There is an argument I have failed to understand that has the ability to get everyone even if not directly involved in the debate on the defensive both female and male and they choose their sides regardless of gender. Whether you can define the word or not, know its history or can name a feminist from your area code the word has the ability to raise shields from the armoury.
I was at a poem reading event last weekend and somebody commented that poem had the ability to arm feminists because it was about how a boy playing daddy spoke to the girl paying mummy and how they carried themselves. To me it was more about the salient habits bad or good ones we pass on to our direct and indirect relations and the writer used the family as the setting to get the message across given the family is the first theatre of relationships when we are growing up.
When interpreting the poem, everyone encircled themselves around the family and before long the feminists had been dragged into the debate from nowhere. It was not long before the room had been split half in half one for feminists and the other for anti-feminists. As the debate raged on I kept thinking to myself for Christ sake it’s a poem and the power of a poem is the bigger picture it conveys and the ability to switch characters yet still keeping true to the intended message which to me demonstrates the versatility of poems over other art forms when conveying timeless messages.
In Ugandan feminism has long been sold along power lines both political and social in which women at time t will take over the roles once played by men as outlined by our traditions. When the fences on our houses grew higher and were built of concrete rather than planted the theatre turned to politics and right now feminism is best represented by the political appointments made by this government of women in the different roles in the government. They have used their political footprint to champion the women’s rights to the extent of calling for the castration of men point of alienating the very people they are championing for.
However this can be passed off as rhetoric than actual empowerment and equity take the scandal a few years ago our vice president, she was a champion of all feminists even though she never publically claimed to belong to that camp but by virtue of her position and the power that came it she got beat up by her husband on more than one occasion leading to a messy divorce that never left our front pages. It was weird because in public she was calling for taekwondo lessons for girls to protect themselves against men yet she got slapped several times by her husband because in private she was still that limp village girl at the mercy of her husband who had never been empowered to stand up on her own.
The men too are not spared on this debate If one cooks for his girl are they bowing to the feminist in her no they are simply doing what is right for their relationship. I have for example seen several people do that and these are sworn anti feminist’s people in public yet their home dynamics where the cameras don’t see a different game is at play. I have also had chance to talk to different couples and they point out respect, communication between them rather than building walls and factions within their homes. Feminism to me is something feeds off our egos rather than our thoughts as the hope and fear that this thing will be the silver bullet that changes the roles of everyone in society which to me is the wrong objective if that’s what feminism is all about. Looking at all the campaigns in the media, proponents and opponents seem to pick the fad that is on show at the moment, run with it until it runs dry until next time when swords are drawn once more over another issue and the cycle continues to infinity.
In conclusion, feminist debate is one of those wars where if you dig deep enough there is no reason for the hullaballoo because when push comes to shove you are on your own and that’s my concern do you as a person feel empowered enough to demand what is duly yours I doubt any of the correspondents on either side of the debate have the right answers to that question.