Letter to Chimamanda

Letter to Chimamanda

Dear Chimamanda,


I love your first name. It is very beautiful and unique and I think you are very beautiful too. Maybe I will name my daughter after you someday, if I have a daughter or any child for that matter. Why ‘if’? Well because the world is bad and full of surprises; it is not the same world I was raised in so I am scared of bringing an innocent child into this world. But worse, I am scared I will never get married (please don’t tell my mother), not because I am ugly or un-homely or un-womanly; I guess it is just because I am me.

See, I am a feminist. Probably not as hot-blooded as you are but one nonetheless. I am that person who believes in smoothing out the odds between the so-called genders. In this case, not by fighting for equal rights with placards – I am not so politically inclined, but by acknowledging that something is just not right somewhere and deciding to fix it starting with myself and my relationships.

As a child, I unconsciously imbibed feminist traits from God-knows-where. I found myself saying things like “I don’t want a man to control me” and I fought boys a lot, not physically most times because I am quite a girl, but I never let a boy walk all over me for no reason. My best cartoon TV program was and still is Mulan. I attended a ‘Girls only’ secondary school and that must have just fuelled my passion more.

Presently as a student in the university, I still do not like guys disrespecting me or disregarding my opinion simply because I’m a female. But because guys are ‘chyking’ me now, I am supposed to reflect the image of girlfriend or ‘wife material’ they expect me to be. So I have to cook every day and feed some guys too so that the testimony of my culinary artistry is spread abroad. The penalty for defaulting is an alarming reduction in my yards of wife material. Also I must stop paying a part of the bill when I go on dates, because it emasculates the guys. If I persisted, I have been warned, it will only make them less gentlemanly towards me. Lastly, I must put a stop to both loving and declaring my love for you, Chimamanda. Because if I continue to be so daring, I will never get married.

Chii’m (biko allow me to Igbolize your name), does it matter that I spend my meagre student allowance buying megabytes to download your YouTube videos? Or is it wrong that I have re-read all your books but one more than five times? How does appreciating a married woman make me less of a woman? I think what hurts most is that my friends do not understand. They tell me that women have a ‘cooking gene’ simply because we are nurturers (a fact implied from the fact that we breastfeed). Well, I don’t know how true that is but I doubt I have it – the gene – because cooking is not my hobby.

Letter to Chimamanda 2

Please before all my prospective suitors run away, let me be clearer: I can cook, I can even enjoy doing it in comfortable environments, but cooking is NOT my hobby and I definitely do NOT have a cooking gene.

Even though many people disagree and say that your idealisms of feminism are unrealistic in Nigeria, and that you’re alienated from African culture because you live abroad, I disagree. I believe you are smart and always make a lot of sense. So Nne biko answer, is it true all those things they say about me? On a serious note, Amanda, I relate with your talks especially, your TedX talk, We should all be feminists, and I wish more people, male and female alike will watch, hear or in the very least, read it. It pricked my heart to realize how much we have accepted and unconsciously imbibed certain traits and are teaching it to the next generation.

As an aside, thank God for the invention of mirrors and front camera phones; if I need validation, I simply take a selfie to remind myself of how beautiful I am or better still, I read Songs of Solomon in the Bible and pray. Simply put, I do not understand why I need a man in my life to validate my living or my existence. It hurts me to see many women seeking validation from men or rotating their lives around a man, sometimes a hopeless one. The stereotype that a woman must always be under a man is another amazing one; as an undergraduate hustling for a better future, I often meet the occasional human being with Grade Point Average multiplied by two equalling one or zero, that calls himself a man, telling me that “after all it’s a man’s world, you will still end up in a man’s house and along with all your struggle, certificates and titles, you will belong to him” or “whether or not you are a Barrister or Doctor, as far as your husband is only Mr, all you’ll ever be is a Mrs”. And this height of stupidity in a university community!

I once told a male friend my life plans, they looked something like graduate, law school, youth service, masters, travel, work, PhD etc. and after I chirpily listed all I was excited to stay alive for, all he asked was, “what about marriage, where does it come in?” to which I replied, “well, anywhere. It’s really not a prerequisite to my fulfilment in life.”

