, I went through a mental shift in my perception of literature. I realized that people like me, girls with skin the color of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature. I started to write about things I recognized.

02:36

Now, I loved those American and British books I read. They stirred my imagination. They opened up new worlds for me. But the unintended consequence was that I did not know that people like me could exist in literature. So what the discovery of African writers did for me was this: It saved me from having a single story of what books are.

02:59

I come from a conventional, middle-class Nigerian family. My father was a professor. My mother was an administrator. And so we had, as was the norm, live-in domestic help, who would often come from nearby rural villages. So, the year I turned eight, we got a new house boy. His name was Fide. The only thing my mother told us about him was that his family was very poor. My mother sent yams and rice, and our old clothes, to his family. And when I didn’t finish my dinner, my mother would say, “Finish your food! Don’t you know? People like Fide’s family have nothing.” So I felt enormous pity for Fide’s family.

03:43

Then one Saturday, we went to his village to visit, and his mother showed us a beautifully patterned basket made of dyed raffia that his brother had made. I was startled. It had not occurred to me that anybody in his family could actually make something. All I had heard about them was how poor they were, so that it had become impossible for me to see them as anything else but poor. Their poverty was my single story of them.

04:13

Years later, I thought about this when I left Nigeria to go to university in the United States. I was 19. My American roommate was shocked by me. She asked where I had learned to speak English so well, and was confused when I said that Nigeria happened to have English as its official language. She asked if she could listen to what she called my “tribal music,” and was consequently very disappointed when I produced my tape of Mariah Carey.

04:42

(Laughter)

04:45

She assumed that I did not know how to use a stove.

04:49

What struck me was this: She had felt sorry for me even before she saw me. Her default position toward me, as an African, was a kind of patronizing, well-meaning pity. My roommate had a single story of Africa: a single story of catastrophe. In this single story, there was no possibility of Africans being similar to her in any way, no possibility of feelings more complex than pity, no possibility of a connection as human equals.

05:21

I must say that before I went to the U.S., I didn’t consciously identify as African. But in the U.S., whenever Africa came up, people turned to me. Never mind that I knew nothing about places like Namibia. But I did come to embrace this new identity, and in many ways I think of myself now as African. Although I still get quite irritable when Africa is referred to as a country, the most recent example being my otherwise wonderful flight from Lagos two days ago, in which there was an announcement on the Virgin flight about the charity work in “India, Africa and other countries.”

05:55

(Laughter)

05:56

So, after I had spent some years in the U.S. as an African, I began to understand my roommate’s response to me. If I had not grown up in Nigeria, and if all I knew about Africa were from popular images, I too would think that Africa was a place of beautiful landscapes, beautiful animals, and incomprehensible people, fighting senseless wars, dying of poverty and AIDS, unable to speak for themselves and waiting to be saved by a kind, white foreigner. I would see Africans in the same way that I, as a child, had seen Fide’s family.

06:35

This single story of Africa ultimately comes, I think, from Western literature. Now, here is a quote from the writing of a London merchant called John Lok, who sailed to west Africa in 1561 and kept a fascinating account of his voyage. After referring to the black Africans as “beasts who have no houses,” he writes, “They are also people without heads, having their mouth and eyes in their breasts.”

07:05

Now, I’ve laughed every time I’ve read this. And one must admire the imagination of John Lok. But what is important about his writing is that it represents the beginning of a tradition of telling African stories in the West: A tradition of Sub-Saharan Africa as a place of negatives, of difference, of darkness, of people who, in the words of the wonderful poet Rudyard Kipling, are “half devil, half child.”

07:32

And so, I began to realize that my American roommate must have throughout her life seen and heard different versions of this single story, as had a professor, who once told me that my novel was not “authentically African.” Now, I was quite willing to contend that there were a number of things wrong with the novel, that it had failed in a number of places, but I had not quite imagined that it had failed at achieving something called African authenticity. In fact, I did not know what African authenticity was. The professor told me that my characters were too much like him, an educated and middle-class man. My characters drove cars. They were not starving. Therefore they were not authentically African.

08:21

But I must quickly add that I too am just as guilty in the question of the single story. A few years ago, I visited Mexico from the U.S. The political climate in the U.S. at the time was tense, and there were debates going on about immigration. And, as often happens in America, immigration became synonymous with Mexicans. There were endless stories of Mexicans as people who were fleecing the healthcare system, sneaking across the border, being arrested at the border, that sort of thing.

