The Difference Between Feminism in the West & Feminism in Africa Pt. 2

Open Society Foundations

One of my biggest arguments is that feminism can NOT represent ALL women. Yes, it takes a biased stance for feminists. If they informed women of the true nature of feminism, many will refuse to support it. Calling it a gender equality movement that speaks for all women, deceives everyone. It also does not take into account the advances that women have achieved without feminism.

What happened when African-American and Caribbean women became Western feminists? More Afro-American women pushed their “Black Power” men into the streets. The majority are single mothers living off the welfare system. Many of those men died, became absent parents or gang members. When Caribbean women became feminists the Rastafarian movement slowed down to a crawl. They also saw a sharp decline in marriage, and an increase in their divorce rate. Many feminists are now distancing themselves after they discovered the other, more obscure or incompatible expectations of other feminists. Some people are die hard feminists who will never change.

As I listened to African feminists I could not help wondering if they knew what feminism has done to other black cultures around the world? 

I noticed that most African feminists are similar to first and second-wave feminism in the West. I wondered if African women are in the early stage of feminism? Yes, African girls should have opportunities for education. Forced marriages must also end. African women want professional, political and financial opportunities. They also want their traditional gender role to ceases to exist. This stage is the point when women achieve the equality they seek in their community. I might add that at this stage, there are not too many men who disagree with feminism.

However, as we know from what happened in the west, this equality does not help as many women as expected. On the one hand, what African girl wants to be a night watcher or a wheelbarrow driver? When women gain “equality”, they are expected to withstand the dangers and sacrifices that come with being equally independent. They demand the complete dismantling of the police, educational, employment and social structure to build feminine friendly ones. However, African countries cannot afford it.

The embarrassed men,  false rape accusation, challenging of religion or God. The change of tradition and culture with slut walks, self-objectification.

A Nigerian woman took offence to a traditional Igbo marriage ceremony where the sisters can not get married until their brother breaks the kola nut. According to her, even if it’s traditional, male birthright is unfair to women. She spoke of families that have a majority of daughters, where the firstborn is a daughter and the last born is a son and that last son is the heir. She criticized the tradition of female genital mutilation, families that only send their sons to school leaving the uneducated daughters or traditions that favor men at the expense of capable women. When asked how do you feel about changing ancient traditions? She pointed that Africans no longer live in huts, wear African clothing or such. 

She said, African food is westernized so if food cultures can change, why not equality for women? As I listened to her, I could not help but agree that African women have legitimate arguments for gender equality. Once they pass the second wave, then comes the fourth and fifth. During the third wave, feminists falsify rape, spread man hate, protest naked and get “triggered” at the prescience of assertive men.*

 www.freddywill.com

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