Now Amanda, this does not mean that I do not want to get married. It simply means that I do not want to live my life ‘waiting for the right man to find me’. I plan to build myself into the right woman for any man willing and daring enough to support me and my feminine ideals and well, if this does not work out then so be it; I will die knowing I lived a life fulfilling to myself and God.

Finally on the marriage issue, people tell me “keep doing Chimamanda, she’s married and abroad making her money while you are here, unmarried”. Chii’m please should I stop ‘doing’ you just so I can get married? I don’t want to spend the rest of my teenage life and early twenties aspiring for marriage by practicing compromise in relationships where I will be treated as a lesser mortal; by having “ambition but not too much” so that I do not intimidate the man who will be gracious enough to marry a lawyer like me. All of this is just very confusing to me, and bothersome. I need a reply from you ASAP so that I do not become totally unmarriable, especially before I start pursuing my Masters and PhD. I still have a million questions to ask but I will wait till I meet you in person. Please greet Uncle Ivara for me and take care of yourself.

Yours sincerely,

Ada bekee

P.S: I agree with your definition of feminist: “A man or woman who says, Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today, and we must fix it, we must do better”.

P.S: Please don’t tell my mum. P.S: I also love make up and girly dresses and African culture, does this make me less eligible in the race for feminism? Will I be respected in all my femininity and lipstick or do I have to wear ugly pant suits without bras? Just joking, I know your reply here.

P.S: Really, don’t tell my mum.

Cynthia Adaugo Mbajunwa is a Christian Igbo Nigerian African female. She loves, as wholly as possible, and looks to make a difference no matter how little. She is sarcastic and shy, a bold feminist currently studying to become a lawyer

61 thoughts on “Letter to Chimamanda

  1. Wow. Ada you so nailed it.

    I agree that attending an all girls school has a way of heightening a lady’s aspiration to do more

    • Of course, Chzzy, you would know about that.lol. And yes, Thia was right on point!
      It would be great to hear more of your thoughts on this matter though, you have more to say, dontcha?

  2. Good one Ada bekee.
    Feminism is: supporting the rights of the woman, letting ur voice be heard as a woman, using ur God-given feminine talents to achieve the much u can, even conquering the world as a woman. There is nobody to intimidate here. Natura non facit saltus (nature makes nothing in vain): there are reasons why everybody is not made a man. Play ur role and conquer the world as God and nature has made u, irrespective of the gender tag!
    As a woman, learn to cook, pet, cat-walk, cry, etc. in order to win arguments and win ur way into a man’s heart, and not fighting positions with men.
    In the final analysis, no matter how much a woman fights for position with a man, it will never make her a man. So, why de fight in de first place? The fight should be to be de best of woman endowed with the best of feminine characteristics in order to conquer the world and somethings similar to it.

    • Thanks for sharing your opinion, Casmir. One thing is for sure, this subject is and will remain a ‘table-topper’ on the list of controversial issues for a long time.

  3. Well, I don’t know if I am a feminist, but I have always stood for not disrespecting women and giving us an opportunity to contribute our fair share to the society. I always wanted to have children…I have a beautiful daughter whom we (my husband and I) are bringing up to become a very strong and independent woman, God help us.

    I am not even that ‘girly’ per se. In my 6years as a medical undergraduate, one could count the number of times I cooked. I knew people including my friends wondered if I could cook. What they didn’t know was that I became responsible for our kitchen very early in life…that my time in school was my only break from the kitchen. And cooking wasn’t and isn’t my hobby…and I don’t feel it makes me less of a woman. I can cook and cook well.

    I NEVER cooked for any boyfriend…well, I didn’t date much though. The first time I cooked for my husband, our marriage was just about 3months away and we dated for 2years. But whenever he paid me a visit, I gave him food…if I had. I would never visit a bf and start cleaning up or doing laundry for him. Iya! I would rather let you know I think it’s irresponsible to be untidy and disorderly. I would only HELP you when I meet you doing the chores. You wash the plates, while I help you rinse them!

    I wasn’t interested in proving how womanly I was to anybody. You must not get married if you don’t want. Marriage is a very serious thing…it’s not like going to school because you have come of age. But if you want to, there are men out there who love people like you. There are men who aren’t threatened by a confident and independent woman. Just be yourself.

