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I Am Not A Feminist

I wish that the moment a Nigerian woman opens her mouth and utters the words “I am not a feminist”, she would disappear and reappear as the fourteen year old sixth wife of a ninety year old man who insists on fucking her every day whether she likes it or not, with no employment prospects beyond domestic labour, ten children to feed, and nothing more than a primary school education.

Why would I wish such a horrible fate on (presumably) innocent Nigerian women who have done nothing to me?

Because, this, my dear Nigerian women is the alternative to the Feminism that you despise so much: Patriarchy.

Nigerian women are before all else, hypocrites par excellence.

If I had one kobo for every time I have heard a Nigerian woman with at least a Bachelor’s degree declare nervously “I am not a feminist o!” in the vicinity of Nigerian men, I would be so fucking rich I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.

Feminism has a bad bad reputation in Nigeria. Nigerian women love to claim to anyone who will hear that they are not feminists as if feminism were synonymous to being a genocide mastermind or some other equally appalling thing. It is then highly surprising that these same Nigerian women who deny feminism with all their energy have no problem availing themselves of all the benefits that feminism has to offer such as the freedom to pursue education, and to choose whom they will marry for themselves, the freedom to make as much money as humanly possible, to buy big cars, and build more houses than any sane person needs.

Arguably, Nigerian women on average have more advanced degrees than any other group of black women in the world but when it comes to feminism the number of Nigerian women that walk around with their heads so far up men’s asses that it’s almost impossible to comprehend the paradox they represent is unbelievable.

I am going to put forward a theory that some (or many) might disagree with. As far as I am concerned, it is true as the day is bright but you’re welcome to disagree.

I postulate that Nigerian women distance themselves from feminism because they want Nigerian men (of whom the vast majority are actively invested to some degree in upholding and perpetuating patriarchy) to like them.*

It really is that simple.

What I believe is really up for debate is the level to which Nigerian women are engaging in this behaviour consciously, and the level to which it is an unconscious strategy borne out of a need to survive in a society that so emphatically insists on valuing women not by their personal achievements but by the degree to which they are attached to a man and the perceived permanency of that attachment.

Nigerian women say they are not feminists because Nigerian men dislike and are threatened by feminism. In a country where a woman driving a large luxury car (say a Range Rover Sport) can be interrogated by a lowly security guard who demands to know “Which man bought this car for you?”, women have learned that if they want to be successful in securing a husband, they must toe the patriarchal line.

What then does “toeing the patriarchal line” mean for a Nigerian woman? Well the answer differs starkly depending on which rung of Nigeria’s viciously stratified social ladder you are on. For poor Nigerian women with limited education, submitting to patriarchy is every bit as bleak as you might imagine it to be.

This is typically what happens in rural Northern Nigeria where the vast majority of Nigeria’s poor and uneducated or under educated people live – little girls are married off to old men because men like tight pussies and the Right to Tight Pre-Pubescent Pussy is a God-given inalienable right just like the right to Life and The Pursuit of Happiness.

In wealthier or more educated parts of Northern Nigeria and in the rest of the country in general, the higher up the social ladder you climb, the more subtle and less brutal (but every bit as pernicious) the submission to patriarchy becomes.

Educated / Wealthy Nigerian women still want Nigerian Men to like them but they enjoy the finer things of life too much to give up their cushy freedoms and become cattle for the use of men like their poorer or less educated sisters so to get around this they pay lip service to patriarchy when inside many really hold feminist views.

Educated / Wealthy Nigerian women go about proclaiming they are not feminists yet all the benefits that they greedily reap are protected and were set within their grasp by their feminist families. Granted, these wealthy / educated / middle/upper class families are probably a whole bunch of feminism-deniers themselves but if they really were not feminists and truly supported patriarchy, they wouldn’t be churning out daughters with medical degrees, engineering degrees, advanced business degrees, successful businesses, and so on at the rate they currently are. They would have told their daughters long ago not to bother with education and to focus on being pretty so some nice old man would marry them when they were nine years old.

Clearly, this did not happen to the majority of women from wealthy / educated Nigerian families and in most cases, their families were in support of them furthering their education and having successful careers as well as amassing as much wealth, power, and property as they could possibly manage.

Instead for more fortunate Nigerians, the focus is on denying feminism as loudly as possible as long as they are not denied their feminism-derived benefits. These Nigerian women do not care that by doing this they are worsening the situation of the subsection of Nigerian women who actively suffer daily oppression from the Nigerian men in their lives.

Since most well educated Nigerian feminism-deniers are largely protected from the real brunt of living in a patriarchal society, they do not see any real need to challenge whatever relatively few and less serious vestiges of patriarchy that still exists in their lives ( such as the ubiquitous pressure in Nigerian society for Nigerian women to be married and child bearing before the age of 30, workplace sexism, or the rampant lookism evident in the hiring practices of Nigerian companies across the nation )

Because these Nigerian women (and they outnumber those Nigerian women who are unashamedly feminists by far) never challenge the misogynistic attitudes of Nigerian men on any real level, those Nigerian men who are involved in more vicious and crushing oppression of women feel very free to carry on as there no repercussions of any sort.

Why won’t police men in Nigeria automatically assume that brides maids returning from a friend’s wedding are prostitutes in spite of glaring evidence to the contrary? Why won’t security guards at public buildings feel emboldened to tell women wearing sleeveless tops that they are “indecently dressed” and bar them from entering a public building, access to which they have a right as Nigerians? Why won’t rape in Nigeria be so grossly under-reported when articles written by male Nigerian journalists can declare in the headlines that an 11 year old rape victim “Liked” having sex with her attacker?

But then again, encroachments upon the rights of women only make headlines when they happen to wealthy educated Nigerian women. The millions of poor Nigerian women nobodies whose rights are violated every day by Nigerian men are too unimportant to be worth comment. The truth is, educated or wealthy Nigerian women have no perceived need for feminism because they never expect to be the victims of patriarchy.

Their thought process is:

It will always happen to some poor woman out in a hut in some God forsaken village in Sokoto, but it will never happen to me or any of my friends so it’s okay.

This is why it is national news when an upper class Nigerian girl gets raped or slapped or beaten or denied entry to some establishment. Because patriarchy isn’t supposed to really affect girls or women like that. They’re not oppressed, or at least, they amount of oppression that they have to tolerate from men at any given time is to be kept to the bare minimum and only expressed in the most genteel of ways.

Educated / Wealthy Nigerian women can be reminded that they are not getting any younger so they should soon get married but they are not to be beaten or prevented from getting their fourth PhD ever! That’s for poor women who are too stupid to go to university. Eyaaa!

So you see, as long as the patriarchy pill they have to swallow isn’t too big to go down, Nigerian women don’t need to be feminists because feminism chases husbands away and nobody wants to be the unmarried old maid being suspected of lesbianism at the school reunion. By pandering to the overinflated egos of Nigerian men, wealthy / educated Nigerian women can keep what freedoms they already have without having to work too hard at improving the lot of ALL Nigerian women.

Who needs feminism when you can convince the like-minded men of the upper classes to look the other way while you scale the corporate ladder and drive “manly” luxury cars in exchange for only being reminded once in a while that “you are just a woman” in a refined version of Oppression Lite?

The hypocrisy of wealthy / educated Nigerian women is especially sickening when one considers that their denial of feminism prevents poorer or less educated Nigerian women from being protected by the same rights and freedoms that their more fortunate counterparts have gleefully availed themselves of.

Dear Nigerian women, if you like to buy your own clothes, have your own bank account, make and spend your own money, marry the person of your choice, pursue your education to your heart’s content, build your own house and buy your own car, then whether you like it or not, YOU ARE IN SUPPORT OF FEMINISM. And many of you are already enjoying rights and freedoms that Feminism upholds and if following your claim that you “are not a feminist” you were asked to GIVE UP those rights and freedoms, you would all REFUSE.

So, cut the crap.

Nigerian men are not going to stop marrying you if you openly admit to being a feminist. The only way they can continue benefiting from the atmosphere of fear surrounding the feminism of Nigerian women in Nigeria is if Nigerian women continue to trade away some of their rights in exchange for acceptance in our patriarchal society.

Nigerian men keep winning because they they close ranks hard versus Nigerian women. Nigerian women in their unwillingness to be be seen as non-compliant by Nigerian patriarchy keep themselves fragmented and unable to forge the solidarity with their fellow women necessary to overcome patriarchal oppression in Nigeria once and for all.

Feminism is not a dirty word or something you should be ashamed of, and it’s not a movement by a bunch of white women in America that you can’t relate to either.

Feminism has existed four tens of thousands of years and is every much a part of our various cultures as our food or our languages.

Being Nigerian and being Feminist are not and have never been mutually exclusive. You are not trying to be American or white by saying you are a feminist, it’s not for women only, and reminding a feminist that they are “African” is bullshit and bollocks.

So, next time you get in your car and drive down the street, or go to the ATM and withdraw money from your bank account, or ask your boyfriend to wear a condom before you have sex or buy chingum from the mallam on your street without first asking permission from your father and your sixteen uncles, keep telling yourself you’re not a feminist.

You are not a feminist o!!

Yeah right.

*This is why 99.9% of Nigerian lesbians are feminists. ( I don’t have a source for this claim but I am yet to meet a Nigerian lesbian that denied she was a feminist. Conversely, I have met shitloads of cis-gendered, heterosexual Nigerian women who swore up and down for anyone who could hear that they were not feminists. )



There are 116 comments

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  1. Prism of an Immigrant

    *CLAPPING*

    Oh Sugabelly, you know I’ve always loved you and will always love you. This post is just aweseomeness raised to the infinity power! All Nigerian women should read this.
    However, I disagree with your premise that Nigerian women are antifeminist because they want to be viewed positively by men. I believe the underlying cause of the antifeminist views among Nigerian women—including wealthy/ educated women– is ignorance on what feminism really is. Sadly, the connotations for feminism in our culture are negatively associated terms such as lesbian, rebel, anti-men, bra burner, pervert, anti-culture, anti-religion. These meanings for feminism were created by men and perpetuated by our patriarchal media. You can’t blame women for not identifying as feminist when they believe a skewed interpretation of the word. If you are not a lesbian or anti-culture or religion, then why should you identify as feminist. I bet you would get a surprised reaction if you tell some Nigerian women that many of the privileges they enjoy today are the results of feminism.

