By Olumide Olugbemi-Gabriel
(Warning: This is not a defence of Pastor E.A. Adeboye against the feminists coalition. It’s also a long read and I’m taking no prisoners. But it won’t bore you. I promise)
I do not come to you by chance. I’d planned this piece for some time until an event this week provided the muse.
I do not intend to shake this yeye table, I want to break it into pieces to be used as firewood to prepare ‘aseje’, which is now deemed inevitable in order to open the eyes of African feminists to their vaunted hypocrisy and existential realities on the continent.
Loudmouth African feminists are everywhere these days but they’re scammers and terrorists. The virtual space is their fortress, where they beat real and fake breasts and make loud noise like vuvuzelas. These wannabe feminists terrorise anyone who does not use their lenses to see the world. But on main streets and in real life where the action is, you find them not. They simply fizzle, tucking their tails between their fine legs, cowered in the valley of hypocrisy and oversabi ideological posturing. Twitter is their most formidable space. They hide there to rant, puff, curse and hurl grenades of words.
Some days ago, the children of anger went after Nigeria’s most popular pastor, Pastor E.A. Adeboye, with vengeance, venom, bile and curses because the old man raised a tribute to his wife of 52 years on her birthday. Pastor Adeboye had used the opportunity to praise his wife and flag the now vexed issue of women’s submissiveness in marriage and how she still helps him with certain chores like trimming his nails. He went on to praise his wife for being submissive in a way that has concretized their marriage.
But African feminists would have none of it. Baba is old school, they chorused. Baba has enslaved his wife, they screamed. How can she still be trimming his nails and be ordered around in this age? They vomited with fiery eyes. The man is old school joor. He’s a slave master too. He’s the typical African man with an overripe and oversized sense of entitlement; classic misogynist. Many of these feminists foamed in the mouth against a respected family man and elder. They charged at him like enraged hen.
Biko ask what the so-called ‘New School’ has brought these feminists: singlehood, divorce, separation, lonely nights, frustrations, pains and misery. Some of them hide their pains behind painted faces, artificial and imported hairs, doctored and decorated bodies, and vaunted but empty sloganeering. Many of these feminists cry themselves to sleep over the same repudiated values that have kept many women in lovely marriages in Africa and elsewhere as exemplified by Mama Adeboye’s 52 years of marriage.
The feminists preposterously expected Baba Adeboye to talk their talk not his. He had no right to his own voice and story; they concluded with magisterial finality complete with insults and curses..
I sympathise with Baba Adeboye. Thankfully, he has dismissed the feminists with the noise of silence. The joke is on them after all.
African Feminists do not see reason(s) to take notes on marriage from a 52 years example. Yet many of them eye marriage to ‘typical African’ men like Baba Adeboye with lustful and eager eyes. Part of the problem with the ideology these women hold dear is that it loves to hear its own voice. The children of anger only saw in Baba’s praise of his wife: misogyny, male supremacy, manacles of religious orthodoxy and of course, oppression of women. The beauty of a 52 marriage missed them. I pity these women.
Sadly, African feminists equate submissiveness in marriage to servitude. I say to them, “E dey una body.’ What about the important place of love within that boundary? Love, which many times, makes the strongest of men to behave silly and enslaved under the spell of their wives in private and public spaces. That, they deliberately ignore. Na dem.
I understand Feminism and the underlying ideological divisions following the rejection of the universalisation of the original and its mutations over the years and across waves. For eight years, I studied and restudied the ideology/theory, sometimes tempted to dismiss it as ‘penis envy’ in a feisty imitation of Freundian derision. As the theoretical paradigm for my MA and PhD works, I have had cause to run through the whole gamut of Feminism, identifying its complexities, inherent contradictions, strengths and weaknesses. It’s difficult to overlook how huge and impactful feminism has turned as a pro-women but also reactionary ideology.
I won’t bore you with academic jargons. The best way to save you from that strangulation is to detour from the road to my thesis’ discursive engagements of Feminism.
These days every girl with pronounced breasts is a feminist in Africa. But the ones with artificially enabled point breasts are the real deal in feminist terrorism. Our girls and women are following Toto Dickhead and Toke Makintosh upandan. But do they really understand what feminism is all about? No!
