Don’t Put Us In The Same Box
By Afia Kwakyewaa Owusu-Nyantakyi
I remember when Christian Amanpour’s Love and Sex Documentary in Ghana first premiered in the Ghanaian online space. A dear friend of mine and I were at different poles of the spectrum. This was particularly on the featuring of Socialite Moesha Buduong in the documentary. In excerpts, of the documentary she mostly spoke about relationship with a married man, primarily as a means of economic support. She essentially spoke about how difficult the Ghanaian economy was and how providing sex for her married partner gave her the financial support she needed to handle her bills. A lot of women were split on their thoughts on this. More than enough were publicly outraged because they felt she was a poor representation of the ghanaian woman. Others like me, believed she had the right to own her truth and speak on it.
But this post isn’t about that. This post is about the disparaging comments that were made by some men. I remember that I engaged quite a lot on the matter and I had very clear and strong differences in opinions with some other female friends. There was one lady who simply couldn’t understand that I was supporting Moesha’s feature and the things she was speaking on. Fun times, I can tell you. During this time, some people felt the need to point out that, women disagreeing on this, was a clear exhibition of our inability to agree on the same thing. Someone commented on my post about the CNN documentary, that if “women could not agree on simple matters, then the feminist movement had lost it’s purpose, or so to speak”.
It irked me incessantly, because I understand where that sentiment comes from. It stems from then the need to mold all women into one symbol. First to deny us of having any ability to think, and engage objectively without bias or unnecessary emotions. To emphasize that age-old perception that we simply do not know any better. This is simply ridiculous to say the least. First of all, any train of thought can be analyzed and questioned at any point in time, feminism included. It is the way to grow, unlearn and re-learn. As we are human, it should be pointed out that anything that affects the human condition can be contested and engaged upon. Men just tend to feel as though it is their prerogative to do. Another example of arrant nonsense.
Here is a news flash for everyone and I must say that it pains me to have to explain this : Women do not have to like each other and we do not need to be friends. We do not even need to support each other if we do not want to, because inherently, human beings “(men included) are selfish creatures. But women, JUST like men, have the ability to be respectful of each other as well as assertive on all issues. We are able to engage and deliberate on anything effectively. Feminists are women, and this means that they are shaped collectively and individually on different experiences. We all have our different biases, privileges and prejudices. We allude to not share the same ideologies and our personal struggles are wired differently. These are all changeable and adjustable. We deserve to be given the same space to nurture and grow.
Do not put us in the same box. We do not belong there.