Are Men Privileged?

by Daniel Nkado

No life story today, so we are going to have a little discussion.

During an address to the graduating class of 2015 at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on May 29, famed writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said something I disagree with.

She called men privileged.

It should be noted that Adichie is a staunch feminist, well known for her emotive feminist pieces, one of which has landed her a collaboration with famed American singer and fellow feminist, Beyoncé Knowles.

Before I continue, you have to know that I adore everything about Adichie. In fact, she comes top in my list of most-respected Nigerians.

Beside her books, I’ve read many of her articles and they were all filled with inimitable wisdom.

But I have to say that I am not completely with Adichie on this one.

I do not think that men are privileged.

There is no part of growing up as a boy in Nigeria that I found so greatly advantaged.

Adichie may not know this because, well, she grew up as a girl instead.

As a growing boy, there were standards I needed to maintain in order to fit in.

I couldn’t cry when I’m hurt, because it is not in the nature of boys to cry. People would point at me and laugh. ‘Hey, look at that boy crying!’

I have to always carry the bigger container to the borehole because I was the boy.

If I’m being bullied at school and I tell my mother about it, she would say, in maddened voice, ‘Is he not a boy like you?’

‘Has he got two heads?’

‘Is this how you are going to fend for your family?’

During festivals, the masquerades with their long scary whips targeted me. They allowed the girls be. Most of them would still run behind me, pleading for me to save them from the masquerades, even though they knew they were not really in danger.

But their presence would draw attention to me, and because of them, I would not run away.

I would stay still and clench my teeth.

And after the whipping, I would pretend there was no pain at all and even feign a smile, because I am a boy.

At home, if I didn’t pound the fufu well enough, my mother would scream, ‘What kind of a boy are you?’

And so I was always living my life trying to measure up.

Trying to always be a boy.

I grew up and nothing has changed. I have to work hard, make money, build a house, and set up a home.

‘You are a man, my son,’ my father would say. ‘Don’t ever look at women. Women are born lucky. All they need to do is look pretty and wait for the right man to come and take them. It is not so for us [men]. A man must work hard. A man must be strong. You can’t bring a woman home for her to suffer. Being a man is no day’s job, my son.’

I don’t know if this is the privilege Adichie was referring to, but I certainly do not see it as one.

Could never call it one.

I don’t think men are privileged; they only have just accepted their fate.

Waiting to hear what you think though.

Articles like this posted on DNB Stories represent only the views of the writer and not the collective opinion of DNB Stories.

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11 Comments on “Are Men Privileged?”

  1. Men are terribly less privileged. The feminist cause has never been fair. How many women out there would readily accept to switch places and become a man instead?

  2. Am a woman but I don't think I will ever want to become a man.
    But let's face it, the society hz favored men more.
    There are times women are denied higher education and all that.
    Men think the job of a woman is to cook and clean and make babies.
    This is what I think feminism is all about
    Nice write up tho

  3. Both male and female are prepared for the full adult stage. This is also for female. As a girl, you couldn't clean the house or cook on time or know what to do next as home manager, all is expected of them in that angle as it is for guys.

    Both the "privilege" here according to Adichie is males are prepared and groomed to come out strong and live their dreams but a girl rather would be asked to stay at the backyard, bury her dreams and learn how to live at the expense of her husband.

    It's just a clarion call to parents to let their girls live their dreams as well. This mindset of "all education go end inside kitchen" has made some ladies just live life all dependent on one Prince Charming.

  4. Growing up is tough for boys. Even at school, ladies will pick papers while all boys will march into the field with cutlasses.
    Ladies are always on d receiving end of care and attention.
    Boys are trained to get everything they want themselves.
    I believe ladies should be given equal opportunities as men tho…bt saying we are privileged na lie. It is a tough war for every gender.

  5. I believe no one is privilege cos we both gotbour defects buh gugs we a bit lucky..girls go thru menstration breast enlargement n pregnancy..even during sex dey go tru pain depending on d guy orgsn..n gals re exposed to vices like bin raped wich is very i support adichie

  6. Once, I have said to my boyfriend, 'I need a new phone. You are the man, you are supposed to take care of my needs.'
    Of course, he got me the phone.
    This statement is one of the reasons I do not aggressively preach feminism. I preach women respect instead.
    Being a woman no man can toss around. That respect is more earned than inherited.
    I still need a man to tell me that I am pretty, open doors for me and take me on a date. A man i can scream out to when i see a cockroach in the kitchen cabinet and he'd come and kill it while smiling at my femininity.

  7. Adichie like many others has failed to understand the true idea of feminism.

    Feminism is not the fight for women's rights because men had all the rights.

    It is not the fight against men.

    The danger to feminism right now is that some feminists, and many of them leaders of feminism, aren't able to see or accept that things have changed.

    Today equality means fighting for both men and women to be free of traditional gender stereotypes.

  8. Presently, science have given everybody an opportunity to be privileged or remain less privilege,Now how many females have transgendered to male? and how many males have transgendered to females? So if she think that men are more privileged,she can easily visit the doctor! My take, No gender is less privileged!

  9. I don't knw d perspective she had in mind whyl spking,but wud say we all had/hv dese gender roles,some of which r unreasonable n most of which r culture base,u see my dear we ladies hv our own 'trainin' as dey call it,so it's both ways,my brothr n I hv never seen a masquerade n my brothers hv never pounded yam(dey alwys manaage to escape leavn my sistrs n i to 'handle' d situation),so our environmnt mattrs too. But generally I'd lyk to say whn it comes to choices we ladies r nt given much of dat,even as grown ups;u wnt to go fr ur mastrs aftr schl dey say no,wait u'll do it in ur husband's house',u wnt to rent a place to stay,closer to ur place of wrk out of ur own pocket,"dnt do dt,men don't lyk women who live on deir own,dey r loose' blablabla n stuffs lyk dt(cnt go into d rest nw).Anywayz,am nt a feminist,jst a lady who loves fairness

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