Last updated on August 15th, 2023 at 12:29 pm

Before we delve into the diaries of a male feminist, how would you respond to the question, ‘Is sin hated by God because it is sinful, or is it sinful because it is hated by God?’ Read the previous post, ‘When God Sinned,’ and leave your thoughts in the comments. The topic of today’s post is intriguing. After years of striving to comprehend feminism, I’d like to highlight some of the major events that led to my embrace of feminism.

Diaries of a Male Feminist

Diaries of a Male Feminist is a feminist journal. I am a feminist who also happens to be male. What makes this possible? Feminists should be expected to be female, right? What makes a man a feminist? According to the traditional understanding of feminism, I identify as a feminist. This definition will be presented soon, but here is how I discovered I am a feminist. Here is the diary of a male feminist.

Lunch with Ama

It was a relaxing Saturday afternoon at Next Door Beach Resort. I met Ama, a humanist friend, for lunch. Knowing her level of intelligence, I was eager to discover her perspectives on feminism. Why was feminism so important to women? Why did it appear to be an explosive topic? Was the primary objective to attack men? I was in desperate need of some sound explanations. There is a widespread, unfavourable stereotype of feminists. Feminists are stereotyped as furious, spiteful, and caustic. I hoped to put an end to my conceptual confusion. During our conversation, I was mostly silent. I didn’t speak unless I was thinking aloud or asking a question.

Photo credit: lifeforstock
lunch at the beach with my feminist friend Ama

The discussion begins

We looked at a few scenarios that feminists may refer to as proof of a man’s world, or what many people call patriarchy. I was fully aware of the frequent examples of women belonging to the kitchen. I have two younger sisters. When my mother needed help in the kitchen, she would call my two sisters. That much was to be expected. Even when I was closer to her, my mother would still shout out my sisters’ names to join her in the kitchen. They would grudgingly reply to my mother in the middle of a movie they were viewing. My mother would give my sisters a pep talk whenever they came into the kitchen. ‘You’re girls,’ she’d say with a tinge of displeasure. ‘You ought to learn to cook. You’ll have troubles in the future if you don’t.’ I never bothered going into the kitchen since, as my mother affirmed, it was the lady who had everything to lose.

a mother preparing food in the kitchen - Peter's Box

Ama questions me

At that point, Ama questioned, “Why didn’t you go prepare food for yourself?” Her tone bothered me. Why was this bothering her so much? My first thought was, “But my sisters are there.” It is, after all, for the entire family.” Ama pressed even harder. ‘What if your sisters did not want to cook?’ Will you compensate them?’ Wow! Has it finally come to this? I was baffled. Pay them for what? I asked Ama. “For the time they could have spent doing something other than cooking,” she answered without blinking.

Stealing my sisters' time

Ama went on to explain her position. She never took her gaze away from me. “Would you want to be tasked with doing something you didn’t want to do, Peter?” Cooking requires a lot of work. It requires time and effort. Consider the time you had to yourself while your sisters were cooking for you; they could have done anything but cook at that time. Why can’t your sisters decide how they want to spend their time, but you can? This did not provoke a response from me. I can’t think of a single reason why someone shouldn’t be allowed to choose how they spend their time, save when held by the state. Ama and I both agreed on this. As a humanist, I believe in the freedom of choice, and this was a case of choice.

thief robbing time - Peter's Box
Feminism supports freedom of choice.

A male feminist is born

This conversation, I believe, was my “aha” moment. It made it quite easy for me to break away from the entitlements of gender roles. I sensed this better later when my sisters told me they would no longer be adding my clothes to the laundry list. If it hadn’t been for my conversation with Ama, I would have felt obligated to inquire as to why they weren’t going to wash my clothes. I couldn’t have a right to their time. It was as if my younger sister had read my mind when she said, “We can’t be doing your laundry any longer; we have started working.” My excuse for not doing my laundry for a long time was that I was working while my sisters were not. My theory is no longer valid now that we’re all employed.

Misogynistic religions

Another incident had an impact on my embrace of feminism. When I was a Christian, I disagreed with the dogma that branded women as the weaker sex. I hated the idea that the man was the woman’s head. I thought that was a ridiculous claim. I recall gazing at my mother in the front row of church one day as the pastor quoted 1 Corinthians 14:34–35.

