Why Feminism Is Getting Unpopular by the Day

Image of African women and activists holding placards in a demonstration
  • Are you a feminist?
  • Do you proudly identify with feminism, or do you harbour reservations? If YES, why?
  • Do you rather believe in equality for women but not feminism?

These are a few questions for your consideration dear gentle reader, as we discuss the increasingly unwelcomed girl on the block—feminism.

In recent years, feminism has faced a mounting backlash, especially on social media. It has had to contend with numerous labelings, unfounded accusations, and misdefinitions that breed disdain and rejection for the concept. 

But what is fueling this sponsored animosity toward feminism?


Propaganda isn’t new. It is a sneaky trick for spreading lies and manipulation, and it thrives on repetition. The adage “repeat a lie long enough and it becomes the truth” has echoed through history. Targeted concepts, organizations, and even individuals have been tainted as a result of deliberate and malicious misinformation. And feminism has taken the hit time and time again. Very few antagonists, however, have taken the time to grasp the true essence of the concept. Instead, they romanticize popular opinion and embrace assumptions.

What are we up against?

Within the African context, Feminism has suffered a lot. People continue to tell us lies that it is “anti-African”, but forget that the culture of the black man is that of gender equality. Digging deeper into history has over and again revealed the integral role women played in traditional societies in pre-colonial Africa—from governance to policy, trade, and more. For instance, women installed kings in the Old Oyo empire in Nigeria. So continuously dismissing feminism as foreign is ignoring how it aligns with our native beliefs in fairness and equality.

And no thanks to social media. Because beyond its uses for entertainment and interconnectivity, it has served as a breeding ground for ideological manipulation. Advertisers are out there peddling agendas under the guise of relatability, misogynists are fighting back, and misandrists are blurring the lines between fact and fiction. Everyone is selling you a story, and that’s why if something sounds plausible out there, you should pause and ask yourself if it is true or just something you’ve been told repeatedly. 

Discernment has become a must-have in our world today. It has become extra important to interrogate origins and implications before embracing a narrative from any source whatsoever. Running with unproven ideologies or single stories has now become so dangerous that we are creating a world where lies and truth are easier to confuse. 

Image depicting African feminism

What really is feminism?

At its core, feminism is about changing the way people see male and female rights (mainly female) and campaigning for equal ones. Contrary to misconceptions, it’s not trying to wipe out gender differences, rather, it’s about tearing down the walls that those differences create. It affirms that competence knows no gender and everyone deserves equitable opportunities.

As we reflect on these issues, I have a few questions again, just like I did at the beginning of this post. It is to help us confront our biases and interrogate our beliefs.

  • Do you believe that men and women deserve equal rights and opportunities? If NO, why? 
  • What are you scared of, if equality is achieved in today’s world? What are the things you believe could go wrong?
  • Do you think the world is fair to women concerning rights and opportunities?
  • What was your childhood like and what/who do you believe influenced the beliefs you have regarding gender today?

Only by answering these questions candidly will we gain clarity that will pave the way for a more equitable future.