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“To girls who say they do not care about feminism, I have only a few words for you. One day, you will be asked to shut up in an argument because you are a woman.”

 

I write this letter from a place of pain, pain so deep I can taste it. Why am I pained? Why am I so angry?
Earlier today, I came across a picture that said: Boy does something bad; family says: leave him, he is a man; girl does something bad; family says: our name, our honor, who will marry you?

I have heard people rant about feminism and how they feel it is total crap. They do not understand the concept of feminism. Feminism is not about the competition between the male and the female. It is not about women trying to prove that they are stronger than the male. Rather it is about gender equality. We live in a world where women are taught from birth to aspire to marriage, where as a lady you are not permitted to have so much ambition. You are blamed for the most stupid of things.

A woman once asked me, “Does your mother have a male child?”

I said, “No.” My mother didn’t have a son at the time.

The woman said I should tell my mother to pray hard because only when she’s had a male child would she prove to the world that she was a strong woman. I remember how filled with disgust I was at the lady. Having a successful career wasn’t enough to prove the strength of a woman? Surviving cancer wasn’t enough? Having three girls who were not starving wasn’t enough? But lo and behold, a male child would prove that one was strong?

Our girls want to get married and fast, all because it has been drummed in their heads that without marriage you are nothing, and so we have men with an “entitlement mentality” all around. Men who feel that they are doing you a favor by getting married to you. Men who would get married and not value the marriage.

I have resolved to not get married to a man who has no “home training.” I would tell you why. Growing up, my father drummed it into my head that every girl should have “home training” because, according to him, a man would return me to the house if I lacked it. How many men are trained to think before they talk? How many men are trained to control their temper and not lash out like wounded lions? How many men are trained to be good listeners, cool, calm and collected, so they listen to the needs of their wives? How many men are taught that marriage is not all about what they want but about what would move the family forward? A lot of men say they cannot marry women who cannot cook. I would also not marry a man who cannot cook.

To girls who say they do not care about feminism, I have only a few words for you: One day, you will be asked to shut up in an argument because you are a woman and so your opinions cannot hold water.

To every other lady, no man is doing you a favor by getting married to you. You can have ambition: in fact, too much. Any man who feels threatened by your money or ambition is exactly the sort of man you should run away from.

 

Yours Sincerely.

 

*********

Post image by BMiz via Flickr.

About the Author:

Picture-1Blessing Iyamadiken is a Psychology student at the University Of Lagos. She is also a writer and spoken word artist.

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9 Responses to “Letter To Every Girl | By Blessing Iyamadiken” Subscribe

  1. abby 2017/02/21 at 11:32 #

    I feel your pain sister and if I knew you I’d say you stole my article because this is so similar to it.
    #good job!

  2. Erhu 2017/02/22 at 03:08 #

    Truer words have never been spoken

  3. Amara 2017/02/22 at 03:58 #

    Thanks for putting my thoughts into words, and so wonderfully too.

  4. Catherine O 2017/02/22 at 06:05 #

    Thank you Blessing,

    This was an excellent article!

  5. Titi 2017/02/22 at 15:11 #

    I absolutely love this. I feel that same anger almost everyday

  6. Ayna Nufi 2017/02/23 at 15:53 #

    OhmiGod! I love you, Blessing!!!

  7. mirajay 2017/02/24 at 08:40 #

    Exactly

  8. Ezinne 2017/02/25 at 07:14 #

    Well done, darling. You have spoken well.

  9. chiamaka 2017/02/25 at 16:16 #

    Well said, Blessing.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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