I Am A Male-feminist!!!

The first time I made this statement in public was at Ukamaka Olisakwe’s first book reading in Yaba Lagos Nigeria. You should’ve seen how all eyes were on me like I was some Tupac singing “All Eyes on Me” He he he… The host confessed that he’d never heard such a thing before. Ukamaka professed that I was a radical. I was impressed that I’d surprised them.

But I didn’t say “I am a male-feminist” just to cause surprise. I said it because Ukamaka’s awesome book “Eyes of a Goddess” was partly about a woman who became the man of the house or head of the family. I was a little annoyed that this woman’s husband seemed to lose his manly dignity because his wife began to shoulder the financial responsibilities of their home. I was relieved when after making my controversial statement, a young lady commented saying that a man who loses his dignity for such a reason may not have had any dignity in the first place. Of course, I nodded in agreement.

The reality of modern times is that more & more women are earning more than their male counterparts. Why don’t my fellow men accept that reality & adjust to it? Why do husbands, African husbands in particular, feel inferior whenever their wives gain more economic power? Do we men realise that society has chained women down in poverty & subservience for centuries? Does our sudden inferiority complex suggest that we miss those centuries of male superiority, chauvinism, patriarchy & machismo? Shouldn’t we rather rejoice that women are gaining their long-awaited, well-deserved freedoms?

I’m one of the African men who dance for joy at the freedom of African women. Although there’s one thing which really saddens me. Actually, two things. First is the fact that most people, even some women, misunderstand & demonise feminism. They’d aggressively argue that feminism seeks female domination of men. They’d shout that there’s no room for feminism in Africa. Alas, my African brothers & sisters, fathers & mothers, that is not feminism!

A dictionary defines feminism as a “movement supporting equal rights for women” or “the belief & aim that women should have the same rights & opportunities as men.” The key words are “equal” or “same.” Think about those words. Men & women can be equal though they’re not the same. Boys & girls are born equal & the same except in their private parts. Adam & Eve were equal companions created by the same God.

God! That brings me to the second thing that saddens me. Religion! The question of God’s sex. Is God a He or a She? Or is God androgynous or hermaphrodite? Especially when we consider Christ’s answer to the Sadduccees in Matthew 22 “How wrong you are… For when the dead rise to life, they will be like the angels in heaven & will not marry.” However, it gets confusing when we remember that angels bear masculine names like Michael, Gabriel, Raphel & that Christ addresses God as “Our Father”. Or could that term “Father” be more of a verb than a noun in God’s case?

Then again, the question of creation. Why does the creation account in Genesis 1 contradict that of Genesis 2? Genesis 1 reads “So God created human beings, making them male & female” while Genesis 2 tells of Adam being created first & alone even though God brought male & female animals to be named by him. Is it possible that the writer of Genesis allowed his Jewish agenda of male dominance to bias Genesis 2? It seems to me that God’s original plan was of equality & mutuality.

Yet, even if God cursed the woman saying “…you will still have desire for your husband & HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE”, didn’t Christ come to break the curse on all humanity? Doesn’t Christianity teach that Christ is a blessing & the new Adam? Why then do too many Christians stubbornly cling onto that curse of male dominance? When will African christians finally accept that women are now blessed to be equal with men?

And even if you aren’t a Christian, does your religion place women under a similar curse? Are you sure that the patriarchs of your religion did not distort & still distorting God’s plan of equality & mutuality with their own male biases? Why can’t we all live in mutual respect between both sexes? In equal rights for men & women?

I like the wise Chinese philosophy of balance between light & dark, male & female, yin & yang. I believe in such balance. Not patriarchy! Not matriarchy! Not male superiority or female superiority! I believe that women should be free to live in equality with men.

Quoting from Things Fall Apart:
“The world is large,” said Okonkwo. “I have even heard that in some tribes a man’s children belong to his wife & her family”
“That cannot be,” said Machi. “You might as well say that the woman lies on top of the man when they are making the children.”

Sorry Machi! The world has changed. Old things have fallen apart. New things are falling into place. Women are now lying & sitting on top. And men like me are loving & welcoming it.

I am an African male-feminist! Get used to it!

44 thoughts on “I Am A Male-feminist!!!” by King kObOkO (@koboko)

  1. Congratulations.

    1. lol…why does that sound ‘And So’ -ish?

    2. Congrat, King!

  2. There are actually other male feminists such as Ngugi wa Thiongo – that’s why he always portrays strong female characters in his novels. Actually, feminism has some western constituents at heart that’s not compatible with some African ideas such as lesbianism and ‘man hate’. African women do not want to delete men from their existence rather they want a peaceful co-existence. That’s why African theorists such as Omolara Ogundipe, Mary Kolawole, etc have come up with a kind of feminism that is African – it is called “Womanism”.