    The blame for the anti-feminism lies at the feet of our religious leaders, educational systems, and everyone who knowingly perpetuates the skewed interpretation of feminism. The fault I see in our women is in failing to educate themselves about the subject. But it’s somewhat difficult for me to blame them for this. We tend to believe what we’re told is the truth, and we rarely conduct further investigations into things we don’t have a profound interest in. This is the reason why I believe it is the responsibility of those who know the truth about feminism to change the status quo by educating men and women about the subject.

    • Osho

      In other words, you’re either a feminist or a Patriarch? You can’t just regard women as your equal as a man without belonging to either cause? Do you think some feminists conveniently overlook some of the perks being a woman in Nigeria has to offer, or are there truly none?

      • sugabelly

        Nice try. If you regard women as equals, you are a feminist.
        And there are really no perks to being a woman in Nigeria.
        Wait until your next life when you come back as a Nigerian woman before concluding there are perks while ignoring the multitude of female Nigerian voices telling you they are suffering every day.

  2. Theodora Jacob

    I completely agree with you. Feminism to many Nigerian women simply means refusing to do everything a man says, therefore forfeiting your chances of becoming a wife. It really is a shame that many Nigerian women allow themselves to held under this belief and then wonder why some of them are maltreated in their relationships with men. Of course some Nigerian men will press their mumu button and do all sorts of rubbish that would never be tolerated in a place like the UK for example (e.g. beating the crap out of a woman for something as little as not putting enough meat in the soup – trust me, I’ve heard it happens). This post is so well written, I must say. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

  3. LadyNgo

    Sounds pretty accurate to me! I think its applicable to many women outside of naija as well. Also, i think that (at least from the american perspective) a lot of people don’t understand what feminism fundamentally is nor do they know what the difference between feminism and the feminist movement is…but that’s a whole other discussion.

  4. Prism of an Immigrant

    Okay, so I just read the post that probably made you write this response post, and I think that Bob-IJ’s response to your comment, which I have copied below, clearly exemplifies my point.

    Bob-IJ’s comment:
    “I just never ‘considered’ myself to be one. And it’s not my intention to insult any movement towards revolution. I have merely not educated myself on the elements of feminism and therefore do not feel like I’m a knowledgeable enough about it to actually claim it.”

  5. leggy

    i do agree with you. but i think that the reason why most nigerian women don’t claim the title is because they don’t know enough about it. all they know about feminism is the whole anti-men, anti-fashion, anti-pretty much everything. i think education is really the way to go about this.

  6. CherryWine

    I completely agree with the ‘locked in an ivory tower with my fingers in my ears’ interpretation of being a feminist. I however do not agree with the comments stating that women are just not educated enough about what being a feminist entails. This is a general Nigerian reaction to anything we find displeasing. We tend to look the other way and begin to thank God that it is not happening to us. We can certainly do better as a group in this country.
    You are certainly right about men disliking women who express some feminist views. I went for an interview last week for a commercial law position. During the interview the managing partner of the firm, highly educated with all the polish in the world and his family safely stowed away in the UK, noticed some articles I’ve had published, scrunched his nose up and said to me ‘these your articles on ‘women affairs’, how does that tie in with commercial law and I hope it won’t affect performance’. I had to laugh. I then went on to explain that, constitutionally, I reserve the right to express pro-women views and get them published but I will do my job to the fullest extent of my ability while I’m on the clock. The views I express outside of that should not affect my performance. This is a classic example of a man thinking you are a troublesome person when you express any pro-women views. SMH.

  7. leggy

    @cherrywine, women are not educated about what feminism entails in nigeria cos all they see is the extreme of it. anti-man, anti-fashion. at least my friends i talked about it with after i had read this article expressed the fact that that was all they knew about feminism while they were in nigeria. the only reason i knew explicitly what feminism is is because my dad has 5 girls and did not want us to go through life in nigeria feeling inferior. saying that education is needed is not the same thing as looking the other way and praying to God. education is knowledge. i know even educated women whose concept of what they think feminism is is definitely skewed. talking about education in nigeria is a valid option of what road to take. not everyone who lives in nigeria has the money or privilege to study abroad and many more do not have access to formal education at all, feminism isn’t just for the rich. so yes, education is a legit way to correct the problem in nigeria.

    • CherryWine

      Why are people saying feminism in Nigeria like it is a different genre of feminism? You don’t go to school to learn how to be a feminist. You don’t even need to label it. Feminism to me has never been about education or fashion, it is about being empathetic to the plight of fellow women. Identifying with their struggles. No one has asked any one to burn their bras or grow out their leg hairs to indicate they are down with the ‘movement’. You don’t need an education for empathy. It helps in terms of learning how to bring your issues to the fore but an uneducated woman can care and make a difference in her own way. That was the point I was trying to make. I am not sneering at the need for education but it starts with basically just caring instead of the ‘not my problem’ attitude a lot of folks tend to adopt.

    • leggy

      actually you just made sugabelly’s point. many women in nigeria do care about their fellow women’s plight in life, sugabelly’s point is that many of these women clearly support the points of feminism but do not want to be labelled as one because of the negative connotations of feminism in nigeria. feminism is not just being emphatic actually towards the plight of women, it’s actually doing something about it. so your definition is definitely skewed. if a man is beating his wife and i feel sorry for her and empathize and comfort her without telling her to get out of the relationship because i’m not educated and do not know my options other than being a wife and the stigma that divorces still have in nigeria. of course i’m going to empathize and leave it at that. one thing nigerians do not lack is empathy. education and school on the other hand gives a woman options, better ways of caring for herself, lets her be independent of men. so maybe you do not need to be educated to be a feminist but being educated sure gives you more options to that freedom that feminism affords.

  8. Amanda Martins

    Chineke meee…Oh Sugarbelly!(what a name by the way).This is by all means a great read.I honestly submit that I couldn’t be bothered about the whole point of feminism.I consciously denied claims by my male friends that I am a feminist.This,has in more than one way repositioned my orientation on the subject very emphatically.
    Meanwhile I fell in love with your very lucid explanation on traditional names.Following you now,please follow me.

  9. The experiences of an achiever.......

    Ha ha @Prism!! Trouble dey sleep, yanga go wake am.

    But I do agree with Prism and LadyNgo.

    I think many Nigerian women dissociate from feminism because they have no idea what it truly means and media has painted it as rebellious and unreligious.

    You should have seen the insults I got when I once posted “I am feminist” on my facebook wall. One boy went as far as saying, “America had changed me and he thought I was Christian” *rme

    I had to take the time to explain what feminism meant to men and women alike.

  10. Myne Whitman

    Great post, and I agree completely with it. The truth is that a lot of us educated Nigerian women know for sure or up to a point what feminism at its core is about but we chose to accept the male definition of it as an extreme just so as not to ruffle male feathers or our chances of getting married. Conformity is the order of the day in Nigeria, and especially for women who have marriage/the lack of it held over their heads like the proverbial sword of Damocles.

  11. MPB

    This was a great post because it made me think. I have never identified myself as a feminist but like many have hypothesized above, it was because i associated feminism with extreme things. But the way you explained how I and other women have reaped the gifts of feminism made me reconsider. I do believe women should pursue higher education and other dreams so wow…I am feminist. Awesomeness. Now I am interested in seeing what happens if I get into a situation where I can admit that in front of men to see if I indeed get a negative reaction 🙂

    • sugabelly

      I’m really glad the post made you think. That’s why I wrote it. I think the denial of feminism in Nigeria by Nigerian women isn’t done on any malicious scale at all. Like others have said, feminism has a bad reputation and many women distance themselves from it to avoid a perceived stigma.

      What’s important is that now, women begin to think critically about this situation and question how their denial affects all Nigerian women as a whole.

  12. Anonymous

    Sugabelly you sound very angry and frustrated with life. I completely disagree with your views on Nigerian women. I don’t know what part of Nigeria u r from but u over generalized and misrepresented facts. I know many Nigerian women of the modern era who their men love for their intellect not their physical appearance! Please stop perpectuating your frustrations as fact!

    • Anonymous

      You are free to disagree with the thoughts Sugabelly expresses in her post. However, your attempt to discredit her post by calling her angry and frustrated is low. You claim that she is perpetuating her frustrations as fact but your rebuttal to this is that “YOU know many Nigerian women of the modern era who bla bla bla”? Really? We can also say that your supposed knowledge does not count as credible fact. I had assumed this was obvious, but I’ll write it anyway. This is a personal blog, ergo, the blogger will state their personal opinion. This is not a research paper. Let’s not over-dramatize and start to ask for sources and other evidence of fact. Because you know of women who do not suffer from a problem does not mean the problem does not exist. Also, your post shows you have a very limited understanding of patriarchy. Educate yourself.

    • Anonymous

      @annonymous Aug 31, thanks for your response. very well said. I had a smug smile @ “…this is not a research paper…”. Ha ha.

      And @annonymous Aug 30, seems you are the frustrated one here. I still don’t get the correlation between Sugarbelly’s post on feminism and your statement: “I know many Nigerian women of the modern era who their men love for their intellect not their physical appearance!”

  13. N.I.L (Naijamum in London)

    This is an interesting post but I do think you generalised a bit – Nigerian women do not deny they are feminists because of Nigerian men.

    Feminism – as a concept and movement – is not singly defined. There a various permutations and ideologies – liberal; radical; conservative; black; separatist/lesbian feminists etc all hold differing ideas about what female empowerment should be.