08:54

I remember walking around on my first day in Guadalajara, watching the people going to work, rolling up tortillas in the marketplace, smoking, laughing. I remember first feeling slight surprise. And then, I was overwhelmed with shame. I realized that I had been so immersed in the media coverage of Mexicans that they had become one thing in my mind, the abject immigrant. I had bought into the single story of Mexicans and I could not have been more ashamed of myself.

09:26

So that is how to create a single story, show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.

09:37

It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power. There is a word, an Igbo word, that I think about whenever I think about the power structures of the world, and it is “nkali.” It’s a noun that loosely translates to “to be greater than another.” Like our economic and political worlds, stories too are defined by the principle of nkali: How they are told, who tells them, when they’re told, how many stories are told, are really dependent on power.

10:12

Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person. The Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti writes that if you want to dispossess a people, the simplest way to do it is to tell their story and to start with, “secondly.” Start the story with the arrows of the Native Americans, and not with the arrival of the British, and you have an entirely different story. Start the story with the failure of the African state, and not with the colonial creation of the African state, and you have an entirely different story.

10:52

I recently spoke at a university where a student told me that it was such a shame that Nigerian men were physical abusers like the father character in my novel. I told him that I had just read a novel called “American Psycho” —

11:08

(Laughter)

11:10

— And that it was such a shame that young Americans were serial murderers.

11:15

(Laughter)

11:19

(Applause)

11:25

Now, obviously I said this in a fit of mild irritation.

11:28

(Laughter)

11:30

But it would never have occurred to me to think that just because I had read a novel in which a character was a serial killer that he was somehow representative of all Americans. This is not because I am a better person than that student, but because of America’s cultural and economic power, I had many stories of America. I had read Tyler and Updike and Steinbeck and Gaitskill. I did not have a single story of America.

11:55

When I learned, some years ago, that writers were expected to have had really unhappy childhoods to be successful, I began to think about how I could invent horrible things my parents had done to me.

12:08

(Laughter)

12:10

But the truth is that I had a very happy childhood, full of laughter and love, in a very close-knit family.

12:17

But I also had grandfathers who died in refugee camps. My cousin Polle died because he could not get adequate healthcare. One of my closest friends, Okoloma, died in a plane crash because our fire trucks did not have water. I grew up under repressive military governments that devalued education, so that sometimes, my parents were not paid their salaries. And so, as a child, I saw jam disappear from the breakfast table, then margarine disappeared, then bread became too expensive, then milk became rationed. And most of all, a kind of normalized political fear invaded our lives.

12:57

All of these stories make me who I am. But to insist on only these negative stories is to flatten my experience and to overlook the many other stories that formed me. The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

13:25

Of course, Africa is a continent full of catastrophes: There are immense ones, such as the horrific rapes in Congo and depressing ones, such as the fact that 5,000 people apply for one job vacancy in Nigeria. But there are other stories that are not about catastrophe, and it is very important, it is just as important, to talk about them.

13:45

I’ve always felt that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person. The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.

14:09

So what if before my Mexican trip, I had followed the immigration debate from both sides, the U.S. and the Mexican? What if my mother had told us that Fide’s family was poor and hardworking? What if we had an African television network that broadcast diverse African stories all over the world? What the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe calls “a balance of stories.”

14:33

What if my roommate knew about my Nigerian publisher, Muhtar Bakare, a remarkable man who left his job in a bank to follow his dream and start a publishing house? Now, the conventional wisdom was that Nigerians don’t read literature. He disagreed. He felt that people who could read, would read, if you made literature affordable and available to them.

14:56

Shortly after he published my first novel, I went to a TV station in Lagos to do an interview, and a woman who worked there as a messenger came up to me and said, “I really liked your novel. I didn’t like the ending. Now, you must write a sequel, and this is what will happen …”

15:11

(Laughter)

15:14

And she went on to tell me what to write in the sequel. I was not only charmed, I was very moved. Here was a woman, part of the ordinary masses of Nigerians, who were not supposed to be readers. She had not only read the book, but she had taken ownership of it and felt justified in telling me what to write in the sequel.

15:33

Now, what if my roommate knew about my friend Funmi Iyanda, a fearless woman who hosts a TV show in Lagos, and is determined to tell the stories that we prefer to forget? What if my roommate knew about the heart procedure that was performed in the Lagos hospital last week? What if my roommate knew about contemporary Nigerian music, talented people singing in English and Pidgin, and Igbo and Yoruba and Ijo, mixing influences from Jay-Z to Fela to Bob Marley to their grandfathers.

