A WOKE FEMINIST OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT by Jasmine Tekyi-Acheampong

 

Last Saturday, I had a discussion with my friends on the ideals of feminism and what it has to do with sugar daddies. We began by addressing the issue from a gender and the law perspective but soon deviated because feminism, I have come to believe, hangs on the shoulders of hypocrisy often shrouded with the holy chorus, “women have been oppressed for the longest and continue to be oppressed because of how patriarchal society is”. I agree with this holy chorus. I myself believe and have often joined to shout it loud. It is true, never been a lie. However, feminists do not want to totally dismantle this very same patriarchy, they only want to eliminate certain aspects of the patriarchy when it is not beneficial to them. While there is nothing wrong with that because of the innate selfishness of each human, feminists I believe, must search deep in their heads and come out with what they really want. Too many a feminist are at war with themselves accepting the simple truth that patriarchy is not always the problem for our never ending sorrows. Sometimes, we even join hands to contribute to it.  I, a woke feminist or something like that, write to relive myself of such a burden.

I write not for the academics, nor the feminist who has decided not to make room for different opinions. I write for we, who strongly believe in feminism but see clearly, what feminism does to a person leaving him or her with bitterness for the male gender and bleak perspectives of a utopian world which may never materialize. Lastly, I write for all the men who are not appreciated enough and who believe feminism at its best, is a means to suppress them, violate their rights and perpetuate hatred towards them. it is never so, I promise you.

One striking feature among feminists worldwide is their admirable strive for equality of the sexes worldwide. According the UNICEF, gender equality means equal rights and opportunities for girls and boys to help them achieve their full potential. Gender equality, against my wishes and every feminist I assume, can never be possible. Call me a pessimist but I would rather know and accept the truth, than jubilate over impossible dreams. Whereas gender equity is defined as the fair treatment of women and men according to their respective needs This is possible and what most feminist want, if they will be very honest with themselves. Too many a time, feminists make arguments along the lines of equity believing it to be equality but do not want to accept it. Equality to me, is not desired by many feminists. It is only desired in circumstances which will be of benefit of the women. Any other circumstance where equality slightly puts males above females, feminists will flee into rage and as usual chant the usual chorus.

Back to the discussion I had with my friend, I will explain why I say feminists love to play the game of pick and choose when it comes to real life situations where the very principle of equality comes to play. Sugar daddies are known for one thing, to spoil their little ‘girls’. Something only beneficial to women. I often hear how men are bashed and described as “broke’ for not being able to take care of their women, sometimes same age as the women are. I usually laugh at that because how can you broke shame someone for failing to provide something you can’t provide for yourself. Where is the equality? Here too, equity supersedes equality because you actually agree that, a male should take care of you, you are incapable of taking care of yourself and the equality principle takes the backseat no more. I have asked my friends if they would retire from studying law, give up on their dreams and stayed at home on the orders of her husbands if he would give them all they want. They answered in the affirmative. In fact, I said yes myself. We are all feminists, but when there is money we do not realize that there is patriarchy. Because this is also a different form of patriarchy, evident in many homes.  Giving up your aspirations and staying home, only because your husband says so and is willing to give you all the money you want. Many can bear me out when I say feminists are not true to themselves with what they actually want. Most feminists, or the ones who invoke feminism for their own selfish needs know that patriarchy doesn’t even matter to once there is money or something else which will make them comfortable. They wouldn’t mind ‘going back to the kitchen’ shutting up or changing strong ideals or views for money. It is only when it isn’t to their benefit that they scream and view patriarchy as an oppressive tool for society.

Again, many feminists accept that our norms and culture especially in Africa are deeply rooted in patriarchy. Culture is progressive although admittedly, it very difficult to adapt to changing circumstances. Many people would rather stick to the culture they are familiar with than radically shift to accommodate new thoughts, inventions, modes of doing things. It is understandable. One problem I have with feminists in this area is that, as usual, they like to pick and choose which culture to eliminate and which to change. For example, the bride price paid by Ghanaian men is very discriminatory towards males and even derogatory to females to me. It seems more to me like man buying an item to take home. Some families use this medium to enrich themselves with long lists of items to be brought for the lady’s hand in marriage while others accept close to nothing for their daughter’s hand in marriage. Those who accept nothing are usually taunted and even ridiculed as escorting their daughters to their husband’s house for “free”. A price is placed on women but feminists do not see that. I’ve often asked many of my feminist friends if they would like the bride price to be scrapped off and I hear a resounding no. Even in instances where the woman clearly earns more than her prospective spouse, she is unwilling to let go the payment of the bride price and it follows inside the home. A lot of women who earn more than their husbands are unwilling to take up certain roles which require expenditure because “it is a man’s job”.

Another aspect of our culture which is highly discriminatory towards men is the payment of ‘kwasia bu’. This is a practice prominent among the Akans and some other ethnic groups across the country. This is when a man pays a price to the girl’s family for impregnating her when he hasn’t yet performed customary marriage rites.  I have never understood why men have to pay for having sex with another woman who mistakenly gets pregnant. For an activity they both enjoy? But feminists why raise high the flag of equality are silent on this.

Last but not least, men are shamed in many ways you can imagine, from being short, to broke, to not having cars and houses at certain ages, to having small penises, to being ugly, name it. Yet, use fat and female in the same sentence and feminists will descend on you for being fat phobia. Let a man name his desired qualities in a female and all hell will break loose once feminists find it offending according to their preferences. Yet, there is no issue when it is turned the other way round. Lots of women are unwilling to take on the very same responsibilities they push on men. They would rather prefer to sit, like a queen and demand. The sense of entitlement of feminists, especially in Ghana is not only bad, but rubs in the salt and very telling of the kind of feminists they claim to be.

I am not a misogynist. I am a feminist, a feminist with an open mind and very well aware of the glaring hypocrisy of feminists, I myself included. I have decided to be a feminist, who is true to myself, a feminist who actually believes the movement shouldn’t only teach girls to play the cry baby role all the time but to do better. A feminist echo believes in empowerment of both sexes and equity for all. So yes, I may be a woke feminist as my friend called me the other time. I, may identify as a different type of feminist, not the normal victim playing ones. I find peace there. You should too wherever you are.

 

 

Jasmine K.T Acheampong