    I DON’T disrespect men! I think I have also earned my own fair share of respect from the men. I was the first female senior prefect in my secondary school…I was elected, not appointed. I was the majority leader for my class in the House during my university days. I held several elective positions and appointments as an undergraduate. At least two-thirds of the population that voted were male; there were male aspirants too. So the men aren’t really our problem.

    When I have sons, I will teach them to value and respect women. We ladies should learn to respect ourselves. You can’t decide to want equity today and tomorrow want preferential treatment. You shouldn’t expect a guy to always help you carry your bucket of water to be gentlemanly. Lie lie! Instead of making appropriate plans to get to your destination, you decide to stand by the roadside to see if a ‘gentleman’ would give you a lift. (There are exceptions though…during pregnancy or very painful health conditions. For me, one doesn’t need to be a man or woman to show empathy in these times of ill health.) You can’t also shirk responsibilities at work to take advantage of your male colleague who is chyking you. You should not order for expensive things just because a guy took you out. At my free time, I free our domestic assistant and wash my car because I do it better. If I have a flat tire, I change it if there’s no vulcaniser nearby and I don’t begrudge the men that see me and pass by. If hubby is asleep or busy or i’m the one downstairs, I start the generator when there’s no light. What I’m just trying to say that our fellow ladies out there are one of the major reasons some men disrespect us and then we go prancing about on emancipation.

    I have said more than enough, I think. But, what has guided me through my dealings with the male folk has always been treating them the way I would want my brothers and sons to be treated. And it has worked and is still working. I am not some ‘old’ lady saying things that aren’t happening these day….I am in my mid-twenties; I graduated from UNEC in Sept 2012.

    Don’t forget that a lot of men out there value and respect women who respect themselves, are very confident and hardworking.

    P.S: kindly, let us know if or when you walk to the altar.

    • Thank you, my dear. First-hand, I am a witness to most of what you just wrote, and I agree completely. We need more women like you to speak up who understand it and are living it. I shared my opinion on the subject in “This Thing Called Feminism” published here on WAW last year. Y’all should check it out

      I’ll just share a version of my reply to one of the Comments here as summary of my perspective:
      “… back in secondary school, we washed our classrooms every Tuesday. Usually, we boys would fetch the water for washing, and also carry all the wooden seats and school bags out of the class; the girls on their part would sweep and wash with brooms. On this particular day, our class girls decided that the class was too dirty because the ‘boys’ had messed it up, and so they refused to sweep. We (boys) did not quarrel, we picked up the brooms then asked them to take the seats out and fetch water …”

      Your guess how that turned out is as good as mine.lol #Nuffsaid

      • Lol…I can imagine what ensued, knowing your classmates too. My belief in this thing called feminism isn’t stupid or blind. I know and accept the limitations I have especially physically as a woman. Every woman should. We should also accept and respect the physical strength of men. I think that’s one of the reasons the men sometimes set ‘traps’ for the ladies like you guys did.

        If I can’t do something that requires physical strength, I politely seek for help and express my gratitude with the man who helped. When a guy is helping us, we shouldn’t abandon him and go cross our legs. The person helping us may need our help with helping us. (I like the sound of that). 🙂

        We should endeavour to learn and acquire the skills we need to be a good woman, wife and mother, as the case may be. It may not be easy combining it with a career, but people are doing it everyday.

      • And I respect you for that. Popsy did a great job with teaching me justice and equality among siblings, but some of your actions, especially in our teenage years taught me the most vital lessons of respect for womanhood. There was never any derision for my disenchantment with the kitchen, no snide comments about muscles making me lose my head, no ridicule (public or otherwise), and no insults even though I was younger. While people outside told me, “yes she is older but you’re the man. Take charge!”; you showed me there was no need to ‘take charge’. Your actions said to me, “my brother, so big and fine and strong, I love you. You ARE the man” *okay, I added a little too much maggi there but whaddahell*
        Ladies, please understand that just as our bodies are different, so are our strengths different. And only when we each play to our strengths and not against each other’s, will the world become a better place for us all.

  4. Ada & Noreen, I’m elated you guys can come up & share in the light of this matter. Some will still see it like still suppressing the female gender, or trying to still put the female gender where they belong. I am a great fan of Chimamanda & her books. And I really even still think that so many women around the world misinterpret her judgements.
    To be concise, this was a nice piece.

