By Chijioke Chris Chuwa

  1. Ignorance: you probably don’t know who a feminist is or what feminism is, so I’ll explain. Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes This includes seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men. If anyone has the capacity to take up a certain responsibility they should be allowed the opportunity to do such irrespective of their sex. Because of our culture and way of life we’ve attributed some responsibilities to a particular gender. Now I suppose you have pretty basic knowledge on what feminism is so let’s continue. Still say you’re not a feminist or rather you shouldn’t be?
  2. Confusion: you have been misled by others and their various actions as to what feminism is all about, they’ve told you a feminist doesn’t cook, a feminist doesn’t clean the home or take care of it, these are all fables which are both misleading and distract everyone from the problems at hand. People may think a feminist doesn’t cook, clean or take care of their husband but in reality feminism is the act of liberation and choice. So if a woman wants to clean and be a stay at home mom, she has that right while if she wants to work and not have kids or marry that’s also her choice.
  3. Fear: you’ve grown up in a society based on patriarchy, you don’t know how to act without it. Imagine being given all that power as a woman or imagine all that power being taken away from you in the case of men, you’re probably shuddering at the mere thought that something such as equal rights for both sexes is being considered.
  4. Belief: your belief has indoctrinated you into the idea that a man is above the woman and therefore she must cower and bow to him and revere his presence. This is where most people confuse their belief for gospel and preach it to others increasing the influence of patriarchy in the society, giving men a strong sense of entitlement.
  5. You don’t want to follow the crowd: you’ve learnt that following the crowd isn’t always the right choice, so you’ve solemnly sworn not to join the bandwagon and stick out like a sore thumb, refusing to join the conversation or lend an ear to find out what motivates them and learn why is this is a growing issue. Your stand is they should fight for what they want it doesn’t concern me.

At this point in time someone may be thinking why is a man writing about this, what relatable experience does he have? He’s just here mansplaining to us. If you think like this, you’re your own problem and you don’t really believe in feminism and equality between sexes.

6. Powerless: you feel your voice won’t make a difference or your actions are inconsequential so it doesn’t matter, hence why bother, so you go about your merry way allowing others fight for a cause you claim to believe in.

7. Peer pressure: you grew up in a patriarchal household where your father never showed your mom any of the respect she deserved, always treated her as an inferior, now you’re on your own and have surrounded yourself with misogynistic male friends that you see treat women the same way your father did in the past and you go along with the flow never uttering a word dissuade them from their juvenile barbaric behaviours.

8. Man: you’re a man who has heard the word feminist and believe it’s just a women’s thing I mean why shouldn’t it be, it starts with “fem” it’s for them, it’s their problem. this is incredibly untrue, a simple google search or reference to my first point will help educate you further. So stop being myopic. Most men, deep down don’t want to relinquish they power they think they have over the opposite sex.

9. Partial feminist: partial feminism is not feminism. You can’t choose to be a feminist sometimes and other times be laid back and let others take the mantle. Being a feminist doesn’t limit your ability as a man/woman it just focuses on the mind-set, you’re allowed to make your decisions as a human as long as it’s not misogynistic. You are not being forced to conform.

10. Misconception: this is very similar to confusion but I feel the need to emphasize it again. I’ve asked a male friend of mine if his girlfriend was a feminist his response was “why would I want wahala from those people that are always angry”, some people have termed feminists “angry women “because they’ve finally refused to stop being silent and speak up for themselves, and their basic rights. Another person would say that if you’re such a feminist why didn’t you support sarah jibril or Hillary Clinton in their bid for presidency? Firstly that’s not feminism voting them just cause they’re women, what if they’re underqualified? feminism is fighting for their right to be on the ballot boxes same as other men and be voted for, there was a time when a woman wouldn’t even be able to declare her intention for presidency, thankfully we’ve come a long way from that period.