SHOULD WE ALL BE FEMINISTS? (AN INTERVIEW WITH BLESSING MUKORHO)
“There is no limit to what we as women can do." – Michelle Obama.
Feminism is a major societal, and even national notion or movement that a lot of people support. For a fact, it is no longer just a 'woman thing’ because a lot of men now support the cause. This is quite admirable to say the least, because it shows that women who are feminists are no longer by themselves in this movement but now also have the support of some men which makes it better and shows that the fight is not against gender but against what is wrong, that is, gender inequality.
In order to make the topic as explicit as possible, I decided to have an interview with a feminist, Blessing Mukorho, who had a lot to say, but of course did not start without an introduction. She said;
"My name is Blessing Akpeyerevefe Mukorho but of course, you can just call me Blessing. I am 23 years old and I am a Christian, a Feminist, a Lawyer, a Chartered Arbitrator, Chartered Mediator and Conciliator, an Author and a Blogger".
In response to the question asked about when she became a feminist and why, she said that she couldn’t exactly pinpoint the date or time that she decided to become a feminist;
"I cannot give you the specific turning point that informed my decision to become a feminist because when I think back to certain observations I made growing up, I can say that I have been a feminist for a very long time, even from a young age.
My concept of feminism definitely began from the things I observed around me – in my family and from those around me, by seeing how women were treated generally, and from learning about history in school. I saw that women were treated as second-class citizens with little or no rights to things like education and freedom of speech, thought or expression. This made me question what was so wrong about being a woman to which I was often merely told, ‘It’s because you’re a woman’ or ‘That’s just the way it is’.
These answers never sat well with me and it was as I grew and became more exposed to labels that I stumbled across the concept of feminism, firstly through Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and I realized very quickly that this cause addressed the issues to which I had so many questions to ask society.”
The 23-year-old lawyer did not spare any detail in our discussions on feminism, starting from what she defined feminism as. With the usual knowledge of feminism as the fight for gender equality, Blessing’s definition was not too different from what we already knew, but there were some interesting things she added -
“When people ask about my definition of feminism, it is always very interesting because it shows me just how wide and deep the spectrum of feminism is. Initially, I would have said the generic thing, 'Feminism is the fight for equality among the genders in all regard’, but having had conversations with others on what exactly feminism is, I have learnt that feminism supercedes a fight for equality and many times, becomes a fight for equity as well. You see, that is the good thing about this cause, it is a little bit of both. In some cases, feminism is a fight for equality and in other cases, it is equity. So, feminism, for me, would be that I am not barred from any opportunity merely because I’m a woman. Do not tell me that I cannot do this or that simply because I’m a woman.”
A lot of feminists now have a personalized meaning of feminism, understandably so because of the influence of personal experiences and private conversations with other people. However, it is important to understand that there is only one goal and that goal is “to remove the inequality between genders”, in her words.
Twitter users would attest to how active feminists are on that platform because it is indeed a very active social media platform where people express their interests and opinions. Narrowing it down to feminism and anti-feminism, we know that in as much as there are active feminists, not just on Twitter or other social media platforms but also in the society at large of course, there are also anti-feminists and one of their points against feminism is that feminism is misandry.
“Misandry is a dislike of, contempt for or ingrained prejudice against men. Largely, feminism fights against misogyny which we may define as a dislike of, contempt for or ingrained prejudice against women. If you subsume one prejudice, that is misandry, in feminism which is the fight for equality, it becomes counterproductive and you can no longer be achieving ‘justice’ because Embedded in your fight for justice is an injustice. You cannot use injustice to cancel injustice, two wrongs do not make a right.
This is why I am of the opinion that misandry is counterproductive to feminism. The fight for feminism is against inequality, it is not against any gender and we need to separate these mentalities. Feminism is not misandry, feminism does not embody misandry. Instead, misandry and misogyny are inequalities that feminism seeks to correct.”