    However, a lot of women feel all feminists are radical or lesbian feminists so they disassociate themselves from that title. I grew up around strong Nigerian women who fought hard for women’s rights but at the same time acknowledged the fact that men still have a role to play in society and within the family. They were traders, politicians, herbalists, nurses and teachers who sometimes brought up children single handedly.

    Men still have a role to play in society and any society that emasculates all its men and masculinizes all its women will have issues with gender balance.
    I consider myself a feminist because I believe in equal rights for women. However, I still believe men have a role to play. We should not demonise men.

    • sugabelly

      This is my point. Too many Nigerian women automatically associate feminism with “emasculating men and masculinizing women”.

      Of course men have a role to play in society, a role that is only equal to and not greater than the role that women have to play in society.

      What exactly is “masculinizing” a woman? Is a woman who is in control of her life, her reproductive choices, her money, her property, and freedom masculinized????

      A lot of Nigerians seem to think so. And if Nigerians think so, then what does that tell us? That it is only the lives of men that are important and it is only men who are important enough to control and direct their lives without being questioned.

      Women who attempt to do the same must face the accusation of “behaving like a man!” or being “masculinized”.

      Whatever “role” people play in society should never be limited or automatically assigned because of their biological sex. Gender is a very subjective thing. What gender means differs greatly from society to society so when Nigerians try to cling to “male roles” and “female roles” I have to laugh.

      Only hundred years ago, the gender roles of Igbo men would have made some modern day Nigerians wonder if they were gay or women. The gender roles of Igbo women (sole breadwinner for the family and absolutely in charge of all the family’s money and finances) would have made modern day Nigerians wonder if they were men.

      Why are Nigerian men afraid of women who do the SAME things that they do without apologising for being a woman?

      And why do so many Nigerian women support Nigerian men in their oppression of women?

      It’s not enough that there are strong Nigerian women out there who fought for women’s rights. We’re still fighting and if the mentality of Nigerian women today is any indication, we’re on the losing side.

    • Anonymous

      Well said! Many young girls on this blog have a lot to learn. You can be educated and still respect your man (Nigerian or otherwise!). I’ve been married to close to 10yrs now to a Nigerian man. We are both professional in our respective fields (legal & finance). Although I was raised in west, I still consider myself a strong Nigerian woman. So, no Sugabelly I’m not frustrated but proud to consider myself an educated Nigerian woman.

    • sugabelly

      But did I say you were frustrated?

      Consider this.

      While respecting human beings is obviously a good trait, how many Nigerian men would leave a comment similar to the one you just left with a statement like “You can be educated and still respect your woman (Nigerian or otherwise!)” ?

      I’m willing to wager, close to zero.

      Nigerian men DO NOT have dilemmas about how to balance their lives and careers with maintaining a semblance of “respect” for the women they are in relationships with. They simply live their lives and expect Nigerian women to take it like that.

      That only Nigerian women are the ones constantly asking themselves this question, shows that Nigerian men have Nigerian women right where they want them: On a leash with a collar and a name tag.

    • Anonymous

      It seems you or someone close to you had a bad experience with a Nigerian man and you formed an opinion that will not waver. No one is disputing the fact that men do not face the same dilemma’s as women. Your blog was about how Nigerian women hide their intellect or feminist views just to get a Nigerian man. I’ve yet to meet these women, this is not to say they don’t exist. My issue with your blog besides the fact you lumped every Nigerian in this category is that those not familiar with Nigerian culture with take this as fact! Women from all parts of the world are fighting for equality and we should be careful in choosing our words especially when written for public viewing.

    • sugabelly

      @Anonymous 4:25 AM : First of all, I’m going to ignore your idea that I cannot talk about something on my blog without it being because “I had a bad experience” and now have an axe to grind.

      Let’s examine your other statement.
      You are worried that people who are not familiar with Nigerian culture will take this as fact yes?

      Well, ANYONE who reads something on a blog, or ANYWHERE for that matter, and automatically decides that it must be a fact for every. single. member. of the population is either not intelligent enough for you to be worried about, or is a very small child (who in which case should not even be on the internet in the first place).

      I’m not going to assume that everyone that reads my blog has a university degree, but I think it’s safe for me to assume that a significant proportion of the people that read my blog are educated and intelligent enough to critically analyse what they read, question it, compare it to contrary experiences and formulate a position on it.

      I’m also going to assume that a good portion of the people that read my blog have sufficient English language fluency to understand that in the English language, a statement like “Nigerians have curly hair” means “Most Nigerians have curly hair, but not all Nigerians may have curly hair”

      The long and short of this is, people from other parts of the world are not stupid so stop worrying about them as if they are too daft to understand that Nigerians are as varied as anyone else on earth.

      I’m not going to censor my views on what happens in Nigeria just so you can rest assured that foreigners don’t have a bad view of you or Nigeria.

      Guess what? Some FUCKED UP shit happens in Nigeria on a daily basis and if me talking about it embarrasses you as a Nigerian then maybe we as Nigerians should STOP doing that shit instead of panicking that it might damage our PR.

    • Anonymous

      And you say you are not angry or have an axe to grind. Regardless of their educational training, many westerners do not know that Nigerians comprise of various tribes and different religions. Coming to the US as a child, I have spent some twenty something years and yes my colleagues some of whom are educated at Ivy league university do not know the difference between the Igbo tribe or the Yoruba or Hausa tribe. So as much as you are free to espouse your opinion in your blog, I would hope you as an educated woman will try to educated those not privy or informed about Nigeria as a whole. Many westerners still think that Africa is a country and not a continent. What blog seems to do is bash Nigerian men. Btw, my father a professor was not like the men you depict in your blog nor are my uncles or in-laws! Also, try to exercise some control with your choice of words “F…K Up” seems to show some level of immaturity. We can agree to disagree without reducing to using juvenile language. As much as horrible act happen in Nigeria, I doubt it’s worse in places like say Afghanistan where the Taliban will make a woman marry her rapist all in the name of honor.

    • sugabelly

      So, because your father and your personal family members are not like that, suddenly all the Nigerian men who are like that don’t exist?

      I can use whatever words I please. Just because you don’t like the words I use does not mean they are childish or immature. That is your personal view but it’s not mine. This is my blog and I am free to write in whatever manner makes me happy.

      And we are not playing Oppression Olympics here. Oppression is not a zero sum equation. The fact that there is terrible oppression in Afghanistan does not in any way diminish the oppression in Nigeria.

      As a Nigerian, I am concerned with the oppression happening to Nigerian women in my country. Whether foreigners can tell the difference between Nigerians or not is not really my business. It should not stop us from having the conversations about ourselves that need to be had.

      Since you are at least twenty (or at least this is what I have deduced from your comment), I am sure you are well aware that knowing of an exception does not invalidate the rule.

      There are ten Nigerian men who will happily beat the living daylight out of a woman for every single “your father”, “your uncle”, and “your in-law” that exists.

    • Anonymous

      I had more respect for your art before you wrote the above pubescent comment, “this is my blog, I can write whatever I want…” You treat this as like it’s your personal diary. Here in the US many Americans are slowly realizing although one has free speech, speech is not free instead it has consequences. I would hope you wrote this blog to have an intelligent dialog to exchange ideas about the plight of women. The same premise also applies for those ignorant i men that take out their anger or frustrations on women there are men who don’t behave like animals my plea that you don’t generalize whether in defense liberal or radical feminism. Just for the record i consider myself a liberal feminist but before i undermine women who choose not to identify with the terminology i have to consider their religious or tribal upbringing. As we progress as a country progressive Nigerian men will not feel threatened by a women who identifies with feminism. We have a way to go before we achieve this task. Bashing one another I can tell you does not help the issue! Nor does a few bad apple spoil the bunch.

  14. Anonymous

    ha sugabelly!!! biko take five!
    see eh this your post got me thinking o! I understand where you are coming from….but please o i’m asking you to stop the swearing..I know that you are passionate about what you discuss but when those “words” are added it just fizzles down the impact of the message you are trying to pass across. for what you know someday this blog could put you on the international scene as an arts/culture correspondent and you would not want to taint your professionalism because of the words used. Sorry if i sound harsh but I think it will be beneficial….
    sincerely, a big fan!

  15. Lady Jaye

    Interesting post.

    and of course I am late tot he party, but lemme add my two pesewas anyway.

    I used to be one of those women who used to ssay “I am not a feminist” because I associated the term with radical feminism. I have since stopped saying that. I am not a radical feminist, but I am very firmly a feminist.

    However, I realize that my outlook on life and opinions and behaviors, even back when I was claiming at the top of my voice that I am not a feminist, WERE feminist. I am currently reading a few books about women who did not consider themselves feminist, and said so, but in their actions, lives, and opinions, challenged very many patriarchial positions.

    Sometimes it takes a while to realise we are actually protesting too much, and that we are what we claim we are not.

    It still doesn’t change the fact that your post is true though!

  16. Anonymous

    Sugabelly is just a child finding her way in this world. She has by her own personal accounts had it bad with men and in some cases was abused by them. There is way too much angst emanating from her, and she definitely isn’t a representation of a true feminist as she craves the attention of men so desperately and needs it for validation. But that’s besides the point…

    My first question to her is what is the definition of feminism? And who started this movement and why?
    Some people scream feminism and girl power and i just shake my head in utter disgust, as it is clear they think it is some kool thing to say because it makes one look strong and ‘super ‘ woman.
    Feminism is a dying fallacy, so you guys should get with the freaking programme. Helping your fellow woman or fighting for women’s rights is not being feminist. How many of you spouting here help your fellow women, or are part of a movement that effects change? Most of your feminist attitude is always anti-men and targeted at men – a group whom by all means the likes of sugabelly will kill for their attention, love and respect should she get it so easily. You chastise Nigerian women for not proclaiming to be feminist because they are scared… seriously, what planet do you live on? And how for heavens sake are you being your ‘sisters keepers’ which such extreme and damning conclusions.
    It is in your best interest to understand that not all women are in the business of proving their equality to men, same as not all men are patriarchal or chauvinist. Some people by nature are subservient and happy to just love and serve their husbands. You presume that they are oppressed and unhappy as a result.Wrong! I think we know those who need ‘liberation’ – and you are one of them.Release yourself from this angst and hatred as the world owes you nothing. Stop attacking women and do something more positive like start a movement to help the women going through a lot in Nigeria as opposed to condemning them. Attack is not always the best form of defence. What exactly is your issue here? You want all Nigerian women to start claiming feminism?
    I’m sorry but i will fight for the right of each individual be it man, woman or child whose rights are being violated or trampled on. And on such occasion where a certain group is being oppressed i’ll rather set up or join positive group whose focus is to effect positive change and enlighten those who are being oppressed or are ignorant as opposed to calling them out in this fashion.