    • I have to think with you, Uche, that many women misinterpret Chimamanda’s views on feminism. And if so, some major help is needed. Thanks for sharing yours 🙂

  5. Thanks a lot everyone for your comments. Feminism means different things to different people and in my opinion everyone can be a feminist in their own way. I am already one. To my understanding, people misplace the concepts of sex and gender. Sex is a biological creation while gender is a societal creation. Let me explain this, women by sex are the fairer in quotes weaker creations. While guys are expected to be the stronger ones. However this does not negate the fact that a man could be weak. The concept that weakness is alien to the masculine sex should be wiped away as this is a gender creation. As a woman, the attribute of cooking is a gender creation not a biological creation. I just feel everyone should know how to cook, it’s a necessity for survival and according to Chimamanda it is wrong to leave that in the hands of someone else. Try watching the YouTube video of “we should all be feminists” to understand better https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc. Cheers people ☺

  6. @Noreen I relate with your comment especially as regards the fact that being in school is the only break I have from cooking. My best friend says I don’t cook in school cos I cook too much at home. Because I’m quite feminine and as they say “ajeboish” I think the whole school will swear on oath in court that I can’t cook save for very few. I also think that you are a feminist, a good kind for raising your daughter to be strong and not just seeing strength as a male attitude. Thing is we really can’t please everyone even if we try hence my thoughts in words.
    P. S: I’m in Unec too, yaay. So u guess we understand things better. Wishing you the best in your life. Cheers ☺

  7. Marvelous peace by my very own Thia. Glad I saw it beforehand. Chisom nice work in the finishing touches. I clearly remember my first *hassle* with feminity. I was around 11 years old, stubborn and growing in the belief that I was superior in more ways than one to ladies and shouldn’t heed them so much. My mother asked me specifically not to do something, I did exactly what she told me not to. When she asked for my reason my response was ” when women say one thing they mean the other”. God is my witness I have no idea where I picked that from. My mum sat me down and told me to always respect a ladies words and honour them, yheir yes is their yes and their no their no.(Come to think about it I think it was from the romance novels I was reading). She also told me not to say woman in such terms as it was derogatory, I should refer to “women” as ladies. Since then I have supported the rights of ‘ladies’ to be heard, seen and have their opinion voiced out everywhere and will continue to do so until I am termed “gay” as some already do say because of my “gentlemanly” nature towards ladies. This piece is lovely and I pray it reaches the madam chim. Expecting more from you thia, I think you have found your calling in writing on feminism and not cooking. Kudos

    • Thank you for taking the time to do this, Homer. God bless your mother, we pray that there will be in the new generation of parents, more like her for all our own good. Chances of Chimamanda reading this letter depend on us, so share it as far and as wide as you can. Whatever happens, we are in agreement that Thia did quite some good work with this piece. Thanks again.

  8. I can identify with the ‘paying part of the bill’ part. Guys always frown @ that. I wonder why when they have the impression that women are only there to collect and never give. It was turning into an agurement till we made a deal- whoever suggests the date pays. Of course I rarely do,so he wins again and again.

    • Seriously, guys have a problem with that??? Well, Fifs, see me ehn, I DO NOT.
      The only thing is it might be kinda ‘messy’ for you both to split the bill there – counting and collating cash, or having to swap cards twice to pay for each half of the bill, etc. So I prefer one person pays for the meal; I’ll gladly do it if I asked you out but if you insist on paying, mamma mia … I gladly surrender!

  9. Lol @Homer thanks for commenting I truly hope you still hearken to the voice of your mother. @Fifi, lol at rarely suggesting. Thanks for taking out time to comment. At least he was gentlemanly to reach a consensus. I remember going out with a friend sometime back and his money finished at the counter in the mall. I don’t think he had his atm or maybe he just wanted to make me pay. Fact remains he called me aside and begged me to borrow him money to pay the bill. He then made me hide the fact I was passing money to him, it was the most sneaky thing ever cos I was supposed not to make anyone know . He never paid me back. Maybe I blame the society for making it seem like men must pay bills and our fellow ladies for taking a dozen friends along on dates with a guy. We’ll change begins with me and u,

    • I cringe at the ‘imagery’ of that sneaking money scene, Thia. It’s a silly ego thing. I will admit that I have to make conscious effort not to feel awkward any time a lady picks the tab; the awkwardness is a product of society-control chip bleeping in me. But the conscious effort part, that’s sense. We will all grow up eventually. In Jesus name, Amen.

