Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 18th 2018 Contents B8 xx
Sunday, March 18, 2018
o today I heard my aunt
say that she “refuses to be
I had two hypotheses to
why she would think this.
One, she was a masochist who
genuinely enjoys objectification,
systemic oppression, domestic vi-
olence and lower wages. Or two,
more likely, she didn’t know what
feminism was. So here I appear,
your friendly neighbourhood
feminist to debunk some myths
and give some facts.
For a perfect definition of a
feminist, one needs to look no
further than Beyonce’s chart-top-
ping song, Flawless. In a musi-
cal break, Chimamanda Ngozi
Adichie, goddess among women
(seriously, look her up) states the
It is; “Feminist: the person who
believes in the social, political, and
economic equality of the sexes.”
Why We Need Feminism
(& What Feminism Actually Is)
So here’s the test. Do you
believe that men and women
should be treated equally? If
yes, congratulations! You’re a
feminist, welcome! If no,
please dig a deep hole and
move there. Your extinct ideas
deserve to be closer to the
So why are men and women
treated differently? Why is each
Now here’s the big
organ is most
important in our
definition of human?
Barbies aside, what
makes us human?
The answer is
simple, our brains.
sex pigeonholed into certain bi-
nary characteristics? For exam-
ple, a woman is encouraged (or
forced) to marry a man, have chil-
dren and devote her life to their
care, god forbid if she doesn’t
want children at all, whereas a
man is encouraged (or forced) to
be emotionless, wear suits and
make money. This is an over-sim-
plification of course but you get
There have always been clear
definitions of “girl things” and
“boy things”. Often, the “boy
things” are tailored to a position
of power and emotional distance
and the “girl things”, to a posi-
tion of submission. One look in
a children’s toy store will prove
this. Boys’ toys are engineering
sets, cars and machines; girls are
limited to babies, Barbies and the
colour pink. What are these silly
characteristics called you ask?
They are called Gender Roles.
Gender roles came about as a
result of evolution (if you don’t be-
lieve in evolution, I’m afraid I’m
already fighting a losing battle,
but try to keep up). Women are
the humans with the hardware to
make more humans, so rightfully,
they stayed in the cave to give the
baby humans some fresh human
milk. The men, who do not wield
this power, made themselves use-
ful and ventured out the cave to
hunt for adult human food.
Society, especially the Western
society that colonised us, contin-
ued from there. Men worked in
the farm or the mine and women
stayed home and minded the off-
spring. Yet, somewhere in 100
000 years of human evolution,
Western society decided that
men should be in power, and es-
sentially created a system so that
they could remain in power. This
social system is called the patriar-
chy. In my opinion, it is the root of
Don’t believe in the patriar-
chy you say? Think about this.
Women have only been able to
vote in democratic elections in
the last 100 years. Yes, you read
that right, the machine gun is
older than women’s right to vote.
The Titanic was built and sunk
and still, women could not vote.
It’s even relatively recent that a
woman could own property. Not
too long ago, every father would
wish for a son to pass on his for-
tune to; women apparently were
not capable of ownership. This
system has been ruling us for
hundreds of years. This is long
enough to creep into our very sub-
conscious. Most people (women
included) aren’t even aware of
their unconscious sexism, the pa-
triarchy is that engrained.
Now here’s the big question.
What organ is most important in
our definition of human? Strength
aside, gender aside, Barbies aside,
what makes us human? The an-
swer is simple, our brains.
Interesting fact, there is ab-
solutely no difference between
a male and a female brain. Let’s
say it again for the people at the
back, there is NO difference be-
tween a male and a female brain.
If you showed the greatest neuro-
scientist in the world two floating
brains in a jar, one male and one
female, she would not be able to
tell the difference.
Aha! Got you! You see how I
used ‘she’ instead of ‘he’ there?
I bet you assumed my fictional
neuroscientist was a man. That’s
the patriarchy controlling your
thoughts. Told ya.
The brain dictates who we are;
not our skin colour, not our lan-
guage and certainly not our geni-
tals. The same human brain is in
every human body. Some bodies
have ovaries, some bodies have
an Adam’s apple; physical dif-
ferences don’t matter because
they’re all governed by the same
brain. Yet, they are not treated
This is what feminism is. Half of
humans are objectified, paid less
and (forgive me for being crude)
raped, simply because they were
born with a vagina.
They were raised in a system
created by men that systemati-
cally prefers men; a system that
keeps men distant and unemo-
tional and keeps women subservi-
ent and powerless. Every gender
should be frustrated by this out-
dated system. Feminism is equal-
ity. That’s it.
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