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My President is a Misogynist

My President is a misogynist but we have to excuse his behaviour because he’s old

My President is a misogynist but that does not mean he cannot do his job

My President is a misogynist but what did I expect

Context: I am Nigerian, and the President I speak of is General Muhammadu Buhari. 75 year old former military head of state that recently went MIA on a collapsing country, but that’s a different story.

Late last year, Buhari’s wife, Aisha Buhari, criticised her husband’s government performance, and warned that she would not back him in the next elections (2019) if he does not shake up his government. Buhari publicly responded to this by saying “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room”. This response was given whilst sitting beside German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a news conference, possibly the most powerful woman in the world right now…

I could spend time analysing why the statement was sexist, but I feel like we’re all grown, we should know that. I mean.. he said his wife is for food and sex. That is misogynistic. Okay, now a lot of people do not seem to understand what exactly a misogynist is. Some would argue that he is more of a chauvinist than a misogynist, which is untrue. Chauvinist is a synonym of misogynist, they mean the same thing. A misogynist does not have to be (contrary to popular opinion) someone who is violent towards women, or who locks his daughters up in the house and trains them to be servants rather than allowing them to go to school. These people are, of course, misogynists. However, the typical ‘every day’ (for lack of a better word) misogynist is simply someone who thinks that women are inferior to men. A misogynist hates, dislikes, mistrusts, or mistreats women. Buhari is a misogynist because he believes his wife’s place is in the kitchen, when he is well aware that his wife has a degree and a master’s degree, as well as various make up qualifications (and let me tell you, make up is not easy, so save it). He knows all his wife is capable of, but in his head his wife belongs to HIS kitchen, etc. The use of ‘my’ kitchen and ‘my’ living room, as opposed to ‘the’, is also very important. Rather than looking at his wife as an equal partner who the house belongs to just as much as it belongs to him, she is just another thing of his, who should be confined to particular parts of his property.

Okay, so My President is a misogynist but I should excuse him because he’s old

No honey, being old is not an excuse for not being able to develop your mind. Sure, perhaps he grew up in a society where a woman should be raised to be a wife… but to be honest, modern day Nigeria… we all live in such a society. So should we therefore all continue to think like this? People seem to accept that old white people are racist, old people are misogynistic; but old people still have brains yes? Old people are still able to change their mind about Pluto being a planet because scientists said so, yes? So why should they be

excused for not developing their minds in everyday life? To be honest, I don’t care about the other old people, but this is the President, not just an old man. He ran to be President in 2016, so please, Mr President, become a 2016 man.

My President is a misogynist but that does not mean he cannot do his job. The general opinion is that Baba is not doing his job anyway… but that’s not the point.

Until very recently, a woman in Nigeria had to get her husband’s permission to renew her passport. That is the society we live in. We need a President that is forward thinking, a President that values women as equal counterparts to men. To do his job, Buhari needs to know that his wife does not ‘belong’ in 'his' kitchen. Buhari also needs to realise that him, and husbands everywhere, have no right to decide where their wives belong. Women are human beings, not property.

My President is a misogynist but what did I expect

Call me naïve, but when I was shouting Sai Baba all over the place, I did not expect this. To those of you that expected it, good for you, but I cannot accept that it is right.

To conclude, there is no reason for me to think it is okay for my President to be a misogynist. It is not okay, inequality is not okay, and the sooner we all stop brushing things under the rug, the better.

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