I am not a twitter person. In fact, I’m almost never there; however, I have known Nana Ama for at least a year now. Never has she come across as a feminist or gender-advocate to me. I was as shocked as you probably were when her comments on John Dumelo’s random visit to the “single” ladies on UG campus surfaced.
She described his intentions as “predatory and gross”.
I saw the video first, and awww’ed it. Then I saw the comments, then the bashing. I wondered what exactly had happened. My curious self really wanted to ask in the comments section what had happened earlier; however, my pride in hunting for answers by myself took over the better part of me. So, I dug deep until I came to the source.
The actor cum politician had surprised ‘single’ females at the University of Ghana in their halls and rooms to say hello and make their Valentine’s Day a memorable one.
I thought it was a simple act of kindness. It was beautiful. They were happy.
However, Nana Ama felt it was offensive and an invasion of their privacy, and therefore replied to the tweet: “You mean no one on your team told you not to do this? Because it is predatory and gross”.
Her comments came off as strong language to most people, even me. I wanted to be convinced she was right. Predatory? Gross?
I honestly wanted to support her argument, especially as a proud liberal feminist; however, Nana Ama, you were wrong. I felt your concern, but your comments made it vague, and honestly couldn’t hold water.
I likened the situation to the West. If Queen B, had been Dumelo, we would have awww’ed it. Let me compare oranges to oranges. If Actor Idris Elba had randomly visited females and presented them with chocolate on Val’s day in their hostels, the narrative would have been different.
These ladies were surprised. They were happy. I believe his crew asked for permission, at least a knock, before entering their rooms. They couldn’t have just barged in.
Now this is where people got mad. How do you interpret someone’s intention? No, honestly, how did Nana Ama come by this conclusion? This came across as too petty and attention-seeking.
I am not saying because someone is happy or is silent on abuse, rape or harassment, we must wait till they voice out their discomfort, but sometimes – just sometimes, I think we need to have a distinct, clear-cut view on issues that does not make them appear more than they are. It makes us look ridiculous.
We can’t win this fight if we don’t make people understand what exactly we are fighting for as feminists. If all they see is people who wait until something happens, then takes advantage of the situation to make a name for themselves, then of course we will always be tagged as bitter, angry women who need men to shut us up!
People like Nana Ama are part of the ‘feminist tag’ problem. Feminism is mostly not what it is seen as; however, people with platforms always showcase alleged extreme forms of it to make us look weird and cynical.
We must learn to apply common sense and separate our emotions from objectivity. Nana Ama, you are wrong. Your subsequent tweets still seem to defend your stance. You probably had a very good point, but you were too quick to jump to conclusions. It’s not always that serious.
It’s ok to stand by your thoughts, but sometimes – just sometimes, when we goof it’s ok to admit it also. You simply goofed!
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