#WWNetworkAfrica™ Reflections | The thin line between being a Feminist and being an Abuser…..

We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Adichie

 The thin line between being a Feminist and being an Abuser….. 🙂


[Initially posted on Facebook on March 18, 2016].


Random Musings by JulietKego: Here’s the bit of feminism that both men and women seem to ignore. It’s about CHOICE and creating an atmosphere for both men and women to have freedom to make INFORMED choices. It means respecting people’s right to making their own choices. Basically treating everyone with dignity even if their choices do not mirror your own. A conversation about feminism needs pre-definitions; an the awareness that it means different things to different people at different phases of their life cycles.


It is about realizing that this is an ongoing conversation and we all evolve at different paces. So when a woman who is educated, empowered and enlightened CHOOSES to be a homemaker or housewife, her decision should also be respected. If a man CHOOSES to be the nurturer who cooks and cleans while the wife is the PRIMARY breadwinner, it is also a choice that should be respected.


If a woman CHOOSES to kneel down publicly and thank her husband for his support or a man CHOOSES to bow down to his wife for her support, their CHOICES should also be respected. Relationship dynamics are as complex as they are varied. In the absence of abuse (mental, financial, emotional, physical, spiritual, verbal…), when people CHOOSE seemingly unorthodox yet healthy ways to live their lives and show their love/appreciation to and for one another, they should be respected.


A woman who chooses to wear a burka or one who chooses to wear mini skirts are equally deserving of the fundamental ethos of our humanity: Respect and Dignity. The same goes for the ‘virgin’ or the so called ‘whore’. This idea that ONE size fits all is retrogression and not progress. Ideas may be espoused and explored but making them PRESCRIPTIVE undermines the whole essence of choice.


Your model of the world does NOT have to be everyone’s model of the world. Deal with it! Shoving down one’s ideals and beliefs unto another person without respect for the other is also a form of abuse. It pains me when I see other women demean/disparage fellow women because they are housewives. Or men disparage other men because they are not the typical ‘alpha male’, main breadwinner-types.


Some women choose to leave abusive relationships and some others choose to stay. The real conversation should be about creating awareness to allow people make informed choices. To create healthy environments and options to enable them decide from a place of security and personal power. Like I always the woman who stays at home to help her child or spouse build their own paper moons and the woman who studies and goes to the moon are BOTH deserving of equal respect.


At its core FEMINISM is about RESPECT, DIGNITY, VALUE and EQUITY; the sacred belief that we are all WORTHY children of a loving God and that EVERYONE though different, is equal before God and is deserving of being treated justly and with honour. It is to me the ability to see the beauty and glory of God in everyone. The whole heads and tails argument or that a human being belongs to another is antithesis to this. Every ones role is different and yet complements the other. And the roles are not static. They are dynamic. They are constantly evolving to the realities on ground.


We must begin to teach healthier personal boundaries, emotion management skills, resilience skills and coping skills so that each gender speaks of and acts towards the other with respect. The negative gross GENERALIZATIONS are killing all of us. Gender Parity or Gender Equity cannot happen when we do not even show respect for our own or treat people of our own sexes with respect. I’m not sure if these random musings make sense😀 I’m simply asking that we all respect one another, even when our ideas are at opposing ends.


There is always more room for civility. In the end, the worst thing that can happen is when the champions of equity and justice subtly become reflections of the abusive systems or persons they are fighting against. Feminism to me is about SISTERHOOD. And true sisterhood means no sister OR brother is left behind! Sometimes, we may need to let go of the togas, titles, and simply focus on our empathy and compassion as human beings! …..💕-Cyber-hugs, Jules

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