By Eniola Areo
FROM ancient times, there has always been a stereotypical phenomenon about how the female gender is viewed. Women were never seen as capable or up to the challenge and were never seen as risk-takers.
A woman was seen as one that scurries for protection from the male, seen as home caretaker and a breeder of young ones, nothing more to be expected!
This changed when women started to stand up for themselves and demand equal rights. They demanded the right to work, the right to vote, the right to wear comfortable clothes and not be confined to corsets and tight ball gowns.
Of course, the male gender felt their alpha male superiority was being threatened and protested against it.
In past years and recent times, there have been cases of sexism ranging from seemingly harmless questions to questionable actions.
Jo’Ann Morgan, the first female engineer at Cape Canaveral shared her experience of sexism which started from her first day of work, when the test supervisor slapped her back and said we don’t have women here, to the obscene calls she kept getting.
Katherine Johnson on the other hand, even after her recognition as a very important employee at NASA due to her calculations of orbital mechanics was pushed to the sideline and was refused entry to meetings that would allow her to be up to date on every change of decision, which would help her work faster in her calculations because the meeting was for “men only”.
We see these in every industry and sector globally. Around the globe, the fight for female empowerment is one of the most prevailing struggles known to mankind.
They want to be seen as equal to the male gender, and not just as the weaker sex and a submissive object. Even after the various achievements of females around the globe, female subjection is still prominent in government positions, official positions and even within family circles.
In Nigeria, we have females who have proved to the world that they are much more and that they deserve more than they get, trying to change the stereotype and bring in change. Examples include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who has received honour and recognition worldwide; Ibukun Awosika who is the chairman of the board of directors of First Bank Plc and the first Nigerian recipient of the international Entrepreneurial Challenge Award.
We also have Tara Fela-Durotoye who is a lawyer and beauty entrepreneur with the first standard make up school in Nigeria, Kemi Adetiba who is a music video director and filmmaker, and many more prominent females with great achievements.
Even with all the obvious evidence of the essence and achievement of females, it hardly cut an ice when compared with the percentage of female under subjection around the world.
Although the fight is justified and very much needed, but we seem to have lost steam along the way, thereby losing our bearing. As it does seem presentment, we don’t seem to know exactly what we are about or after.
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, Feminism is defined as the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. In recent times, the feminist in our society are no longer after equality but are going for supremacy.
Supremacy is the state of having more power or authority than someone else. Feminist statements now depict females as rulers and males subject to their leadership. The younger generation is now absorbing it as the norm. The fight has never been about being seen as better than the other gender but that we are equally strong and equally deserving of every opportunity out there in the world.
The recent development in the fight is only going to make us become the same people our forefathers were, only that we will be the female version. Feminism is the fight for equality and there is no reason for us to deviate from the true purpose of the fight and become the same people we are fighting against.
It will only be a repetition of the past but only that supremacy would be wielded by the females not the males.
Let us not become who we are running away from, but look forward to making the future better for future generations through the fight for equality, not supremacy.