16:06

What if my roommate knew about the female lawyer who recently went to court in Nigeria to challenge a ridiculous law that required women to get their husband’s consent before renewing their passports? What if my roommate knew about Nollywood, full of innovative people making films despite great technical odds, films so popular that they really are the best example of Nigerians consuming what they produce? What if my roommate knew about my wonderfully ambitious hair braider, who has just started her own business selling hair extensions? Or about the millions of other Nigerians who start businesses and sometimes fail, but continue to nurse ambition?

16:47

Every time I am home I am confronted with the usual sources of irritation for most Nigerians: our failed infrastructure, our failed government, but also by the incredible resilience of people who thrive despite the government, rather than because of it. I teach writing workshops in Lagos every summer, and it is amazing to me how many people apply, how many people are eager to write, to tell stories.

17:14

My Nigerian publisher and I have just started a non-profit called Farafina Trust, and we have big dreams of building libraries and refurbishing libraries that already exist and providing books for state schools that don’t have anything in their libraries, and also of organizing lots and lots of workshops, in reading and writing, for all the people who are eager to tell our many stories.

17:36

Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.

17:56

The American writer Alice Walker wrote this about her Southern relatives who had moved to the North. She introduced them to a book about the Southern life that they had left behind. “They sat around, reading the book themselves, listening to me read the book, and a kind of paradise was regained.”

18:17

I would like to end with this thought: That when we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise.

18:30

Thank you.

18:31

(Applause)

FIFTH ARGUMENT

(THE SOCIETY FEEL BASED ON FEMININITY IDEA THAT WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN MUCH FREEDOM)

Society believe that if feminist are given privilege/freedom to act or do anything they can supersedes or neglect the norms of femininity which is a bad influence on the female’s folks. So they decided that such freedom should be minimized.

So they own idea is that feminist that agitate for such freedom are labelled as bad social influencer on the female folks. 

Another annoying claim I need to tackle is the fact that some people/individual still give assumptions as stated below:

“”””” But why women go about agitating for freedom? Whenever you do anything in life you have to follow rules. You can’t just do anything you like. “””””

For better understanding am going to define the meaning of freedom from different source and with link beneath it as prove for my write-up and for the viewers/readers.

ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom

Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is “free” if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being without undue or unjust constraints, or enslavement, and is an idea closely related to the concept of liberty.

ACCORDING TO CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/freedom

  1. The condition or right of being able or allowed to do, say, think, etc. whatever you want to, without being controlled or limited.
  2. A right to act in the way you think you should.
  3. The state of not being in prison.
  4. To honour someone by giving them special rights in a particular city.

ACCORDING TO MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freedom

1. The quality or state of being free: such as

A. the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action

B: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: INDEPENDENCE

C: the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous.

2A. A political right.

B. Franchise, privilege.

In reference to the above statement made by men about women. For me personally the freedom the men are taking about are something they feel the women should not have right over, they feel if women are given much freedom on these things, the equality of the sexes will be achieve . So what the men fight against include

  1. Freedom for a women to pursue a career (otherwise the men will feel threaten )
  2. Freedom for women to accomplish too much(otherwise the men will feel threaten  )
  3. Freedom for a women to express the female subordination which I termed oppression, subjugation and subjection that have made women become less in the society.
  4. Equality of women before the law, in educational and professional opportunities
  5. Freedom for a women  to own property rights
  6. Freedom for a women to have Equal pay for equal work
  7. Freedom for a women to have say on protection from rape
  8. Freedom for a women from all dehumanizing forces.

From the 8 reasons I listed above, the men feel is a threat to the society, so they make sure women are not given freedom. Any women who fight for such are labelled as misandrist in connection to feminist. Therefore feminism and femininity are mutually exclusive based on the fact its overriding femininity.

Here In my view, feminism is not necessarily about just letting women do whatever they want (freedom), but instead feminism is about liberty from oppression. It’s a complicated movement with a lot of goals and a lot of layers.

I personally kick against this statement or idea that men posit, but for me every human have freedom to choose a career, freedom to work. Freedom should not be limited to only women. Men and women have freedom to choose a career. Feminist are not only after freedom but after equality of both sexes.

Why are we talking about freedom, the last time I checked freedom was not part of the agitation made by the feminist.

