20 Jan Inside my ‘Feminist’ Head…
By Warima Muggy
I was not born with much, just some average brilliance and this serious passion to address issues regarding the female being. This passion does not stem from any sort of bitterness, daddy issues or prior nasty experience with men. On the contrary, I have been surrounded with more men than women my entire life and I can confidently say this has impacted my life very positively. I have an amazing dad whose name I bear with so much pride, three protective brothers who always have my back, an adorable nephew, the man that my heart melts for, cousins and friends among others. It is from this background that this specific interest grew because I was encouraged to achieve the best without anyone pointing out that I was a girl. My gender was never a point of consideration for any serious decision in my first fourteen years. I could do anything and everything that boys of my age could do. Unfortunately, that is not a privilege many girls have. The day I realized this, I made it a personal goal to level the ground for these girls and women.
In demystifying feminism, the most concise description would be “a belief in the social, political and economic equity of the sexes” I say equity and not equality because the sexes can never be equal. So to all the skewed idealists out here on feminism, revolutionize your thinking. Feminists are not hard headed women who want to dethrone the man as head of the family. Feminism does not threaten the status of the boy child. Could we quit on the crab mentality please? One gender does not have to be suppressed for another to reach its apex. We can all win. Yes, win win is possible.
Why feminism now despite all the efforts already in place to empower the girl child? Because regardless of the far we have come, we still have a long way to go. I would use facts such as “women around the world aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria” to blackmail you into thinking that this could be any of your female relatives but that is not my style. United States, one of the most powerful nations in the world took over two and a half centuries to be comfortable with having a woman running for the Oval office. Despite this remarkable achievement in the world of feminism, one reporter decided to trash these efforts by pointing out the price of Clinton’s clothes and noting that they were too expensive therefore making her unfit for presidency. I consider this gender discrimination because someone shamelessly judged Clinton’s competence of being President on the basis of her clothes. When has it ever occurred that the price of a man’s suit was deemed as criteria for judging his abilities for accomplishing a certain task?
How do we achieve gender equity if there are movies demonizing women as bad moms because of balancing a career and family? Gender discrimination happens in the subtlest of ways; a food processing company selling soap by capturing that it suits the modern woman, translating to cleaning is a chore for women. The gender stereotypes existing on crucifying women for cross generational relationships. When we brand women who speak out on these issues with ugly names such as ‘loud’, ‘hard headed’, ‘controversial’ and ‘unmarriageable’
However, there is hope for future generations of women. A loved one recently shared how he thinks of starting an enterprise for his mum and aunts after retirement because his dad and uncles already have successful businesses. This is one of the most refreshing and gender thoughtful thing I have heard in the longest time. There are so many amazing men and women like this out here who are working to level this ground. I applaud you because your rewards are far much bigger than material things. To the various platforms out here giving women a voice, keep up the great work. I leave you with one of my mantras that states “If you can’t be constructive, be silent so that you don’t contribute to the destruction”
PS: I am a proud feminist and I have no apologies about it. And yes there have been men reasonable enough to find me worthy of their love so to burst the bubble, feminists are loveable and marriageable.
Hey, talk to Muggy through: firstname.lastname@example.org