Are you a woman, did you come from a woman, do you have a woman, do you love a woman? If you do, please take a sit and fix your gaze on your screen for the next few minutes. Now that I’ve gotten your attention, let us discuss issues that matter. Today we will be discussing women, their choices, and rights. We start with Abortion.

Abortion: Yay or Nay? Where do you stand?

As things stand, a total of 25% of the world’s populations live in countries where abortion is either completely prohibited or the laws governing it are very restrictive. Currently, laws and policies concerning abortion can be grouped into four categories, i.e. grounds on which abortion can be allowed;

  1. To save a woman’s life, or completely prohibited
  2. To preserve a woman’s health + to save a woman’s life
  3. On socioeconomic grounds + to save a woman’s life and health
  4. No restrictions whatsoever

Many of the countries in Categories 1 and 2 are in Africa and Asia, and unsurprisingly Nigeria is in Category 1. There are so many grounds on which abortion can be morally and legally justified such as rape, fetal genetic or teratogenic disorders, child/teenage pregnancies etc. There are also many grounds on which it cannot be justified, but regardless of the country or reason, abortion policies can still be very tricky in certain cases regarding age, capacity and circumstance. It cannot be denied that the cultural, religious and social beliefs of a nation dictate its abortion laws and policies. Should we as a nation be more considerate, flexible and reasonable?

Prohibiting abortion can and does lead to many preventable deaths and injuries every year. A society where pregnant women have turn to incompetent doctors for abortion because of legal impossibilities is a society failing itself and its people. Personally, I believe the choice should be left to women after they’ve been properly counselled, and on the condition that they have the mental and psychological capacity to make the ‘right’ decision. Will more lives be saved if abortion is legalized or will more women choose the easy path instead of living with the consequences of their decisions and actions? I believe that abortion laws should be flexible enough to cater for special cases such as in pregnancies with fatal fetal genetic syndromes that will make life hell for both the child and his family if born. Abortion legislations and the society at large should also not condemn victims of rape and abuse to forever live with the guilt that’s been imposed on them by their abusers, the government, and the society. Why should anyone have to live with the consequences of another man’s wickedness?

An understanding, enlightened and tolerant society will be a starting point in dealing with issues of abortion and helping women, and men alike, make better decisions and better family planning and counselling programs will also go a long way in helping the cause of women, old and young, families and the society at large. There is a need to look beyond personal opinions, cultural or religious ideologies when considering issues as important as abortion.

One thing that is sure is that there is no black and white when it comes to abortion, just a bunch of gray and tinted areas. Many are either pro-choice or pro-life but where do you stand on abortion? Should it be completely legal, provisionally legal or completely prohibited? Have your say and let me know where you stand.

Feminism: equality or superiority?

When feminism advocates raise the issue of feminism many people get offended and annoyed including women sometimes. Many men, rather ignorantly, still believe that a woman’s place should be in the kitchen and don’t even want to leave the woman with a choice. The decision of who does what should be left to a woman if she’s single, and be discussed between her, her husband and children if she’s married. Every human being has a freedom to choose, that is why it’s saddening when people ignorantly dismiss and despise feminist advocates without even listening to what they have to say? Tolerance is key to the survival of any society.

Feminism can be defined as the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. But is it true, do feminists really want equal rights or superior rights?  I for one believe our society is already feminist enough. At the risk of stating the obvious, women sometimes get more opportunities and advantages just because they’re women, and even hold more edge if they’re tall, skinny and sexy. How many men expect women to hold the door for them or pay for their meals just because they’re men? How many times do you hear Gentlemen and ladies, or men first? Can you tell me what date is Men’s day? Feminists raise the issue of respect and wage difference in the workplace, but if all factors are considered are these claims legitimate enough? Are women really being cheated or short-changed in the workplace?

The society is a very sensitive one in our day and everyone gets offended at everything, some even go out of their way to be offended. If you don’t believe me open any video or article online and go to its comment section. Everybody have their own little causes that they fight. LGBT, Vegetarianism, Cannibalism etc. Truthfully, those that agitate for people to buy their ideology or idea are usually the least tolerant of other people’s opinion. Is feminism a legitimate cause of is it just another case of needless sensitivity? Have your say and let me know what you think.

Finally, let’s briefly discuss:

Breastfeeding in public. Is there anything wrong with it?

