Friday, 30 October 2020

IN CONVERSATION WITH A FRIEND: GENDER EQUITY V GENDER EQUALITY

Gender Equality v gender equality

This is a conversation I had with my friend on WhatsApp on gender equality. We had a little back and forth until we got to the equity part. I consider it an interesting conversation to share outside WhatsApp so I put it up here. What you are about to read is his message to me and my response to him. I'd love to read your opinions on this. What are your reservations, what feels true to you? What do you agree or disagree with? 


HIS MESSAGE 

You can go on and on... 

But you're still missing where I'm coming from. 

I told you I don't support gender equality. I support Gender equity.

Why? Simple. We're not the same. 

No matter how we try to paint it, with sentiments and stuffs,

No matter the injustice that may be deduced in it, 

The fact still remains. 

Male and Female are two different species altogether. Even God had to be particular in making the differences down to the minute physical attributes. 

We're different emotionally, psychologically, physically, mentally. Although the mental part vastly majors of individual differences than Gender differences.

If the two homo sapien species are this different, 

why advocate for equality? 

That will be wrong.

We are not equal, and therefore, can't be treated equally.

I'm not saying men are greater than women,

I'm saying that males are superior to females. It's a well known historical fact. 

But the real problem is that the males tend to be superior and take advantage of the females even in their little right... Just like the proverbial rich man who had many cattle yet went to kill that one Lamb of the poor man for his visitor.

That's why I advocate Equity. Fairness.

Even down to our homes, your parents probably won't treat you the way they treat your brother. 

Historic facts even uphold that. 

You Feminists turn away from the ills that befall men because they are men and focus more on the marginalization of women which actually isn't as intense as you all posit it to be. You also forget about certain privileges you guys automatically get just because you are women. 

Over history, men are the one that get whipped, women aren't (just because they are women). Most times, if they do something that warrant whipping or something, it's a male from her family that will be called upon to bear the pains. You also forget that it is the men that go to war and die fighting to protect the women. If you wanted Equality, why not the women fight alongside the men too? But no, they stay at home tending to the children... and chickens.

Over the times I go camping, the best places are always reserved for the females. Just because they are females. There were many times we had to sleep on the floor of a windowless class and bathe in the open wgile enduring the chilling cold while the girls sleep in warm beds and bathe in good bathrooms with steamed water! 

Yet, did we complain? No. Because we get to have certain compensations and privileges. It's like a balance of power.


Naturally, women are weak physically (there are few exceptions tho). 

So hard works and jobs are reserved for the men. If you all want equality, let's start there. Do what we do.

"What a man can do, a woman can do better" is one of the most ridiculous statements I've heard in this century. It's absurd. Fallacy of false generalization. I actually know there are some things a woman can do better than a man like childbirth for example😂🔥.

So my dear,

If we begin to unravel the ills men face and the privileges women get even when it is at the detriment of a man, you'll believe that what you should be advocating for is Equity. Your rights shouldn't be trampled upon and stuff. Like the voting part. It should be for everyone. Women should have a say in the government. 

But when it gets to women getting the same privileges reserved for Men, 

Don't go there. 

We don't get to have those privileges reserved for women.


MY RESPONSE 

You can not support gender equity and be against gender equality.

Gender equity is the process of being fair to women and men. To ensure fairness, strategies and measures must often be available to compensate for the historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from otherwise operating on a level playing field. 

Equity leads to equality. Equity is simply ensuring that women reach the heights their male counterparts have reached just because they have a penis. Equity Is a means to an end.

Why are you trying to be fair only to come back and relegate the same people you are claiming fairness for? What is the point? To feel in charge? To feel in control? That you have the power to give and take?

Saying that because men and women are different, they cannot be treated equally is about the most ridiculous assumption I have heard. Equality between men and women does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they were born male or female.

This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations, and opportunities. Women have over time being denied basic human rights,  so to say they cannot have those rights because the men are going war and moving mountains is a bit of a reach.

