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Inside the Mind of an Ex-Feminist

Hi there! My name’s Amanda, and I no longer identify as a feminist.

Now, before you draw your swords, I‘d like to tell you a little bit more about myself. I’m the first of three children, and for the longest time, it was just me and my sister before my brother was born. During that time, my dad persistently expressed that his girls were enough for him and that he didn’t need a male child. If God blessed him with one (which he eventually did), he would be grateful, but he was content. He constantly reinforced the fact that being female did not make us any less valuable than our male counterparts.

In fact, every Chimamanda book that I own was bought for me by my father. So, I was exposed to feminism at a young age. I grew up having strong opinions about these issues. I proudly identified as a feminist, and I earnestly desired that everyone would become a feminist too.

Flash forward to 2023, what changed? In a bid to be dramatic, I almost said “Hm I’m not sure I know what changed”, but truth be told, I really do!

It’s the name-calling and demeaning of fellow women by women with seemingly expert opinions. When did feminism become an excuse for shaming other women? If they are comfortable in the traditional gender roles, why berate them? If they choose to quit their jobs to take care of their children, why paint their loving actions as foolish? As long as it is done in alliance with their own free will, isn’t that all that matters?

There’s the insensitive and inappropriate use of the word ‘misogynist’. Now that I think of it, these feminists would probably tag my dad a misogynist, because his wife cooks for him. They wouldn’t see how much he loves and honors her, or how supportive he is of her goals, and would definitely overlook the high esteem to which he holds her opinions.

Another one is the contempt with which many of them look at femininity. Now this one has to be the most ironic for me! The flawed belief that women must prove their equality to men, by letting go of their feminine qualities for masculine ones. This idea subtly devalues the female gender. It’s low-key agreeing that being a man is superior. Doesn’t this defeat the whole purpose of feminism?

Violent misandry is a walk in the park nowadays! Instead of seeking equality, it seems as though what is now sought, is the ultimate supremacy of women and the concurrent degrading of men. I don’t know about you, but I love the men in my life. I would derive no joy from seeing them go through the same kind of discrimination that women have had to endure for many years. This would make a mockery of what feminism was meant to stand for in the first place. Wasn’t it always about equality?

Many people have lost all sense of respect and civility in communicating their beliefs. I understand that it’s coming from a place of deep hurt. I know that women have had to endure the most horrific things for years. Most of us have experienced the pitfalls of existing in a patriarchal society. It’s true, but we can’t afford to lose ourselves to bitterness as we seek justice. We can’t win a war against evil if we ourselves become evil.

Nowadays, the mainstream feminist movement advocates for some causes that I don’t agree with. Take transgender women for example. In my opinion, transgender women should be catered to under a separate movement. Feminism should be for women, not for men who identify as women.

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Priceless time seems to be invested in fighting against meaningless things like whether a man should hold the door open for a woman.  Ridiculous right? I know! What happened to the fight against actual societal evils like gender-based violence?

You see, it’s much more than I can state in one article. But I believe you get the point. Feminism has veered so far away from what I once knew, that it no longer aligns with my values. Of course, I still care about women’s rights and I don’t think that I need the ‘feminist’ tag to believe what I want to believe.

In conclusion, all I ask is that you think deeply about what it is you are fighting for and objectively retrace the values of the feminism that you stand for.

What’s your Reaction?

Amanda Maneju Agbonika

Amanda is a law student, writer, poet, and literary enthusiast.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Precious Amike

    Huhhhmmm… I’m happy someone is finally writing this. I’ve always believed that the trajectory of feminism is shifting from its true values and there’s a need to rethink what we now believe in.

    Nice writing and introspection.

    1. Amanda Maneju Agbonika

      Thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed it✨

  2. Tìmílẹyin

    Lovely read.
    Thank you very much.

  3. Deborah Ajanya

    Eii God. This is so on point. The constant urge to impose an argument or opinion over others leads to bitterness.
    In my opinion the world should be balanced. Accept the wrong to be right and accept the right to be wrong. Thank you Amanda for a well outlined argument

  4. Bluewriter

    Super glad the author sees it in my point of view now lol. I remember when we used to argue about this and how I strongly said I wasn’t a feminist, more like twitter feminist, and would never be!

