This is NOT the Kind of “Equality” Feminism is About

by Uche Onegeria 18 Oct , 2017  

 

Ok! We all know feminism is about equal opportunities for both genders, right?

But do we know what “equality” means?

Like the image above depicts, Equality means giving everyone the same box regardless of their height. Equity is giving each individual whatever number of boxes they need to attain the same height as everyone.

Feminism is about Equality.

I was chatting with a Nigerian male today and he informed me that some Nigerian females might misunderstand feminism. In his own words,

…”….Many women feel it’s their hard work and the financial contribution to their family that makes them equal to the man, which I don’t support”

I understand how these women might feel this way. Here is my reply below:

Feminism isn’t about matching your husband’s financial, mental, emotional…strength. When you find yourself doing this, you have made it a contest & forgotten who you are. It means you abuse your own potential and probably want to become what might not be in you. It’s like trying to compete with that neighbour with a Bentley when you might only be able to afford a bike, or your tall friend when you’re very short. Feminism is about charting your own course as a woman, given that all opportunities have been availed you, and being content with the results of whatever choices you made with them.

We all have capabilities that we are born with, as a male or female. Many of us would work as hard as a horse but not make enough money while some of us are just blessed with the ability to do the bare minimum and are financially rewarded immensely.

So you see, if we approach feminism with this definition of equality then we would be very wrong. It would be like a “cat and dog” fight and would leave us unfulfilled.

Gender equality is not about money!

Gender equality is not about money!

It is about “opportunities”, but like I described above, that opportunity is natural.

It’s like students in a class who are taught by the same teacher/s but each still has their learning capacities which make some succeed and others fail.

Where feminism is achieved, it means that the world has availed everyone all opportunities there exists out there.

Here’s an illustration

Let me call those opportunities “LEMONS”. Your life or achievements “LEMONADE”.

The world presents everyone with equal portions of lemons and everyone tries to make LEMONADE from their lemons.

  • Some sit around and not make anything at all.
  • Some decide to eat their lemons raw.
  • Some make their lemonades with too much water.
  • Others make their lemonades with too little water.

It’s all a choice. Everyone is free to be whatever the heck they want, given that the same opportunity has already been presented. Whatever result you have, is your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself. You should also not be blamed for making a choice which makes you comfortable, even though others might not understand it.

So you made lemonade from your lemons (opportunities)? You are responsible for the taste of your lemonade. After all, you got the same lemons, the same time & relevant resources and conditions required to make lemonade as anyone out there.

If you find yourself comparing the size of your lemonade to the size of the man’s or even another woman’s, you’re just a jealous bat!

Feminism ends when everyone receives their lemons and all necessary materials in the same proportion.

The results of those opportunities might not be equal but the “equality” feminism seeks has been fulfilled.

“We need to recognize our differences as unique, rather than reach for one definition of “success”. By upholding just one definition of success, we actively erase our differences. Our differences are not the obstacles.” Everydayfeminism.com

We are not biologically equal, at least not how many understand it. Biology/Genetics plays no part in making any gender a President, Nurse, Teacher, good leader, good cook, being able to clean or cater to children etc.

I hope you now understand what the “equality” in “gender equality”  means.

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