    1. @petunia007

      Superbly put Ife!

      Thanks for the info, very enlightening (and nostalgic)…and I can also say that what you postulated is very true because Mary Kolawole lectured me way back in the University. And she was a strong pusher of the ‘Womanism’ theory. I remember some assignments I did on the subject…

      1. Men! I wish I was in Humanities.

  3. I am getting you

  4. True talk. But no allow woman give u belle oo.

  5. I understand where this is coming from, what I usually don’t understand is d fact that most women will still open their palms to collect from their man, because to them it is d “man’s responsibility” to do so.
    I don’t have a problem with the premise of this piece, my problem with our often erroneously held principles as African men and women…let us all loosen up abeg.
    Nice one with this…

  6. My brother men and women are not equal and can never be equal. To me anybody arguing they are is just being stupid.
    That everybody should be given equal rights and opportunity is what I root for.

    1. @francis

      This is confusing…did you notice you just contradicted what you said?

      1. I think I get what he’s trying to say. He means that there’ll always be a one higher than the other but the gap can be bridged.
        Truly we’re not equal. There’s nothing anyone can do about that. We can only be more tolerant.

        1. @babyada, gbam! I would have given you kisses if not for…

          1. You can still give it to me. I’ll collect :-)

              1. @shaifamily

                LOL….you wan give too? She might collect…

            1. Hehehe! I’ve change my mind. I’ll give you s/th better.

  7. Good for you!

    What’s in it for me?

  8. Nice one koboko. I wish more men were feminist, that would certainly make the world a better place.

  9. @Afronuts I didn’t. I know where you are going. Giving people equal chances means accepting they are equal? but it’s not so. I’m of the general opinion that nothing on earth is equal. So my statement is not confined within the context of gender equality only. Some people tend to miscontrue the idea behind feminisim. When you say s/th is equal to s/th it implies that there’s no difference at all, but it’s in clear view that men and women differs in all ramification. This is in response to some of the misguided feminists I’ve met.
    Where I stand in is that everybody should be given an equal chance to take a shot at s/th whether seen as unequal or equal. That you give someone equal opportunity does not mean you don’t expect any difference in how the person handles it. There’s what makes a man a man and there’s what makes a woman a woman. And the difference in not only in their groin. Savvy?

    1. @ablyguy, @afronuts, African feminists or Womanists fight for equity and not equality. That’s what makes it so different from western feminism. If a white woman sees an African woman carrying a load of firewood on her head; first thing that pops into her mind is – oppression whereas the African woman sees it as survival and resourcefulness. Our worldviews are totally different!

      1. @petunia007 you be real James Bond! I like your differentiation btw feminism /womanism. Plus, down here we miss d point of d matter a lot….even most of the women

      2. @petunia007

        Exactly and on point!
        Our views are different. Its unfortunate that western culture has come to a point where they think their own views are supreme above that of the third world.

        That’s why even the spanking & disciplining of a child the Nigerian way would be tantamount to child abuse in a western nation.

        1. @afronuts, isn’t that what it is sometimes? Abuse?

          1. @gooseberry

            lol…goosy, you didn’t ask the nature of the spanking nah.
            Your mama or papa never beat you before?

  10. Koboko, the controversial one! But I just love this guy.

  11. I like you already for the clarification…

  12. @petuni007 i like this idea of african feminist or womanist cos I have never been able to say I am a feminist despite my firm belief in equal rights and opportunities.

  13. Or perhaps the word should be equity.

  14. First of all, I don’t think men and women are equal. From religious, physiological, cultural and social perspectives, they are not equal–not meant to be equal.

    I think your premise is flawed. On one side, if you have read about feminism and not just its definition, you would know that at the heart of feminism lies a resolve to dominate man/do away with him. Also your conclusions about biblical perspectives is kinda funny. What happened to what Paul said in relation to your example about Christ?

    Gender equality is a different matter. All this talk of men being threatened by women’s greater societal and economic climb is just what it is: a desire for domination and not liberation by some women–and maybe ‘male-feminists’. And you know what? The whole society suffers for it as expressed in; unstable and short-lived marriages, spoilt kids, children that are not well cared for, and ultimately a confused sense of what society should be and mean.

    Personally, as regards the societal enclave of marriage, I don’t see why the wife obtaining a higher salary should make the man feel inferior. He is not a man if he feels so. But then, the woman obtaining more doesn’t make her equal to the man in that social contract called marriage.

  15. its arrogance that makes a man feel inferior- its just like a saying if you dont like the harvest then change the seed you are sowing. a woman earning more than her husband maybe for awhile, the man should not sit down and look for pity he can still do something that will make him stand out. the woman is made to complement the man and not to boss him. this is a very good write up

  16. Nice article… good how you coherently made clear your point.

  17. My views about this matter is complex, i dont wanna bore anyone with it… It varies from person to person. While some women want to dominate, others are just seeking for the females’ voices to be heard.

