2023 ELECTIONS: ARE WOMEN ‘TOO’ EMOTIONAL TO RULE NIGERIA?
I will answer this question from the psychological perspective, social perspective and the scientific perspective in a random order blended together to give off a sweet savour or a malodorous stench that will almost choke you to death depending on whether you discriminate on the basis of someone having a vagina or you don’t. Which one will it be for you? Stay with me.
Whenever sexists want to discard female leadership, they don’t hesitate to use the “women are too emotional to rule” card and I daresay that card has been used over and over that it’s worn out.
I’ll open the argument floor by stating unequivocally that men are ALSO emotional, only that patriarchy has some smoldering ideas on masculinity and the acceptable ways for men to behave as the “kings” and “alpha males” that they are and one of these ideas says men must not show any emotions. Men are groomed right from when they are little boys that they are supposed to stifle what they feel and never express themselves while women on the other hand, could express themselves however way they like. The society tells the little boys:
“Don’t cry! You are not a sissy!”
“Why are you crying, are you a girl?”
The little boys grow up thinking it is ‘beneath’ them to cry, to vent, to express their emotions. Afterall, THAT is reserved for the ‘weaker sex.’ And we wonder why we have so many men all around either suffering from acute depression and suicidal thoughts from never being able to express themselves or being outrightly violent as THAT is the accepted way for men to express themselves. When it is time for sexists to play some political game against feminism, they will remember that nobody cares about men’s emotions and that boys are being emotionally caged inside the idea of toxic masculinity, but when it is time to be politically correct in accordance with what patriarchy dictates about leadership, this same ’emotionlessness’ and men being emotionally stifled suddenly becomes a positive leadership trait and automatically make men better leaders than women?
The question I will like to ask next is does not being able to express emotions translate to these emotions being indeed non-existent?
The primary female hormone is oestrogen.
We’re suddenly seeing hormones in the mix in this article because humans’ actions are mainly affected by hormones. Reading up about how hormones affect humans sometimes last month made me realize that I will be scientifically correct if I proclaim that we are hormones and hormones are us. Hormones control our thoughts, actions and responses to our environments.
Oestrogen plays a huge role in how much I behave as a woman (although I can’t categorically state that I’m being affected just by the female hormone alone. It’s highly likely that the female hormone is not so much in my body and I might have a higher than subjectively normal testosterone level in my body considering my body structure, my behaviours and the amount of hair on my body). This little explanation already strikes out the sexist argument that women are too emotional to rule because like I have already explained, hormones control our emotions and every individual has a mixture of both the female and male hormones in different proportions. (So yes, men do have oestrogen in their bodies too). However, to not blur the male-female line JUST for the sake of this male-female leadership argument as I’m all for post-genderism, I will stick to women having oestrogen and men having testosterone.
Oestrogen has been found that even though it varies cyclically (according to the woman’s oestrus cycle), it is very predictable. It is not fickle. It is rhythmic and consistent. We can easily predict a woman’s mood and action just by looking at her age or the first day of her last period.
Can we say the same thing for men’s testosterone?
I quote from Sarah E. Hill’s THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON BIRTH CONTROL thus:
“Testosterone actually is a little fickle and capricious. For example, testosterone changes in response to age, the time of day, getting married, having children, the presence of attractive women, the win or loss of a man’s favorite political candidate, the win or loss of his favorite sports team, and (I’m not making this up) the presence of guns. And this is far from an exhaustive list. Men’s testosterone changes all the time. If I were to try to make a comparatively good guess about what was going on with men’s primary sex hormones at a given moment, I would need to know, at a minimum, his age, marital status, whether he has children, and the time of day that he provided his sample, as well as a description of all his recent activities, including whether he’d seen any attractive women, watched sports or encountered any weapons on his way to his testing. Men and women both have hormones that change. And when they change, they change what we feel, think and do.”
Women’s hormones change cyclically, more predicably and rhythmically while men’s hormones change on a whim! Now if we’re going to go down that lane of “women are emotional”, men will sink.
