Growing up as a girl child and eventually maturing into a woman, I always thought Feminism as an ideology or movement for gender equality would be an enticing theory for all women to join or support as it were to me. But over the years, I have come to realize that there is a resistance to the ideology, and particularly or more disappointingly, a resistance championed by women.

Social Media’s Anti-Feminism Police
I am a late social media ‘boomer’ if I may put it like that, although ‘booming’ is really not the right word to describe my relationship with social media because as an introvert I love my solitude so sharing me with strangers is still a road I am learning to traverse. I was forced into social media by my passion for writing. I woke up one day during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown and realized that I had no choice, that the demon I had managed to avoid for years was now knocking on my door and my only way to freedom was to open the door.

And so, after many years of writing in my private space; writing articles, stories, poems that would only be read by me and never see the light of day, I realized that in order to grow and become the writer that I wanted to be I had to join the social media frenzy. So it was during my acquaintance with social media, as I read, reacted, and responded to posts especially on Facebook, that I was taken aback and disappointed by the negative views and hostile responses of women to anything they deemed a ‘feministic view’. A view they feel is unjust towards their male counterparts.

I was shattered, to say the least. In my mind,I kept churning the purpose of, the cause of, and the definition of, feminism. I couldn’t comprehend why a woman would be against an ideology that at its core, strives for equality, the total social, economic, and political equality for women. Why would you as a woman not want that for yourself or support that for your daughter?

I Went Searching For Feminists
Seeking answers to the question above, I opted to understand rather than criticize, which is what I usually do, and so I designed a simple questionnaire and shared it with some women in my contact list who in turn shared it forward. The questionnaire was simple with only four straightforward questions: Are you a feminist? What do you understand feminism to be? Do you support feminism? How old are you?

When the answers came back, I cannot say I was the least bit surprised, they just confirmed what I had deduced from my interactions with strangers on social media. Four out of ten (4/10) women said they were not feminists and did not support it. Three out of ten (3/10) women said they were not feminists but supported the ideology, and three out of ten (3/10) women said they were feminists and strongly support the movement.

What caught my eye in the answers was that eight out of ten (8/10) women defined feminism along the lines of equality for women but still that was not enough for most of them to want to be a part of the movement. Two out of ten (2/10) defined it as a radical self-serving movement for women, nine out of ten (9/10) women agree somewhat with gender equality, yet still one out of ten (1/10) does not see the need for the disturbance of the status quo.

Revolutionizing the Injustices
These results got me thinking. Maybe, and just maybe, the evolution of feminism over the years has resulted in a gradual alienation of a very substantial percentage of the women population. And again maybe, just maybe, the postmodern radical feminism has left most women unable to identify with or connect with the tenets of the movement. But I also think people or women in this instance, are failing to recognize that movements are a consequence of injustice.

Society as a whole is not a change-friendly receptive organ, and so, for those willing to change, sometimes they are left with no other option but to revolt, to cause havoc, because for whatever reason, as humans, we pay more attention to pain and disappointment. It’s only when we feel our peace being threatened that we acknowledge those who are crying for recognition.

When a Gender-based Violence activist speaks, the response is ‘men are also victims of gender-based violence. When a Black Lives Matter activist speaks, the response is ‘all lives matter’. And likewise, when a Gender Equality activist speaks, the response is ‘equality is for everyone’. Has anyone ever thought that, but for the inequality, but for the injustice, but for the imbalance, there would not be any need for movements?

I—and I am sure all other activists—am not disputing that there are men who experience gender-based violence. I am not disputing that all lives matter. And I am not disputing that all genders matter.

The conflict arises from the disproportionality in the statistical ratios of the oppressed against the oppressors. It’s not a secret that the greater percentage of victims of gender-based violence are women and children. It is not a secret that the greater percentage of racial discrimination victims are black people or people of colour. It is also not a secret that the greatest percentage of social economic and political inequality victims are women. These are the causes of revolutionary movements.

Unravelling The Complicated Theory
Now, because feminism is evolutionary, there are many different types of movements within the ideology that seeks to address a particular need or point of view at a particular time or era. Approaches such as Liberal Feminism, Radical Feminism, Marxist Feminism, and so forth, are different approaches, but all with one aim; achieving gender equality. Personally, I am a liberal feminist, maybe leaning a little towards the radical side of liberalism. I believe that men and women are equal humans and should be treated as such.

The simplest comparison I can think of to make one understand the intricacies of feminism is religion. There are so many different types of religions in the world, but at the core of it all is faith, God, the Supreme Being. And yet within those same religions, there are even more divisions resulting from the liberalism or radicalism of the worshippers, hence the word extremists. The different churches erupting from a similar religious ideology, are due to differences in viewpoints, and so is feminism.

The Unwarranted Angst for Feminism
When I talk about patriarchy, anti-feminists get offended because they interpret patriarchy to mean hatred against men. I am a mother of two boys whom I made with a man, so there is just no way I can be accused of hating men. To me, patriarchy represents a culture, a tradition so entrenched in society that indoctrinates humanity from birth, that says that the male species is superior to the female species. That is what I have a bone of contention with, what I want to see changed. A mindset that I want to see eradicated and replaced with a belief system where all human beings are equal irrespective of their anatomical differences.

Patriarchy perpetuates gender biases and elevates gender inequality. Unfortunately, the spearheaders of patriarchy are women. They are the child rearers, the ones responsible for the initiation and imparting of values and norms, the keepers of morality. And so from birth, they uphold their sons as kings and their daughters as servants of the kings. So feminism as a movement hoping to eradicate the culture and tradition of patriarchal supremacy is not a movement against men. It’s simply a movement against patriarchal thought and practices.

Feminism to me is about making the world understand that females/women are as equal and important human beings as men are. It’s about making the world understand that the differences between males and females are not representative of a social hierarchy but rather emphasize the point of equality as we need each other for the survival of creation.

I Am A Proud Feminist
I am a feminist, I am anti any concept, belief, tradition, and culture that promotes the superiority of the male species. I am anti any indoctrination of a boy child into the patriarchal school of misogyny, sexism, gender inequality, and chauvinism. I am anti any school of thought that indoctrinates the girl child into the patriarchal school of submissiveness, slavery, obedience, captivity, and domestication. I am advocating for choice, for the freedom of making decisions without the glaring limitations or boxing-in of the female gender. I am advocating for choice, for the freedom to say, do, wear, and live how I want without fear of retribution from a patriarchal culture. A culture that feels it is entitled to have a say in any decision made by a woman. You don’t have to be extremist or radical in your views, but I think as a woman it’s important that one understands and supports the fight of feminism and the fundamental fight for equality.