Feminism is many things to me.
It is the assurance that I am enough, that I don’t have to sit in a corner and be silent even when words burn me wanting to be let out. It is the hope that one day my sisters won’t be subjected to abuse because they chose career paths that are considered manly.
Feminism is the voice of the woman and the voiceless. It is the voice that raises its voice to address when women are killed for being LBGTI, because “it is not African to be gay.” And therefore society finds it to be wrong.
Feminism to me is having the freedom to do what I want, say what I want and live my life without hearing “but you are a woman.” “Sit like this” “dress this way”. Truth of the matter is, women are put in glass jars and expected to act according to standards that have been pre-determined. We are expected to say things in a way that won’t make us seem like we are questioning the man, who is the head.
I read a thread of tweets the other day, where a man was saying how feminism has ruined the family values. I kid you not; he was reasoning how the dynamics of family life were being trampled upon by the movement. Yes, he called feminism a movement by bitter women. The family dynamics have often favored men, which is why now when women want to stand up and work and have dreams and not be subjected to the norm-being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen it seems to most that women are rebelling. Rebelling was one word he used I think.
If we view feminism as being foreign and something that’s bad and ruining lives and destroying families and making women rebellious man-hating individuals, how then will women reach their full potential? How then will women have a voice?
Most say feminism is a western concept because that’s what a lot of people conclude when they don’t understand or are not welcoming something. We blame the first world, but truth is feminism is very much African. The following Is an excerpt from msafropolitan;as an interest group, African feminism set off in the early twentieth century with women like Adelaide Casely-Hayford, the Sierra Leonian women’s rights activist referred to as the “African Victorian Feminist” who contributed widely to both pan-African and feminist goals, Charlotte Maxekewho in 1918 founded the Bantu Women’s League in South Africa and Huda Sharaawi who in 1923 established the Egyptian Feminist Union. African feminism as a movement stems also from the liberation struggles especially those in Algeria, Mozambique, Guinea, Angola and Kenya where women fighters fought alongside their male counterparts for state autonomy and women’s rights.” These of course are just some of the many African women feminists from years back who many choose to be ignorant about.
To sum up, feminism to me is the happiness and success of women worldwide. It is the hope that one day women won’t be considered inferior. Feminism to me is a way of life.
Kearoma Desiree Mosata is a struggling book worm, an actuarial science student in Botswana and a Voices of Youth intern…and a thug sometimes 😉 so wait when we take Africa by storm sometime. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.