I recently found myself having to defend women to a group of men who thought feminism was women whining unnecessarily. I attempted to bring the cause of feminism to the grassroots. I attempted to make them consider the case of the girl child in the developing world. I tried to help them understand that when young girls are uneducated, forced into child marriage and oppressed; feminism was the voice they needed. I was ridiculed as another feminist, ‘anti-men’, ‘a wannabe man’, ‘having penis envy’; and it hit me, I did not care.

I was trying so hard to make it clear that my passions, my desires and my need to give back had nothing to do with men but everything to do with women. Do you recall what I addressed when the Olori of Ife made her speech? If not, you can read it here . I was trying to find the words to say that a few snares and mean words would not change the fact that cruelty to women did not need only human rights activists but feminists. Why? You cannot fight for the right of a girl child as a human right advocate when she is considered less human than her male counterpart.

My words failed me, my heart was broken, my gut was wrenched, and my will was sinking into unknown depths of despair. However, I recalled the words of a woman who has inspired me so much over the years. The words of Maya Angelou, the words of her fighting those offended by her authority, to those who wanted her silence. I hope this poem encourages you! Man or woman. White or black. Feminist or not.

Rise like the Phoenix you were born to be Click To Tweet
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou


Here is Serena Williams reading ‘Still I Rise’. She is a true manifestation of the poem.


Until next time.

Remember that your voice matters, do not shirk back because of a few snares and cruel words.
Rise like the Phoenix you were born to be.

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