Last week saw both feminists and the rest (especially on Facebook) push hard for a crime committed against a minor. Media giants such as Anita Erskine and others joined in the fight.
I also joined (I mean we all want justice served). ‘Concerned citizenry’ took it upon themselves to draw the attention of the Ministry of Gender (even though we had a shitty response) and the law to the situation however I also noticed the “concerned” were not that concerned.
Here’s how: they made sarcastic requests to feminists, mostly, the PepperDem Ministries. When I saw some of the comments I asked myself “are we serious as a people? A child has been raped and all some people can do is backlash a group of feminists?”
But then I found my answer and here it goes; as a people we have lost touch with our human self so much that we have allocated issues concerning and facing humanity to feminists. Now, since you have given us the mandate to save the world, trust us to take it upon ourselves to do so. Let me give you a little education.
Feminism is an import to Africa (as all English words). But the concept of opposing patriarchy and structures that oppose gender is not foreign. Africa’s history trajectory shows that the continent is replete with feminists but has been omitted by historians. Do the names Queen Nephetiti of Egypt, She-Dong-Hong of the Dahomey Amazons or Mino, Queen Nanny of Jamaica, Amanirenas of Meroitic Kingdom of Kush in northeast Africa sound familiar?
Albertina Sisulu, a respected senior woman and wife of Walter Sisulu, of the African National Congress (ANC) joined the women’s walkout at ANC’s party conference in 1992, Durban. The walkout demanded that the ANC commits itself to 33% of women in parliament in the new South Africa. That’s no mean feat.
Our very own Yaa Asantewaa is a classic example of positivity from the camp of African women. When King Prempeh I was deported, the British governor-general of the Gold Coast, Frederick Hodgson, demanded the Golden Stool, the symbol of the Asante nation. This request led to a secret meeting of the remaining members of the Asante government at Kumasi. Yaa Asantewaa stood and addressed the members of the council:
Now I have seen that some of you fear to go forward to fight for our king. If it were the brave days of Osei Tutu, Okomfo Anokye and Opuku Ware I, chiefs would not sit down to see their king taken without firing a shot. No white man could have dared to speak to the Chief of Asante in the way the governor spoke to you chiefs this morning. Is it true that the bravery of Asante is no more? I cannot believe it. It cannot be! I must say this: if you, the men of Asante, will not go forward, then we will. I shall call upon my fellow women. We will fight the white men. We will fight till the last of us falls on the battlefield.
Yaa Asantewaa was chosen by a number of regional Asante kings to be the war-leader of the Asante fighting force. This is the first and only example for a woman to be given that role in Asante history.
Let me truncate the free tuition on African women who have made and continue to make a mark. While at it, let me break down the term ‘feminism’ so we all are better informed.
“…Feminism has also been defined as an ideology that seeks equality of both men and women. It deconstructs patriarchy and promotes gender equality. It also advocates the transformation of all social relations of power that oppress, exploit or marginalize any set of people? women and men, on the basis of their gender, age, sexual orientation, ability, race, religion, nationality, location, ability, class, cast or ethnicity.” Extract from History of Feminism in Kenya.
Do you still need reason why we all should be feminist? I have one for you. Africa still is ranked lowest in the global gender equality index, highest number of domestic violence, highest female circumcision and other harmful traditions and practices; and a very familiar one, increasing number of RAPE. Since feminists are Humanitarians who cannot stand injustice, join us, let’s all be feminists(If you get it).
Oh, I almost forgot; I, like others, love the enthusiasm of the “concerned” to bring the rapist to book. It is very much impressive. As this little child is getting all kinds of support, I pray when a young male or female adult says he or she has been raped, we will accord the victim same support and love.
In the world today, where you can be anything, should we, all not, be FEMINISTS?
Think about it and while you’re still thinking, do some unlearning and relearning.