Feminism is about freedom and liberty from oppression to me, not freedom and liberty to do anything in the world.

Moreover am going to give a detailed proves that feminism was not a threat to femininity which is been declared by some group of persons. So with the following proves am going to outline below, I will convince my readers that feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

The following are the 2 proves to counter the idea/notion of saying that feminism and femininity are mutually exclusive thereby saying that women should not be given much freedom so they can maintain their femininitys

PROVE 1 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“””””””””“And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, pretend that you are not, especially in public, otherwise you will emasculate him. But what if we question the premise itself: Why should a woman’s success be a threat to a man? What if we decide to simply dispose of that word—and I don’t know if there is an English word I dislike more than this—emasculation.  “”””””””””

Note-

Emasculation– the act of depriving of virility, or the state of being so deprived.

Loss of power and masculinity.

Neutering a male animal by removing the testicles.

PROVE 2 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “” FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book: 

“”””” We teach females that in relationships, compromise is what a woman is more likely to do. We raise girls to see each other as competitors—not for jobs or accomplishments, which in my opinion can be a good thing—but for the attention of men. “”””””

SIXTH ARGUMENT

(SOCIETY HAVE THIS IDEA THAT FEMININITY IS SYNONYMOUS WITH SUBMISSIVENESS AND THEREFORE AUTHORITY AND POWER WILL NOT BE GIVEN TO THEM)

Society believes if feminist are given the avenue to hold power and authority they will reject the femininity trait- submissiveness.

As I went further in getting another statement made by some people concerning the idea that feminism and femininity are mutually exclusive

Society feel women should be submissive to men. Men/people feel women don’t have the right to authority and power so they feel feminist hate men for such thing based on the bible reference about authority and power. Again they forgot the idea of feminism is all about equality not about hatred of menfolk’s as being assumed by them or the rejection of femininity trait-submissiveness

Here is a statement some people/men used in justifying the idea that feminism will override femininity

  1. The Holy Bible in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 states that “as in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”
  1. Ephesians 5:22–24 says the following: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

For better understanding of these argument am going to define the meaning of authority and power from different source and with link beneath it as prove for my write-up and for the viewers/readers.

DEFINITION OF AUTHORITY

ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authority

In the fields of sociology and political science, authority is the legitimate power that a person or a group of persons consensually possess and practice over other people. In a civil state, authority is made formal by way of a judicial branch and an executive branch of government. In the exercise of governance, the terms authority and power are inaccurate synonyms. The term authority identifies the political legitimacy, which grants and justifies the ruler’s right to exercise power of government; and the term power identifies the ability to accomplish an authorized goal, either by compliance or by obedience; hence, authority is the power to make decisions and the legitimacy to make such legal decisions and order their execution.

ACCORDING TO CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/amp/english/authority

  1. the moral or legal right or ability to control:
  2. a group of people with official responsibility for a particular area of activity:
  3. the group of people with official legal power to make decisions or make people obey the laws in a particular area, such as the police or a local government department:
  4. an expert on a subject:
  5. the power to control or demand obedience from others:
  6. the official power to make decisions for other people or to tell them what they must do:
  7. official permission or the legal right to do something:
  8. the ability to influence other people and make them respect you, especially because you are confident or have a lot of knowledge.

ACCORDING TO MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/authority

1: power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behaviour

2: persons in command

Specifically: GOVERNMENT

3: an official decision of a court used especially as a precedent

4a: a power to act especially over others that derives from status, position, or office

 b: JURISDICTION- the power to act that is officially or formally granted (as by statute, corporate bylaw, or court order)

DEFINITION OF POWER

ACCORDING TO CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/amp/english/power

  1. Ability to control people and events:
  2. The amount of political control a person or group has in a country:
  3. STRENGTH
  4. an official or legal right to do something:
  5. (ABILITY)-capability

capacity (AMOUNT)

  1. a natural skill or an ability to do something:
  2.  (PERSON WITH CONTROL)-a person, organization, or country that has control over others, often because of wealth, importance, or great military strength:

ACCORDING TO MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM/DICTIONARY

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/power

(1): ability to act or produce an effect

(2): ability to get extra-base hits

(3): capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect

b: legal or official authority, capacity, or right

4A: possession of control, authority, or influence over others

5a: physical might

b: mental or moral efficacy

c: political control or influence

DETAILED EXPLANATION

Here is an exposition of Genesis chapter 1-3, I hope to vividly point out some major flaws and inconsistencies about some people/men who thinks feminism and femininity are mutually exclusive.  So I will lift my prove from bible this time around.