There is this tone I perceived while reading what you sent, in some places you used "little rights" and you even went on to give an analogy about the proverbial rich man, taking from the poor as a metaphor for men oppressing women. lol... To use these types of analogies when referring to the injustices done to women is demeaning, it is also to ignorantly suggest that

1. women are a minority group which is false because statistics show that the population is 50/50. 

2. That we are the weak underprivileged folk looking for help or protection from men. And sorry to break it to you but there is more than male benevolence as the basis for a woman's well-being.

3. women are not saying save us, we are saying don't harm us. Don't domesticate us. We want equal access. Don't rape us, among other vile things.

And you keep saying fact lol. Fact is simply, in my opinion, information used as evidence. A widely accepted version of what people perceive to be their truth. That something is a fact does not mean it cannot be unjust. And for context in my house, I and my brother are treated differently largely because of the age difference, not gender.

You are talking about women tending to chickens while men went to war in society. Are you kidding me? Men have silenced women, took their power to vote, societally misconstrued them into believing they are made to pleasure men and when it is time for war, you want them to pick up a rifle. Humour me!

Plus do you know that even to this day women pass tests required to enter the navy and army and majority of them are denied simply because they have a vagina?

It's happening even to this day, now imagine the backlash women of the old would have received had they declared interest in going to war and even then, in the harsh conditions some of them still persevered.


Feminism


For context,  Women in World War I( this is just one instance out of many) were mobilized in unprecedented numbers on all sides. The vast majority of these women were drafted into the civilian workforce to replace conscripted men or work in greatly expanded munitions factories. Thousands served in the military in support roles, e.g. as nurses, but in Russia, some saw combat as well. Google their names by yourself.

Also, this is another argument I very much understand. Some Feminists argue that ‘women were not warriors’ their job was not to ‘bear arms’ but ‘bear armies.' Engaging in combat would undermine the argument that it was not only those who fought for their nation (men) who had a right to the ultimate gift of citizenship and right to vote.

Another proof that all men have is audacity. Did you hear about the Alabama Abortion ban? Most of the US state laws banning or severely restricting access to abortions have been voted on by male politicians. Do you realize how wild it is that this decision about an issue concerning women so intimately is being made almost entirely by men? 51% of women make up their population yet it's law makers are 85% male. Should men have the right to rule on an issue that impacts women so intimately? And this is just one example !!!!

And as for your camping experience of men being treated more harshly, that is a sad thing and one idea of feminism is to show that being emotional and vulnerable is not a sign of weakness and boys too should be allowed to show that side. "Be a man! be a man!" is the reason suicide rate is higher for men.

And you said you people camped under harsh conditions as boys and you people did not complain because you knew you have other privileges...my dear, that is not balance of power and it is sad that you will use the inconveniences men suffer on some occasions to compare to the injustices that have shaped women's existence over centuries.

It's ludicrous to me that men, never complain that they are oppressed or maltreated until women start talking about the injustices done to them.  I have not seen a men's right movement existing on its own for its own sake. Or to help and encourage men to be the best version of themselves. It is always done to belittle women's experiences or as a response to women's push back against injustice, a twisted, untrue and selfish kind of #metoo movement. If men only shout about their "issues" when women are expressing their grievances and disgust over the discrimination and injustices done to them then this goes to show that men are simply privileged and benefit more from society than women. And that in itself is sheer injustice.

Lastly, In the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. "Gender is not an easy conversation to have. It makes people uncomfortable, sometimes even irritable. Both men and women are resistant to talk about gender, or are quick to dismiss the problems of gender. Because thinking of changing the status quo is always uncomfortable.

Some people ask: "Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights or something like that?" Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general - but to choose to use the vague expression of human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a female human. For centuries, the world divided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem acknowledges that.
Some men feel threatened by the idea of feminism. This comes, I think, from the insecurity triggered by how boys are brought up, how their sense of self-worth is diminished if they are not "naturally" in charge as men." 