    Feminism (today)is the equivalent to male chauvinism.It has since served it’s purpose. Stop pursuing a feminist agenda as women/girl don’t ‘run the world’ (Beyonce’s mantra) but humans do. I am humanist!

    I’m tired of bitter women coming here to write absolute crap they understand nothing of. And you Sugabelly are the worst kind of woman hater, the sort to always put her woman down. If it is not about her being at an advantage because she is light skinned, then it is about her having weave to look oyibo etc… what is so empowering about all these petty talks that only serves to divide? Must every woman be feminist? Is everyone an activist? It takes only a few people to liberate others, like Emmeline Pankhurst the famous feminist that fought for women to vote in England, like Martin Luther King did for black America and Mandela for black South Africa. They motivated people to rise up and join the movement.

    Please leave people be. And someone above tells you her dad and the men around her are not so and you want to shut her down. Crazy things happen everywhere and it is up to those who can to stand up and liberate the others and not condemn those who lack the stomach for that kind of fight.
    Now make we hear word abeg.

    • sugabelly

      This is probably the funniest comment on this post so far. So I will kill for male attention huh??

      Nice try. You’d make a great fiction writer.

      You are confusing the recent feminist movement with feminism in general. This post refers to feminism in general which every woman who enjoys her freedom is a part of whether she admits it or not.

      Issues like preference for light skin, the damaging effects of European hair aesthetics on Africans and so on are not “petty talks that only serve to divide”. They are serious issues that continue to impact the collective self esteem of black women around the globe so I’m sorry if that seems to unimportant and “negative” for you.

      I’m sure left to you everyone would be sitting in a circle with their heads buried in the sand and their fingers stuffed in their ears singing la la di la la and pretending that racism and sexism and colourism and lookism don’t exist or will just go away if you ignore them long enough.

      As you indicated that you are tired of people talking about these things here, thank God noone is forcing you to come all the way to my little blog to read about these unpleasant matters.

      You came here of your own free will no?

  17. Anonymous

    I am sorry, but this new feminist movement exists only in your angst ridden head. I am not feminist and will never be. I am a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need such silly labels and won’t be sucked into it because it is populist as I am not populist.
    This freedom you speak of has been happening from time immemorial with women and men alike fighting for liberation. I don’t believe in burying your head in the sand but in the same vein I don’t believe in people spouting feminist crap just for the sake of it.
    In all you rants, I see nowhere you have taken positive steps to liberate or enhance the lives of these down trodden oppressed women, I only see misguided condemnation and infantile reasons why you think Nigerian women dissociate themselves from such labels
    It’s a wonder you won’t find strong successful women like Hilary Clinton attaching such labels to their names as they have no need for that. We are equal beings and with the right determination we can spearhead our future. The feminist movement of old was necessary & has served its agenda. It’s still a struggle to be a woman today, but it’s not by acting as tho we are in competition with men that proves our worth.
    I have worked for human rights organisations and I fully understand gender issues especially in countries like ours. You cannot begin to understand what women face if your solution is for them to be screaming feminism! That solves nothing!

    You have to look for positive ways to influence govt policies, to educate and enlighten the populace both make and female instead of spouting feminist rubbish

    You can make loud proclamations of being feminist & write eloquent tenses & condemn the subdued or subservient woman who doesn’t buy into your crap, but that means nothing except you stand up like the Emmelune Pankhurst of this world who did not busy herself condemning her fellow women but chose to act by liberating them. As I said earlier, it takes a few people to liberate many an example is Jesus and hos 12 disciples and look how many Christians we have today. And because of Emmeline Pankhurst women had a right to vote.

    But what does sugabelly do? Condemn those she wants to convert/liberate without even explaining to them or giving them an understanding as to why they should attach their names to some dying label that is feminism. Carry on ranting, when you are ready to stop behaving like an angst ridden infantile bitter woman, then you’ll understand why people set up human rights & charitable organisations to help defend the oppressed & less privileged in society as opposed to condemning a whole group of women who may not share your views whatever reason.

  18. Anonymous

    Spoken from a mature educated sister! Please let’s leave this small pikin alone she still has a lot to learn hope before she turns into a bitter old woman.

  19. Princessandthepea

    All the comments from Anonymous are truely hilarious! Sugabelly you’ve definitely struck a nerve with this post.

    The squealing protestations of arrogant privileged nigerians who identify so strongly with patriarchy, and dismiss of the suffering of their poorer sisters whilst enjoying the benefits of past brave women’s struggle, sweat and activism, make me laugh. The truth hurts don’t it?

    Seriously though, this post is an eye opener for a lot of people. The truth is that many Nigerian women, identify so strongly with misogynistic men, that other women’s suffering means little.

    They do feel for their own suffering of course and possibly that of their close relatives & associates: mothers, sisters, aunties, friends etc but are happy to throw other women to the wolves.

    What they don’t understand is that this attitude is the actual source of female disempowerment in the world. Because when women act together and support each other, we can make mincemeat of male oppression.

    The truth is all the supposed male power that we fear so much is really a mirage. It’s actually underpinned and supported by the inner belief that most women have in an innate male superiority.

    Destroy that belief, and all the other structures start to fall.

    It actually women who police patriarchy. Just like poor working class people working as police/armies etc protect the privileges of the rich from the depredations of the rest of the poor masses. The same system is in place with patriarchy. Male authorities toss a few crumbs to some women, who then fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo.

    • Anonymous

      Hahahaha, Your post is hilarious!

      I see like sugabelly has, you have chosen to attack your fellow women and worse you have singled out a group of women and believe they’ve colluded with menfolk to oppress other women, right?

      I see like sugabelly your idea of feminism is to prove your worth to men, you are obviously in competition with men. Some of us aren’t interested in that as i find that the likes of you and sugabelly do more harm to the womenfolk than the men do.

      And the generalist approach you guys have chosen reveals your immaturity and age. Poor men!

    • Princessandthepea

      Yes, poor poor poor men! God knows they desperately need all your sympathy.
      All the suffering women out there, can of course fend for themselves because you’re right, it’s the menfolk that need really your protection, Anonymous.

      Good luck in your mission of saving them from the abuse and oppression they’ve been suffering for millenia at the hands of all those evil feminists in Nigeria!!

      So don’t hold back, just go to it and fight on their behalf like the good guard dog that you are. Maybe when you’ve finished savaging those women who have the temerity to stand up for their rights, your male owners might toss you a bone!

    • Anonymous

      You my dear are a prime example of the term ignorance is bliss! You fail to comprehend any sensible argument made above. Who exactly is defending men??? The argument was that sugabelly’s blog is full of generalizations and falsehoods. Stop having such a myopic view of Nigerian women! I know many Nigerian women who do not have formal education or financial wealth & still do not fit the image painted. If one does not buy your false argument then in your small world they must support patriarchy. Seriously open your mind as your limited view of Nigetian women only hinders how far we’ve come in this world!

  20. mellowyel

    Sugabelly, you get the highest of fives for this.

    I think it’s telling that many of our anonymouses are focusing on the smaller, inconsequential things in this post (she’s young, she’s angry, she’s using general language) as opposed to the important, primary point, which is that women in Nigeria enjoy privileges that movements to protect women’s rights have given them, while simultaneously distancing themselves from those movements. I mean, you have to agree that even if this isn’t a great societal ill like poverty or AIDS, it’s disingenuous, at the very least.

    I would like to respond to some of these dissenters. First of all, age has nothing to do with it. Neither does foul language. A use of expletives in order to express how someone feels about a thing doesn’t equate to immaturity. If that was the case, anyone who swears and is older than 25 should have their adult card revoked, abi? Focusing on age and “maturity” is the kind of thinking that prevents young people from getting involved in important conversations, and prevents us from moving forward. If your ten-year old child wrote this article, would you say the same thing? If so, I am deeply saddened, because you prevented your child from being an active force for good and speaking up at injustice. Often the young can see better than the old, because they’re not yet burdened by the harsh realities of life. Again, age has nothing to do with it.

    Secondly, there seems to be a pervasive idea that strong emotions like anger and frustration have no place in dialogue about serious issues. People aren’t allowed to be upset at things anymore. Either we should “take things less seriously”, or simply leave our emotions at the front door. But this, I think, is unfair, because it takes the humanity out of conversations. I am human, and I feel, and I react to things that upset me. If I cannot react or respond to things that I think are wrong, I lose my power to speak from my own experience and point out why things are wrong and why things need to change. This issue may not be as important to our anonymous colleagues here, but to many, including Sugabelly, myself, and other commenters, this IS something to be upset and frustrated about.

    It is those women who have benefited from progress in society that should turn around and lift up those who have yet to reach our level (Michelle Obama said it very well in her speech at the DNC this week). We should not be complacent, sit back and be happy that we’re not like Afganistan or whatever other country. Also, being a more civilized nation, so to speak – I believe that your comment about Afghanistan was to that effect – does not mean that bad things don’t still go on that need to be addressed. For example, in a certain state in the US, a woman gave birth to a child conceived by rape. And now the father – the rapist – is seeking custody of that child. So much for progress, right?