Girls and women just jump on the bandwagon under the influence of herd mentality. O pari. If only these women could tear through the unenviable lives of their celebrity mentors to see the naked underbelly, the bitter truths lurking in those over pampered and overdecorated bodies.
But feminism is far more sublime and intricate than the fanciful antics of tolotolo like Toto and Toke.
The ideology seeks emancipation and equality for women. Good ideas, ideas every good, progressive and modern man should support. It seeks the opening of spaces overtly and covertly appropriated by patriarchy for centuries, sometimes due to enlightened ignorance, self interest, a warped sense of entitlement and the powerful but sentimental influences of religion. On the other hand, feminism promotes and expects women to walk the talk on the issue of equality. Equality as evinced by feminism is not about shared opportunities alone. In all its glory and trappings, feminism is also about shared responsibilities on all grounds.
Kindly note the closing statement of the preceding paragraph because it is at centre of my argument that African Feminism is a scam.
I hold strongly that African women have been traumatized into feminism and conditioned to sing from the belly of the beast by a patriarchal space, which has refused to deliberately liberalise in the face of modernism and globalization. The culture-influenced refusal of African societies to free the energy and bottled feelings of women for productive use has created a generation of women traumatized into feminism.
That said, however, African feminists appear to be singing a song they love but whose lyrics they do not understand. Mesmerized but traumatized into it as it were, African women misappropriate and misapply feminism on the continent in a manner that exposes their hypocrisy and insincerity.
White feminism has evolved so much that the issue of shared responsibilities is sacrosanct. Feminism says that the husband should wash his clothes, cook his meals, trim his nails and vice versa. But it also says the woman must share house rent with her husband, contribute to children school fees in equal proportion, cut grass, mow the lawn, fix her own car tyre, pay for dinner on night out with hubby, ati bebe lo (and so on). It’s as simple as that.
On marriage, feminists have taken many strong positions which validates their cause and enable their call for equality. They repudiate the virulent influences of culture and tradition within that space and institution.
No white feminist allows her family to burden her husband-to-be with a Marriage List which is as long as Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and costs 10 million naira only, take or leave.
When a true feminist finds love, she simply drags her man to the altar with or without the consent of her parents; without bride price, with or without ceremonies such as introduction (knocking of door), traditional wedding etc. Love supersedes culture and traditions to the feminist.
Real feminists do not allow themselves to be bought under the guise of marriage culture and traditions. Feminists are known to fight against culture and traditions because both have stood for centuries as stumbling blocks to women emancipation. That’s one of the core arguments of feminism.
African feminists will continue to rant on Twitter and Facebook. That’s the bitter truth. Until they walk the talk like western feminists, they’ll only bark, they won’t bite.
As long as African women allow themselves to be bought like sheep in the name of marriage, as long as they excuse the transactional nature of marriage in Africa as ‘our culture’, they must be ready to wash plates, trim nails, fetch water, cook, bend down for s*x by fire by force, and jump when their husbands command.
It’s that simple. I hate nonsense.
African girls and women, your feminism must not end on Twitter, Facebook and in written (and/or spoken) words. Take it home to your parents who demand aeroplanes, jeeps, postdated cheques, 500 tubers of yam, 30 kegs of cooking oil, 50 bags of rice, 5 cows, 20 goats, 10 pigs, 50 fowls, clothes for your parents, siblings and relatives, and bride price of 10 million naira from a man before he can marry you.
Aside the financial assault on the bank account of the groom as his in-laws rampage through, the bride’s family will often march frog the groom (100 idobales if he’s lucky), he’s commanded to chest out like a soldier under punishment for AWOL. The groom is extorted without shame on the wedding day as bride family demand nebulous tollgate and other fees. Yet, they deceive him that his in-laws’ house is his as well. I always ask, who pays to enter their own father’s house? The bride watches the groom’s ordeal with amusement. See man’s inhumanity to man.
If you’re unlucky as a man to find your bride from certain Ugandan tribes, just know that you might need to steal or break the Central Bank of your country to meet your in-laws’ demand.
