F for Feminism Episode 4 Pt. 2 (T-Z)

Image source: @nolly.babes//Instagram

Toxic Masculinity: Do you remember when Gillette released an ad telling men that they needed to do better and misogynists ran mad? Did I not tell you the quickest way to rile up a misogynist was to call him one? Didn’t I say it?

We can liken masculinity vs toxic masculinity to water.

After a long run, you feel thirsty for a glass of water. On your walk back home, you notice a swampy marsh opposite the lane that you’re walking on. Would you think about drinking from it? No. Why? Because toxic water is dirty and full of germs. No matter how thirsty you are, you would definitely only want clean water.

This is to say, masculinity on its own is not negative. It is not “under attack” as some may have you believe. But denying that extreme ideologies of what it means to be a “macho man”* has caused a lot of harm to women over the years is ahistorical at best.

*“My wife cannot work because I am supposed to be the sole provider.” and other stories.

Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF): In short, TERFs are feminists who do not “agree” that trans women are “real women”. They are also referred to as “gender-critics”. They believe cis-women including trans women in the feminist fight overrides the needs of “real women”.

Regardless of what angle they are coming from, be it science (focusing on the technicalities involved in the word “female”) or the infamous violence/restroom argument, one thing all TERFs have in common is the stance that while they do not want to have to be inclusive of trans women, of course they believe in trans women’s right to exist.

Perhaps one of the most notorious TERFs in Nigeria is Sugabelly. She has come under fire many time for her tweets attacking trans women, “If you think Transwomen are Women, you are only one thing: Delusional” (March 2017) and most notably her tweet that the T in LGBT should be dropped. Her argument and that of many TERFs ranges from “Trans women have male tendencies making them violent,” to “Women are always being asked to put their issues on the back burner for others,” to “Trans women are suffering from mental issues.”

One thing all TERFs always, unfailingly forget is: There is room for all of us.

Here is one of my favorite videos addressing the matter:

Transactional sex:

“Instead of make you work, you dey find Alhaji

Eh eh, she dey find Alhaji

You come turn your body to cash and carry.”

-Falz, “Talk”

Transactional sex refers to a sort of trade-by-barter arrangement where one person offers sexual favors (not limited to sex) in exchange for money, power etc.

Contrary to public opinion, transactional sex is not limited to the direct exchange that sex-workers engage in. Transactional sex can also be found in many heterosexual relationships.

Back in January 2019, Falz released his fiery album, Moral Instruction where he talked about a host of societal problems, including transactional sex. The greater Nigerian community praised him for “saying it like it is”:

There are many things interesting about Falz’s argument. First is the assumption that the person supplying the sexual favors is female, when Nigeria has a significant number of male sex-workers.

According to one study, “Fifty-six hotspots were identified in Kano, 38 in Lagos and 42 in Port Harcourt. On a given weekend night, Port Harcourt had the largest estimated population of MSM sex workers, 723 (95%CI: 594–892) followed by Lagos state with 620 (95%CI: 517–724) and Kano state with 353 (95%CI: 332–373)”

Source: https://www.jstor.org/stable/24362089?seq=1

When we talk of “runs girls”, it is with disdain. When we talk of young boys soliciting lonely married women, it is with raunchy jokes.

Second is the fact that in the nearly three-minute-long song, he made no jabs at the alhajis for soliciting these services. Remember it is a simple case of supply and demand.

It angers me that people who insult feminists all day and justify the patriarchy suddenly know the meaning of the word “objectification” when it comes to sex-workers.

I also find it amusing that Falz is so quick to righteously condemn sex-workers, yet he mentioned on Ndani TV’s TGIF show, “They [know] me so much there.” in response to “Never Have I Ever been to a strip club.”

Sex workers are selling commodities: sex et al., not their bodies.

Twitter feminist: This refers to a twitter user, almost always, if not always female, whose online presence mainly revolves around women’s lives and the destruction of the patriarchy.

My dear, if you think you fit into this category, expect to see yourself on the frontlines of Instablog very, very soon.

U

Under-representation: This refers to the domination of a certain field such as film or politics by a particular social group or race and the consequential lack of participation by other groups.

It typically occurs when the requirements of entry or progress within a field are unreasonable for a certain group of people.

Back in 2016, the Nigerian Senate rejected a gender equality bill. The bill, introduced by senator Abiodoun Olujimi, declared that women “shall not be subjected to inhuman, humiliating or degrading treatment” and “shall have the right to an equitable share in the inheritance of the property of her husband.” The bill also discussed political and property rights for women.

The senate rejected it, citing “religious beliefs”.

Is this outcome surprising when women only made up 7 out of 109 senate members, despite comprising about 50% of the population?

W

(Gender) Wage Gap: This is the under-employment of women simply because of their gender.

A lot of people are under the impression that the wage gap is a myth. But the numbers beg to differ:

According to this report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “If the pace of change in the annual earnings ratio continues at the same rate as it has since 1960, it will take another 40 years, until 2059, for men and women to reach parity.”

Source: https://iwpr.org/publications/annual-gender-wage-gap-2018/

Gender earnings ratio for full time workers from 1960–2018.

Studies also show that when more men populate a field, the average wage goes up, but when women populate a field, the average wage goes down.

The gender wage gap is tricky because it could be caused by many things other than one’s salary. Sometimes, it could be caused by family life. Many women do not advance in their careers because they spend so much time taking care of everybody else.

Brought to you by Tritima Achigbu and Sope Lartey.

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66% Nigerian, 33% Ghanaian, 1% vacuum. There are a million women in me that question the world.

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Sope Lartey

Sope Lartey

66% Nigerian, 33% Ghanaian, 1% vacuum. There are a million women in me that question the world.

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