We know there is sexism everywhere in Nigeria, it’s almost as common as breathing. So to get away from it all and get entertained for a few hours, you turn on your phone/computer, crank up you favorite social media platform and try to entertain yourself.
But what you end up finding out is that social media breeds its own species of misogynists. Just as nasty and annoying as the ones in real life, only difference, you can actually block these ones. Here are some of the varieties you are bound to encounter on social media.
The Educated Bigot
“Just here chilling with all my unsolicited thinkpieces. WYD?”
When you first followed this one, he was probably breaking down the complexities of how the United States competing with China for Africa’s meagre resources will affect you in your Surulere home. So you hit the follow button, marveling at how he knew everything from ancient history, to quantum physics to philosophy to rocket science (not the idiom, the real thing).
Then one day some woman was tweeting on her own about how she will never pound for her husband and this Ph.D guy replies her directly, explaining how God ‘ordained’ women to be domestic and how she is rebelling blindly against order.
You couldn’t believe your eyes.
But he hadn’t even started, they argued for two hours, adding and removing co-debators, starting threads about how a woman’s brain is ‘smaller’ and her body is ‘weaker’.
You still haven’t regained your faith in humanity.
The Cold Caller
They always have passport ass looking profile pictures like this
You stumble on them out of nowhere. A strange name appears in your notifications, the text varies but the message is usually the same.
“This is my name, here is my number, I want to put my penis in your vagina”
You’re flattered for like five seconds, and curious too, so you stroll to his profile. And then you see that you’re only 720 of the 900 girls he has cold called so far. He doesn’t even care that you insult him, the cold caller keeps repeating his very simple message, spurred by his insectoid brain that only has one function.
Revenge Porn Enthusiast
This one seems like a nice guy, then he starts showing signs, possessiveness, jealousy, paranoia. You think you can change him so you stay, pacifying him, changing yourself to fit into his ever tightening reach. One day something happens that wakes you up sharply and you scram.
That’s when the Revenge Porn Enthusiast really comes to life. He stalks you on social media, commenting on your tweets, dropping ‘hints’, talking about you in the third person at 2am.
Then one day when he sees that you’ve finally stopped feeding his games, he drops it, pictures of your naked body sent to him in confidence on twitter for everyone too see. He even drops a few tweets, an informal press statement telling everyone why he did it.
He’s not sorry, he will never be.
The Rape Apologist
Now this one is a nice guy. Nicer than most guys on your timeline, soft spoken, well loved among the woman. A shepherd along the lambs. Until they touchy subject of rape comes. That when your eye will clear.
When you’re trying to explain that sneaking drugs into a woman’s drink before sex is rape, he will pop into your private messages all soft spoken to explain to you how the woman shouldn’t have gone to the man’s house in the first place.
He explains to you that if a president sends MOPOL to bring a poor housewife to his house and he has sex with her, the housewife probably seduced him, otherwise why would they call her out of all the women in the country.
He shows you in the Bible that marital rape is not real because ‘wives must submit to their husbands’. Have you really submitted if you don’t relinquish ownership of your vagina?
He is so soft spoken that you don’t argue with him, you just say okay and end the conversation, and you quietly catalog him as one of those guys who you should never, on the pain of death, visit alone.
The name caller
This one doesn’t even pretend to be progressive. He will tell you that his father is a Yoruba Demon and that half of his siblings are illegitimate, more keep appearing to claim paternity everyday. If his father got to enjoy all the women of Nigeria, why won’t he?
But he doesn’t stop there, he takes particular pleasure in trying to belittle the women who dare speak up about wanting equal rights. He is the person with his fat ass stuck at home flicking through television channels screaming that all women do is tweet about pounding yam when ‘real’ people are suffering.
The name caller each time a woman dares to have an opinion.
His favorite word is ‘twitter feminist’, said with the kind of disgust you save for child rapists. He thinks the idea of asking a woman before you try to put your penis inside her is ridiculous, he calls women who dare say otherwise ‘Consent Nazis’.
The Silent Killer
If this is his profile picture, girl you better run.
This one doesn’t talk much, but his social media feed is carefully curated to present an air of mystery of wonder, he says all the right things, he is the first to admit that he’s ‘learning’. He is usually an artist, medium of choice is usually poetry. He writes about ‘colonnades of Ebony that lead to hallowed temples’.
When he private messages you, it’s to appraise his ‘art’. You feel flattered, special. That is till you realize all of this is a substitute for a personality. Till the day he asks you in the middle of discussing existentialism, to send him picture of your vagina.
Na me fuck up.
So you ask around and hear that bros has been around and has a reputation. But nobody talks because he seems like such a tortured artist, who would believe them?
His greatest piece of work is himself; the long running performance artist piece of playing a ‘non-threatening’ guy.
Captain Save A Hoe
Captain Save-A-Hoe will tell you he has the worst luck in women, all the women in the world that he has dated have gone on to ‘betray’ and ‘hurt’ him. He still believes that women can change and that he is the only one who can ‘change’ them. He is such a nice guy, always there for his lover, always doing things.
Always doing the most.
That is until you look at the women he has been dating. There is one thing in common with all of them; they’re ‘damaged’. Victims of sexual assault, women struggling with mental illness, girls in their ‘hoe phase’. Those are the ones he is drawn to.
Maybe he’s a little masochistic, maybe he enjoys the attention he gets from being the good guy trying to do right by a hoe, maybe it’s a lot easier to gaslight a woman into staying with you if she already comes with a reputation.
We’ll never know.
The Conglomerate of Yes Men
“Yes!!!! Call that girl a bitter feminist!”
The Conglomerate of Yes Men are the reason several other kinds of social media misogynists can exist and thrive. They never engage in any discussions or debate themselves, they’ve been roasted a couple of times and know better than to throw their ignorant opinion in public spaces.
But they are cowered not silenced, not when the almighty quote/share/retweet/like buttons exist.
They’re the ones behind the 6k shares on that post of a man whipping his wife with a belt for cheating, the 300 ‘LOL’s when a girl’s naked pictures get shared on the internet because she had the nerve to leave her boyfriend. They’re the reason each new version of that post about women going to cry in Shiloh goes viral every time someone resurrects it.
Because they need someone to bite the bullet, champion the cause.
They need someone to validate their caveman opinions.
Daddy Melaye, saver of Vaginas, CEO Benevolent Misogynists incorporated.
Not to be mistaken for Ol’ Captain Save-A-Hoe, the benevolent misogynist has been a woman longer than you, knows how you’re supposed to do this ‘feminism’ thing, and he is not afraid to tell you what you’re doing wrong.
He cannot praise Ayesha Curry without throwing in a few insults about Kim Kardashian. He liked Rihanna’s feminism till she had the nerve to twerk in the Pour It Up videos. He explains to you that Tonto Dike is the exception because women with full back tattoos never land ‘good’ men.
He is not afraid to put you in your damn place if you deign to remind him that he is actually not a woman and should shut up when actual women are talking about the things they have lived.