“Women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.”

Consider the passage from 1 Timothy 2:11-14.

“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.”

I bemoaned the fact that no woman in the church had yet challenged that text. I looked around, hoping to hear disagreeing voices, but everyone appeared pleased with that passage. My mother is a very intelligent woman. She was elected president of the church’s Women’s Fellowship, which is not surprising given that her opinion would be valuable in the majority of decision-making situations.

leviticus 15.20 - Peter's Box

Motivation gone wrong

This line of thinking has had an impact on nearly every facet of our culture. I remember this episode from junior high. One teacher, following his routine, injected some enthusiasm into the beginning of his lessons. He spent additional time encouraging us that day since we had graduated from primary to junior high school. I could tell he was upset by the tone of his voice. He was urging us to be mature and take our studies seriously. His words of encouragement made an impression on me. In fact, I responded to a particular remark he made, and it is what eventually led to my graduating as Cosmos Basic School’s overall best student.

Are you saying a girl is better than you?

The teacher said, “I don’t understand how in the world you guys would sit down for a girl to beat you in academics. I’m quite disappointed in you, boys.” Are you saying a girl is better than you?” He was referring to Akua, the best student at the time. As I listened to the teacher’s statements, I became enraged and swore to prove to Akua that boys are better than girls. I made a covenant with myself to prove my superiority to Akua. True to my words, I graduated as the overall best student from Cosmos Basic School.

students in classroom - Peter's Box

That remark from that teacher lingered in my mind for a long time. My competitive spirit blossomed under the assumption that women are not superior to men. Later on in life, when I started studying philosophy, logic, and critical thinking, I discovered the awful trap my teacher had enticed me into. It is simple to accuse someone of being sexist if they think women are inferior. I must admit that, because of the influence of culture, we have all undoubtedly had a sexist perspective at some point in our lives.

It must be a woman

Let me give you a common example where women are slapped with the inferior card in my country. If you visit Ghana for the first time and use public or private transport, you will almost certainly hear the phrase “Oh, she’s a woman. That explains it.” Typically, drivers will say something like this if they believe the driver in front of them is inexperienced or lacking in fundamental driving abilities, especially if the car in front of them is travelling too slowly. “It must be a woman driving,” they would say. Women are often afraid of taking risks, according to this generalisation. You don’t only hear this from men; some ladies also say it. Our current interpretation of gender roles is the result of a confluence of prejudices. I must admit that hearing the chorus, ‘What a man can do, a woman can do better, was pretty obnoxious. I was unaware of the genesis of this cry, but I had a theory in the back of my head that it was a protest against the inferior treatment given to women.

woman driving - Peter's Box

Be man enough!

I agreed with her, but I didn’t tell her about what transpired in my kitchen when, terrified, I raced to my next-door neighbour for assistance in driving a snake away. I didn’t want to be laughed at for making a woman over the age of 70 drag her frail body into my house and kill a snake because I wasn’t a “man” enough. The key discovery was that neither men nor women are, in any meaningful sense, inherently superior to each other. Men, on the other hand, are predisposed to perform to the extent that their biology and physiology allow. The same is true for women. Men are not better at giving birth than women. Neither are women better at producing sperm. You get the drift, right? Have you ever questioned why men’s sports and women’s sports are put into different categories? Watch this video to see what I mean.

Photo credit: wayhomestudio
Play Video about man frowning with arms folded and woman frowning with fist raised

The real question

There is an abundance of evidence suggesting women are very intelligent. Keep in mind that cognitive testing is very selective. In order to obtain a realistic outcome, many starting conditions must be satisfied. As a result, asserting that women are weaker is an overly broad generalisation. Weaker in terms of what? Physical stamina? On average, men are physically stronger than women. This is mostly due to biological differences. In a similar vein, we may claim that women are better equipped to endure pain than men. Women, according to McGill University research, have a higher pain threshold. We don’t see women brag about this strength. So, what is the objective of the war for superiority?

Photo credit: DCStudio
annoyed people sitting back to back with arms crossed in studio

…To be continued in Part 2

What’s next in Peter’s Box? ¡Hasta luego amigos! 

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