  21. mellowyel

    It is those women who have benefited from progress in society that should turn around and lift up those who have yet to reach our level (Michelle Obama said it very well in her speech at the DNC this week). We should not be complacent, sit back and be happy that we’re not like Afganistan or whatever other country. Also, being a more civilized nation, so to speak – I believe that your comment about Afghanistan was to that effect – does not mean that bad things don’t still go on that need to be addressed. For example, in a certain state in the US, a woman gave birth to a child conceived by rape. And now the father – the rapist – is seeking custody of that child. So much for progress, right?

    If you are focusing on grammatical/technical issues like generalizations, then you are simply looking for a reason to disagree with the post. We all want to read good things about Nigeria in the media, but if no-one airs the dirty laundry, it will never get washed. You take offense because it paints Nigeria in a bad light, but if you’re honest with yourself, you know that Nigeria still has a long way to go, and focusing only on the positive and only writing happy thoughts is simply not going to fix anything. I do hope that our anonymous colleagues are now thinking of how they can make a difference in their communities, as they have so fervently urged us to do. It would be a shame if you spouted your righteous anger on the internet, and then ignored the mother with the small child who asks you for change on the street.

    Most importantly, please do not be oblivious to the implications of your language. God put two kinds of people on this earth – male and female. Males still have the advantage – one of you mentions you work for human rights organizations, so technically you should know this. That, for example, globally, women still earn over 20% less than men occupying the same positions, and are still outnumbered in the leadership of businesses and governments? If you are saying feminism is no longer necessary, you are saying that our problems are solved, that there is no longer anything to fight for – that women no longer struggle simply because they are women. I know you don’t believe this is true, why so opposed to feminism? If anything, you are the one who seems frustrated and are only responding because some personal experience scarred you. Perhaps you were insulted by a feminist and never got over it?

    Finally, I’m pretty sure that if you ask Hilary Clinton, she’ll tell you that she’s a feminist and proud of it.

    • Anonymous

      Mellow, no Hilary does not identify as a feminist. I worked on her campaign, ask her she’ll let you know. If you know anything about her, most FEMINIST crucified her when she chose to stay with Bill after the Monica scandal. This is where you and Sugabelly are misguided. Michelle Obama I’ m sure does not identify as a feminist. If you listened to her speech this week to re-elect her husband her most important roll is Mom-in-Chief and she graduated from Harvard and was Barack’s boss before they got married. If you hear anyone who knows her talk she’s smarter than him too! Yet with all her educated and experience as an attorney all she wants to be is a Mom. Some women are content with that. She gave a very powerful speech praising her husband Barack but according to you & Sugabelly’s flawed theory on feminism she’s reaping the rewards of feminism. Whether you choose to stay at h

    • Anonymous

      Whether you choose to stay at home or in the workforce it does make you any less of a woman because you don’t identify with feminism. Pound your chest all you want while proclaiming your feminism I hope it serves you well. One can be independent woman who is proud of he man without promoting patriarchy. Many women in search of themselves use feminism as a crutch, good luck with that. To address the foul language there’s a time & place for everything. I don’t know where in the world you reside but here in the US many people become famous over a blog like this so as I cautioned Sugabelly if you cannot engage in intellectual discourse without using juvenile language you will go very far! If plan to be a rapper or singer that’s another thing. Curse all you want in the privacy of your home or friends but be careful what you put on the Internet. I know many people who have lost opportunity over what they posted on Facebook or said on twitter! Times have changed!! Moreover i still maintain it show lack of control & immaturity! I promote my fellow women but it will not me from praising my fellow men. To survive we all need each other and can learn from each other! Good luck I will no longer respond to any comments as this clearly a waist of my time! Burn your bras, pound your chest, fight your men, hope it serves you well. I choose to emulate Hilary & Michelle and be independent woman who will uphold her strong man as it takes nothing from me as I’m ver secure as person, hell as a woman. Cheers!

  22. Anonymous

    I said I wasn’t going to respond but this will be my FINAL comment. Btw, mellow & suga, I have nothing to prove to you. There’s a reason I respond as anonymous. Sugabelly you really are a confused young lady. You preach about feminism but post this on Facebook, “Anything less than ₦100,000 for bride price is indecent really.” I’m Igbo but raised in the US since the tender age of 7 and when I got married 10 yrs ago do you know what my parents said about bride price, “how archaic? we are not selling our daughter.” What an oxymoron you are!! You preaching about a movement you know nothing about yet here you are asking for a bride price. I say again all those misguided young girls out there please do not be let astray by this charlatan. Take your time and find who you are as a woman and as a individual. Embrace your gender with pride but do not let it dictate what you become. REALLY, will not comment any further. I will continue to follow you to see if there’s any maturity exhibited but will not respond. Good luck, you have potential but a lot to learn my dear. Time will tell. Cheers.

    • sugabelly

      It takes an astounding level of ignorance to equate bride price with selling a daughter. How sad that even today people who are so ignorant of their culture still exist. But then again, it’s not surprising.

    • Anonymous

      Lol @ sugabelly. You who has condemned the ‘subservient’ naija woman who has clearly followed the dictates of her culture that her man is above her is holding on to an ‘archaic practice’ & justifying this practice as our culture? Since when?
      My dear you can’t pick & choose which cultural practice to uphold & which to discard.
      It’s a wonder that you are happy to put a price to your worth as a bride. This is the hallmark of a patriarchal society & no true feminist worth her salt will advocate such a useless practice. Do yo understand the reasoning behind that cultural practice? That you a humanbeing equal to any other will be bought like a slave or mere goods to be joined to a man. I thought marriage was a meeting of souls, not sold to the highest bidder by putting a minimum prize of 100,000 naira to prove her worth. How debasing!
      These are the sort of practices true feminist who proclaim their equality to their male counterparts should be fighting against.
      And you dare to condemn women who simply just want to marry their men in peace & not interested in screaming feminism.
      I think you should relax and wait for your man to come & pay for your bride price, abi you have a masters? Do you? I hear it goes up to 500k if you have one. Lmao! Feminist indeed!

    • sugabelly

      Please stop displaying your ignorance. It’s because of people like you that don’t know the purpose of bride price that it has been exploited by equally ignorant and greedy people to become a money making device.

      And yes, your bride price SHOULD go up in relation to whatever accomplishments you have because the point of Ngo (that’s what it really should be called not the erroneously named “bride price”) is to show the STATUS of the woman, her family, and her suitor.

      Low level of accomplishment in life = Low ngo.

      High level of accomplishment in life = High ngo.

      Ngo isn’t just about the woman, it’s also about the man. It simultaneously says the woman is a high status woman and the man is a high status man to be able to match such ngo.

      And you’ve again showed how culturally ignorant you are. First of all, Nigeria has hundreds of completely different cultures so how dare you say “in our culture women are subservient to men”?

      If in YOUR culture women are subservient to men, in mine they are not.

      Igbo women are not subservient to men. Igbo women are traditionally the BREADWINNERS of the family.

      Igbo men traditionally only produce and ensure the food supply, Igbo WOMEN traditionally MAKE THE MONEY. Igbo WOMEN traditionally determine whether the family is rich or poor. Igbo WOMEN make all the financial decisions so please if you don’t know anything about your culture go and learn first before coming here to talk rubbish.

      No woman is bought for any amount of money.

      And if you think that with your western wedding you weren’t doing something similar to being purchased you are out of your mind.

      If you collected an engagement ring from your husband, then you were “bought” with that ring, whatever its monetary value is.

      If you did not give your husband back the money for that ring, or if you did not also buy him an engagement ring of equal value, then you are fucking owing money on your head.

      You think because your husband did not come to your family house with a bag of money then it’s not a sale? Who do you think you are kidding?

      All the women that complain that their engagement rings are not extravagant enough, isn’t that a monetary value?

      Magazines that wrote about Paris Hilton’s 5 Million Dollar engagement ring, isn’t that a monetary value that tells the whole society the status of the bride?

      Was your engagement ring worth 5 million dollars?

      No it was not.

      Why?

      Because you and Paris Hilton are not on the same level in society.

      And that’s what Ngo / “bride price” is. It is a clear statement about who is on which level. It’s a display of wealth.

      Now if you want to argue about whether displaying wealth on such a level is vulgar or not, that’s a totally different argument.

      But don’t you dare in your ignorance try and use a cultural practice you obviously know NOTHING about to buttress your illogical point.

  23. Anonymous

    LMAO @ Sugabelly and her cohorts!
    @melloyel, I fail to see the point of your comment apart from the fact that you have blindly chosen to support the misguided Sugabelly.
    You girls need some serious schooling.

    I am the anonymous commentator who said Hilary Clinton does not identify as a femonist, but you for some crazy reason want to lump her in this group of crazies that call themselves feminist. And then you childishly quote Michelle Obama as though she was making a speech on feminism, I am glad the anonymous commentator who responded to you put in your place.

    Please you and sugabelly can claim to be feminist, but please stop dragging succesful strong women who STAND by their MEN – as opposed to COMPETING with them (like you and sugabelly propose)- into your misguided feminist crap.

    Again i ask what is feminism and who started the movement. And please what do you guys mean by we are beneffitting from it? Please name a foremost Nigerian feminist (who identifies herself as such) that has made Nigerian women enjoy the ‘freedom’ you claim they enjoy today?
    Are you suggesting that the American and European feminists of old who fought judiciously for women’s rights in their countries and regions somehow influenced the laws and policies pertaining to women in Nigeria today? So these who fought for women’s rights in their countries and influenced govt policies, in your did so for Nigerian women?
    You guys need to really get with the FREAKING programme okay? Like i stated in one of my previous comments, i have worked with human rights groups and fully understand gender issues in our country Nigeria, and women are still treated like 3rd class citizen. Action and not empty words proclaiming feminism is what is needed, and even if you want to claim feminism, emulate the actions of true feminists of old and take positive actions to liberate your fellow women folk instead of condemning them.
    Nigeria is still a largely patriarchal society – evident in the fact that as stated by an earlier commentator, you sugarbelly put up a post about brideprice on facebook – quite laughable I must say. I’d expect a true feminist to know her worth, which means she is priceless as it is men that decided to place a price on you as a bride the same way they debate the price and worth of goods.
    But as i noted earlier, sugabelly is still a child finding her way in this world, and she erroneously feels that by attacking her fellow womenfolk, it makes her come across as strong. I repeat, attack is not always the best form of defence. You crave the attention of men more than these women you so happily deride.

