Feminism and other concepts rotate in the west, infect, and attach themselves to the broader woman’s struggle for justice and equality in a male dominated world. However as a paradigm, it is a diabolically anti-African anti-human neologism emerging out of the Eurocentric reactionary women’s movement in the 50’s. To collapse feminism and women’s rights is a fundamental linguistic flaw as the two concepts articulate completely different social realities. It is therefore inadequate to use the term feminism and apply this loaded word to the gender issues of Africa. The one commonality in all African cultures is the de-emphasis on individuality and the emphasis on community, the priority of family and creating new life. The feminist is in agreement with everything that breaks the family unit and inhibits procreation. Therefore, the African woman should never seek to locate her liberation within the Eurocentric boundaries of feminism. Within the broader African philosophy, the higher focus is balance over “tick for tack” equality. The feminist equality implies “what men can do; women can do to” as distinct from the African question of “right and wrong.” This shows the flawed paradigm which is found in many aspects of Eurocentrism, where objectives are disconnected from spiritual and biological harmony.
The forms of African women’s rights emerging in various parts of the continent do not grow out of individualism within the context of industrial societies, as did Western feminism. In the West, economic and social trends historically pushed women into more active roles in the economy, and Western feminism has focused on women’s struggle for control over reproduction and sexuality. However, African women have had a different experience. African debates do not focus on theoretical questions, the female body, or sexual identity. African feminism is distinctly heterosexual, supportive of motherhood, and focused on issues of “bread, butter, culture, and power.” –
At all places in human culture we can reflect on the biological design and see the role biology plays in influencing the broader human culture. The female is a complement for the male of the species and being a compliment there are sexual dimorphic characteristics, which define gender roles.[i] However, because of the millennium of exploitation of these roles by men, it has caused a great taboo around the topic of gender roles. This does not invalidate the biological or spiritual imperative because no volume of new theory or study will make the male and female biologically capable of the same task. The denial of divinity also plays a heavy role in these dialectics as Eurocentrism seeks to reinvent man as free from a creator.
This arrogant assumption that humans are free from biological destiny has been the corner stone of the neo-Darwinist science, which artificially poses religion as incompatible with science. However, this is only a Eurocentric argument, as religion and science co-exist in many philosophies beyond Europe’s borders.
Women’s rights responds to the injustice against women but seeks solutions within the cultural/biological context, thus it does not ignore or try to deny the biological design of women and men. Women should have equal access to education, but not to war, not being held responsible for direct conflict. Why, because the woman gives birth to a nation and such a key of civilization has no place being exposed to the ugliest side of human conflict. An African man does not need his African woman, mother, sister, wife coming home in a body bag in pieces. In the Islamic tradition women, the elderly and children cannot be targeted as a matter of human ethics. And in ancient African societies we see woman traditionally not being engaged in direct conflict, especially when able bodies men are available.
Gender roles are seen all throughout nature and these roles are part of human behavior, they exist beyond culture as they are hardwired in to the genes, women have hips, smaller structure, and different emotional composition. These sex traits complement each other and in a healthy society contribute to the continuity to the prime objective of life—continuity.
Feminism is a Eurocentric reactionary concept which perverts human nature and sees broken homes growing around the world. Feminism has women bottle feeding and in complete denial of their biological and cultural role within the society.
Daughter of leading feminist Alice Walker’s said:
“Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.”
My mother’s feminist principles colored every aspect of my life. As a little girl, I wasn’t even allowed to play with dolls or stuffed toys in case they brought out a maternal instinct. It was drummed into me that being a mother, raising children and running a home were a form of slavery. Having a career, travelling the world and being independent were what really mattered according to her.
I was very lonely and, with my mother’s knowledge, started having sex at 13. I guess it was a relief for my mother as it meant I was less demanding. And she felt that being sexually active was empowering for me because it meant I was in control of my body.
The battle for the African mind in the face of a barrage of Western “isms” is a major challenge. Many have fallen prey because we as a collective are yet to recover our mental agency and project African concepts into the world as self-determined people. We thus find ourselves swamped in the Eurocentric walls fighting for what we believe is our liberation, with the very tools designed to enslave us. Feminism is part of warfare against the African family unit and seeks to erode age-old human values while claiming to serve the interest of “human rights.” African concepts need to be studied to see how African in antiquity preserved the Africanity of our people. Not everything can be placed in modernity and work, but it is for us, as people of agency to analyze and deconstruct aspects of our culture, remove those things harmful, modify, adapt and pass on the systems that sustained us for 120,000 years.
Visit Owen Alik Shahadah online on his website www.owenshahadah.com