by Daniel Nkado
Feminists describe the position of men in the society as ‘privileged’.
Feminism thus fights to bring women to this same privileged position of men.
Okay, all good.
But that same feminism goes on to state that men are also affected by societal dictates on gender and are equally harmed by gender stereotypes and all.
Global feminist icon, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, offers this as a reason why “we should all be feminists!”
Now the funny thing is, if men, just like women, are affected by gender issues too, and feminists agree to this, where then does the privilege come in?
Two equally flawed groups and the feminist idea of solving the problem is moving one group to the faulty space of the other?
How does that work exactly?
I once asked a feminist I know to define male privilege for me and she said: “A choice to do whatever you want!”
According to her, as a woman, her entire worth is tied to marriage and her ability to have or not have kids.
This sort of made me laugh.
I know nobody bears the pressure of marriage in the society where I live more than the man.
It seems to be the reason for everything men live for — the reason most men stay in horrible and unsafe jobs because, yes, they must make money and start a family.
Even in my own culture, now and in the past, men who have come of age but refused to marry are called names like “agafu”, “akonogheri”, etc — names no man ever wants to be associated with.
Sometimes it gets so worse that a family would decide to ostracize the agafu and strip him of any right to inherit property or take titles.
Very old in the past, men who refused to go to battle were also ostracized by their communities, sometimes banished.
Women did not go to war.
In a marriage, same pressure goes to a man who is not able to impregnate his wife as to the wife who couldn’t get pregnant.
The truth is that why marriage tends to mean so much for most women comes from the fact that it is still real treasure to find someone who is ready to protect and provide for you, even with the last drop of his blood, all the time of his life.
This is a luxury men do not have.
As a male, you are taught from a very young age to learn how to take care of yourself, and others.
Men are taught the spirit of sacrifice, the ability to mask fear and to endure the hardest of physical pain to achieve a goal.
I see everyday how men are harassed every single moment by law enforcement officers and I begin to wonder if there is something criminal about being born male.
I see everyday how women are easily perceived to be more honest, harmless and trustworthy and it scares me that I am a man.
How women are easily excused for being weak, poor or emotionally erratic — luxuries no man can afford.
A woman breaking a gender barrier, say attempting a job mostly attributed to men is praised and supported by all.
A man taking up a ‘feminine’ career only inspires shame.
I could go on and on, but that is really not the purpose of this article.
But the truth remains that male privilege is an illusion that doesn’t exist, never existed.
And most feminist ideologies appear to agree.