What have toxic masculinity and patriarchy got to do with it?

It's interesting I am now writing this because if you're on Nigerian Twitter, you might think this is because of all the hot takes about gender more recently. Or if you're on Twitter generally, you might think this is about the Gillette Ad.  I have in fact been thinking about this post for weeks now; about three to four weeks to be more precise. But because I didn't want to end the year on such serious terms plus laziness, I put it off for a while. What is it? It is the place of women in our society. Society is incredibly layered, and because the societies I am well versed with, relative to others are Nigeria and the U.S. In the U.S. there is of course sexism and gender inequality, but to some extent there are laws and institutions safeguarding women. Nigeria is a whole other kettle of fish entirely. And that's exactly why we are here.

Despite decades of the feminist movement, an insane upsurge in wokeness, the liberal overtaking of Hollywood, more equal marriages and romantic partnerships, I'm afraid it still looks like a bleak outlook. Especially in places like Nigeria where people are so adamant on remaining ingrained and rooted in dangerous traditions and practicing cultures ruthless to women. Societies have insisted on being unforgiving to women, rendering scathing judgments on women for the pettiest thing, but continually enabling men. A society that raises spoilt boys to be entitled, but holds women to unreasonable standards, so much that we now have grown, responsible women, who  have to pick suitors from a bunch of lazy, whiny, petulant, irresponsible boys whom mommy coddled all their lives. Now, I all of people know that nuance is an important factor in these kinds of topics, so I am doing my best to include as much nuance as I can in this post.

Never forget.

You know how when people ask, if there is a next life, would you want to come back as a woman, and a lot of women always insist they would come back as women. And one day on The View, our favorite resident Aunt, Joy Behar, asked, why? Honestly, why? Ceteris paribus, why would I want to come back to this world as a woman? Why would a Nigerian woman living in Nigeria for instance, want to come back to this world as a woman? Let's forget all of what women have been saddled with, thanks to Biology. How about the burdens religion, society, and culture have placed on her? You can't earn equal to a man with the same qualifications. You are created just to serve you husband; his helper and nothing more. You have no say in your own home. How dare you challenge your husband? Your husband can humiliate you when and where he sees fit, including but not limited to in front of your own children. You are married off at age God-knows-what. You are basically raised to be subservient, so that later in life you can be served up to a man. Look, if it is this world as is, I'm not entirely sure I would like to come back as a woman. I'm not sure I want a world where we have to constantly fight, tweet, instagram, blog, Facebook, and argue everyday to demonstrate you deserve to be treated as a human being. My friend and I joke that in our next life, we want to be white men definitely. And if that's not possible, can we at least be a white man's dog. Because let me tell y'all white men don't joke with their dogs, and some of those dogs live better lives than many human beings. But I digress.

It's safe to say I don't believe we have achieved true equality. Despite decades of fight by tried and true feminists, despite radical movements, and no matter how many buzzwords Twitter feminists throw around, I think the place of women in our society is incredibly disheartening. And if I think my generation has it bad, my mother's generation breaks my heart even more.

Every single day...literally, every single day, we hear of another South African trash that has attacked a woman who turned down his advances with acid. The other day Ndani TV made a short film called "The House Wife" and the comments underneath the post were painful, and quite honestly, traumatic.

Oh see this one  below from someone young who might also agree the future is hella bleak. I honestly feel so bad for her that she doesn't know to desire better; to desire an equal partnership

And often times, the argument is but your mothers did it, whats stopping you. I don't know, some of y'all's ancestors killed twins and some others on the other side of the world enslaved black people, what's stopping you, boo?

And, yes, it is a matter of life and death.

I know this looks like such a pessimistic view. After all, we have come such a long way: women are doctors, lawyers, Supreme Court justices, hell, presidents (side eye, 'Murica); they now drive, they now vote. You are right, we truly have. But we still have such a long way to go. Girls are still being denied a good education. Another little girl is being match made with a man old enough to be her grandpa. Many women in some parts of the world are still not allowed to vote or drive, much less run the world. Let's face it, you and I are lucky; merely privileged to have educated parents who find it idiotic to not train a girl child. For the most part too, you and I don't have to tolerate a moronic husband. You and I can (and should) demand equal partnerships in our marriages. But many others aren't so lucky or shall I say, privileged. Yet, despite this cumbersome patriarchal world you and I are forced to live in, I do have some hope. Even after witnessing the most toxic masculinity, I quietly mutter to myself, our generation WILL DESTROY THIS.



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