I would like to begin this article by emphatically stating that I do NOT believe in the equality of men and women.
When we say that men and women are equal, what are we exactly talking about? How do we measure the equality of both sexes? There are aspects of life in which women have proven themselves superior, and there are aspects in which men have proven themselves to be more exceptional.
The question therefore should be: where is the middle ground? If there are things that women excel at, and there are things that men excel at, then how do we, as a society, measure true equality? I believe that there are simply too many different facets that each gender excels at to come to a conclusion that any is superior to the other.
What I do believe in is the equal treatment of both genders. Because the female gender is deemed weaker or inferior to the male is not enough ground to discriminate against them, especially because there is simply no proper basis to come to this rather absurd conclusion. Even in the situation where men were superior to women, it does not justify the manner in which most female children are raised and treated by society today – in particular the African society. And, due to the fact that I am strongly opposed to this treatment, I consider myself a Feminist.
The title of one of Chimamanda Adichie’s speech is WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS. And I wholeheartedly agree. I agree because feminism for me does not argue that women are equal to men, but that men and women should be treated equally. Equal treatment should be meted to the male and female child alike. It is the way every rational thinking society should be. It is an ideal something that every forward-thinking human should embrace. Yes, WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS.
For me, feminism is training your female child to grow up to be independent as you would your male child. When I speak of feminism, I say that the female child should be given as much education as you would the male child.
When I speak of feminism, I say that the female child should not be taught to live for the sole purpose of getting married to a guy and having his children.
When I speak of feminism, I say that females should be able to be just as sexually active as males without being stigmatized.
When I speak of feminism, I say that a woman should be paid the same amount a man would be paid for doing the same job.
When I speak of feminism, I say that women should generally be afforded the same opportunities, the same rights as men would.
The question of whether a gender is superior or inferior is irrelevant. What matters is that equal opportunities are granted to both sexes to excel, to make their individual choices, to aspire to be whatsoever it is they wish. It is the logical, sensible thing to do. We should all be feminists!
When I speak of feminism, I say ‘Do unto Sade as you would do unto Kola. Do unto Onyinye as you would do unto Emeka. Do unto Aminat as you would do unto Buhari. Do unto Vanessa as you would do unto Marcel.’
Every child deserves equal treatment irrespective of his or her sex.
Written by Tobi Adeyemi