Friday, March 7, 2008
In commemoration with International Women's Day (IWD)
“All across the nation, all around the world, women are longing to be free
No longer in the shadow, forced to stay behind but side by side in through equality
So sing song for women all around let ring around and never never cease
So sing a song…. Equality, development and peace”.
I love this song with all my heart. It shows the essence of our struggle for equality and equity. I recalled reading my bible and I found in genesis 1:26-27 where God said male and female he created he them and gave (both male and female) dominion over everything on earth. What a total equality from God the Mighty Himself!
But some where along the way, God’s word was neglected; women were made to play a second role, to be a second fiddle, to be discriminated against, to forget their identities and essence, to be controlled and bullied. This is far away from God’s plan for humankind. Placing men and women side by side to dominate the world without one oppressing the other was God’s original plan from the creation of the earth.
But here we are, fulfilling our own desire and ignoring what it was from the beginning. God said so and He meant it. All the struggle fighters that are advocating for women rights are gender equality therefore are on the right track. God hate injustice. So, the freedom fighters are given greater assignment by God.
With all the awareness and unrelenting efforts from men and women advocating for equality in the society, it baffles me that a very vital area is still affected. A lot of people about 90% of Nigerian (my own statistic) still discriminate against women through their day to day derogatory statements/remarks made on women.
I have come across so many educated people with common derogatory statement against women. They say it without flinching! And even some of the educated people condemning discriminations against women in work place, in family and in society unknown to them, they play a vital role in derogatory remarks against women.
I believe that so many of this age long derogatory remarks that are stuck on women are borne out of stereotyping women which is part of discrimination known of, some of which are listed below:
Women are emotional Men are rational
Women cook Men participate in politics
Women take care of children
Women are inferior
Women Nag Men work outside the home
Men are superior
Men are factual
In our patriarchal Society, a lot of adults grew up with stuff in their heads that they were made to believe are true so is the derogatory statement that even women use on themselves without critical analysis of such remarks.
Below is some of the list of the typical and common derogatory remarks:
- You are a WOMAN better change your attitude because you will someday get marry
- A WOMAN has got an EXPIRY DATE either get marry on time or you lose!
- You are as CUNNING as a WOMAN
- Why are you CRYING like a WOMAN
- Women, they TALK and GOSSIP too much
- Why are you ARGUING with a WOMAN?
- You have to learn to ENDURE, aren’t you a WOMAN?
- WOMEN, you can NEVER PLEASE them.
- WOMEN are so USELESS.
- WOMEN, they will spend all YOUR MONEY on CLOTHES AND SHOES?
- WOMEN are too SENTIMENTAL.
- WOMEN, they are so TRIVIAL and IRRATIONAL
- Why are you WHINING like a GIRL?
- Why are you FIGHTING like a GIRL?
- Why did GOD CREATE WOMEN?
The above remarks/statements are not only derogatory, they are impolite and uncivilized and Aristotle a scholar of high standard partook in that remarks when he said that women had “inconclusive reasoning powers and that their nature was, for the most part, inferior”! If Aristotle could think women are inferior how would he believe he has equal rights with women if he could make such remark?!
Unfortunately Aristotle didn’t know better and he wrongly misinformed his disciples.
As we celebrate women at this year International Women’s Day and week, we need to bear in mind the need to re-orientate the society on dropping derogatory remarks tagged women with. For life without women is incomplete, for future without women is no future, for plans without women are not plans and above all women made men!
Oluwatoyin Ajao –Dawodu is a Project Coordinator, W.TEC.
For more articles visit www.w-teconline.org/blog
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