“I am lucky to be licking the right ass” , a controversial phrase as it may seem is from someone who happens to be a feminist. Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie a successful Nigerian feminist have written a lot of books that are full of feminist ideologies among them Purple Hibiscus, Half of a yellow sun, We should all be feminists and Americanah. The quote I have used an an escort is from her book Americanah and it begins by saying, “The biggest problem in this country is not corruption. The problem is that there are many qualified people who are not where they are supposed to be because they won’t lick anybody’s ass or they don’t know which ass to lick or they don’t even know how to lick an ass. I’m lucky to be licking the right ass”. Whatever that means,I believe its a subjective issue, it depends on how you view it , but the phrase did a great job in bringing me closer to the main issue of this article which is feminism and its short comings.
To begin with, I would like to applaud feminists both late and living for endangering their lives in standing up against radicalism which was and is still rife within the spheres of life which continue to subjugate women in all forms. The forerunners did a great job and without their effort the likes of myself and my fellow female colleagues would not have been corresponding here. Revolutionaries and philosophers like Jeanne Jacques Rousseau who heralded important sentiments that were so powerful and that we still refer back to today such as ” men are all born equal, but all I see is chains”, did an important role also in advocating for equality, all this effort cannot be substituted by anything .
However, I strongly feel that these theories successfully empowered women theoretically and they did overlooked one aspect of life which is now haunting women with their education or better phrased’ emancipation’.
Feminism, of course as a human rights issue for example, paved way for equality between men and women through trying to tilt scales of imbalance, but the whole concept was done in a wrong way because tilting scales means there has to be some maintenance of balance, but feminists went all the way rallying for women to be at par with men while forgetting that by so doing they were alienating women from men who were sitting rigid on the positions women were preparing so much to take . As an aftermath, when women are empowered theoretically they then struggle now to penetrate through those positions and because men with their ego have not been engaged from the beginning, they refuse to cooperate . That also explains the beginning of ‘licking the right bottom affair’. But honestly if feminism has been engaging with men more often, there was obviously going to be a swift transition of power without the other party having to lick the right bottom . Well frank enough theoretically as envisaged the feminism ideologies worked, but practically they are failing.
The thing is- feminism is the theory of encouraging women to be better creatures, but in practicality it does not spell out how women ought to relate with men when they have attained the much talked about equality because men have been socialized that they exercise power over women from a tender age and from a cultural perspective this is common sense, but sad enough women only got to know of equality at a later stage in life which complicates the whole process of equality and very few men truthfully believe in feminism because as a theory they ought to have their own views pertaining the subject in question .
Feminism also failed to note that biologically men and women cannot have equal strength , what we can have is equal opportunities, but these opportunities comes with a responsibility too and women’s sexual desires cannot be quenched by theories, hence the ‘we don’t really care about men’ ideology is a fallacy.
A few years back during my high school days, when I was doing literature, I fell in love with two women feminists, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie a Nigerian novelist and Tsitsi Dangaregmbwa a Zimbabwean playwriter .I was greatly thrilled by Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and Dangarembga’s She no longer weeps.
Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, Nigerian novelist and feminist
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zimbabwean feminist and play writer
These two women had a lot in common, radicalism,they were radical feminists and their influence on young girls is to date so strong .
I too was once ensnared in that net of believing in feminist ideologies, because I was naive I was quick to believe that feminists don’t want men or better phrased,don’t want to get married or they won’t lick anybody’s ass, but Dangarembga’s recent marriage proved that these beliefs are nothing but mere fallacies .
I also did my research right and realised that Adichie on the other hand is enjoying her successes because she is surrounded by males who have the keys to unlock doors she can’t herself , hence she now talks about ‘licking the right ass ‘.she points out clearly that even when one is well qualified, might not be successful if not aware about how to lick the right ass.
So I noted with utter rage that feminism like any other school of thought , is to do more with Agenda setting and nothing else . Whether feminists became successful or not, that’s another angle saved for another day.
At some point Adichie had to confess that even with education,women are still struggling to penetrate through the positions that have been a preserve for men . She reiterated that the higher she has gone up the ladder of success, the less women she had encountered there which is really worrisome.