NB: I see this image circulating as a perfect explanation of gender equity over equality...well 

Gender equity

You see this image, please stop using it to justify your gender equity argument. This is simply a picture of a man and a child. Women are not children or small human beings that need male benevolence to thrive. They can stand tall or twice as tall. & yes I am interpreting this literally because with this photo you are saying women are weaklings who need help to see far. That's all I see in this photo when it is used in the context of gender. Maybe use it to explain poverty or economic margins or something else, just not gender. Cheers! 


Sunday, 11 October 2020

On protests: we are made for a different kind of revolution


I had this post written since the whole sars thing started but my thoughts were all over the place. I wanted to just forget about posting this but I am sure it is and will still be relevant considering the type of society we live in, plus I have friends who asked me to #justdoit.

I didn’t think that I will come back from my blogging hiatus with a post like this but here we are. The past few months have been clouded with gloom. We have moved from the black lives matter movement to seeking justice for women who have been continually raped and sexually assaulted, #justice for this #justice for that, and now it is police brutality. It is not as if racism or rape has stopped because it hasn’t. I don't think abuse of power and infringement of rights ever really stops here. 


Maybe it can be curbed to the barest minimum but it doesn't help that in Nigeria chaos, injustice and insurgency Is the order of the day. Right before we see to the end of one problem the system throws us even worse issues to manage by ourselves.

Nigerian youths protest
Photo by @buchwithlenses

I am not here to rant about the plethora of problems in Nigeria or the silent incompetence that is our government because time and time again they have proven to us that their pockets take precedence over the people and Abraham Lincoln was only speaking English when he defined democracy. We are clearly on our own.


It took the awareness and motivation on twitter to organize a protest and cater to youths who have been killed and assaulted repeatedly by officers who have no regard for humanity and the law. I see now more than ever the reason those old people in the corridors of power want to pass the social media bill. They cannot believe the backlash they are receiving.


I am most proud to identify as Nigerian because of the resilience of the people and the way we can break our backs in solidarity for something we believe in. They have successfully tried to shut down our voices in many ways including compromising the local media, some media outlets have a bias to the government, they don’t report anything until they are asked to and when they do, it is a creatively written sugar-coated headline that exempts the government from liability and paints them in a good light.


END SARS
Photo by @buchwithlenses

It is no news that our leaders are either waking up from sleep or claiming shock at the audacity and success of the protest; it is also hurting their impetus that they cannot control the streets of twitter. 


The special Anti-robbery squad (SARS) decided to use Nigerian Youth to practice BDSM, yes BDSM because there is no other way to rationalise the killing and arresting of Innocent people for dressing a certain way or carrying gadgets like laptops and iPhones. These people kill for pleasure. Dreadlocks, tattoos and piercings are a metaphor for shoot on sight for the power-drunk officers A.K.A SARS.

The protest is ongoing and women have proven that they are more than formidable by supporting and raising funds to end a system that predominantly affects men, maybe after this people who use indecent dressing to justify rape will receive sense. I want to say that I have grown a special type of fondness and respect for the likes of Fk Abudu, Rinu Oduala and Aisha Yesufu, their selfless contribution to the #EndSARS protest is both inspirational and commendable.

Aisha Yesufu

I want to speak to the attitude of people during protests. Sad as it is, we might still embark on more protests because our government have no regard for Due process. They don't hear until the people take to the streets.

In the fight for our voices to be heard, it is important to acknowledge that there are many ways to support a protest. The fact that you are not outside marching is not a crime or a mark of cowardice.  I have seen all sorts of call outs and insults on people who have chosen not to come out and march. I think we need to realize that not everybody was made for that type of revolution. Eg The end goal in the protest against police brutality is to #EndSARS and to do that all hands must be on deck, every voice matters. 


