BITTERNESS: THE NEW FEMINISM

With the recalcitrant popularity that has, this year, graced the women folk's courageous and impressive clamor for equality via the Feminism agenda, one would have expected that in an intellectual convergence as prestigious as the Lagos International Poetry Festival, some enlightened female writers, who are fearlessly vocal about the degradation meted out on them by the society-supported men community, would allow for an objective, sensible and interesting intellectual exchange between the women panelists (Titilope Sonuga, Poetry Asantewa, Ladan Osman, Mandi Vundla, Wana Udobang and Shailjia Patel) and the audience, which evidently comprised of a handful of popular male poets and other enthusiasts of the literary landscape.

I was however disappointed as to the outcome of the 'Sisters Outside' panel discussion, wherein the panelists exuded a bitter and intolerant disposition to bouts of harmless questions thrown at them by the equally fertile male minds.

A terrible illustration was Shailjia Patel's senile silence of Dike Chukwumerije's question. For me, that wasn't Feminism. It was outright, shameful, shallow and volatile dissipation of empty amusement. Simple!

While in discussion with an ill-informed lady, who even in her ignorance saw herself as a feminist, I saw in clear light, the hatred harbored by the malleable minds of some young females against any male. Being indifferent as to the whole situation, I expressed that I supported the whole female liberation scheme, as women have been subjugated for generations now. But she would have none of it. With anger burning in her eyes, like I was solely responsible for the female dehumanization, she remonstrated that every man, or guy, like she put it, is guilty of the crimes against women. Ugh! What an ignominiously wrong thought to be housed in the human psyche! Even my plea to explain what I meant was tagged 'mansplaining' or some other obscure terminology.

My take is that these women, especially the supposedly enlightened ones need to show some tolerance to divergent opinions, because not every one of the seven billion people in the world would agree to your postulations. This is so because, even among the women folk, I know a surprising number who do not believe in the equality ideology. For them, it is a charade and nothing more.

Furthermore, considering the fact that respect and acknowledgment are the elements hungrily longed for by the women race, it is only normal that these elements are also accorded the male specie, notwithstanding the fact that some might not agree with all of your hypotheses.

Also, it would be unreasonable to have walked into a panel discussion that plays host to a sensitive engagement as fecund as the feminism ideology. As such, oppositions, or rather, contrasting opinions should not birth a state of inane bitterness or fetid defensiveness.

If you ask me, I would opine that every interested member of the male community should be allowed to ask questions pertaining to feminism, its tenets, what it hopes to achieve, and how to know if it's been achieved. This is in light of the fact that men would, at some point, sire female children from their loins, therefore, it is not out of place to pick at the brains of some of the vocal proponents of the female equality agenda, so as to aid a comprehensive understanding of the structures and dynamism of the women liberation scheme, and consequently inform their decision to train their female children as feminists-like Adichie suggested- or train them just as society has issued.

For Shailjia Patel, even though I appreciate your staunch feminist stances, but rudeness is not feminism. It is what it is. Rudeness! You should understand that Adichie did not become so famous because she insulted and disrespected every man who questioned her unconventional ideologies.

Just so you know this is Nigeria, Africa-a race that you do not seem to originate from- and whether man or woman, feminist or realist, we accord ourselves a reasonable dose of respect. As such, your uncouth responses to questions, especially Dike Chukwumerije's and Tade Ipadeola's, showed with impunity, your unfounded, gross and insensate understanding of the ideology you claim to proselytize.

Simply restated, Feminism is not an avenue to disrespect people when their only offense was that they asked questions. Take it or leave it.

And the question remains, "When do you know that you've won?

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