The words bitter, angry, witch, prostitute, and lesbian amongst many others are thrown at feminists as insults, they are used in an unnatural way to demean a woman who stands up for her rights. Feminists are accused of damaging the core values of society and also of influencing younger generations of women badly.
People tend to forget that these so-called societal core values are hinged on the oppression of women. Women have faced various forms of institutionalized oppression since the beginning of time. Every culture, tribe, religion, and civilization all over the world have always found ways to treat women like second-hand citizens and make it sound like they are doing it to protect women.
Telling a woman to stay indoors or cover her body to prevent herself from being sexually harassed only tells her to live her life in fear of sexual predators, it does nothing to protect her. Preventing a woman from inheriting property simply because she is a woman only damages her self-worth. Telling a woman to shrink herself and keep her opinions inside does damage to her self-confidence.
So, what’s really harming the society here, Feminism or patriarchy?
Feminism has become a constant cause for debates and arguments and not just harmless arguments — many women have been maimed and murdered for being feminists. There have been cases of Nigerian men in the diaspora murdering their wives for being too disrespectful, for asking for a divorce, for earning more than them, or simply for learning more about their rights as women.
Feminists are targets of bullying both cyber and offline. They get death threats, threats of sexual violence because they are daring to change the perspective of the world and their attackers are none other than ignorant people or maybe not so ignorant because in all honesty, who would want to change a world that has been designed to suit them? They would rather become violent than unlearn the discriminatory values they were brought up with.
They proudly sentence women to death by loneliness because they have refused to accept the natural law that men are created to lead and women are created as an afterthought and solely to be companions to men — to be a subordinate and never a full whole being in her own self.
Patriarchy seeks to control everything about a woman’s life, to shape her to fit into what men want, from the god she worships and how she chooses to worship it to the shape and size of her body, the complexion of her skin, the kind of clothes she wears, the way she speaks, how much she can earn and even how sexual she can be. It is pathetic that women are being insulted and worse being killed for just daring to change these things.
It is even sadder that women are being killed by their fathers and brothers for being different. Under the guise of saving her from the torment of hell by killing her for her sins.
What sins? You might ask. The sin of dancing in the rain, or the sin leaving her hair uncovered, or the unforgivable sin of being raped and violated. This is called Honour Killing and it’s a whole different topic for another day.
There are cases of women who fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) being raped, cut, and then killed, their bodies dumped on the streets to serve as a deterrent to other women who might want to follow in the footsteps of their activism. Stripping these women of their dignity both in life and death.
What the perpetrators of these evils committed against women don’t understand is that they keep proving the point why feminism is needed. Feminism will only stop existing when the world becomes equal for all.
Feminists continue to fight despite the name-calling, the victimization, and the violence against them so that they can build a world where other women don’t have to suffer what they have suffered.