  10. You’re funny! lol. I loved reading most of it but I cringed a lot at the part you shortened her name. Note: it isn’t ok to use a nickname or hyphenate someone’s full name unless they ask you to. But well since Chimamanda is the sister of life, I’m sure she won’t mind.
    I am a feminist. And here’s my take on feminism-it gives me equality and the right to make my own decisions. For example i see a lot of “feminist” turn their noses down on women that cook for their boyfriends or husbands or friends even. I ask why? They want to do it! They love to do it! They’re secure in their womanhood and want to cook. Why shouldn’t they? Isn’t it sad that you actually want to cook for your man but because of some rule you think you have to follow to show your “feminism” you say you won’t. Or you don’t. I think that’s clown work. lol.
    I am a woman and proudly so. I tell a man or anyone where to shove it and if I want to do something eg. cook the heck out of the kitchen for my man even If we are just two months into the relationship, I will. Because I make the decisions and I do what I want. Also I’m excited about the idea of marriage. It is in my future plan and I’m a feminist. Now Im not gonna have my life revolve around a man like my writer said or not speak my opinions and be docile. But I’m gonna travel together and conquer the world with my partner that will be on my team as I am his. I’m a feminist and I’m for both men and women equal rights.

    Also I have this example of a friend that used the feminist card as her fight card. She was dating this guy and whenever HE takes her out, she insists to pay and fights him for the check. Sometimes she triumphantly covers both his ticket and hers. No matter how many times he tells her, “I got this. Let me pay for both of us.” She refuses and claims she can’t let a man think he will buy her with money. Then goes on and on about feminism and equal rights. Sure her heart is in the right place and doesn’t want to seem helpless and like a gold digger but isn’t a relationship supposed to be a partnership? What’s this guys fault? Being a gentleman? Wanting to take care of his woman. Is that wrong? Is feminism about fighting men even when there’s no grounds for katakata? I mean sometimes so called feminist just kill me mehn and they try to impose rules and regulations on other women. Isn’t feminism all about equal rights and being able to make your own choices?

    I’m rambling now. Bye Martin. Good read writer. Haha

    • Good points Sandii. I totally agree with the partnership idea of relationships and marriage. Very excited to hear someone else say it. When we look at it that way, all these issues will then seem very petty. I am lucky to be married to a man who sees it that way too. Severally when we go shopping and are at the counter, it turns out he left his wallet at home (he just doesn’t know how to sit with his wallet in his back pocket)…he simply asks me if I have some money or my card here, and I gladly pay. We would later laugh at some couples, people and even salespersons who had seemed bewildered at what had transpired. These days I just ask before we leave, ‘Do you have enough money or should I get my wallet?’…and life continues jeje! For us, it is OUR money.

      @cooking, if you love cooking and you want to cook for your guy, cook away. We should be careful not to lose ourselves because of feminism but at the same time, we should know when privileges are being abused. I just hate it when ladies turn themselves into unsolicited cooks and drycleaners because they believe those are the traits the man is on the lookout for in a wife material…moreso when they do it grudgingly. I don’t subscribe to a lazy or dirty man packing all his laundry and dishes in wait for his poor girlfriend.

      Thai, that sneaky guy has very low self esteem. While I was still reading that part, I just thought, ‘this guy won’t pay her back’. I’m not surprised he didn’t. Sorry for the debt 🙂

  11. Afro baby, sorry this is late but you know how UNEC and wifi is. I’m saying it again, this is a beautiful piece. I realized recently that talking about feminism doesn’t interest me again. Scratch that, cos im tired of talking about it. I feel i’m talking to myself these days. I’m weak cos im female? There are really weak-ogbono men out there too! I’m irrational cos im female and should concern myself with things that won’t hurt my brain? There are irrational guys out there too! Oestrogen or Testosterone does not make anyone smarter or a better cook! We all have where we belong and my being female doesn’t mean i can’t be so much more. #BewareOfNeanderthals. Chisom nice one for the blog. @Homer i really do hope you still listen to your mother. Just for IM(ima mmadu) sakes..lol im the best friend who told her she cooks a lot at home.

