Arese Ugwu is no longer afraid to be called a feminist
Arese Ugwu didn’t want to be identified as a feminist for a long time because of how it is viewed by the society. But as she grew older, Arese realizes that she is a feminist and she has acknowledged that fact. She recently shared her views on feminism.
According to Arese Ugwu, many African men see a feminists as “dominant, a troublemaker, a threat to their masculinity and a symbol of economic castration.” Meanwhile, older women who are supposed to educate the society on the true meaning of feminism dismiss it, so that they are not seen as encouraging women to leave their husbands.
Their attitude to this notion, according to Arese Ugwu, means they agree with society that feminism is indeed a threat to our cultural fabric.
She wrote this on her Instagram page:
“The word ‘Feminist’ is a trigger word for many African men and women…they hear the word and it immediately triggers anger and blindness to the arguments…to be honest for a long time I was ‘afraid’ to identify with being a Feminist in Africa Why? Because although I identify with many feminist ideals I didn’t identify with the strain of feminism that says I don’t need a man * insert hand gesture* or all men are scum…yes some men are scum but some women are also scum!
And it felt like if you agreed to being called a feminist, you were somehow agreeing to it all. And I didn’t want to be seen as a man hating bra burning etc etc however, as I’ve gotten older I realize that I am a feminist, this does not mean I hate all men and love all women. I don’t think you should get anything just because you are a woman but I think if a man and a woman have the same qualifications they should have equal access to opportunity.
A feminist is not a woman who hates men or wants to BE a man, a feminist is a someone who believes in equal access to opportunity for both men and women!!! Why is this such a difficult concept to understand. If Arese go school and Osaze sef go school and they get the same grades is it so hard to understand why they should have access to the same job opportunities?
When our society views women who dare to ask for equal opportunity as threats, it poses a problem. When we create societal constructs that block women who are willing to negotiate for higher salaries and view them as combative, especially when they are paid less than their male counterparts with the same job title, it poses a problem.
When female entrepreneurs are scared to charge market value for their goods and services because of the way they have been socialized to think about money, cumulatively these factors may have a negative impact on our economy.”