Is there anything wrong with a woman breastfeeding her baby in a public place? Why shouldn’t a woman be able to breastfeed in her office cabinet, on the bus, in the marketplace or in church maybe? Should women only breastfeed their children in the privacy of their homes? Is there a genuine argument in trying to prevent women breastfeeding in public? Personally, I’m a big fan of ‘the girls’ if you know what I mean even though I don’t want to be looking, or caught looking at anyone’s rack other than those of my wife. What role do cultural and religious factors play in this issue? Is it an issue of modesty or intolerance? Are opponents of public breastfeeding being ridiculous, insensitive and overly sensitive? It’s not that we don’t already see cleavages and breasts everywhere we go anyway, even in Church. At least, in the case of public breastfeeding we know a child is benefiting from such public display of the Golden Winnebagos. Where do you stand on this issue? Have your say and let me know what you think.

That will be all for now. Have your say and let your voice be heard. Till we meet again be creative, imaginative, careful and be safe. Remember, tolerance is strength. Be kind to one another.

Image via Time 

Responses

    1. Oluwaseun Post author
      Thank you, and yes these are a lot of issues to process. These topics are like a mother’s breast, you know where they are but they’re better left untouched and unfelt (Charlie Harper, 2 and a half men)
      2+
  1. Dr tee
    On the public breastfeeding issue…. I really don’t like it personally, I if I have to I’ll excuse myself to a private corner to breastfeed… Yeah we see breasts and cleavages everyday, but not mine… And if I’m in a public transport, Ermmmm welllllllll… There are breastfeeding shawls, appropriate enough not to suffocate the baby and still provide some form of privacy…
    It just gets to me whenever I’m in church and a baby cries and the next thing you see is the mother unveiling thy breasts…. I dunno if I could cope with that if I were a man though….
    2+
  2. Seriously...
    #Mytwokobo

    Abortion- As someone who believes that every child is a gift from God, I would like for every pregnancy (however it comes) to end up with a living, healthy mother and child. Sadly, life is not that simple. Abstinence is not an ideal many can live up to. Contraception fails. Women and girls get raped and abused. A pregnancy might be wanted but life-threatening to the mother. The baby/babies on the way might have special needs that our society cannot handle.

    Add to this the fact that there are costs, whether it is monetary, loss of opportunities, stigma, etc. especially for the mother, it becomes harder to make a call. I would say that promoting proper sex education and the use of contraception might help the need for abortion less likely except in extreme cases. Many people are in the dark as to how the body works to make babies/prevent pregnancy. For instance, how many of us know the period of the month when a woman is at her most fertile?

    Feminism- Many of the issues raised by those advocating for equal rights are valid. Many girls and women are denied basic rights and opportunities i.e. education; choice of if, when or who to marry; a say over the number of children they want to have, etc. We cannot deny this as a society. For me, one major thing that is lacking is quality data. In Nigeria, do we have the numbers of men/women in education at all levels? What about how much people earn? We have stories, stereotypes and anecdotes. These are open to accusations of subjectivity. Numbers would make it easier for the problem to be accepted and perhaps dealt with.

    Things like door opening, seat offering and paying for dates are more about courtesy than gender roles in truth. These things are distractions from the main issues. If you get to the door first or see someone struggling with the door, it is just nice to help. If someone is carrying heavy stuff, offer to help. On the paying for dates thing, ladies (yes, I am looking at you), if you can suggest an outing, manners dictate that you should be willing to pay for it. As we do with friends and family, if you cannot foot the whole thing, say so and bring what you have to offer. This is respectful to the man you want to spend time with, it is also the responsible thing to do. If the man offers to take you out, it is expected that he pays. Still, carry some cash with you in case something comes up and you need to leave. These are minor things, but it is hard for traditionalist to take the major issues serious because we confuse issues.

    Breastfeeding- That baby needs to eat. Some of them do not like being covered when they eat. My first child had no issues with a feeding shawl. My second did and I was not going to deprive her in public transport for anybody. Women’s breasts are the way they are primarily so that a child can feed. So if a child needs to feed, people should look away abeg and let Mother and Child do their thing. The Koma and other tribes like them do not have these issues. That suggests to me that the problem might be more with the way we have look at the female body than anything else.

    7+

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