Earlier this month, one of my fav Naija music artistes, Simi released another album called: Woman. Many folks like me who stan her had been anticipating the album, not just because of our love for her music, but because, one week before she released the album, she started a hashtag on Twitter captioning some of the misogynistic and toxic experiences women have had in the hands of society. The hash tag was called #nobodylikewoman, and naturally, it went viral. The timing was cool too because October is technically the month of the girl child.
After reading some of the comments on the thread, I couldn’t believe the number of women who came out to share their personal story of gender related prejudice. I mean, I wasn’t surprised per se, but! It’s ridiculous that women are still going through some very wild experiences. We are combating climate change and exploring the idea of life on Mars, yet we insist that our stereotypes about the role of women in society has not changed.
The more unfortunate part about these experiences we women have is how we women also promote these false narratives and criticisms of each other. #Sigh. Do you know that popular saying that women are the best judge of others? Yes, that one. It’s worth reflecting upon: Why do you think we judge each other so much? Why do we criticize the decisions of other women? I think it is a complex thing. We believe the decisions we have made about our lives or how we see the world is the best way, and every other woman should subscribe to our thinking. Maybe not exactly like that, but you get the picture.
Let’s talk about this for a minute. See ehn, the way we judge other women happens on a subconscious level, especially through social media. When a woman posts about her marriage or children or job, a quick look at the comments will show women with ‘better’ opinions about her life. I recently saw a tweet from a woman talking about the three abortions she’s had to do because of different bad circumstances with men. Although she was sharing from a perspective of being so young and gullible, I found myself thinking: ‘Na wa! After the first one, you didn’t learn?’
So, you see, I’m not just talking about other women. I’m very much included, but I am trying to do better. Even offline, in the rough texture of real life, we still pass judgement about our friends and colleagues. I admit that it doesn’t always come from a place of malice, maybe from a place of less self-awareness. I’m not saying that women should blindly support other women. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t hold each other accountable. But at every point in time, consider asking yourself this: Is my criticism constructive/helpful at this time? Or, is it a potential weapon to tear another woman down.