Twilights Of Olympe De Gouges And The Gradual Detainment Of False Superiority : The Ripple Of Feminism
As we celebrate international women’s day, I wish to honor the memory of Olympe de Gouges with some deserved tribute as one whose declaration of women’s right led to her execution in 1793. Olympe De Gouges was a French Playwright, a political activist whose writing on women’s right provided the torch of light that gradually dispelled all the clouds of dangerous sentiment and usurpation that reverberated deep down in the trenches of the society against women.
She challenged the practice of male authority and the notion of male-female inequality with sound reasoning and not without a disposition to death were her notions to come with such punishment.
It need be mentioned that fearless determination can turn to cold condescension and compromise when subjected to the crucible of fierce trial. Like in the case of Socrates of Athen who embraced death with happiness and dismiss other alternatives as weak and unnecessary, Olympe refused to let go her stand even in the face of death. She continued to attack the regime of the revolutionary government at a time of political tension in France.
She held the notion that ignorance , disregard for or contempt for the rights of women are the only causes of public misfortune and of government corruption. To this end she made a solemn declaration of women’s right and asseverated article by article, the right of women. In the first article of that declaration she said , “ woman is born free and remains equal in right to men . Social distinction can be found only on utility”.
I celebrate her and many other feminists of blessed memory who sounded the tocsin of reason beyond sentiment and defeated weak arguments that favored the oppression of women.
There is no time better than now for the Nigerian women to support feminists- their same sex who have risked social insecurity and toxic censorship to defend a new consciousness that is intended to help women reach their fullest potential. It is also time for our men to stop making mockery of feminism.
One often hear it mention that intelligence gene is located in the X-chromosome, which mean that women carry the residency of the intelligence of the human race. The past decision of our forefathers who banned their female children from school and institutions of intellectual development therefore only stultified our growth as a race and placed us on the corridor of scarce innovation.
It is undoubtably true that one of the policy of government promulgated by Lee Kuan Yew that helped in the transformation of Singapore from a third world country to first world country was the allowance of women to share equal opportunities with men in public service. Years later, in 1980s, he is said to have complained while making reference to that policy, that his government had been “young, ignorant and idealistic” when it promoted equal employment and educational opportunities for men and women after taking office.
This seeming regret came about when intelligent and fulfilled Ladies were finding it difficult to marry as a result of their status. This unfair treatment of women must be attacked from the root.
Olympe in one of her declarations said that “all females and male citizens being equal on the eyes of the law should be equally admissible to all public offices, places and employment,according to their capacities and with no distinction other than those of their virtues and talents”
I stand on that declaration
This fear of intelligent and successful ladies is still very pronounced today and it sadly impress the level of marginalization of women and how their liberty threatens the unjust , unreal and unfounded false pretense of superiority that is often freely adopted by the majority of men and women.
A new vista of cognition has been encouraged and accompanied with great precipitation of benefit through the activism of Olympe and those of her contemporaries like Wollstonecraft, a Francophone who said that “some women govern their husband without degrading themselves because intellect will always govern”. These Feminists like many today have helped the human race to cage and detain the male superiority complex that only serve to writhe us on the ground of bad luck. Yes, bad luck because the lacuna so far created by this dangerous bias against women has caused us to suffer starvation of growth.
I believe that the ripples of the modern feminists are very effective as before. All energies should not be spared in dislodging negative bias against women.
For those who may argue the superiority of men on the basis of physical strength, I accord you some reasonable concession. But in the same connection, the superiority of women in maternal suffering may also stand them as superiors if one-variable justification must be applied to the argument of equality.
Our women are never second class creatures of the human race and neither are they weak vessels . Let’s support our women.
Happy women’s day