Here are the following proves to my above point on authority and power:

PROVE 1 (DOMINION, AUTHORITY, EVE’S IDENTITY AND AUTHORITY)

I found Genesis 1:26-27 interesting. Verse 26 does say “let them have dominion” some of the emphasis is also elaborated upon in verse 28. It says that God blessed them and said to them, that they are to subdue and rule over the earth. The creation mandate is given to man and woman together. There is no hint of distinct roles or job descriptions here. Adam and Eve are commanded together to co-rule the earth.

An additional point is that in Genesis 1:26-28, there are only 2 authority structures: God over all creation, and man and woman’s joint authority over the earth. Their dominion and authority was directed towards creation, and not toward each other. Remember that this was before the fall.

Again, there is nothing in Genesis 1 and 2 to indicate that Adam was the responsible one, the leader, or authority figure. There was joint authority and they were to co-rule the earth as God’s representatives.

EVE’S IDENTITY AND AUTHORITY

In Genesis 3:20, Adam calls his wife by the name “Eve” for the first time, because he now understands that she will be the “mother of all the living.” Yet I have seldom heard anyone say that being the “mother of all the living” was Eve’s defining role.

It seems that Eve had more than one role and that her roles changed as circumstances changed.

Most people have many roles in life, and these change as our circumstances change and as we go through different life stages. Nevertheless, some Christians think that Eve and, by extension, all women are fundamentally defined to be the auxiliaries, or subordinate helpers, of men.

Furthermore, the scriptures give us no reason to think that Eve’s station in life was marked by a one-sided help or service to her husband, or that Adam’s station in life was to receive his wife’s help without also helping her.

Genesis 1:26-28 indicates that men and women were created to work together to do what is necessary to act as God’s regents, which includes ruling the earth and having dominion over the animals.

In Genesis 1, men and women are given the exact same commission from God, and they have an identical status, authority, and function. Gender roles are not mentioned before the fall. In Genesis 1, men and women have an identical status, authority and purpose.

PROVE 2 (PRIMOGENITURE NATURE)

Because Adam was created first, some see this as evidence of the man having special status and privilege (primogeniture). Yet, there is no evidence of primogeniture until a considerable time after creation, moreover nothing primogeniture during the creation account. Furthermore, it was after the creation we started seeing primogeniture nature using those born later such as Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and David.

NOTE:

Primogeniture-

PROVE 3 (AUTHORITY AND NAMING ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE)

Some will also state that because Adam named Eve that this shows him having some special authority. However, in the Bible, the act of naming does not necessarily imply authority. For example, Hagar (the Egyptian slave of Abraham and Sarah) gave God a name! Does that mean Hagar had authority over God? I don’t think so. And both men and women named children in the Old Testament. There are 25 instances of women naming children, and twenty by men. If this demonstrates authority, it is a joint or shared authority by men and women.

PROVE 4 (AUTHORITY AND POWER)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the fourth Suggestion

“”” But here is a sad truth: our world is full of men and women who do not like powerful women. We have been so conditioned to think of power as male that a powerful woman is an aberration. ”””

SEVENTH ARGUMENT

(SOCIETY USES THE KONWLEDGE OF STATISTICS TO PROVE THAT WOMEN STAY AT HOME MORE)

Society uses the statistics that women stay at home more to prove that the coming of feminism will raise women who will neglect the stay at home syndrome, so this will affect the idea of femininity. So society have to label feminism as a bad influence on femininity. 

Another annoying claim I need to tackle is the fact that some men still give assumptions as stated below:

“”””The statistics say that hardly any stay-at-home parents are male. The vast majority of them are women, which is good because it shows that most women know their role. It is important for women to understand their role as homemakers and child carers. It is important for the good of society. ”””””

This ideas claim by men/people is a fallacy and totally incorrect. From what am seeing now, am able to bring out some funny 2 points some men claim concerning the idea of not linking feminism and misandry together.

Point 1

The statistics say that hardly any stay-at-home parents are male. The vast majority of them are women, which is good because it shows that most women know their role.

Point 2

It is important for women to understand their role as homemakers and childcarers. It is important for the good of society.