    Truth is there are many women who have shown that they can have successful careers and love and support their husbands wholeheartedly. Learn from them.

    Or better still join positive groups that wish to effect change in the lives of women instead of screaming empty words.

    • sugabelly

      If you had read the post properly, you would see where I said feminism in Nigeria had nothing to do with American and European women.

      Please either present a well thought out counter argument, or don’t even bother.

    • Anonymous

      Yes I read the post properly, and my question is name a foremost Nigerian feminist who fought for the ‘freedom’ you claim Nigerian women are benefitting from today.
      Name one who’s actions or campaign has influenced or changed govt policies in Nigeria for the betterment of the Nigerian woman
      Name a past or current feminist group/movement in Nigeria you can Identify with.

      So when you scream that we are feminists because we are benefitting from the sweat of womenfolk of before, I can only point out popular western feminists who had no connection to naija
      So please do tell, who are these women/feminists that have liberated naija women & how did they do it? Did they identify themselves as feminists? Name a groundbreaking law or policy on women in naija that they championed.
      I await clear unambiguous answers as you have so clearly condemned all naija women.

  24. Ginger

    Before I start reading the comments which I know could and would annoy me and of course thay rae going to be anonymous…Sugabelly I bu nnoo…words fail me! come I need to give you a hard-none lesbo smack on your cheeks.
    I have been gathering material to rant about this same topic. You did it much much more justice than I could ever have done.

    Arguably, Nigerian women on average have more advanced degrees than any other group of black women in the world but when it comes to feminism the number of Nigerian women that walk around with their heads so far up men’s asses that it’s almost impossible to comprehend the paradox they represent is unbelievable.

    Gbam Gbam.

  25. Maggie Dodson

    I read your post avidly, Sugarbelly, and even though you say ‘feminism in Nigeria has nothing to do with American and European women’ I see many parallels in our thinking.

    In my opinion, the furious opposition from the Anonymous tribe proves the need for a great deal more writing and discussion on the subject. Understanding that a woman’s Right To Choose is the basis of feminist thinking means that there is a lot of work to do all over the world in supporting women who do not enjoy this freedom.

    The idea that a woman ‘hates’ men because she insists on being the director of her own life is just as laughable today as it was when I first encountered it…………..in the sixties.

    The idea that a woman should deny her own empowerment so as not to threaten men is as laughable today as it was when I came right up against it ……………in the sixties.

    A prominent Australian feminist, Dale Spender once famously said that as feminists we must be prepared to work hard because we have to reinvent the wheel over and over.
    A small example.
    When I was young and single I was addressed as ‘Miss.’
    Upon marrying I became ‘Mrs.’
    After my divorce, thanks to the feminists who had fought hard to change the thinking on women advertising their ‘availability’ through their title, I was known as ‘Ms.’
    That was in the seventies.

    In 2012, shock, horror! I am back to explaining how to spell Ms, how to pronounce it and how to address me as Ms because my marital status – is not complicated a la Facebook – it’s nobody’s business but mine. Nevertheless I have had to explain the thinking behind it and insist on being addressed this way in numerous areas of my life recently. My telephone provider, BT, who should know better has decided, presumably in the wisdom of the uninformed person who dealt with my form, that I am a ‘Miss’; American Airlines makes no provision on their forms for ‘Ms’ and insists on calling me ‘Mrs’ as does TAP; at the optician I had to explain to the young Asian woman why she should not assume I was married and what ‘Ms’ represents. MS = MR.

    As a sketch in a comedy show, a scene where all women are known as Ms and all men have a tag on their name that describes their single or married status, could have the most hilarious writing which would have us all splitting our sides over it but imagine if such a situation were accepted! Or were decreed by law, ha ha!

    These seemingly mundane examples show how assumptions about a woman and how she lives her life have nothing to do with what the woman may choose for herself. It is comparatively easy to change laws, to change attitudes is obviously very much harder to achieve. Who does the status quo benefit? Whose interests are best served by certain practices continuing? These are important questions that are worth asking again and again. Imposition of will, by one gender over another, is not humane.

    The vested interests of men generally are preserved by the patriarchal society that prevails in our modern world. Denying our part in helping to prop this system up does nothing to change the fact that women constitute 52% of the world’s population, do far more than 52% of the work in the world, reap peanuts in return and are not actually very happy about it.

    I rest my case.

    • sugabelly

      Hi Maggie! I read your comment with a lot of interest especially since you seem not to be Nigerian/African. I agree with you and even though sexism manifests differently sometimes in our different countries, the core issue is the same.

      A woman should be the one in charge of her own life and body not other people.

  26. Maggie Dodson

    ‘…..even though sexism manifests differently sometimes in our different countries, the core issue is the same.’

    EXACTLY

    I too was fascinated reading your blog, firstly because we are from quite different cultures- I was born and bred in London of white British parents – but also because of the places where our thinking converges. Looking for the similarities makes us a stronger voice in supporting each other’s quest for equality of opportunity.

    And I love your drawings for Wazobia…………..I’m looking forward to the whole comic!

  27. mellowyel

    The crux of our argument is that you guys don’t understand what feminism IS. It’s not “We Hate Men,” and it’s not “Forget Family, I Want To Be Successful” or whatever other stereotype you can come up with – some of which you may not have said explicitly but come through in your comments. Feminism, is, at the heart, about equal rights for all. This is an important goal – one that we clearly all share. The problem is that women working for equal rights who choose not to identify as feminists subscribe to a very skewed idea of what feminism is. And this is what divides up women who could, as a coherent whole, truly work to make things better all over the world, for everyone. Yes, we may be biased in thinking that anyone working towards equal rights should be able to comfortably say that they are feminists, but ultimately, the goal is to remove the negative stereotype so that women can make a united front towards removing inequality – be it in the family, political, career or cultural sphere.

  28. mellowyel

    And it’s unfair to say that Sugabelly has somehow condemned all women. She’s clearly speaking to a particular group of women – which you aren’t even a part of. Like I said earlier, if you’re taking offense at her general language, then your argument carries much less weight, as that’s a stylistic choice, and not one that bears much on the content of her article if you look at it objectively. She doesn’t owe Nigerian women an apology any more than you owe us proof that you worked with Hilary. That being said, being anonymous on the internet really undermines your credibility as a source, no matter how many comments you post. At least with a screenname we can credit your opinion to this one person, and others can vouch for you if you’ve made similar claims elsewhere.

  29. mellowyel

    Finally, feminism doesn’t have to be going up to the highest echelons of government and working for women’s rights in a public manner. It doesn’t mean burning bras and condemning every man whose wife doesn’t work. Feminism can be as simple as making sure your daughter is not discouraged from going into a scientific field because she’s a girl, confronting sexist co-workers or employers, or even just helping out another woman because you understand what she’s going through. Or even just being yourself – a successful woman – however you want to define success – who has autonomy and can decide for herself whether she wants to have five children or be a barrister, and isn’t afraid to do that despite what people – men in particular – will say about her. I consider many famous, powerful and/or influential women to be feminists, simply because they took charge of their lives, have done great things, and have set themselves up to be role models for girls and women who want to do the same. Even if Hilary says “I’m not a feminist”, I doubt she’ll say “I’m not a role model for women.” And that, in my opinion, is more important than the feminist label – though that label is an easy way to say it, and means a lot more than most people think.

    But, since you asked for examples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Nigerian_women%27s_rights_activists

  30. Anonymous

    Nice Anon: Sugabelly, I have said it several times on twitter and will always say it. Your level of mental maturity and wit is unparalleled. You are an intellectual being and as such I admire you greatly. This post is simply and unequivocally BRILLIANT!

  31. Anonymous

    The person who wrote this article has no idea of what feminism is all about, the history of the movement or the purpose. Feminism is not same as financial security. In African society, women have always been financially secured historically. Women have always involve in trade and when western education was introduced, they acquire western education and become profession in different field even though may not be on the same rate as their male counterpart. If you want to know Nigerian women historically contribute to women movement in Nigeria, then research Fumilayo Kuti, Madam Tinubu and I will also suggest that you read Yoruba women, work and social change by Marjorie Keniston McIntosh. To help clarify the meaning of feminism, below it dictionary ,meaning

    Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.[1][2] In addition, feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist is “an advocate or supporter of the rights and equality of women”.[3]

    Feminist theory, which emerged from these feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women’s social roles and lived experience; it has developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues such as the social construction of sex and gender.[4][5] Some of the earlier forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle-class, educated perspectives. This led to the creation of ethnically specific or multiculturalist forms of feminism.[6]

    Feminist activists campaign for women’s rights – such as in contract law, property, and voting – while also promoting bodily integrity, autonomy, and reproductive rights for women. Feminist campaigns have changed societies, particularly in the West, by achieving women’s suffrage, gender neutrality in English, equal pay for women, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property.[7][8] Feminists have worked to protect women and girls from domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.[9][10][11] They have also advocated for workplace rights, including maternity leave, and against forms of discrimination against women.[7][8][12] Feminism is mainly focused on women’s issues, but because feminism seeks gender equality, some feminists argue that men’s liberation is a necessary part of feminism, and that men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles.