    …and while some men see women as their better halves n soul mates, others see them as slaves, sex objects and the sex without a voice..

    @koboko, i like your writeup… Welldone.

  18. @petunia007… Goodly write up. You are entitled to your opinion cos I do not share it in total. But get stronger back up arguments. Woman arent equal to men, even at the most superficial level ie physically. I believe though that women should be given a fair chance … They deserve it and all man. Meanyl I go like make u marry my sister o, if I had one. Laugh, Thumbs up.

    1. @omojola, I think you have it wrong here. I didn’t write this article – I only commented on the idea of ‘feminism’ and if you read my comments, you should understand my position on the issue.

      1. Ooooooh! Accept my apologies! So sorry.

  19. @chemokopi, that notion of women dominating men or getting rid of them, please GET THAT OUT OF YOUR MIND. The way some men are crazy is also the same way some women are. We all know that no one can do without the other. All those false notions are out of this. Women are only pleading for their voices to be heard and to be understood, but so many times, men are too impatient or stiff. Anyone that tells you that the purpose of feminism is dominion doesn’t know what he/she is saying.

    Yes, we’re not equal and can never be. I don’t even want us to be. But about dominion, that’s nonsense.

    1. @babyada: I am happy with your words. I wish this was every woman’s position, especially Nigerian women, because a lot of people don’t know the complex and obnoxious ideas that have found expression in feminism. That’s why we here things now like radical feminism, lesbian feminism, separatist feminism, sex-negative feminism and all sorts of weird ideas about feminism from the West that want to distort our views about religion, society and culture.

  20. @koboko, I’m with you on everything. I, too, am a male feminist. I think.

    The whole argument is stupid, anyway. No two people are equal. Everybody is different. So to decide that all men are somehow above all women or vice versa is utter nonsense to begin with.

    I know some AMAZING women. And many mediocre men. But I also know lots of mediocre women and some amazing men. Your sexual organs don’t define what you can do or what you should be entitled to. End of discussion.

  21. Premises good, but conclusion subtly non sequitur
    “The whole argument is stupid, anyway. No two people are equal. Everybody is different. So to decide that all men are somehow above all women or vice versa is utter nonsense to begin with.” @Obinwanne.

    Here, earth, is cyclic and most old things are most desired for in the contemporary (unfortunate some are gone…., but some new things are not bad). In fact, the worth of things, is originality and antiquity, historians will tell. “History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vatalises memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.” Cicero

    However, in issues like this, the import of God puts an end to ratiocination; but if I may go by it, Jesus cannot be put in isolation in talking about real Christianity (not counterfeit). If he calls God, “Father” are you not implying he was in the error? If you know him, you would have known he revolutionized religion, radicalized philosophy and brought about authentic theology.

    How in touch are you with your New Testament? Jesus raised the status of women higher than anyone else had done. See the EL SHADDAI reference above, “…Funny His many followers don’t see his feminine side.” Yet most women have no single iota of respect to that one, that second Eve that raised them up to apotheosis.

    You talk as if you don’t believe that the woman, who gave birth to Jesus, gave birth to a God. Many great women like Esther et al, did what men (no apology) “might” not have the gut to do.

    “And even if you aren’t a Christian, does your religion place women under a similar curse? Are you sure that the patriarchs of your religion did not distort & still distorting God’s plan of equality & mutuality with their own male biases? Why can’t we all live in mutual respect between both sexes? In equal rights for men & women?”

    This is your word. Christianity does not place women under any curse. Or did you mean “Course?” The Christian story is that of salvation. Salvation is incomplete without the role of women. Consider the Hebrew women, and outstandingly, Moses mother….

    ”The world has changed. Old things have fallen apart. New things are falling into place.” This in context, is the conclusion of the existential phenomena in this limelight. Great job, but, “nothing new is under the sun.”

    I like this. I mean the fact of being a femist (either in theory or in principle) I like “discretion is the best part of valour” more and I like “virtue lies in the middle” most.

    There is need for a woman Naija President for real, and in all African lands. This should have better serve as conclusion to this than theodicy.

    ‘Am I not a MALE-FEMINIST too?
    This is not stupid.

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      Chop knuckle Jare. Eh hen! Oga Chemo shebi you don hear? God bless you Ostar, Your wife go born boy+ girl raised to power X. Eferi tin wey i wan yarn you don talk am all. If Man dem beta pass woman, then make dem carry belle for one day. shikena!

  22. powerful analysis from ostar- give us a woman presuido

  23. nice one, really dig ur argument.

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