These points I guess are totally absurd to me. Starting with

POINT 1

“The statistics say that hardly any stay-at-home parents are male. The vast majority of them are women, which is good because it shows that most women know their role. “

Any women can stay in home base on some personal decision or some cogent reasons best known to her. So women staying at home is not enough reason to say that is a role of a women. Again that is not enough reason to prove that they got tired and they hate men who work.

A woman can believe all this and still say: Given the actual real situation of my life, they choose to stay at home. The “why” and “how” of her life situation is still based on individual choices. But it doesn’t really matter when it comes to what makes sense for her. This is about individual choice. Not societal influence on the role of a women being at home.

Finally staying at home is not a point from people/menfolk’s to say that feminism came to override femininity.

POINT 2

It is important for women to understand their role as homemakers and childcarers. It is important for the good of society.

These men feel that women have special role of taking care of children and also homemakers. So the men folk has labelled such as the work or duty as a women, so they are afraid that if feminist rise up and fight for their right, that they will not be any duty for women. They feel women got tired of staying at home and hate men for placing them in that role. So they feel feminist hate men and the idea of feminism overriding femininity comes in place.

This female subordination which I termed oppression, subjugation and subjection has made women become less in the society.

Society has set a lot of duties for men and women alike and it’s even painful to see that in a children’s textbook, the duties of a wife are “to cook for the family, to bring up the children, homemakers and clean the house.” While men are “the head of the house and they go out to work”

It’s a huge shame in this 21 century that men still gender bias women base on homely duties.

For me personally, I kick against the fact that women are weak and less important in the society (female subordination) thereby placing them as homemakers.  We are equal. No body have the right to detect if a person is less or weak. Society has made it look like that. Even some of the women has accepted this fact that they are weak and less important because they have nothing to offer but instead stay at home and become homemakers and childcarers.

Because of this it gave rise to gender equality that is been declared and agitated by feminist.

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“”””””“Teach her, too, to question the idea of women as a special species. I once heard an American politician, in his bid to show his support for women, speak of how women should be ‘revered’ and  ‘championed’ – a sentiment that is all too common. Tell Chizalum that women actually don’t need to be championed and revered; they just need to be treated as equal human beings. There is a patronizing undertone to the idea of women needing to be ‘championed and revered’ because they are women. It makes me think of chivalry, and the premise of chivalry is female weakness.     “”””””

For me personally, Patrick — I strongly believe in equal rights and opportunity for all, regardless of gender (or skin colour, ethnicity etc.).  I believe everyone should be respected as a unique individual and not judged on the basis of being a woman or man, black or white etc.

My point is that we are all people and not defined by preconceived notions of delegated roles assigned by gender (especially upbringing of a child) which some men termed as traditional roles.There are so many successful women who have achieved things that I can only dream of, and it matters not to me if she is married, single, divorced, young, old or strong and loud or soft and gentle. Their accomplishments added to our world.

We have various women in our world today who have accomplish much in term of education, science and technology. Whether married, single, divorce, old and young. They all add benefit to the society at large. No one should be neglected base on gender.

Putting women down to the dust, shows that women don’t have values and this lead to gender role perception which the society still practice. As an individual who support GENDER EQUALITY and agitate for HUMAN RIGHT, I feel women have suffer a lot in this patriarchy based society.

The idea of gender role (cooking, domestic, child bringing and chores are meant for women) I don’t agree with it personally.

Most of my female friends (and many of my male friends) would self-identify as feminists. Some work, some stay at home to care for the children (yes, some men stay at home with the kids, too!). There is no contradiction there. Women can stay at home based on these factors:

1. Individual choice vs. societal influence

2. Making money vs. controlling money

1. Individual choice vs. societal influence

Feminism generally pushes for equal opportunities. It does not demand that a woman work or it demands that a woman stay at home.

Being a housewife is not necessarily oppressing yourself. I personally think it is individual choice, if you look at these traditional housewife roles, fully aware of the implications, and decide you want to do it because that’s what you want to do.

With that being said, you can be a feminist no matter what your living situation is because it’s a movement. You can scrub floors and stay at home to make dinner for your children/ kids. You can be poor. You can be rich. Most of us are oppressed in some way anyway, so if oppression couldn’t coincide with a movement to end oppression, it wouldn’t exist.

As long as you’re aware of your privilege and your marginalization and you advocate for oppression on many levels to end, you can be a damn good feminist regardless of what path you’ve chosen in life. If you are self-identify as a feminist, you almost certainly believe that women shouldn’t be forced to stay at home.