  32. Nne

    Second Sugabelly on the brideprice issue. Anyone who know a lick about Igbo culture know that in the traditional sense, the idea of bride price has nothing to do with buying or selling of women. Perhaps in other countries?
    From the way I understand it, and have been told – it is largely a reflection the man’s ability to take care of a wife and a family. If you are not established enough to pay for bride price – you have no business marrying, as a man.

    And yes, Igbo culture has a tremendous number of flaws, but the importance of women for the survival of family cannot be understated. My grandfather, who is an unabashed sexist (I love him though), once told me that the yam that a man produces is meant to be displayed in his barn, however, the yam that a woman cultivates is meant to be eaten (in modern times, replace yam with money, etc.)

  33. Nne

    I second this post. I don’t think most Nigerian men and women understand what feminism is. I recently had to explain it to my boyfriend and make him understand that he, his sister, his mother are all card-carrying feminists. And again, those feminist qualities I possess are all things that he names as what attracted him to me. He’s not willing to admit it to his boys, yet, but time will help. Slowly but surely.

    My dad, as a psychologist, deals with several Nigerian couples/families here in the US, particularly when it involves the legal system. I was in high school when after dealing with yet another instance of domestic violence/Nigerian husband assholery – he stated, openly and loudly, that he IS a feminist. Unapologectically. He didn’t try to soften it by stating that he was an “African feminist,” as some of our women are wont to do. Honestly, that was a major turning point for me. It took nothing from his masculinity and added mileage to his humanity. Funny enough, based on qualities he noted in my late paternal grandfather, and his father before him, he retroactively applied the label to them as well – since they believed in more liberal inheritance laws, and insisted on marrying one wife though my grandfather was an only child and a cripple. Together, we’re still working on my mom to join the club – again, time. We gave up on my maternal grandfather a loooooong time ago, but once in a while he’ll make some pro-women admissions.

    And I think that the hesitance to adopt the label, “feminist” is the same for both Nigerian women AND American women. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some women in American politics – Clinton and Obama included, who shirk from public declarations of feminism. It’s politically uncool, especially given America’s increasing conservatism over the past years. Michelle Obama, when she initially came to the wider national stage during the 2008 campaign – she was caricatured as a afro-wearing radical black feminist, by Obama’s opponents. She quietly tried to dispel that label. Also during the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton also struggled to balance qualities needed in a president – decisiveness, ambition, leadership etc – with a so-called “softer side.”

    Going forward, our mission as feminist (African feminists, black feminists or what-have-you) is not only to make an impact on our culture (which is the most important), but also to work on our public relations so-to-speak. There is so much misinformation out there about what it means to be feminist. Yeah, there are some elements within feminism that some of us may find distasteful – but same with other political and religious movements. Which political movement or religious movement that we know of is perfect? It kind of reminds me of how some Christians have shied away from the description, “religious” and now go for more PC terms, like “spiritual,” or “Christ-follower.” I’m still on the fence about how I feel about the term, “African feminism,” – would like to hear your thoughts on this Sugabelly or other commentators. When I first encountered this term, my gut reaction was that it was simply a means to make the idea of feminism more palatable to more conservative African audiences. However, if it still achieves the goals we all aspire to, I am down with it.

    • mellowyel

      Hey Nne! Great insights here. RE: African feminism: It’s actually a form of feminism that has a distinct theoretical foundation. It’s similar to Black feminism in that it takes into account factors that the white, upper-middle class feminist cohort may not consider, such as race or poverty in the black feminist case, or colonialism in the African feminism case. Though a lot of black and African feminists don’t like the feminist label for various reasons, and they prefer “womanist” as that separates them from the Simone de Beauvoirs and the Andrea Dworkins, and aligns them more with the bell hooks and the Funmilayo Ransome-Kutis.

  34. Chic Therapy

    I die inside, each time a Naija woman says “me I am not a feminist o”…If you cannot look out for your best interest who will?Every woman by default, should be a feminist. Feminism simply is seeking equality and making sure you are not opressed because of your gender.It is so unfortunate that the female mind has been infiltrated by these opressive societal norms.It is also disheartening to see women look down on others for attempting to pull down patriachy and the norms that subjugate us.How will the status quo change if we cannot even change our thinking?

  35. obnusoto

    Actually, when I was a teenager, I too saw feminism as an extremist view/movement, gearing towards the lesbian crowd. Not that I had a problem with it, that’s just how I perceived it, as much as I did. As I got older, the more I experienced sexism especially in Nigeria, the more I noticed my intolerance and irritation at it. I would get sensitive to the slightest sexist behaviour, even in my family. I’d wanna punch any perpetrator in the balls. I began to examine myself and question “so does this mean I’m a feminist?” Recently, I began to respond to myself that if thats what it means, then so be it. I’d rather be a feminist than tolerate sexist bull-crap. Your post makes me wanna run into the friggin streets and shout joyfully “I AM A FEMINIST!!! Bring it on you sexist cowards, I’ll kick ur asks!!” I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you and God bless!

    Maybe I’ve not been in Nigeria enough to actually hear women say they are not feminists. I think society plays a huge role in the misunderstanding that some women may have about feminism.

  36. poor you

    Poor Sugabelly, very immature and bitter over a man who brok eher heart years ago. I dare you to reveal your face the way most bloggers who started in “your era did”. Take chill polls BABE, life is short don’t be angry at the world for one man’s actions

  37. Anonymous

    Madam, you haven’t highlighted any Nigerian feminists we are enjoying dividends from o! Get your facts right before talking gibberish

  38. Mamuje

    The Nigerian feminists I know have taken it too far. I dont belong to a movement for women’s rights but I believe a woman’s need to secure rights and opportunities should be equal to men….

    I also believe that a man is the head of the house…. but I dont see why I shouldn’t earn more than a man if I am more qualified. Get my drift?

    I dont call myself a feminist. I am independent woman. That’s enough for me.

    • sugabelly

      Two things stand out and both are key.

      1. If you believe women should have rights and opportunities that are equal to men, then you are a feminist.

      2. Have you ever wondered WHY you believe a man is the head of the house? This is social conditioning. As a Nigerian, consider that Nigeria has hundreds of completely different and distinct cultures.

      In some of these cultures, WOMEN not men are the head of the house or the bread winners.

      Why then do you think that in the 21st century, most Nigerians came to believe that men are inalienably meant to be the head of the house?

      What role has British cultural ideas about gender roles carried over from colonialism got to play in this belief?

      What role has Israeli cultural ideas about gender roles diffused into Nigerian society through Christianity and the Bible got to play in this belief?

      In other words, if you had not in some way been influenced by these factors, would you necessarily believe that men are the heads of the house?

      Or might there have been another outcome?

  39. archiwiz

    @Myne & @Sugabelly These responses times 10!!!! The ridiculous way marriage in Nigeria is propped up as the be all and end all make me roll my eyes so hard, my mother runs behind me to pick them up! Bullsh*t!

  40. archiwiz

    Aha!!! The inevitable insult that comes when someone does not agree with another’s view. How does frustration factor into stating a fact? @Anonymous Aug 30 and Anonymous Sep 1, please attempt to read and understand the post and subsequent comments. Your personal opinion and experience does not change what millions of women have experienced. This is how we turn a blind eye to things because we “think” it does not affect us. What will be sad is the day marginalization happens to you because of your gender, and your eyes open to see what women have been toiling to change for years.

  41. archiwiz

    The number of “Anonymous” posts here decrying your position Sugabelly is most amusing. These people attempt to hide behind the cloak of anonymity on the internet and spew insults as they see fit, yet decline public debate when it is offered. Sounds like many of our leaders who have steered the country to the brink of destruction. Anonymous commenters… Please free your minds.

  42. Ekene

    I know this post is like a year old, but I just found it today
    You write really well, and this post is everything I’ve been trying to articulate to people for years now!
    I was “feminist” even before I knew I was. I have always thought as I do now, even as a child.
    I was at a mosque a few months ago to listen to fellow law students discuss the place of feminism in Islam and the majority were against it. There was one female speaker, but the main people in defence of feminism were two men!!
    Even if you as a woman don’t like big grammar, how can you be so against a movement that is here for your own good?

  43. Jessica

    You are so insightful, being a feminist is not a bad thing, being a feminist will not make you a bad wife and it doesnt mean your not wife material (your home training is what determines whether your a bad wife or not). Being a feminist is a conviction. It is so potent that it is arguably one of the reasons the western countries became increasingly developed because more feminist came out and became more pronounced and eventually they got equal opportunities at the work place. As women we have to come together because we have the power of NOW, children have the power of the future, but together we can make a difference now, men have exhausted all their options as they are given all the opportunity they need to thrive and despite that we still compete with them at high places, so imagine how much more we can do if we come together to ensure some of the barriers associated with being a woman is removed, A woman can be president. Fighting for this cause is what makes me a feminist and I am so proud to be one.

  44. rhubarbsky

    Marry me. seriously. I spent the last couple of days catching up on your blog; it’s that engaging. Do you read comics (graphic novels) as well? I’ve been hooked since highschool. Naturally I think you are infinitely cool for drawing your own material.
    Some tips on how to deal with depression (I’ve been hospitalised and medicated with anti depressants; and I also find it worrying that this ailment isn’t taken seriously in most of Africa)
    -Masturbate. The feeling after having one,two, three orgasms in a row is awesome; and it’s nice to not have to depend on relationships/hook ups with other people to get that.
    -Like you, I read a lot, normally. I’ve been reading a lot more now that I’m off 5 different types of medication.
    -Exercise. I jog every other day. Even though the primary focus at first was weight loss( I gained abut 10kg from my medication) The main reason I’m sticking to it now is the feeling I get afterwards.
    -Comic books! Next time you’re in Nigeria I’d be happy to loan you a few.
    – For me, spontaneously wearing my afro and going out, being my funky self, dancing…grossly self indulgent but I feel like I’m allowed.

    Sexism/homophobia are so endemic in Nigeria; I’ve also been met by numerous asshats while going about the most mundane (being harassed just about every time I go out jogging, is just one example. I could go on but I’m trying to have a good day today, as I hope you are too. Stay strong, beautiful.