  12. wow, this is really funny, I’m not really a feminist shaa.But this has actually made me have a little pity on girls, so all those ones forming nice girl amd cook are just looking for husbands….

  13. My take. Society will always have sects, divisions, classes etc. We will always have Men and Women, White and Black, Rich and Poor, Educated and Illiterate… Trust me, the list is endless and ever increasing.

    While I don’t believe any sect or class is superior to any, I do believe that the silent quest for each sect to outshine the other will not end. It’s just how we are as human – competitive, sometimes selfish.

    It is my opinion that we should not settle for the society’s expectation of us, there is always more. However, for every society/or group to advance, roles and responsibilities need be assigned.

    Someone needs to be the man, and another the woman, someone needs to be the government and the other the governed, someone needs to be the clergy and another the church.

    In marriage there has a husband and a wife, not two husband’s, not two wives.

    And every role is beautiful in its own right. Everyone should be accorded respect irrespective of their sect, unfortunately, we hardly are not all guilty of this- I mean, there are feminist who are racist, Christians who are fanatics,… even this list is endless.

    In conclusion, and back to the issue of feminism, a woman will not be accorded respect all because she says ‘i’m a woman and I deserve to be respected’ (same for a man). Rather, the society will accord regard to anyone who shows that they’ve got stuff to offer, aren’t limited by the boxes created by the society, and aren’t perturbed by the noise that abounds in the world.

    • Your last paragraph Khafeel, just does justice to this. That’s why I said earlier that men aren’t even the problem MOST times. The society accords us the respect due us. There may be some cultural perceptions but when we achieve great heights/yhings even those cultural perceptions and limitations can’t hold us down just because we are women.

      Thank you, Khafeel.

  14. Beautiful post… I think posts like this are essential for directing conversations towards women’s rights. Coincidentally, I wrote a post on feminism last week. The more voices, the better!

  15. Cynthia your definition of a “Feminist” is spot on! Well done 👏👏. @khafeel and @Noreen you both seem to be oblivious of the reality.. Sadly Women who have achieved great things are still looked-down on by the society, a society that still believes a woman’s place should be in the kitchen, catering to her husband’s every need as she “belongs” to him… @Noreen there are some women who are actually limited by these “boxes” created by the society (e.g when it comes to education funding, some think it’s a waste of time because “her role is to be in the kitchen” also in employment, and so on) unfortunately, it is what it is.. By trying to shy away from the facts it doesn’t help.. We have to realize that it’s an issue.. one that needs to be resolved
    Talking about roles.. who defined these roles btw?? Culture?? If we’re blaming culture.. Culture is very much dynamic.. We have the Mosou people of China, the women do the basic “men defined roles” and that’s their culture @Khafeel you said roles are beautiful in their own rights I agree but it is a problem when these roles are used to define a person.. Cooking for example.. Why should cooking define you as a woman??why should it be the basis for marriage?..(What about love?) Food is a major necessity we can’t live without.. We eat everyday… I strongly believe every abled adult irrespective of gender should know how to cook.. No role should be gender biased!! I know I can cook to save my life and it’s a shame not many men can say this.
    Let’s be the change we want.. Let’s start to teach our sons how to cook because it’s important and our daughters how to cook because it’s important (not because of their sex).

    • @Adeola, I am not oblivious of the facts you mentioned. But why should I let them define me? I know men who still turn their noses up at me just because some other men respect me. Should I cry or argue? I won’t. I understand they are scared of the uncertainty; it makes me want to achieve more. This protection of women rights things will be a gradual process, I know. But the bit those of us who are privileged to be enlightened can do, we should. I watched a Governor on Channels tv today ignore and attack Maupe and her questions…she persevered and he persisted. A guy beside me just said, ‘This man is a chauvinist’. The journalists of course understood what was happening and Chamberlain took over before the man ‘behaved’. Is that going to discourage Maupe? I doubt! I only felt pity for the man…and that is what I feel for his likes. I am not shying and will not shy away from the issue. This is part of what we can do…talking and showing examples…and hoping that of friends (male and female), sisters, daughters, nieces, wives, brothers, boyfriends, husbands, sons and nephews will listen.

