I have had the privilege of explaining Feminism to people who genuinely struggle with the concept and who have questions. If you have genuine questions, here are some FAQs that may help you. I don’t intend to change anyone, just to answer genuine questions.
1. Why can’t all feminists agree? They are unserious if they don’t agree on everything – There is NO CONCEPT where all believers agree on EVERYTHING. Not Christianity, not Islam, not constitutions. If a group of people agree on the fundamentals, they may share an identity.
2a. I believe in equality but I hate the term FEMINISM. I will never support feminism but I support equality – The name has baggage. So does every name, identity, philosophy. We don’t usually throw away names, simply because they have baggage. Humans stand for what they believe.
2b. Think of something you identify as: Muslim, Christian, Nigerian, even your family name. Think of times when someone heard that identity and hated you because of times that identity was abused or tainted. Did it change you? You dealt with the baggage and proved yourself.
3a. Twitter feminists are loud and angry. – Twitter is a market. Markets are loud, noisy and sometimes vile. Many of these ‘loud feminists’ are doing the dirty work. If it were easy to achieve equality, it would have been done. So, the goal isn’t comfort, the goal is results…
3b. Some people are raging with placards, others are changing policies and others are writing books. All of them contribute to the goal. Do not pit the quiet agents against the towncriers in the market. They depend on each other! And they don’t all have to agree on methods.
4. Feminists hate men. – Feminists do not hate men. Feminism detests the systems that enable the oppression of women for being women. It may seem uncomfortable when the status quo is changing but the goal is not comfort or giggles, the goal is humanity and equality.
5a. Funmi, you are doing well. What oppression do you face? How can you be a Feminist? – I own a passport, two degrees, choose my own life path, have a driver’s license and can vote. I thrive on the benefits that feminists fought for. With these tools, I fight daily oppression.
5b. Woe unto me to bash the very advocacy that brought me to where I am, while reaping the juicy fruits of the hard, dirty, deadly labor of feminists. We do not live as victims, we simply address daily issues and press on so women behind us can benefit from our labor.
6a. I read about XYZ who killed bla bla bla in the name of feminism. – If your story is true, that is extremism not feminism. Boko Haram doesn’t represent Islam, KKK doesn’t represent Christianity and 419ers don’t represent Nigerians. Don’t use extremists to cancel the majority!
6b. But check yourself and make sure you are not referring to regular feminists as extremist simply because they make you uncomfortable. People aren’t extremists because they make you uncomfortable, they are simply genuine advocates who prioritize their humanity over being liked!
7. Men and women can never be the same. – Feminism advocates for equality, not sameness. In the same way that an orange is a fruit and an apple is a fruit, they both play different roles and have differing strengths. But none is more or less worthy to be in the fruit salad.
I don’t have all the answers but my arm is outstretched and I’ll gladly answer what I have answers to. Feel free to bring them on. Since I came in peace, I will ignore anyone who doesn’t come in peace. And I’ll be glad to attend to those who come in peace.