You also probably believe that society influences women to stay at home in various ways—e.g., signaling that childcare is for women, having worse career options open for women, offering better maternal leave than paternal leave, etc. This is all about societal influence.

A woman can believe all this and still say: Given the actual real situation of my life, they choose to stay at home. The “why” and “how” of her life situation is still based on individual choices. But it doesn’t really matter when it comes to what makes sense for her. This is about individual choice.

As an extreme example, a woman in the 1950s hasn’t had access to the same career opportunities that her husband has. But given that her husband earns 5x what she does, or given that she just happens to enjoy spending time with the children more than her husband, it makes a lot more sense for her to stay at home. There is nothing like feminism attached to sit about that decision. It’s just about individual choice.

2. Making money vs. controlling money

Moreover, her choosing to stay at home—to not collect a salary—does not mean that she is submitting control to her husband. I know plenty of men who are the sole/primary breadwinners as well as a few women who are. They do not “control” the money. Money is a team effort. The breadwinner may collect the salary, but their partner at home contributes as well.

I do know a few couples where, in practice, one partner has more control over the money. This has to do with the dynamics of their own situation—one partner being more of a better planner.  

The following are the 10 proves  to counter the idea/notion of using the knowledge of statistics to prove that women stay at home more there by saying feminism has downgraded the role of women(cooking, domestic, child bringing and chores are meant for women)  in the society

PROVE 1 (FROM HER BOOK)

Here is a little draft from our renowned feminist.

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS “””

 FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

SECOND SUGGESTION

“”””””   Do it together. Remember in primary school we learned that a verb was a ‘doing’ word? Well, a father is as much a verb as a mother. Chudi should do everything that biology allows – which is everything but breastfeeding. Sometimes mothers, so conditioned to be all and do all, are complicit in diminishing the role of fathers. You might think that Chudi will not bathe her exactly as you’d like, that he might not wipe her bum as perfectly as you do. But so what? What is the worst that can happen? She won’t die at the hands of her father. Seriously. He loves her.

It’s good for her to be cared for by her father. So look away, arrest your perfectionism, still your socially conditioned sense of duty. Share child care equally. ‘Equally’ of course depends on you both, and you will have to work it out, payingequal attention to each person’s needs. It does not have to mean a literal fifty-fifty or a day-by-day score-keeping but you’ll know when the child-care work is equally shared. You’ll know by your lack of resentment. Because when there is true equality, resentment does not exist.      ””””””

PROVE 2 (FROM HER BOOK)

Here is a little draft from our renowned feminist.

According to a popular literature book””” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS “””

 FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

THIRD SUGGESTION

“”””””“Teach her that the idea of ‘gender roles’ is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl. ‘Because you are a girl’ is never a reason for anything ever “””””””

PROVE 3 (FROM HER BOOK)

Here is another quote from our own feminist.

FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:  WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST

——–The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina. Cooking is learned.

 Cooking – domestic work in general – is a life skill that both men and women should ideally have. It is also a skill that can elude both men and women. We also need to question the idea of marriage as a prize to women, because that is the basis of these absurd debates. If we stop conditioning women to see marriage as a prize, then we would have fewer debates about a wife needing to cook in order to earn that prize. It is interesting to me how early the world starts to invent gender roles. ——–

PROVE 4 (FROM HER BOOK)

Another excerpt/draft from her book also about gender role.

FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:  DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS

THIRD SUGGESTION:

“””””” Gender roles are so deeply conditioned in us that we will often follow them even when they chafe against our true desires, our needs, our happiness. They are very difficult to unlearn, and so it is important to try to make sure that Chizalum rejects them from the beginning. Instead of letting her internalize the idea of gender roles, teach her self-reliance. Tell her that it is important to be able to do for herself and fend for herself. Teach her to try to fix physical things when they break. We are quick to assume girls can’t do many things. Let her try. She might not fully succeed, but let her try.   ””””””

PROVE 5 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book– We should all be feminist

FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:  WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST

“”””””” I know a woman who hates domestic work, but she pretends that she likes it, because

 She has been taught that to be “good wife material,” she has to be—to use that Nigerian word—homely. And then she got married. And her husband’s family began to complain that she had changed. Actually, she had not changed. She just got tired of pretending to be what she was not. The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations. Boys and girls are undeniably different biologically, but socialization exaggerates the differences. And then starts a self-fulfiling process. Take cooking, for example. Today, women in general are more likely to do housework than men— cooking and cleaning.

