Shut Up and Bend the Knee

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I was once an active twitter user but taking a year, off social media has its perks. Let’s just say by the time I jetted back to reality, I lost my twitter mojo and now, I’m just a twitter surfer. Funny enough, the tweets I read hardly holds a sister attention (perhaps it could be me following all the wrong people got to change that).

But few days back, a retweet got my attention (and I’ve got to tell you, it’s pretty hard to get me all riled up nowadays). A friend of mine retweeted the tweet of a young lady, Yoruba by tribe,  who apparently refused to bend a knee for her groom during her traditional ceremony.  First thing I did was to check her page out (I’m sorry, but I’m sure we all do this) because I needed to understand who this ‘super woman’ was.

Now, let me tell you a bit of how the Yoruba culture works. There are contracted professionals which are known as the Alaga Ijoko (traditional master of ceremony). They could either be a family member or a total stranger. Their duty is to coordinate the proceeding and make sure that every traditional rite is performed dutifully.  Usually, the groom prostrates before the bride’s family as a sign of respect, in turn the bride will do the same when brought before her groom and his families. This is a well known and respected tradition to all. So imagine my surprise when I came across this woman’s tweet who pretty much flaunted all the rules all in a bid to prove a ‘feminist’ point.

The rate at which ladies disrespect customs and traditions and are quick to tag it being an act of feminism is pretty much appalling. Feminism is a word that is most times misused and a swift excuse for the female who doesn’t know much about it. It goes beyond owning a shirt with the inscriptions on it or better still being a loudspeaker who practically just echoes the word without knowing the grounds to it.

The average feminist stands firmly behind the notion that submission to the other sex, doesn’t fulfill equal rights, when truly it goes beyond all of that. Now all you ‘practicing feminists’ take a chill pill before jumping on me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a young lady, who believes in respects and rights to be respected irrespective of sex or gender. I don’t feel the need to label myself as a feminist, (because really I’ve got a broader perspective than the norm). But I’m also an African woman and a respecter of values and customs. I was raised to critically understand where my roots are and the role tradition tends to play.

To each, respect should be given accordingly, a balance struck and without any interferance. The advocation for equality amongst women is most times misplaced and taken to the extreme. Even the Bible states, give unto Ceaser what is Ceaser.

At this point you might be wondering what the whole fuss is about? But really, this is just a sister airing her opinion on a young feminist, who I felt took it a bit too far. Feel free to let us in on your views.

1 COMMENT

  1. I think you missed the whole point about her stance ….. in the yoruba tradition groom and his friends dobale- prostrate to the brides family , while the bride kneels to groom not his parents or family and then the groom carries his wife and if they deemed it fit they didn’t want that on their day what exactly is the big problem and I even asked my mum about this and she said the whole kneel down for your husband and feed him cake were never part of the actual engagement rites and she didn’t do it that it was over zealous alagas that used to add this and over time it stuck so all these customs and traditions everyone is shouting about is just funny because as we all learn in primary school the only thing that is constant is change if not we would still be killing twins or giving ourselves tribal marks right? Or making human sacrifices isn’t that all part of african traditions as well?
    And I find it particularly annoying when people( women) are are benefiting from this same feminism today by being able to vote /go to school and all that will say ehn I believe in equality but I’m not a feminist what exactly does that mean? I encourage you to read up on the history of feminism those women were seen as very extreme in those days (eg protests/being imprisoned/losing custody of their kids one even threw herself in front in a horse race and got killed just for right to vote in the UK which led to the world following suit …read up and watch the movie of the suffragettes or even to bring it home to Nigeria aba’s women’s riot or when funmi Ransome Kuti led abeokuta women’s riot and chased the oba of egbaland out of his palace which led to him resigning from the throne I am very sure they were classed as extreme in those times too and even some people might have said they were doing too much but at the end of day no issue is too small to tackled under the umbrella of feminism if kneeling meant that to her and she didn’t want to which is very much their choice why did her tweet go so viral with people replying with stupid and vile comments because something different was done. The same patriachrial Tenets of society that uphold rape/ domestic violence /Fgm against women is the same thing that upholds brideprice / kneeling to GROOM not his parents or family/ or even taking your husband’s surname( meanwhile this was a british thing brought through colonialism women never used to take their husband surname till the british came to Nigeria) yet if someone says this online and goes viral everyone would say that’s extreme feminism meanwhile it was never even part of this our culture everyone holds so dear to hearts….so no issue is too small or trivial to be talked about or changed. At the end of the day everyone should do what they want on their day but what this woman did was not extreme in anyway and her choice

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