Feminism or Sexism, Which Do You Prefer?





Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy defines feminism as “both an intellectual commitment and a political movement that seeks justice for women and the end of sexism in all forms. However, there are many different kinds of feminism” Sexism on the hand refers to prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender. Sexism can affect anyone, but it primarily affects women and girls.


There are basic rights every human being (male and female) must have, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights- UN:

– Right to life liberty and security of person.
– None shall be held in slavery or servitude (this is prohibited in all forms).
– No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment.
– All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.
– (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. Read more about the Universal Declaration of Human Right.

Sexism is based on the belief that one sex or gender is superior to the other, it is a discrimination , prejudice, stereotyping most often expressed towards girls and women. Sexism is everywhere in the developed and third world.
As a woman I stand with the Universal Declaration of Human rights. I believe I am first of all identified as a human being, before my gender is questioned. There are  differences between men and women but that does not mean a woman is lesser. I am expected to respect both men and women, because they have feelings. Men and women feel embarrassed when they are humiliated publicly or even privately. The feeling has absolutely nothing to do with gender.


In Nigeria, many girls are deprived of education because of their gender. They are traded into early marriage in exchange for better life for their families. Some families do not permit their biological daughters to attend the family meeting, while some may permit the biological daughters but totally shut out the daughters in-law from such a gathering. The moment a girl or  woman dare to stand against these practices, she is labelled a ‘rebel’ punished and tortured by older women in the family or community influenced by the men, and may finally be ostracized.
Most Nigerian women go through hell in their matrimonial homes, unfortunately hell is always unleased by the women in her husband’s family, with or without the consent of the men in this family. A Nigerian woman who loses her husband to the cold hands of death, does not only have to go through emotional trauma of such a loss but face torture, deprivation, accusation from her husband’s’ family. She is first of all accused of killing her husband, thereafter everything she and her husband worked hard for is snatched out of her hands and that of her children, she and her children are thrown out in the streets.
Why will women not rise to fight for their dignity, when they are treated lesser than animals?

Personally, I love the way the world is … male and female. It is not for the different gender to destroy themselves but to use their differences to complement one another.
I love to cook for my husband and sons, I love to take care of them, it flows naturally… not forced out of me. When I cannot lift something heavy, I expect them to help or do any task that demands a masculine hand. Men and women have their areas of strength and weaknesses. They should use this to complement one another and not try to destroy what is meant to be a blessing. I can’t imagine life without good men, a world filled only with women will be so boring.
But to enjoy the benefits of having these genders, there has to be equality, as listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. No gender should be made to look inferior, for we all are very important. Men need women just as women need men.

Say no to sexism, Say no to gender inequality!!


Vera Aigbonoga


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