SISTERHOOD: THE FEMINIST HANDBOOK
This evening we will be talking about the importance of sisterhood in feminism, you can probably already tell from the topic. It’s the second post in the Feminist Handbook series, a collaboration with Bami of Simplybami.com.
Sisterhood in Feminism. We have probably heard people say stuff like the ‘greatest problem/enemy women have is other women. I am guilty of making statements like this too but, that was before I learned that the entire statement is a lie, a myth, a ploy to make us stand against one another, to make it easier for us to be oppressed.
We are all somewhat familiar with the story of dying old man and his sticks of broom. This is another cliché but, it is easier to break individual sticks of brooms, on the other hand, it is almost, if not completely impossible to break them when they are put together.
Last week, we talked about some of the misconceptions people have about feminism, in case you missed it, you can read it here.
Who devised this ‘divide and conquer method’? The answer is simple; Patriarchy!
The biggest enemy that women have and will ever have is patriarchy, and like I mentioned last week, patriarchy has no face, patriarchy is the society, patriarchy is every man or woman who upholds it’s misogynistic values.
First it was about subduing women, keeping women domesticated in the home and when women began to break those shackles, it became about pitching strong powerful women against each other, in the workplace or whatever career path women may have chosen; Making us compete at everything and anything.
Then, they labelled us emotional; “Women can’t do anything without adding emotions to it, it’s why they can never be good rulers.” We believed it and other women begin to look at women in tough and powerful positions with suspicions, “she must have gotten there through the back door” we would say to justify it.
Women in administrative positions also tend to be mean towards other women. One of the reasons for this because, society has taught women to always be suspicious of each other, to always compete with each other, to always have that façade of being tough so that they will not be walked upon like a doormat.
Women have always been told we can do it all, we can have a career and still maintain a home but if it comes down to it and we have to choose, then a “virtuous” woman must choose her home, a “virtuous” woman must choose motherhood, before anything else, and above all she must choose her husband over and above everyone else. We have been told these lies over and over again that when a woman chooses another path, completely different from the one the society has chosen for her, other women are usually the first to verbally attack her.
Envy, rivalry, unhealthy comparisons and competitions, societal brainwashing and ridiculously high standards of beauty are just a few of the many tools, patriarchal people use to divide women, and while women are busy “beefing” each other, the world is falling apart.
Women are being raped and abused, honour killing is the order of the day, child marriages prevail, the girl-child is not being educated, FGM is still a matter being discussed, women are still seen as property and inheritance, women are still being domesticated in the home (through no choice of theirs), domestic violence and gender-based violence are still being justified, women are still not allowed to drive or even vote in some countries, equal pay at work and women’s reproductive rights still sound absurd to the ears of many people, religion is still being used as a tool to tie women down, women aren’t free to make their own choices all over the world.
So yes, Sisterhood is extremely important for the survival of womanhood, because while we are fighting over trivialities, we are being oppressed and in an ironic way, even the fights are forms of oppression. We need to stand in solidarity, in sisterhood, in togetherness to be able to get rid of this gender-based stereotypes and oppression.
Taking a quote from Angel Nduka-Nwosu, in my last interview:
…another woman is not your competition. What we should be focused on is creating a world where women won’t have to fight each other for the left over crumbs of opportunities that men leave behind.”
There is power in sisterhood, we must not be deceived, every woman in the world is a sister and we must all stand together to fight and destroy our common enemy; Patriarchy!
Let’s head over to Bami’s blog to see what she has for us on this topic.
Thank you for reading and please enjoy the rest of your evening!