African Feminism and the Social Media
The social media is a big space where you tend to view different opinions and thoughts of people around you. We have had debate whether the advantages are more than the disadvantages or the other way but some of us still believe in the strength and voice it has given so many people even though some tend to use the wrong way. Feminism is an everyday topic on social media and Africans tend to forget that African Feminism has been with us for years and not a topic of today. Let me divide females into girls, ladies and women. The girls representing the future, the ladies representing the present and the women representing the past. Now let us discuss African Feminism and Social Media as a Tool.
When you go to popular social platform like Twitter and search for “Feminism”, you tend to see different views about it. Many people don’t want to accept that it is real, some understand its real but don’t even know how it should be done. Feminism can be activism as long as the woman rights are put forward and no one is seen superior because they are born of whatsoever gender. African Feminism can be traced back to women like Funmilayo Ransome Kuti - who stood up against Patriarchy as at that period where no one wants to listen to any female. The mentality back then was that men are supreme and women should bow and tremble to them as the tradition and culture have structured it to be.
Now you are getting a clearer picture that African Feminism didn’t just start, take a look at Adelaide Casely-Hayford. She was a cultural Nationalist and Feminsit from Sierra Leone during the early 1900. Her works are all over the internet and you can look it up to know more about Feminism at that time. How about Huda Sharaawi from Egypt? She brought the consciousness of Feminism in Egypt and founded the Egyptian Feminist Union. The list of past African Feminists are endless and more are still emerging, it should be more than the news we read on blogs and more on Social Media where the presence of youths can be felt.
A look at the women, which I represent as the past and a constant question whether they have an idea about what feminism is. A look at an average woman and what you see or hear is culture, tradition and her religious beliefs. Subconsciously, most of them are feminist with their reasoning and way of life, they only need the right information to make them aware. Feminism shouldn’t be what we tell the ladies of today or the girls of the future, we need to school our mothers too. We need to liberate them if there is need for that. They are already joining the revolution by being active on Social Media platforms, this is the easiest way to get to them. Our parents shouldn’t be sending “This is Jesus” broadcast messages all over Whatsapp if they are properly groomed with the right information.
Imagine if the women can have a strong voice to fight against situations that are working against them. Women can be president too without the country or her home suffering for her current position, women can be C.E.Os and win funding for their start-ups to level with their male counterparts without any struggle. There is no term as “a man’s job” in the present state, any gender can take up any job or role. African women should stand up in the right group and understanding to take up positions their mothers ran from because of discrimination. We don’t need to say much, it is a wonderful time to be alive to witness the new rave of women taking good use of their position to fight for Women’s rights and shed light on the negative impressions people have against them.
Recently, Kiki Mordi worked with BBC Africa to unravel the sexual harassment ladies go through in the hands of African lecturers. This is what we want to see all over social media instead of young men objectifying ladies because of a situation or another. To the ladies of the present state, you need the proper understanding of Feminism and not do it the wrong way. We can see the wrong notions over, take a time and understand how it should be done. Don’t lose anything worth it because you are doing it the wrong way. Your opinions can be strong and still be heard. Take time to know where you stand, we all can’t be a feminist. On social media today, we have seen the misconception of Feminism and it is making it hard to drive at its goal in Africa. There are so many articles online that can help or books from African Feminists such as Jennifer Nansubuga from Uganda, Chimamanda Adichie from Nigeria, Yvonne Owuor from Kenya. They will put your head in the right place for you to understand fully.
A copy of Adichie’s book was given to young girls in Sweden to learn about Feminism – gender equality. This means our girls of future, should also learn about Feminism. We can raise an army of African Feminists that will drive the goal into the net. Gender equality doesn’t mean women want to take all over the world and render men useless, they just want to be taken serious. They don’t want to be discriminated or criticized or denied just because of their gender. We can use the social media platforms to voice out, educate and liberate women from these oppressions. Some African feminists have started the journey, the baton is in our hands now to continue with the cause. Informal education is where our mothers are very good, they should make use of the knowledge to feed their husbands and daughters. Let them know what truly feminism is. We have men who are 100% in support and it is because they are not threatened but liberated by the truth.