      I just watched the video on Tedx…and I agree with you and Chimamanda. Why would someone leave their self nourishment in another’s hands?…lol. Moreso, in a culture where there is the fear of poisoning and witchcraft..hehehe.

  16. I love the fact that there are women who wants the female voice to be heard and also works hard to earn a living for themselves. I have been told by my neighbor several times “OMA u are a feminist”, I really did not see it as a good thing at the time I was told so I always disagreed with him because I had no idea who a feminist really is,what she does, and how she acts. I have always had a wrong notion about them after reading the book “the bumpy chested movement” by oyedepo Stella. I thought a feminist is a women who wants to get the control of the world and push the masculine gender to a corner so I did not want to be associated with the term “feminist”. I realized that every time a man shuts me up concerning my opinion because I am a female I tell him off and clear his thinking that me being a female does not mean I have no ideas on things and it doesn’t mean I am not knowledgeable about the world. I get angry when a man tells me that my place is in the kitchen and all my education would end up in a mans house so I don’t have a right to speak or think when men are gathered, I tell them “I love to cook, man that is not a reason why my education and other knowledge aquired would end up in the kitchen of a mans house.finally I went to check up the meaning of a feminist and began reading about them I got to love what a feminist should do then I walked up to my neighbor and said ” Eze, yes I am a feminist”. I have always loved to work and earn a living for myself, to be dependent on me and me alone, to be hardworking and create a change in my environment, to speak for the voice of females maybe it is because of I see my mum as a strong woman who carries the responsibility of the house on her shoulder and who works tirelessly to be the best. I also have a fault but I love this my fault, I love to get married, have children, take care of my family and be a good wife and the best mum to my children. but I still fight for the female right to be heard and to take charge of her world ,for we to be heard and not relegated to the background for we are important source to our world if not we wouldn’t have been created.

    • Jemima, you’re spot on. The only problem with feminism is that ‘feminists’ do not understand the true meaning of the word they pose to stand for. If more people sought the right answers like you did, they would find that it is a beautiful thing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  17. OK, I agree about going to a girl’s only school makes one to aspire more, I mean educational achievements. Funny enough, guys are not my thing, but mind you, I never said I won’t get married. I believe in standing out, because I really don’t want any guy from no where to think I have to depend on him to live. Most of my friends think i’m weird when I say I have no time for guys, but little did they know what I want for myself. I believe in first thing first, which is my career. I want to be a somebody in life.
    Yeah! I think you killed it Cynthia.

    • Ahn ahn, Sisi Vero, easy nah. There are still some of us whom you can ‘blend’ with and your career will not suffer oh.lol. Seriously dear, I completely understand you, I know how the idea of romance can appear to be a distraction when one is focused on career. Now I am no authority in either the field of romance or career but I don’t think they have to be mutually exclusive, at least not to the point where one doesn’t even spare a thought for an attractive member of the opposite sex. And even more importantly, do not run from romance because you “don’t want any guy from no where to think I have to depend on him to live”. Let it be for other reasons abeg, IF you have to because no such man is worth the sacrifice.
      Thank you for reading, loving and commenting, dear … see you around here more often.

  18. I really don’t know where to start from. I’m absolutely elated at the comments on this post cos it appeals to something that forms the core of my being. Thanks everyone for your comments, criticism and sharing your experiences. Really females are the ones who know where the shoe hurts. I can relate to almost all the views here and sincerely it’s amazing that in advanced age, the society still thinks like this. I’ll address comments one by one with my limited knowledge and experience but all of my passion. Thanks people ☺

  19. @Chisom and @Noreen you are the best umpires in this game of feminism comments both unsavory and savoury I couldn’t have done it better. Thank you. @khafeel as much as you said and I agree with the fact that a woman shouldn’t be respected just because you are a woman. I feel a man shouldn’t be respected just because he is a man. Respect should be earned both ways and if per adventure there is a birth right giving respect to men, them there is one giving respect to women after all the same God created us and he is fair. I’ll stop there. Also, @ezinma I couldn’t agree more, the men in our society sha… God help us with the ogbono men that will mistakenly stray our way, they’ll end up like smuggled goods or woreva. Lol.

