I Am Not A Misogynist, Not All Men Are

August 30, 2018 OTHER

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By

John Chizoba Vincent

 

 

A misogynist is one who displays prejudice against or looks down upon women, or better still is one who professes misogyny; a hater of women. These are the layman definitions of a misogynist.

 

Wikipedia defined misogyny as the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. Misogyny is manifest in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification. Misogyny can be found within sacred texts of religions, mythologies, and Western philosophies.

 

I think before you call someone a misogynist you should at least know the meaning of the word and why people use it, how to use it; have a full understanding of the context before you use it on someone. Don’t just wake up one day and label a man or boy a misogynist. I don’t hate women. I repeat again I don’t hate women. If I do, I would have caused my mother the whole pains in the world, but I don’t, I love her with all my life just like I love all women. The fact that I decided to create a boundary between what I called myself and what girls are to my life does not mean I hate them or don’t talk about them. Stop pointing the accusatory finger at me. Mind your thoughts and the process at which they may fall from. I am just a guy with the same blood and flesh as yours. I have taken my time to come to the realisation that we are created to live our lives just like the way it pleases us. You cannot decide another man’s destiny just as you cannot decide your own.

 

I am a boy once lost in the street of pain, bred in the ghetto streets to learn how to spell genocide. I’ve smelt hardship like the palm of my hands with other boys and that defined my character as a boy. I love boys because they represent me and my struggles to find my feet in the busy world. I am not a misogynist trying to put women aside from the twisted fate of the world. They have their place in my life and anytime I remember them, I remember my mother and the agonies she had to pass through to raise me and my siblings. I have a part for them in my life, a part beautifully carved in golden coral; part made by flowers and snows of love. I don’t hate women nor do I see them as burdens to me but sometimes in life you just have to choose what comes first and what comes next.

 

Here are thoughts of misogynists which are quite different from what I believe:

 

When you grow up as a girl, it is like there are faint chalk lines traced approximately three inches around your entire body at all times, drawn by society and often religion and family and particularly other women, who somehow feel invested in how you behave, as if your actions reflect directly on all womanhood – M.E. Thomas, Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight.

 

Some women do not masturbate for pleasure; they masturbate to make a political statement: to remind us that women do not really need men (or at least not as much and as frequently as every single male chauvinist and every single misogynist believes) – Mokokoma Mokhonoana.

 

I’d never gone in for academic gender theories, but Bailey’s cross-examination strategy–with Farrar and other women to come–convinced me that the culture of criminal justice has a fundamentally masculine tilt. Repeatedly, in a manner that I suspected was typical in modern courtrooms, he portrayed the female mind as intrinsically unreliable, ruled by emotion, immune to logic, prone to pettiness, swayed by lust, and corrupted by vanity. It rarely spoke plainly. It was seldom candid. It was composed of layers of hidden agendas. It put up a front, behind which was another front. It either aimed to please or to conceal, which were often the same thing. The only way to get the truth from it was to push and prod until it snapped. Make it angry. Make it cry – Walter Kirn, Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade.

 

Because misogynists are the best of men. All the poets reacted to these words with hooting. Boccaccio was forced to raise his voice: “Please understand me. Misogynists don’t despise women. Misogynists don’t like femininity. Men have always been divided into two categories. Worshipers of women, otherwise known as poets, and misogynists, or, more accurately, gynophobes. Worshipers or poets revere traditional feminine values such as feelings, the home, motherhood, fertility, sacred flashes of hysteria, and the divine voice of nature within us, while in misogynists or gynophobes these values inspire a touch of terror. Worshipers revere women’s femininity, while misogynists always prefer women to femininity. Don’t forget: a woman can be happy only with a misogynist. No woman has ever been happy with any of you! – Milan Kundera

 

Sometimes in life, when you follow a particular movement to achieve a designated goal, people would call you many names and others would have no option than to follow suit to call you what they don’t really understand it meaning, that is why I decided to clear the air in terms of what I have heard or read about me. This is a free world and the sky is big enough for all of us to fly depending on the lane you choose to follow.

 

We have hungry feminists in Nigeria and we have genuine feminists who stand for something very particular for women. But I have chosen to be different from every other writer we have in Nigeria and the world. To leave something for the boys who are coming after us, for boys of tomorrow and for the BoyChild for them to understand that what society carved or painted about them can be replaced. I have chosen to this part because of what I’ve seen or heard about the boy child or men.

 

When I wrote “Men are not Beasts” and “Boys Are Not Stones“, I opened the floor for women and men to air their views about the subject matter. I write about the BoyChild because society sees male children as superheroes, that is to say they may likely have no feeling or emotion of their own. They don’t feel pain or heartbreak. Our thoughts are being patterned in this formless manner. We see them as not being broken, we look at them like nothing hurts them but the truth of the matter remains that these special species have their own shortcomings, they have their own dark shadows and dark rooms where life tortures them also. We may not likely see this because society made us unable to. But truth be told, we are all humans with flesh and blood. If you put your finger in a fire and it hurts you, you dare not ask another to do the same because if you do; it makes you inhuman.

 

Jane Austen, in Persuasion once said this “I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman’s inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman’s fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men.” “Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”

 

Because society made women see only men that hate them, not those that love them, society made women see men as beasts and misogynists.

 

‘Misogynist’ is a word used by women about men who are able to describe women directly and accurately enough to make them feel uncomfortable and insecure about themselves. Leaving one religion for the sake of another is like breaking up with a rapist for the sake of dating a misogynist. Fear happens inside the brain not inside the womb. So believe me when I say that that not all men are streamline misogynists.

 

 

 

 

John Chizoba Vincent

John Chizoba Vincent is a cinematographer, filmmaker, music video director, poet and a writer. A graduate of mass communication, he believes in life and the substances that life is made of. He has three books published to his credit which includes Hard Times, Good Mama, Letter from Home. For boys of tomorrow is his first offering to poetry. He lives in Lagos.

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