By: Pelumi Adeniyi
Feminism has one main true purpose; to bolster equality or equity among women. It aims to bridge the gap between the man and the woman and eliminate sexism and other vices against the female gender. Protecting the rights of the female gender is its main priority, although it has transcended beyond that now.
Many promoters of feminism in Nigeria have put this forward to bolster the equality mission. It is rather unfortunate that feminism and its mission have been blighted by many misconceptions that are propounded by so-called feminists. Feminism is now fast becoming a haven for toxic women; women that have been heartbroken by “men”, women that have friends who were left heartbroken by men, in essence, women that hate men. These people allow their hate, toxicity, and absolute disgust for the person who left them to influence the main purpose of feminism. They go around spreading the wrong definitions of feminism, thereby misinforming the world of feminism’s mission and purposes. What makes it worse is that they attribute these definitions to popular vanguards of feminism like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
One of the most popular misconceptions is that feminism in Nigeria is about hating and being wicked to men. This is a major misconception that has greatly done harm to feminism. Women that were completely outdone by men or hurt by men become feminists, thinking it is an avenue to spread their hate or avenge the pain inflicted on them. Quite a number of them in this category are the most active on Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media platforms. Popular feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has come out to say that there is a difference between feminism and wickedness. She described this misconception as just being wicked.
These women use social media platforms to spread misinformation and personal agenda under the guise of feminism to lead innocent women astray. This misinformation also incites some hate, particularly among men, against the concept of feminism. Men and people who have some reservations against feminism do so because of the hateful comments they see on their social media accounts.
Another misconception, particularly spread by men, is that feminism is about women dominating men and showing that they are superior to men. This is a dangerous misconception. Feminism is about equality; women striving for equal rights and opportunities and fair treatment. It does not say anywhere in the concept of feminism that feminists are supposed to dominate men. Feminism is a concept that promotes equity and equality. The female supremacists are not feminists in any way or form. Feminism is not a weapon of mass destruction. It is not a weapon willed by women to cause havoc. It is a tool of social change.
Another erroneous thought people have on feminism in Nigeria is that it is a tool that enables women to maltreat men or be unfair to them especially women of high ranking. Women that are of high standing also have this misconception. The percentage of high-ranking women with this mentality and misconception is relatively higher. Many female bosses tend to be sexist to men and maltreat them on the basis of gender. They sometimes do not play on a level playing ground with both genders. They do this under the guise of feminism. Many men have voiced their complaints over the years. Proper education should be done by real Feminists NGOs and individuals to remove these misconceptions as it is currently doing great harm to feminism.
Human concepts are prone to corruption because as we say, “to err has always been human”. It is therefore of little surprise that a well-meaning concept such as feminism has fallen been faced with mutations and corruptions. Nonetheless, the onus lies on all well-meaning people to truly understand how important it is to have societies that offer equal chances and opportunities, regardless of gender.