  45. Seyi

    It’s not accurate to attribute women’s educational and other achievements to feminism. Is the progress of men attributable to ‘masculism’?

    An intelligent father does not need to be told to educate the daughter he loves!

    An intelligent boss would be stupid to discriminate against a good employee simply because she is a woman, when he knows she can easily go to his competitors!

    I think part of the issue is that some women are smart enough to know that women are not always victims as feminists claim!

  46. Seyi

    Let me also add that a woman does not have to be a Feminist to rise to rule a country.

    Margaret Thatcher was never a feminist

    I hope you will publish this contrary view!

  47. Vader

    *Not all men are sexists
    *if feminism is believing women should have equal rights as men (which they already do legally),then most modern men are feminist
    *Feminism isn’t making your own money or making more money or being a breadwinner
    *Feminism is actually the female version of misogyny the way sugabelly puts it
    *there’s a difference between feminism and humanism,as someone put it earlier.everyone should have equal rights regardless of their gender.gender shouldn’t be a basis to favor anyone or not
    *If you call yourself a feminist and believe in a man acting as a “gentleman” and expect him to open doors for you,or pay the bills or be the one to call or expect him to be strong and protect the woman then you’re either deluded or a hypocrite

    If Sugabelly really wants to make a difference,throwing stones isn’t the way to go about it.If the Pankhursts and the Druckers and Weiss’ had gone about it this way,they wouldn’t have made such progress

    Also I feel your article although while relatively good was largely uninformed and biased,I bet you didn’t ask any questions or do any research.you just saw something,had an opinion about it and put it down,which is exactly what everyone here including the Anonymous group has done.but then you get angry and start throwing tantrums cos “this is your blog”.you might have made reasonable points,but your anger,frustration,stubbornness and generally emotions kept you from being open minded.Ironically,this is one major reason why women don’t go as far as they should and then blame sexism,you let emotions cloud your judgment,influence your thoughts,and ultimately decide your course of action.I mean,I’d be worried if you were a general in my army,you seem like you could start a war cos someone disagrees with your opinion.you seem like a bright person but never forget immaturity doesn’t go with responsibility or respect.but then,nice article

  48. Pearl Osibu

    Dear Sugabelly, this fell into my lp and I feel blessed. yes, blessed. There is always a book, something in my hand that I’m reading. So when I say this is the best thing I have read tis year… sigh. You are amazing and I am staying on this blog. This is a beautiful place and I am surprised all I have ever heard of you is something bout some random shit blogger trying to drag you in the mud about having sex with….what was that ridiculous number now? 13 men? Phew!!! Crazy. I am amazed by you. This post is amazing and I am going to be reading this blog. Just so you know.

    • sugabelly

      Thanks so much for this comment! Sigh, I try not to let the rumours swirling in public about me get to me. My blog is in a way, my home on the Internet, so this is where the truest version of myself spills out, and where I can say what comes from my heart in peace.

      I’m always thrilled to hear that people like my blog. It’s weird because I never started this blog for people to read. It was a private, anonymous place for me to just spill out my feelings. 8 years later….LMAO.

      Glad to have you here! Thanks for reading!

  49. MzAgams

    Actually ‘bride price’ in nIgbo land is used primarily to secure rights to the children the woman may have. Yes, it is used in a variety of ways to signify ‘status’ but that is not the primary role. Once ‘bride price’ or what ever you want to cal lit is paid all the fruit of the woman’s womb belongs to the man whether he is biological father or not. Just saying

  50. jindu

    I believe everyone has a right to her/his own views so if any woman wants to be feminist she is free yo. just play your part and fulfill your mission on earth. cheers

  51. The Versatile Nigerian

    People should be free to identify with whatever movement they please. I think a person is more than the labels they bear. The same way a person decides to be identified as a feminist is a same way another might abstain from claiming that identity.

    At the end of the day, I am more interested in how people treat one another. Are you kind? Do you put the needs of others ahead of yours? Do you show empathy to those who are facing challenges? I will pick a decent human being over any label (social, religious, ethnic, etc.) they identify with.

  52. Chinatown!

    Hi Sugabelly,
    First off, it is going to take me a while to say that name without a grimacing, but then that is my problem not yours right? I’m new to to your blog and also a twitter “illeterate” so maybe somewhere in your archives, you have explained how you coined the moniker.
    But I forget myself, that’s not why I am leaving a comment.
    Your piece has set me thinking and first off I’m amazed at the level of insight you have at this period of your life… I am not as interested in your language or style of expression – which some chose to pick on as a reason for their angst – more the content. The truth is everytime you have made or reversed a decision, changed a line of thinking, taken an action or not because you are a woman, then patriarchy or female subjugation may just be rearing its head again. Take away the veil of religion and you realise how much these faiths have added to making the female an inferior being. Whether, the “anonymous tribe” (I love that term though…) bash the writer of the blog on her emotional state of well being and scars she may bear from past experiences, it does nothing to negate the fact that what she is talking about is real and does pervade our society. I shy away from using examples of comments, things I have heard people say or witnessed as this will only becomes tools in the hands of some commentators to use and distract us from the main topic at hand.
    The point here is Sugarbelly (oh that name again..lol) is making us think and question who and what we say we are and then begs the next question “what are we going to do next”? When you see videos of women being beaten, stoned, flayed alive on social media for instance sexual relations with a man that has been deemed wrong, the man in question is conspicuously absent from the punishment metted out, think about your fellow woman and ask if she is being held to an equal standard with the other gender out there. When you are 35year old Nigerian girl and you let on you are dating.. wait for the comments friends and family will start sending your way on hurrying up to tie the knot “it is almost sacrilegous that you waited this long” “thank God you still found a man that wants to marry you” lol..but I digress..why is the stigma for divorce in the nigerian society on the woman (a quick interjection here is that this is not the cases in all cultures in nigeria)
    The point here is not to flay or villify the writer but for us to think. Think about what our actions say about us as women and men and how these increase the rift of inequalities between men and women…. just because by a 1 in a millionth of a chance that sperm carrying the X chromosome made it past the hard outer shell of the egg and bamm… a girl was born!
    I will stop here coz I tend to prattle away a lot.

  53. Chinatown!

    Hi Sugabelly,
    First off, it is going to take me a while to say that name without grimacing, but then that is my problem not yours yea? I’m new to to your blog and also a twitter “illeterate” so maybe somewhere in your archives, you may have explained how you coined the moniker.
    But I forget myself, that’s not why I am leaving a comment.
    Your piece has set me thinking and first off I’m amazed at the level of insight and intellect you have shown, good job.. I am not as interested in your language or style of expression – which some chose to pick on as a reason for their angst – more the content.
    The truth is everytime you have made or reversed a decision, changed a line of thinking, taken an action or didn’t because you are a woman, then patriarchy or female subjugation may just be rearing its head again. Take away the veil of religion and you realise how much these faiths have added to making the female the inferior being. Whether, the “anonymous tribe” (I love that term though…) bash the writer of the blog on her emotional state of well being and scars she may bear from past experiences, it does nothing to negate from the fact that what she is talking about is real and does pervade our society. I shy away from using examples of comments, things I have heard people say or witnessed as this will only becomes tools in the hands of some commentators to use and distract us from the main topic at hand.
    The point here is Sugarbelly (oh that name again..lol) is making us think and question the what’s and why’s of we say and who we are and then begs the next question “what are we going to do next”? When you see videos of women being beaten, stoned, flayed on social media for instance on allegations of illicit sexual relations with a man, the man in question is commonly conspicuously absent from the punishment metted out, think about your fellow woman and ask if she is being held to an equal standard with the other gender out there. When you are 35year old Nigerian girl and you let on you are dating.. wait for the comments friends and family will start sending your way on hurrying up to tie the knot “it is almost sacrilegous that you waited this long” “thank God you still found a man that wants to marry you” lol..but I digress..why is the stigma for divorce in the nigerian society on the woman (a quick interjection here is that this is not the case in all cultures in nigeria)
    The point here is not to flay or villify the writer but for us to think. Think about what our actions say about us as women and men and how these increase the rift of inequalities between men and women…. just because by a 1 in a millionth of a chance a spermatozoon carrying the X chromosome made it past the hard outer shell of the egg and bamm… a girl was born!
    I will stop here coz I tend to prattle away a lot.

  54. Mysteria

    I am a feminist. Actually can be a violent one. I have grown to care quite little about what men think. At 21 i have had experiences that have made me 30. I have been blabbing on social media about feminism long before i stumbled on this blog. I am so proud of u and i am inspired to write my own story. Interestingly about this prosecutor that works with ICPC. I promise to give all d necessary information. I have been through just enough to be emboldened.
    I WOULD LIKE TO DIGRESS A LITTLE.
    If u are a woman and u are at the peak of your prime and worry about how u have not found a husband, please PLEASE kindly find a man who is nice and decent. PREFERABLY single, maybe one of these commitment phones and get pregnant. Have a responsibility. Someone that deserves all ur love sacrifices and attention.
    If u are a younger woman, DONT settle for less than u deserve. U are not so ugly that u don’t deserve good food so why do u think u are so ugly u don’t deserve a good man?
    If u are a mum reading this, please school ur sons!!! Don’t be like my mum who did not allow my brothers learn house chores cos two maids were more than sufficient- me n my sister, or like my aunt who calls morning devotion for the 6 girls in the house while she lets her son sleep his life away. Don’t teach ur daughters not to be raped, teach ur sons not to rape.

  55. Daddy

    Hear Sugabelly:

    “I honestly would love to get money and gifts in exchange for sex. I really don’t understand why this is viewed as taboo.”

    “I know a lot of people consider having sex for money prostitution but I’ve always felt incredibly envious of girls who are able to have sex and receive huge sums of money and expensive gifts like cars and houses in exchange.”

    Feminism.


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