#10. Feminism does not mean defending the bad decisions women make
…….and other bubbles about feminism that need to be burst
Every time a powerful woman missteps this comment creeps out, “Well, it seems the feminists are doing a bad job.” Or “better not comment else the feminists will get you” or “Just wait, the Facebook feminists will jump on it and attack you right now.”
This is Ghana in the 21st century and folks still don’t know that feminism is defined as a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to such opportunities for men?? (Definition courtesy Mary E. Hawkesworth)
But how is that even possible? For such a contentious issue in Ghana’s media space, it’s confusing/annoying/amusing to me that many still don’t know this.
And my confusion/annoyance/amusement hits the roof when incidents like the following happen:
- When the 2017 edition of the National Maths and Science Quiz ended with Prempeh College taking the trophy again, people asked “Why hasn’t a girls school won yet? I guess the feminists are not doing their job well.”
- Or when MP for Dome Kwabenya stood before a cross section of her constituents and lied that she was responsible for the financing a senior high school in her constituency, some people “Some are saying the way she is being trolled on social media is above and beyond what male politicians go through. And some gender activists are saying this will discourage women from participating in politics. Hmm, it seems that I don’t know what feminism is about.”
And when it happens like that, I don’t know whether to scream or cuss or bang my head against a wall and keep banging until my brain is numb. Or maybe I should stop checking my Facebook; that way I won’t read these comments and get so heated up.
But all this theatrics goes on in my imagination. In reality, I take a deep breath and take every one of these instances as a learning opportunity and proceed to educate my friends.
I start with defining feminism and then explaining why their argument is so asinine ignorant.
Let’s start with the NMSQand the fact that a girls school is yet to win it : for years that trophy basically lived on Presec, Legon campus; the boys have a formula for winning that starts from form 1 and they have honed it over the years. The girls schools simply need to master the combination of book smarts, application under pressure and confidence to handle any question thrown at you before a crowd of several thousand (plus those who follow on social media)Performing at NMSQ is akin to public speaking – it takes skill and a warrior mindset and the ability to focus under pressure.
As for Adwoa Safo’s case…di33333….she did what all politicians do – she lied to her people to make herself look good because Congress is up soon and she needs to garner her support base. But then she got caught on someone’s smartphone; and he/she shared the information and now…..#Safolie is trending on social media with some of the most ridiculous and amusing quotes ever. My favourite is still this one:
Notice in both those situations my belief in women’s rights and gender equality didn’t factor in at all?
But somehow, with some learned people on Facebook, this was not the case. Somehow feminists and the feminism movement are somehow implicated in there…..somewhere.
So just to be clear – feminism is not about defending or supporting women who make irresponsible decisions; it’s about fighting disparities between the genders.