Monday, April 18, 2005

Nigerian feminism

Andreea Dworkin's death and surrounding commentary provokes thought on the status of contemporary feminism. The wife's sister (and friend) have been staying for the past few days. Young girls of 23, their sole ambition in life seems to be to find a husband. Any attempts to introduce ideas about seeing the world, meeting many different people and having different experiences and so on are met with mild incomprehension. Alternative worlds of possibility and the imagination have been drained away by social pressure. Feminism in Africa has died, for the moment.


Folabi Akinrogunde 5:04 pm  

I believe that you cannot divorce feminism from the cultural world-view and millieu of a people.

The Nigerian woman has achieved huge advancements in the area of full integration into the scheme of things in Nigeria.

For you to believe, as I think you do, that feminism can only exist as the bra-burning, man-hating option found in the western societies is at best, fallacious reasoning.

I was born and raised in this country, and I know where my own mother was some odd 15 years ago and what she is today. Yes, we still do have our own issues in quite a few areas, but to say that because our younger women yearn for marriage, that makes them less human or less complete is unfair.

No woman needs a man because she needs someone to feed her, for many a Nigerian woman is actually the financial backbone of her family. Why our girls (and men!) yearn for matrimony in these parts is because we understand and seek mutual dependence, the mental and psychological symbiosis and nurturing that a good, solid marriage provides.

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