Let’s talk about Social Media and Feminism.
If there is something Nigerian women should be grateful for, it is the ability to share our thoughts via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok. I mean, the chances that anybody harms you is next to nothing. You can be anonymous.
Feminism in Nigeria gained momentum because of Social Media.
Aside from reading books written by scholars to fully grasp Feminism, Social Media brought it to our leisure. You are literally scrolling on tiktok and laughing and the next video is saying “Fuck Patriarchy”.
Feminists in Africa have used social media to advance the course for social justice and call out misogyny. It is not even a Nigerian or Feminism thing.
Take for instance the Arab Spring, it sure started on the Social Media. The #EndSars movement in Nigeria which turned into a full blown revolution against police brutality and the ills in the Nigerian society started from Twitter.
Now to Feminist trends on Twitter space.
There was the #BringBackOurGirls, following the abduction of school girls from Chibok in Borno state, Nigeria in 2014. It could have been #FreedomForChibokStudents or something else, right? The #BringBackOurGirls was a gender transformative approach that understood this issue affected girls and should be called exactly what it was.
#Feminism – After our very own Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie released the feminist manifesto; We Should All Be Feminists. This hashtag drew a lot of engagements, there was a whole #BeingMaleInNigeria to compete. What this exposed was the deeply-rooted sexism.
#sluttygirlfears – This hashtag kicked the idea of slutshaming women right in the face. Women tweeted about sex and sexiness and owned it. A whole psychological healing happened. How dare a Nigerian woman not pick offense at being called a slut, damn she just called herself a slutty girl. Now that’s new and definitely not “our culture” says the men and patriarchy princesses.
Last but not the least on my list is #BeingFemaleInNigeria – this trend exposed the sordid reality of what the girl child goes through in Nigeria. It brought to public knowledge how the family unit dehumanizes females by pouring pepper in their private parts as punishment. It exposed how society blame women for being raped and assaulted. Women are blamed for bringing “bad luck” to their husbands if their fortunes go down while married. How women are asked what they bring to the table in marriage because society feigns selective amnesia and refuses to recognise the important roles women play from carrying pregnancies and continuing the human race to running the family. I mean, women get blamed for literally everything that goes wrong because why not?
Through the course of hashtags on Twitter, women have learned. Men have learned.
While the journey to dismantling patriarchy can not be completed in one day, it is progressive.
I mean, I am a feminist.
Written by Ezinne.