Feminism basically entails the liberation of women and girls from the patriarchy and misogyny that continues to harm and oppress them as a class of people. This means that a true feminist today will strongly believe in the social, political, legal, and ECONOMIC equality of men and women.
It’s 2018 folks. Feminism and female economic independence are movements that have only really gained traction. And thanks to the social-justice millennial era, more women in Nigeria are now identifying themselves with the feminist trail!
This means that women are now expected to empower themselves and the idea of subscribing to the traditional gender roles in a relationship makes the woman an honorary fascist.
When it comes to heterosexual dating, many women now find the idea of a guy buying a girl’s meal to be insulting to their independence. You cannot be a self-sufficient, empowered woman and still enjoy it when a guy plays ‘the man’ because essentially, it is a throwback to the days before women were allowed to have their own credit cards, or a time when it was acceptable for male executives to get handsy with their female staff.
Asking a boyfriend to foot all your bills or place you on an allowance is frowned upon. If he can cater for his bills without the woman’s help, girl, you should be able to cater to your own bills, solve your own financial problems and lean on your ownself…without a man’s help.
Even worse, having a sugar daddy as a side hustle is no longer acceptable. You cannot degrade yourself as a woman like that. Now, I am not saying it is okay to have a sugar daddy or financial sponsor in the guise of a boyfriend.
The truth is, there’s still a very warped view when it comes to the intersections between money, gender roles, and romantic relationships. Many men still enjoy the feeling of being able to provide, and a significant number of women are still contented receiving financial favours from men despite the self-identification as modern-day feminists… and actually, that is okay.
Needless to say, it is a challenge to try and flip perceptions of what it means to have financial equality in a relationship, much less in Nigeria where people are still clinging onto the most traditional of gender roles.
How would splitting the bill work out without the inevitable threat of social awkwardness and miscommunication between two people? How do you overcome the risk of appearing miserly, rude, or haughty?
In my opinion, a guy providing for a woman or a woman asking the man for money when she is in need of it definitely doesn’t do anything to demean her worth, and vice versa. It does not make her any less a feminist.
It doesn’t always have to be black and white. Sometimes, it is important to remember that footing the bill is just some people’s way of showing that they care. However, in no way should this privilege turn into a form of entitlement for either side at any point during a relationship.
Actually, the way I see it, there is still a high level of gender pay gap in Nigeria. This means that a high number of men an average woman would go a date with, probably have a significantly higher net worth than she does.
And as a consequence, they have more disposable income. Not only do women earn less, but societal beauty standards also dictate they groom more. Popular culture defines a well-groomed woman as well-dressed, with makeup and lashes on point, and wearing human hair extensions.
Meanwhile, all a guy has to do to be considered a catch is grow a beard and put on a clean shirt. Women earn little and still have to spend more. So, if women are expected to work on very little pay, and then spend all of their money at the beauty and clothing shops, then certainly it is okay for them to ask a man for money when needed or let the man foot the bill when he offers.
She would not just be doing it for herself; she actually would be doing it for feminism. It is a great way to close the gender wealth gap, after all.