  20. is eola and @Jemima, two very special boos. Thanks for taking out time to comment. Asin ehn, the way people look at me when I say I’m a feminist makes me laugh. Just today, I was walking out of the exam hall and an older married lady approached me and applauded my article- this article. The person I was walking with went, oh you’re a feminist which sounded like ‘oh, so you sell shit’. It’s not my fault that feminism has been wrongly defined but fact is it has sure evolved from a bunch of non – bra wearing women on ugly pant suits carrying placard. I can rightly call myself very beautiful and feminine and all the females here are definitely beautiful. We can even post pictures to that effect. And if feminism has evolved I’m sure the concept of the society relegating females to the background should change too. This world is dynamic. Change is really dynamic. And I guess the point of my article is let’s change our mindset as to what feminism and who a feminist is. Xoxo… 😄

  21. In 2010, I was in a lecture hall when a lecturer walked in and asked one of the girls seated:

    Lecturer: where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
    Girl: in my husband’s house.

    Forgive my uncouth language but that remains the “shittiest” response to that question I’ve ever heard. I was mad. However, in retrospect, I’ve come to see that it’s not really her fault. She’s simply being herself, or her cultural self, I’ll rather say. Ours is a male dominated society where females are viewed as second class citizens (forgive the cliche). I was with a group of guys the other day when one yawned (hunger games) and then exclaimed ” I NEED TO GET MARRIED”. To him, marrying a female is synonymous with ready meals. Akuko ifo!!! But that’s the society we live in. Even at the highest echelon of our existence as a nation, I still see our “culture” taking centre stage. How else will you explain our president’s recent state visit to the US without a single female on his entourage. It’s even indicting when you consider that his first meeting in US was with Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State. It’s appalling when I imagine that I’m constantly surrounded by people who can’t simply think for themselves, who allow our anachronistic and prehistoric culture to hold them down.

    So you’ll imagine how pleased I was to come across your blog. The feeling I had when I read your blog was ecstasy, akin to an emotional orgasm. After I read it the first time, I went to my music file and played Christina Aguilera’s “Can’t Hold Us Down”: a song I feel should be every woman’s ringtone. You should definitely listen to that song if you’ve not done so.

    I really have reasons to be grateful to God for my orientation in life. I was almost single handedly raised by a woman. She taught me to cook, to clean up after myself, to do all the whole “feminine” chores in a household. As nwa Anambra toro n’Onitsha, I naturally love ofe akwu, onugbu, oha, nsala a kworo aka sie, abacha na ukpaka, etc. I don’t need a woman to fix these for me. I don’t even have memory of my mom washing my clothes, let alone a girlfriend.

    I’m a Chimamanda aficionado. I simply love her stoicism and steel in the face of stinging criticisms from fellow African women. I totally agree with her definition of feminism. I consider myself to be far above average intellectually, but there exists a million women who’re way smarter. So should they be encouraged to be silent even in the face of crass incompetence by the men folk? I beg to disagree. Physically a man may be stronger but there’s nothing to suggest that he’s superior in any other way.

    I’ve made a personal vow that I’ll never get married to a woman who’ll not challenge me intellectually, emotionally and socially.

    • Talking about intellect, sincerely you’re one of the few guys that I can challenge(if you know what I mean) lol. Talking about the right frame of mind @Jahnedu, I’m really blushing at your comment. So precise and on point… Thanks for dropping by.

    • Nnaa, okwu iji bu oku na-ere ere mehnnn, I can feel the heat all the way over here.lol. Great points, thank God for your mother and the man you have become who will continue to challenge women to be better versions of themselves. It’s great to know you found this much satisfaction from WAW, hang around because there’s more to come. Daalu rinne

  22. Nice one “I’ve made a personal vow that I’ll never get married to a woman who’ll not challenge me intellectually, emotionally and socially.” @Jahnedu

  23. Biko nu!!! O gini na-afio ebe a?
    Where am I? I walked into a pantheon of great minds. I swear, the more comments I read, the more I see my thoughts on “feminism” mirrored in every single one your words. From the original post to the latest comment, PURE ECSTASY. Intellectually orgasmic. By a mile, the most stimulating discourse I have been a part of in a looong while.

    Thia, Noreen, Jahnedu, Adeola, Jemima, every other person, Unu ga adi oo!!!


    In the immortal words of Jahnedu: “I’ve made a personal vow that I’ll never get married to a woman who’ll not challenge me intellectually, emotionally and socially.”

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