 But why is that? Is it because women are born with a cooking gene or because over years they have been socialized to see cooking as their role? I was going to say that perhaps women are born with a cooking gene until I remembered that the majority of famous cooks in the world—who are given the fancy title of “chef”—are men.

But what matters even more is our attitude, our mind-set. What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender? I know a family who has a son and a daughter, a year apart in age, both brilliant at school. When the boy is hungry, the parents say to the girl, Go and cook Indomie noodles for your brother. The girl doesn’t like to cook Indomie, but she is a girl and she has to. What if the parents, from the beginning, taught both children to cook Indomie? Cooking, by the way, is a useful and practical life skill for a boy to have—I’ve never thought it made much sense to leave such a crucial thing—the ability to nourish oneself—in the hands of others.  ””””””’

PROVE 6 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book””” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS “””

 FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

FIRST SUGGESTION

 “”” I have no interest in the debate about women ‘doing it all’ because it is a debate that assumes that care-giving and domestic work are singularly female domains, an idea that I strongly reject. Domestic work and care-giving should be gender-neutral, and we should be asking not whether a woman can ‘do it all’ but how best to support parents in their dual duties at work and at home. ”””

PROVE 7(FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book””” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS “””

 FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

SIXTH SUGGESTION

””””” Teach her to ask questions like: what are the things that women cannot do because they are women? Do these things have cultural prestige? If so, why are only men allowed to do the things that have cultural prestige? It is helpful, I think, to use everyday examples. Remember that television commercial we watched in Lagos, where a man cooks and his claps for him? True progress is when she doesn’t clap for him but just reacts to the food itself – she can either praise the food or not praise the food, just as he can praise hers or not praise hers, but what is sexist is that she is praising the fact that he has undertaken the act of cooking, praise that implies that cooking is an inherently female act.  ”””””

PROVE 8 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book””” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS “””

 FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

TENTH SUGGESTION

 “”””””””” She can counter ideas about static ‘gender roles’ if she has been empowered by her familiarity with alternatives. If she knows an uncle who cooks well – and does so with indifference – then she can smile and brush off the foolishness of somebody who claims that ‘women must do the cooking. “””””””””

This should give men a little rethink about cooking and house/domestic chores which they see as a role of a woman. Which are to be to be shared equally between the two partners. As for me (PATRICKSTORIES) cooking, domestic chores- cleaning sweeping, mopping are supposed to be shared equally. Cooking was never meant for women. Anybody can cook whether male or female.

PROVE 9 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“””””””””“And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, pretend that you are not, especially in public, otherwise you will emasculate him. But what if we question the premise itself: Why should a woman’s success be a threat to a man? What if we decide to simply dispose of that word—and I don’t know if there is an English word I dislike more than this—emasculation.  “”””””””””

Note-

Emasculation– the act of depriving of virility, or the state of being so deprived.

Loss of power and masculinity.

Neutering a male animal by removing the testicles.

PROVE 10 (FROM HER BOOK)

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the second Suggestion

 “”””””   Do it together. Remember in primary school we learned that a verb was a ‘doing’ word? Well, a father is as much a verb as a mother. Chudi should do everything that biology allows – which is everything but breastfeeding. Sometimes mothers, so conditioned to be all and do all, are complicit in diminishing the role of fathers. You might think that Chudi will not bathe her exactly as you’d like, that he might not wipe her bum as perfectly as you do. But so what? What is the worst that can happen? She won’t die at the hands of her father. Seriously. He loves her.

It’s good for her to be cared for by her father. So look away, arrest your perfectionism, still your socially conditioned sense of duty. Share child care equally. ‘Equally’ of course depends on you both, and you will have to work it out, paying equal attention to each person’s needs. It does not have to mean a literal fifty-fifty or a day-by-day score-keeping but you’ll know when the child-care work is equally shared. You’ll know by your lack of resentment. Because when there is true equality, resentment does not exist.      ””””””

COMPETING INTERESTS

I declare that I have no financial or personal relationships that may have inappropriately influenced me in writing this article. I write this articles based on my experience with those who have kept that notion that feminism and femininity are mutually exclusive.  And I also write according to my little understanding about feminism and femininity. Readers are view to go against my idea, am open for opposition of such ideas.

WRITTEN BY:

KOGWUONYE PATRICK ONYEKA

FOUNDER AND CEO

FEMINISM IN NIGERIA ENVIRONMENT (FINE)

09038156756

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