Feminism and Mathematical Equations

To begin with, who is a feminist? A feminist is one who believes in equal social and political rights of both sexes. That said, how do we define this equality? To what extents does said equality cover? Does it apply to the laws governing the relationship between a man and a woman?

One could define equality as doing to A exactly what is done to B. He could even go on to say it is ridiculous for women to demand equality and should rather ask for “equity” considering that men and women are completely different in their anatomy. I find that argument sweet but I do not agree. To my definition and also mathematically if you think of it, equality or being equal to means arriving at the same result. That is, whatever route you take, considering each’s circumstances, fair is fair to all involved.

Let’s look at these mathematical equations quickly;

2 + y =7

3 + x =7

6 + w =7

7 +z =7

Imagine that the numbers above, 2, 3, 6 and 7 are separate individuals and that the goal of each individual is to arrive at 7. Each needs a different number in other to reach that goal.

2, her name’s Prudence methinks, needs the number 5 to arrive at 7,

3, Patrick if I remember correctly, needs 4 to arrive at 7,

6, Onome, needs just 1 to reach her destination, and

7, big man like him, is already at his destination.

In the end, it is such that;

2+5=3+4=6+1=7+0=7.

Prudence, Patrick, Onome and Big man have arrived at the same point because circumstances have been adjusted to help them along. Each individual, different as they may be, have achieved equal results. That, right there, is equality to me.

Now, what extents should this equality cover? To me, I believe every facet of life. Man and woman are different in their anatomy but inside we are all the same, made from flesh and blood, and capable of thinking, feeling, learning and growing. Both genders can have similar aspirations, similar desires and similar ways of reasoning. Though gender might have a role to play in our human dissimilarities, environment, culture, race and religion are even stronger factors. For example, a man who is an Igbo Christian would most likely have more in common with a woman of the same tribe and faith than with a Hausa Muslim man. Hence, men and women should be given equal opportunity to pursue their dreams and aspirations considering that both have the inherent ability to want the same things.

This logic also means that all the women in the world could never share the same views or come together in some kind of “solidarity”. Even the things one would think every woman should at least agree on, have incited surprising views. Typical example is the one of domestic violence. Ordinarily, you’d think a woman would advise her mate who’s in an abusive relationship to flee before she dies, but some women have shared opinions that others might find unbelievable. Stay with your husband no matter what, some say. Men are all the same so manage the one you have, others will say.

This again brings me to society’s common saying, “Women are women’s greatest enemies.” No. Society is women’s greatest enemy. Feminism is not about emancipation from men, it is about emancipation from society’s standards for women. Men and women are active members of this society and perpetrators of this sexism we speak of. Like I mentioned earlier, gender has very little to play in our thought pattern. This is exactly why men can be feminists too.

Going by what I have seen on Nigerian twitter at least, the most popular aspect of feminism is how it affects the relationship between a man and a woman. Does it disturb the laws governing courtship and marriage? Well, relationships are personal so I cannot say much in a general sense. But I would, in another article, share what feminism means to me in the aspect of dating and relationships.

Follow me on twitter @anyato__ and you wouldn’t have to hear about it from a third party. Tata!

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