The Feminism Episode
In the bid to keep the promise that we made to our listeners about having different shows in store for them, WokeMill began one of its many shows titled “Expose with Gbaleh” where we had Gbaleh, a graduate from the Lagos State University and Anne, an MSc student at Covenant University talk about Feminism in Nigeria.
The show kicked off with Gbaleh and Anne talking about the issues relating to Feminism that would be discussed on the show.
Anne in her opinion, believes that feminism is about both genders having equal opportunities and rights politically and socially, she also believes that people (Nigerians) do not fully understand the concept of feminism as some feminists see it as an opportunity to degrade the male gender while trying to empower the female gender.
Shortly before the show kicked off, listeners were asked to participate via our social media platforms and they sent in emails, voice notes and texts about their views on the topic which were considered as the show went on.
“People especially the females are trying to replace equality with equity, while the latter means fairness to both genders in all situations, the former translates to equal rights to both genders in all situations”. The listener (male) believes that some of these so-called feminists have missed the point of the feminism movement.
Gbaleh had his opinion about what the sender had to say and he completely agreed with him by also citing an “equity-related-scenario” where men and women had to run a race and the women were given a head start ahead of the men because it is believed that the men likely possess more physical strength when compared to the women counterpart. Anne on the other hand after listening to what the listener had to say, she became woke and had to agree to the listeners’ definition of equality and equity while stating that most Nigerian feminists just join the bandwagon of feminists without even a minimal understanding of what it entails.
While the show was going on, Gbaleh kept using the words “yes” and “of course” like it’s a combination of incantations given to him by his local herbalist. Anne, who was more interested in the show missed his subtle sarcasm.
“To some other men, feminism nauseates them because they are cool with patriarchy which permits them to get away with a lot of things”, another listener (female) had this to say about Feminism as regards double standards, saying: “men are praised for their sexual conquests, women are usually slut-shamed for the same conquests”.
Gbaleh whilst agreeing to the listeners opinion on double standard also attributed the slut-shaming of women to the standards that were already set by culture and tradition that expect the female gender to be virtuous and he also believed that religion may have shaped our mindsets but at the same time, these double standards do not favor the male gender in some conditions by mentioning scenarios where the male gender has been stepped upon to pave way for the female gender; things like what we seen on queues and in public places nowadays. Anne slightly disagreed with Gbaleh on the issue of the double standard, saying that its effects fall more on the female gender than the male.
Gbaleh kept up with his combination of incantations only that this time, the only word he kept using was “Yes”. It would simply appear that “of course” had gone off course for him. Anne who was still very focused on the show dropped what might be the takeaway line for the show, saying that “Feminism is not a battle of sexes; it is a battle of minds and thinking (mentality).” She believes that, for progress to be made concerning feminism, human minds will require some learning and unlearning.
When it comes to issues about rape and sexual assaults, Gbaleh believes that the male gender usually faces backlash from the society when they are accused, without evidence or proof that they are guilty, he and Anne related this to the mentality that we might have consciously or unconsciously inherited from the society about both genders, where the word “rape” has always been synonymous to women being victims of the abuse. The hosts also agreed that this mentality is a reason why some women exploit feminism by accusing men of things that never happened.
“To be honest, it really can’t go a long way most especially in our society because it is already imbibed in us that women and men can’t have equal rights in everything”, this was what the third listener (a female) had to say about feminism. She also added that it is rather outrageous that feminists suddenly expect women and men to be on the same pedestal in every situation.
Anne disagreed with what our listener had to say and suggested that though the shift towards feminism may be slow and gradual, it is not impossible.
The hosts shifted the course of the conversation from double standards to the “gender-specific roles (especially cooking)” a topic they Gbaleh believed would interest E-feminists in Nigeria. Gbaleh while dismissing it as unimportant also believes that in the grand schemes of every other thing that feminism stands for, there are roles that are more suited to a particular gender but Anne disagreed and stated that there are no gender-specific roles that people in relationships should stick to whatever works for them. Once again, single people have been left out of the equation.
Anne finally caught up with Gbaleh’s sarcasm close to the end of the show, his local herbalist must have cancelled his subscription to the incantations.
The hosts had some parting words to the listeners; Anne said she believes that awareness should be made so that people will understand what feminism is about and that there should be fairness in the treatment of both genders and Gbaleh admitted that feminism is a good and honest movement and it should not be a tool for people to misbehave.
Feminism itself may take a while to fully take root in our minds and society, but the movement is a good one and has come a long way but it must not be hijacked by the “wannabes”. We all must make efforts to understand what this movement really stands for.