So men are actually emotional, they are just being stifled by patriarchy much to everybody’s detriments. We all have to deal with men’s affinity for violence (especially against women) [and ACTUALLY translates to being emotional as men’s violence against women are EXPRESSIONS OF EMOTIONS], and men’s suicidal tendencies and of course their leadership styles. Men being emotionally stifled makes them NOT empathetic and we can evidentially see that in the havoc male leaderships have been wreaking all over the world for centuries, barely ever interrupted by women leaderships.
Being emotionless and not being able to express emotions does NOT translate to being logical and thus, more fitting to rule as a man than a woman. Being unemotionally available, lacking empathy and not shedding a single tear or getting justice for #EndSARS victims that are shot dead on your (the president’s) watch, and being inhumane does NOT make men better leaders than women. I mean if these are supposed to be the qualities of being “logical” as opposed to being “emotional” as women, then President Buhari should be the best president Nigeria has ever had, no? Can you then see that this argument is invalid at best and sexist/misogynistic at worst?
A male president got hurt by the election results in the United States of America that he incited an insurrection right in the capitol!
A male billionaire got hurt by Twitter mockery so much so that he had to buy that platform to dismantle people’s freedom of speech!
We have two male leaders from Ukraine and Russia currently slugging it out and having a go at each other, not caring about the casualties which obviously can NEVER be them.
You know there’s this joke I see flying on the social media about women being world leaders and countries never going to war; That there would just be bunch of countries who don’t talk to one another. It’s funny but there’s a truth in that because women can express their emotions freely, be empathetic thus caring more about their citizens and there’s absolutely nothing illogical about this!
There’s Hitler that killed millions of Jews, there’s Kim Jong Un ruling with an iron fist, there’s Biden still ruining other countries and stealing their resources, there’s our very own Buhari currently ruling us with so much male logicality (LMAO), there’s Sowore attacking other candidates’ health problems as a show of “I’m a young and fit” candidate and his ‘revolutionaries’ knowing nothing other than insulting people, there are the thieves setting presidential candidacy forms at millions of Naira and these are all evidences to prove women are not fit to rule and men are better? Is it not men currently making stupid rules about changing the Naira notes for which you and I are currently suffering the consequences?
Women are the emotional ones that can’t rule Nigeria? Are you kidding me right now?
Even this idea of being emotional and thus illogical has been proved to be nonsense!
With all men’s so-called logicality, I believe the world, and Nigeria specifically is supposed to have been better than this. Afterall, a female president has never been produced in Nigeria since our independence in 1960 and we are still where we are. Doesn’t that tell us something about male leaderships? Doesn’t that tell us that an imbalance is rocking our political world and the human populace in general? If men were indeed logical just because they can’t express emotions in positive ways, or more aptly put, if men were more logical than women, then there should be a better track record of that in male leaderships in Nigeria and all over the world.
Men have started wars.
Men have started DOGMATIC PATRIARCHAL religions that have done more harm than good to humanity.
Men have proved to be extremely emotional, illogical, and very prideful and history is there to prove me right.
Neuroscience has proved that being emotionless is actually detrimental to the subject. Decision-making is proven to be emotional rather than logical according to neuro-scientific latest findings so there you have your “women are emotional to rule” going down the drain.
Do I think women would make better leaders?
During the covid-19 pandemic, it was revealed that female-led countries like New Zealand, Germany, Finland and Taiwan fared way better than other male-led countries. It was found that outcomes related to COVID-19, including the number of cases and deaths, were systematically better in countries led by women.
Analytical data and social experiments have shown that women make better leaders in business and politics.
However, I am not here to make an argument on who is BETTER at ruling between the gender binary. (Women would still win this debate if we want to restrict the argument to who is better at ruling anyway? At least with the empirical data on ground. Only that the systemic sexism would still work against women at the end of the day and women would be discarded as “too emotional to rule”).
I’m here making an argument to say that no gender should exclusively have the autonomy or rights to be in top political positions. Women should not be handed second-hand vice presidentship for the sake of political correctness and upholding the “men are better at ruling” narrative and “let’s just have pity on women by making them our vices.”
I’m here to argue that women should have equal access to political positions and also rule Nigeria because Nigeria is not made up of men alone.
