Chimamanda Adichie has become the face of feminism in Nigeria with her talks, interviews and most recently her book, Americanah. For a lot of self-identifying feminists including myself, she has made the topic interesting and one for our generation. But for a lot of chauvinist men and more conservative women, she is a thorn in their flesh. This meme and some others have sparked twitter outrage with some commenters predicting her divorce, calling her overrated, and all what not. Of course Chiamamanda has her defenders. What do you think?
Source: MYNE WHITMAN (www.romancemeetslife.com)
Just like Myne asked above, what do you think about Chimamanda's feminist views?
Here are my thoughts.
I strongly believe in gender equality, in equal rights for both men and women, I dream of a time when women are given equal opportunities as their male counterparts, a time when women don't have to work twice as hard as their male counterparts to get half of what they have. I dream of a time when women aren't seen as chattel in Northern Nigeria and the Middle East (most especially). And if this is what feminism is then I'm a PROUD FEMINIST.
Yet my views go a bit further and this is where I get confused. This has nothing to do with Chimamanda Adichie and/or her refusal to use the title; Mrs, or to add her husband's last name to hers. These are my views independent of anyone else's. Like I said above I believe in gender equality, but even though I'm not married, I think that I will leave certain views at the doorstep of my home; I believe that marriage is a partnership but I think my husband will be the Head of the home. I will love a man who will get involved in every aspect of our home life, but I don't see myself insisting on 50-50 (unless time and work demands it). What I mean is I don't think I'll wake up and say "hunny the house is dirty please go and sweep" or "Please quickly rush to the market and buy things for ofe onugbu". Of course there are times I will need him to do these things but I think that these are my responsibilities as a wife and mother. This is the way I saw my parents live, till date. (When mummy can't, daddy gladly goes to the market, cooks the food, etc). And it works just fine, so I don't see myself straying from that path. I'm old-fashioned like that. So I wonder, does this detract from my feminism?
And back to Chimamanda's refusal to answer Mrs, and bear her husband's name, that is entirely her decision and I believe it's well within her right. Society and tradition should not dictate certain things and this is one of those things.
Even though this is not a line I'm certain I myself will tow, I applaud Chimamanda because it's these little, seemingly irritating acts that will ultimately serve to obliterate gender inequality.
Yet if there's one thing I'm certain I'll do its that I will raise my children equally. My sons will sweep and cook just like their sisters, they will do their laundry and clean up their own mess. They will all be raised to the same and equal standards. The girls will be trained to be good, hardworking women/wives and the boys will be raised to be good, hardworking men/husbands. Both in and out of the home.