Don’t do it. For the love of your sanity and peace of mind, don’t do it. To be a feminist woman, add non religious to the mix, in a Nigerian patriarchal (oxymoron, I know) household will mean having to fight to exist as your true self or forever hold your peace. It will mean having to constantly battle with older siblings, if you have any, and challenge their misogynistic remarks but be silenced because you’re young and a woman. It will mean having to listen to your mothers own internalised misogyny and wanting to point out flaws in her line of thinking will equal to you being “disrespectful“. It will mean literally being told “there’s one rule for man, and another for woman” and you ward off the instinct to say “get the entire fuck out of here” because “respect“.
If you persist on doing it, then know that it will wear on you. You will tire. You will want to say fuck it and let it be as they want because the verbal abuse that will come at all angles, from your own blood, just doesn’t seem worth it for the feminist movement. Arguing over autonomy of your body and doing to it what you will may become a constant Sunday anthem in your household. Your tongue will droop from having to rebuke homo/transphobic comments.
Ask yourself if it’s worth it. Are you better off being silent and letting statements slide that you would normally contest when said by strangers on social media? Is the resentment that builds, living in such a household, better? You’re not “less” of a feminist for choosing silence. You just haven’t been afforded the privilege to talk freely without retribution in a space you call home.
As a feminist in a Nigerian household and you choose to fight, you may come to learn that you’re probably going to have to love your family from afar. Because you may not survive in such household and also, as a mutual follower on twitter finely put it, “not having to explain yourself to people committed to misunderstanding you is a joy unparalleled“. And then, maybe you can have it all; sanity, peace of mind and your feminism. Living your best feminist life.
Featured image used is not my own.