I’m here to argue that women don’t have to prove they’re better at ruling than men before they become presidents and governors in Nigeria because men are categorically not asked to “prove” anything before they can contest for presidentship. Even when men have been proving over and over that they’re terrible at ruling Nigeria, men are still contesting for the governorship and the seat of the presidency remains unchallenged by women.
Nobody is asking men to “prove” anything before they can rule, why should women then prove anything before they are certified fit to rule if not for SEXISM? Why are higher standards placed on women to “prove” themselves?
There was a time women were not even allowed to vote and I’m pretty sure different watery sexist arguments were also made against women being allowed to vote back then. It is no different this time around. Every argument against women becoming presidents in Nigeria is watery to say the least.
There are roughly 218 million people in Nigeria and it is illogical and not sustainable that just one gender would be ruling the country since its inception. A male president over and over and over is detrimental to the female folks because our realities cannot be experienced and represented. We could scream for abortion rights from today ’til tomorrow, or talk about the high incidences of rape and femicide and nobody would bat an eyelid because women are grossly under-represented in the leaderships of Nigeria. There needs to be a balance; ying and yang, male and female, matter and anti-matter (been reading a lot of Dan Brown’s books, lol). Everything is balanced in nature and Nigeria cannot go against that rule of nature and expect to be free from chaos.
Once again quoting Sarah. E Hill in the spirit of rounding this up:
“There is absolutely no truth to the idea that women’s hormones change and make them irrational but men’s don’t. Science says so. The idea is nothing more than a position of convenience that gets adopted by sexist dipsh**s who want to keep women from competing for the resources and positions that have long been monopolized by men.”
While not backtracking on my stance that women should definitely have equal access to Nigeria’s presidentship, I would also like to point it out that all these identity politics have been played against the Nigerian masses for too long and it’s time to wake up!
Tribal politics have been used.
Religious politics have been used.
Ageism is currently being used; old folks VS STILL old folks desperately presenting themselves as “youths”, filming how much they can exercise and run on the streets. LMAO!
And now we have the gender politics being played to solidify the ever-strong sexism in Nigeria.
There are only two identities in this whole game and it is the RULING ELITES VS MASSES! The rich VS the poor!
That an oppressor is a woman doesn’t make the oppression any less threatening.
With the ruling class, there’s no tribe, no religion and no “go out there o ye empty phalluses and keep the enemies (women) down in their place by repressing them!”
They’re tight, they’re united and all these identity politics are used against us.
I see beyond the identity politics. I understand that it doesn’t matter if it’s a woman becoming the president of Nigeria, that the president is not my Messiah. I would still suffer, maybe even more. What if she brings in Shariah law? Look at the Tanzanian president, she’s upholding patriarchy back to back.
I understand that a woman cannot win the presidency without pandering up to patriarchy as that’s the prevailing systemic structure on ground and maybe just giving us a bit of liberal feminism lite “women in power” crumbs of illusions of feminism hia and dia.
My only hope lies in a revolution!
The bottom line is THERE IS NO MESSIAH ANYWHERE. This is like my favorite sentence for this election period and I’ll continue to say it.
Get that idea that someone will save you out of your head! Anyone that says they want to save you is not just a LIAR, the person is also a THIEF!
Olè ni gbogbo won!
I mean Nigerians like forming street smart and all, why then are we still being conned over and over with the same damn method? How sustainable or effective is it that just one person will rule 218 million people without misbehaving? Will that person know everybody’s realities? How will that person not be under so much pressure to mismanage funds? Or become power drunk? I mean all that power over 218 million people? All those resources at the person’s behest? The same promises, the same cycle, the same drama, the same damn identity politics games! Every four years!
Karl Marx said:
” The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”
Maybe every single one of us should think about this and stop playing in their hands for once. The power belongs to the masses. The power belongs to us all, NOT the ruling class.
We are our own saviour.
And we should be talking about revolution. Ha, I don’t mean the bastardised “revolution now” version please.
I mean a revolution where power belongs to the people, where the bourgeois capitalists and ruling class are toppled and all resources equally distributed among us all, as it should be!
“The revolution is everything, all else is bilge.” ~ Rosa Luxemburg.
Written by SISÍ AFRIKA.