Life and General Fiction Stories

Grasses aren’t Green on the Other Side

Dear Ajoke,

About the feminism campaign… so far, so good, and bad. Good, because humans are getting the message; bad, because feminism is being turned quickly into extremism.
It has been brought to my notice, however (yes, you are right, we gossiped about you), that you still depend totally on Segun for money and do not see a need to look for a job.

That you still rate marriage higher than fulfilling your own purpose and calling—something Segun isn’t doing.
That you turned down the opportunity to be President in your fellowship and opted to be Vice.

That you believe a man who helps with household chores, especially cooking, he has been bewitched.

That you also believe that if a man has not given his opinion on an issue, you have to remain quiet even when you do have a bright idea.

That you stand for women covering their bodies up so as not to seduce men which I do not disagree with, but you do not think men also need to have control over their own urges and lust, and because of this, when a woman is raped, you believe it is entirely her fault.

I would have not written this letter if you knew the truth or chose to believe in and stand for these things; but I realised you really are left with no choice, but to believe in and stand for what your society thinks is right and what you have been fed with since childhood.

Ajoke, you need to change your reasoning, if the political, economic and social rights of all humans would become equal—that is what feminism is about after all.

I am not in any way trying to tell you to be the same as a man, you are not. Even biology has made it obvious—you are not as strong as a man, and a man doesn’t have the breasts you have too.

I am also not saying you should begin to hate men—you cannot do without us in this planet. Our gender has done nothing wrong and in fact, we also suffer from the inequality that you suffer from too.

I am saying you are not in any way superior to a man, but neither are you inferior too. It is no longer a man’s world. Strength or breasts aren’t what it takes to lead politically, economically and socially. So this means, what a man has to lead in these areas, you do too—there are no different hormones responsible for these which are found in the male gender, but aren’t found in yours.
Know this, what a man can do politically, economically and socially, you can to do too, if you want to.

In Nigeria, females suffer a lot of discrimination, prejudice, and exploitation. They are even blamed for anything that fails, especially by the male gender. They are treated as weak and their voices are rarely respected. As true as this is, I have come to discover that we have our own fair share of troubles too.

The society has placed us in a stereotypical box—all dangerous activities, all activities that have to deal with being in charge and taking responsibilities are tossed to us. There is an unspoken rule that a man must not allow someone, especially a female help him out, even when he really needs it. He must not cry, even when he desperately wants to. That females are not supposed to like the colour blue or toy helicopters. Also, that males are not supposed to like dolls or colour pink too.

Naturally, it is expected that when a lady is in public vehicle or on a date with her boyfriend, whom she earns as much as, he has to do the paying. Oftentimes, we don’t talk about the inequality men suffer too. Research has shown that nine in ten boys face pressures to be “manly” through experiencing harassment, bullying, teasing, social exclusion, psychological and physical violence.

Why is that?

In addition, remember those times in primary and secondary school where the males get five strokes of the cane while females get only three?

Research has also shown that males get 63% longer prison sentences than females. The truth is, a female has more chances of getting help from the society while a male is always expected to work for himself and earn his living. This is not a bad thing, but what happens when the pressures and expectations are too much? No wonder we have more widows than widowers.

Remember the times your mother refused to send you on errands, because she believed that females shouldn’t be on errands at night so they don’t get raped. However, she often sent your kid brother, Alani, on errands at ungodly hours of the night without the slightest suspicion that he may rape a girl.

Why are females told to beware of getting raped and males aren’t told not to rape?

Humans shouldn’t be measured or judged on a scale of what is expected of their gender, but on a scale of them being the best version of themselves.

If males are not saddled with the expectation to be hard, they won’t have to bring out their frustrations on the females; if females aren’t expected to be weak all the time, perhaps they won’t be continual parasites on us.

Also, I know you still get so much ashamed when your menstrual blood stain your skirt. Why were you raised to speak in low tunes about periods? To be filled with shame if your menstrual blood happened to stain your skirt? Periods are nothing to be ashamed of. Periods are normal and natural and the human specie would not be here if periods do not exist. You should enjoy being a woman and not let any, make you feel less human.

Being strong, intelligent, creative, in charge, capable, weak, susceptible and subservient is not a function of gender but one’s personality. When the male knows he doesn’t have to be strong, hard, in control or be in charge and bear all the responsibilities all the time, and the female knows she doesn’t have to be weak, quiet, subservient all the time or be the one to be blamed totally for failure in marriage, as the society has made it seem, we will experience true equality. These stereotypes are immoral.

Finally, greet Segun for me, tell him I would not stop pleading and asking until he teaches you how to change a car’s tyre—I really hate when you are stranded because of it. Take good care of yourself. I will write to you again soon.

Why not share?

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