    Beautiful and captivating read, my friend! I know the writerrrrrrr(proud friend moment😌)

    1. Amanda Maneju Agbonika

      Funny how I totally forgot about this😂.
      Thank you my madam🙌🏾.

  5. Amanda Maneju Agbonika

    Thank you Debbie🤗

  6. Erhabor Ogheneruno Faith

    I am so glad someone has put this out here. We can’t become devil’s all in the name of fighting for women who are capable of making their own decisions in what accords to their happiness. I do believe in fighting for women rights but treating people as humans that they are is the utmost right to fight for.

    1. Amanda Maneju Agbonika

      Very well said. Thank you, Faith.

  7. Timileyin Olayode

    I’m super proud of you! I absolutely love how you carry your readers along. Truly, feminism isn’t what it used to be. The true values are slipping away and right now, I doubt if I’m comfortable with being referred to as a feminist.

    1. Amanda Maneju Agbonika

      Exactly, you get it! Thank you Timmie 🤍.

  8. Elizabeth Eniola

    I heard Amanda cooked, I just had to come feast. A whole buffet?!!!!
    If anything, be human first.
    Thank you, that was really insightful❤️

    1. Amanda Maneju Agbonika

      Yes. . . ‘If anything, be human first.’ 💯💯

  9. Brown Patience

    Dear Amanda,
    I will begin from here: I’ve never been subject to harsh treatment BECAUSE I’m a girl child. In fact, because I am female, the world seems to rally round to protect me.

    My uncle calls from many miles away, telling me he’s heard of the Owo terrorist attack, am I staying safe? “Please only go out when you need to,” he kept saying, “Don’t keep late nights,” he admonished further.

    Mekii, my friend, holds the cab door open for me. If we branch into the market, he insists on carrying my heavy shopping bag. I call him a gentleman; he would like to argue it but he cannot.

    My younger brothers, towering over me, grow annoyed when any guy is “staring at me too much.” If it came to punches, I get the feeling they’d smash to the ground anyone that dared to even breathe wrongly near their sister.

    My male friends will not let me walk at night alone; my neighbours will ask where I’m going to if if gets late and a guy will agree – no matter what he was doing – to escort me if it was utterly necessary that I go buy something at night.

    You see, my dear Amanda, I have never not been treated kindly BECAUSE I am a woman. Kindness is all I have known. Oh yes, there are the Godless people who would abuse a young woman; there are those who have no dignity, trying to lead a young person astray but there are many who would like to pin their heads to the ground. My uncles, for one. My younger brothers, to mention a few.

    So, I’ve never understood the anger with which the ladies around me berate men. For long, for very long, I have maintained that I do not know what real feminism is; it just can’t be all I’m seeing on social media. “This your verbal abuse of men,” I want to ask them, “does it stem from any experience you’ve had or you’re just rolling on the opinions of others?”

    My male neighbours offer to draw water from the well for me. On what basis should I be hating them? Or does accepting their help make me less of a person? Nobody has denied me a leadership opportunity I was clearly qualified for because I’m a woman.

    Am I now discrediting the experiences of women who have been subject to violence and other things by their immediate society? No! Just because I haven’t known trouble because I’m a woman doesn’t mean others haven’t. And for them, we must not only speak but do our quota to protect their human rights. In fact, we must use what enlightenment we have to protect the vulnerable around us.

    Yet I wonder if my fellow African young woman who professes to be a feminist has ever had any unfavorable experience due to her feminity or if she’s just flowing on the opinion of others . . .

    My entire life gives me no basis for “hating men”, which is what the feminism I see on social media seems to be all about. I have a distaste for it.

    See now, I’ve almost written a blog. I must stop here.

    Thank you for this, Amanda. It does a world of good to examine the ”why” of the things we do.

    I’m tempted to go on, but I have already said I’ll stop. Thank you, Amanda. I really like the Maneju part of your name.

    It’s sounds lovely to me.

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