When Adichie wrote her novel Purple Hibiscus, she said that a male journalist approached her and said her book was all about feminism and warned her that it’s not good to call herself a feminist because feminists are viewed as people who hate men and they live miserable lives , but Adichie told herself that she was going to call herself ‘a happy African feminist’ either way it didn’t change anything because a feminist is a feminist regardless of the wording.
Unperturbed by that journalist, another woman also approached her and warned her that feminism was un-african, and that chimamanda had been mainly influenced by western books she studied much .
Sad enough even with her powerful ideologies she failed to change the status quo in Nigeria well the evidence is clear, the abductions targeted at school girls is a reflection that the society still doesn’t believe in girls education and they haven’t grasped feminist ideologies yet .
I guess that explains why she now divides her life between Nigeria and America and why she has many American friends who believe in her ideologies , she is frustrated by little progress feminism has made in Nigeria and the African continent.
Paying a closer look at America itself women who show feministic tendencies also suffer from a lot of criticism one notable example is that of Hillary Clinton who is one of the pioneers of women’s rights in the 21st century, in 1995 she made a powerful speech articulating that ‘ women’s rights are human rights’ and this gave birth to many women rights campaigns and activists coming from hibernation, they voiced up .
Fast forward to 2016 ,many Americans see Clinton as tough and thinks she should learn to put a smile a bit and act in a womanly manner than appearing rigid and stern and also engage men in a more friendly manner than being tough which is masculine, but who doesn’t know that politics is a dog-eat-dog affair meaning that there is no room for courtesy .
During presidential debates when Clinton showed feminine tendencies by complaining of being nominated to answer the questions first, they were quick to doubt her eligibility as a presidential candidate, she was viewed as insecure and lacked the stamina required in politics of dealing with critical and urgent international issues that America as a super power have to deal with on a daily basis without complaining.
It was really absurd though to note that besides that Clinton was capable, the fact that she was a woman and also that she couldn’t lick anybody’s ass she was punished , the electorate saw it fit to vote for a man whom they themselves have criticized and said he had the weirdest policies regarding foreigners, Muslims and so forth because America just couldn’t have a female president.
I felt that a heavy cloud have hung heavily over all women advocates, it was really a sad moment for all feminists in the world.
This clearly depicts the real hurdles women are encountering.
Its really difficult for a woman to climb up the ladder of success without being criticized for one aspect or the other.
Clinton has undoubtedly worked really hard to be where she is now because she is focused , and its worthy to pay her due credit.
It is from this background now, where feminism as a theory has failed that women after having exhausted all tricks in their bags, i mean after getting tired of talking about the equality theories, international agreements such as the Beijing declaration and laws which were meant to empower women in totality , they resort to using’bottom power’ because it is now clear that our societies African or not have no place for feminism. Women who have made huge successes in the end, they are let down just like that, Clinton is again an example.
Bottom power is when women offer sex as a bait to entice men in higher positions so that she can acquire a certain post at work, acquire a higher grade at school or any other favors in various life cycles in spite that academic wise she is okay or is eligible of holding that post, those who are not willing to use bottom power are the ones suffering at large .
Bottom power however reduces women to mere shadows of those who hold the unlocking keys.
Using bottom power, doesn’t necessary denotes that women are unfit, its a tactic being used to make life easier when the academic papers and feminism as a human rights issue has failed to yield the much expected results.
Globally we might have made great strides in as much as empowering women is concerned, but the fact still stands, within the corridors of our work, schools and other spheres of life, bottom power is at loose. This is mainly because, power cannot be relinquished easily, those in possession of it won’t relinquish it willy nilly , feminists have tried to grab it the harder way,but the theory had fallen short , so now a soft method approach looks promising and women using bottom power are succeeding to some point.
Only time will tell before something else erupts up, we just have to wait and see.
Anyway,i have ran short of words but i think that this proverb summarizes all ” he who does not know what went wrong, will not remember when the rain began to beat him and worse off will never know how to begin drying himself” we now know what went wrong, lets correct that and make sure women’s dignity is preserved as for feminism, should it be revised? Be the judge!