Among certain Ugandan tribes in the north of the country in particular, as an unfortunate husband-to-be, you’ll be taken to your father in law’s herd of cattle and given a spear to throw as far as you can. When you’re done, your in-laws would count the cows from where you stand to the point where the spear rests. That’s the beginning of your ordeal. Then you’ll be required to give your in-laws the number of cows counted as part of the bride price. The cows which you pay as bride price are added to your father-in-laws’ herd. Other demands, equally gargantuan, are made of you in the name of marriage.
A significant number of men has remained unmarried. Many are in huge debt because they married African women.
If that’s not terrorism, tell me what terrorism is.
Where are the African feminists? Who are they? Where are the gains of feminism with regards to marriage in Africa, for instance?
Surely no right thinking person expects a man who’s terrorised and who’s invested so much not to recoup his investment through whatever means.
That’s wishful thinking. It’s an illusion. A mirage resting on hallucination and self deceit.
All the gods including female goddesses expect a man so troubled and exploited to have a firm hold and put a leash on his investment. Such an investment should not be allowed to have her own mind or form an opinion. Never!
After all, slaves are always bought to be used and are also without rights.
I have spent years teaching university students in Nigeria and Uganda on some of these issues particularly Feminism. The minds of African girls and women must be opened to why feminism is not working on the continent, and to what they must urgently do to make it work.
African Feminism is a big scam, I repeat.
When Buchi Emecheta advanced and advocated Feminism with a small ‘f’, they abused and accused her like Flora Nwapa of acquiescence. But both women have always known that African Feminism has k-leg. Ditto Catherine Acholonu who advances Motherism.
A woman who’s bought with ogogoro, rice, yam, vegetables, ororo, palm oil, meat, dried fish, Matoke, bitter cola, cola and money cannot demand for equality. Abomination! You cannot have your cake and eat it biko.
It’s like your car telling you that you can’t ride it. Who born monkey?
I saw a twitter thread, apparently inspired by the Baba Adeboye’s saga. The thread and the ensuing conversations appropriate the Pidgin English expression, ‘Una dey mad’ (You guys are really mad) to privilege the hypocrisy of Nigerian nay African feminists; the Totos and Tokes of this world.
When the husband trims the nails of his wife or plaits her hair, he’s romantic. But when the wife is required to do same, she’s been enslaved.
Una dey mad.
The man takes the wife for a dinner on his bills, he’s romantic and nice. When it’s the woman’s turn, the man is deadbeat and classless.
Una dey mad.
When the man washes and irons his wife’s clothes, he’s charming and godly. Tell the woman to do same, the man is wicked, misogynistic and ungodly.
Una dey mad.
It’s not slavery when only the man works himself hard, pays the rent, school fees and other utilities. Just ask the woman to contribute a little, it is enslavement.
Walahi una dey mad. African feminists are she-devils strutting around in Prada, drunk on ‘ism’.
Single women regularly come on social media to place specifications about the type of men they want to marry. You’ll see specifics like: “I don’t like short men. He must not be bald. Skinny or fat men, please stay away.”
That’s not body shaming.
Let single men do exactly the same, demanding a tiny waist lady, orobo, yellow-pawpaw, charcoal black, big breast or hidden agenda breasts, all hell would be let loose. “Men are fond of body shaming and objectifying women. Blah blah blah”
Wee you kipkwayet dia!
I suspect that some of these feminists are only interested in replacing the hated patriarchy with their own matriarchy. It beats me why they cannot see that the domineering spirit which they carry into every debate/matter is what they complain about with patriarchy.
Some of us won’t allow you replace one hegemony with another.
The bitter truth, African Feminism has not arrived; its rests on fantasy and stands on wobbling fine legs. Feminists on the continents are just fine-body terrorists, ideologically coupled by bitterness, frustrations and follow-come envy of African penis. They want to overthrow one epoch to replace with theirs. How fair is that?
Let the eagle perch. Let the kite perch. Let’s work together to fine tune the raw and rough edges of life to the benefits of men and women.
If you’re an African feminist, biko come back when you’re ready for this conversation. For now, you guys only exists in the unreal world of Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp groups, textbooks and phantasmagoria.
Someone should pass me popcorn and water. I no wan vex.