With civilization and technology, came different ideologies which were previously alien to Africans and contrasted greatly with their culture. Some of these ideologies have been accepted and welcomed with open arms while others have been met with skepticism, one of such ideologies that has not been completely accepted by the African populace is feminism, and with the fast rising number of African women who have taken up feminism as a shield, one begins to wonder how a union between the average African man and the modern day feminist would survive, if it would survive at all.
The average African man grew up believing that it is his responsibility, his right, to rule his household, to dominate, to control. Right from when he’s a boy, the average African man is taught that he is going to grow up to be a man, to be a father, to be the head of his family and that is all that matters. One day, a woman will bear his name and answer to him, she and all her affairs will be under his control. Simply put, an average African man is taught to believe that he owns a woman.
Needless to say, this would not sit well with a modern feminist. Wikipedia defines feminism as a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes.
The average African will only tolerate this definition if it doesn’t directly affect his household. He may not mind having his wife being a boss in her place of work, he may not mind her working at all, he may not mind her making decisions at work without consulting him, as long as these decisions do not affect him and his household directly.
As a boy, he watches his mother defer to his father, he watches his sisters do the menial jobs around the house, he is made to believe that his ultimate goal in life is to start a family, provide for said family and continue the family’s bloodline. Meeting a feminist shakes everything he’s been taught to believe in, all his values, his ideologies and his way of life.
For example, having watched his mother defer to his father all his life, it would be a strange thing for him to meet a woman who refuses to defer to him and consult him at all times before making her own decisions. It would be a strange thing for him to be in a relationship with a woman who is not afraid to speak her mind and even raise her voice when talking to him, a woman who demands to be heard, a woman who doesn’t see the need to build her world around him.
Or in an instance where his significant other asks him to do his share of household chores like cooking, sweeping and dish washing, the average African man would feel insulted because he grows up believing that all these jobs are only meant for women and all he has to do is provide.
More commonly, we have cases where relationships have had to end because a woman refused to give up her job and follow her man wherever he wanted, or where a man was uncomfortable with being with a woman who earned more than him at work.
The average African man has a very fragile ego and a feminist is someone whose ideals go against everything he has been taught. Her littlest actions could bruise his ego and shake their relationship. He feels like he is being challenged at every turn and she is hardly ever willing to back down or defer to him because she believes they have equal rights.
A feminist would see no reason why she should need to ask her husband for permission before doing anything and the average African man believes that it is his right to know about any and everything his woman does as long as she bears his name.
In our society where men have been taught to believe that they own both their women and children, the average African man would be very shocked indeed to meet a woman who believes that she has just as much control over her children’s life as her husband does. She sees no reason why she shouldn’t have a say in how her home is run or how her finances are managed. The feminist does not want to be just an assistant or caregiver, she wants to be a provider and a decision maker and she wants to enjoy the same privileges that men do. All of which would be off-putting or disconcerting to an African man, he begins to feel as though she is challenging his manhood and/or his competence. All of his beliefs are deeply rooted in him and his culture. To marry a feminist, he would have to stop believing in everything he’s been taught, everything he’s built his life, his person upon.
To marry a feminist, an average African man would have to stop being an average African man.