SARS ENDED
📷 @Tobijamescandids


I believe it is insensitive to be apathetic when there is civil unrest. Everybody has a role to play if we want to end the dangerous frolicking of SARS or any form of injustice in general but we will not make headway if some of us keep downplaying each other’s efforts. Some people think they are the next big thing after martin Luther king because they came out to protest. The fact that you risked being killed, raped or beaten to protest doesn’t make the average person who is unable to do so a subject of ridicule.


Stop police brutality
 @Tobijamescandids

We can all contribute by doing different things. If you are a writer write, if it's photos you can take, take it, if it's editing videos for awareness, do it. Don't let nobody make you feel bad for staying home (Kindly, remove some of your audio revolutionary celebrities from this classification) those ones have been shouting and pointing out all the cowardice and problems of the Nigerian people whilst selling themselves with our struggles, but when it is time to live up to their Audio Activism, shalaye!  I think it is safe to say that Fela is Fela and no matter how anybody burns or increases in tallness, that person can never measure up cheers. 


Photo by @buchwithlenses


Here are diverse ways to support a protest without  joining the march

This is what you should do

  1. DONATE: People are getting shot and arrested for no just cause, the protesters have to sleep on the floor, some of them have little or no food to eat and they need all the energy. Since we are learning that we need to rely on Twitter for serious updates, protesters need power banks and generators to charge their phones, Data too. You can Donate tents, food, blankets, footwear, change of clothes etc, it must not be money. Nothing is too small.

  1. CREATE AWARENESS:  Using #endsars as case study, most of our parents or the older generation are not very social media savvy and have no clue what is going on. You can engage your uncles and aunties in a conversation about Sars. Tell them about your experiences or the experiences of others, show them videos. Let them know that it could be anybody. You need to enlighten them, give them broadcasts messages to share on their Whatsapp. The media will not equip them with relevant information, I was watching the news with my dad and they showed the End Sarzs protest like it was a one-minute power point class presentation. So you need to speak up! While you at it, don’t forget to tweet, retweet and share information about it on all social media platforms. The #endsars became a global hashtag because of the passion we used to push it. Our leaders only respond to public embarrassment. You are not useless because you are not carrying a placard, you have a role to play.




  1. CREATE CONTENT / OFFER YOUR SERVICES:  Whatever you can create to help facilitate or help a protest or movement create it. Design placards for people, make skits, write poetry, create a blog post, write letters to brands and international agencies, sign petitions etc. If you know anyone who might be of help, please recommend. Eg a lawyer, an unbiased government official, a doctor. They system goes as far as arresting protesters and charging them for murder when the only thing they are trying to kill is a system that has continually buried all their  efforts to survive.  Be at alert! 


  1. Ready your PvC’s for the next election. You need to turn up o because Nigeria is on fire and our leaders are at the centre of it all expressing shock and looking for what to reform or micromanage to suit them.


  1. Pray. A good number of us agree prayer works, so do it. Ask divinity to set this country right. Let’s ask that no more lives would be lost, let's ask that conscience be redistributed because SARS and a number of corrupt organizations didn’t get enough when it was shared the first time.


Now here is what you will not do during any protest or match. 


  1. Turn #EndSars or any protest  into a gender war or call women out for not going out to march. Some women are being sexually assaulted there at the protest. Men are grabbing buts and groping breast instead of carrying placard. Not everyone can survive getting raped or beaten to a pulp

  1. Bring up conspiracy theories about the idea of protests; I have seen a couple of them on the internet. Instead of sounding like a frustrated psychologist just keep shut. 

  1. Don’t make anyone feel like a sinner for going out to protest or posting about it, my friend got a call to pull down her end sars post because according to the caller it was unchristian to post about injustice and oppression. Let's not say what Jesus did not say.

  1. Stay silent. If you are not outside, then do your part from the comfort of your home. Don’t just keep quiet. In Desmond Tutu’s voice, if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.


Aisha Yesufu leads protect


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