By Uduak of Nollyarts
When Loomnie asked me to do a review of blogs, my first question was whether it must be on a serious topic as I had been following the entries on the blog. He said no, but was quick to add that a serious topic would be preferred. In my head I decided to write about literature but Akinlabi beat me to it. To write on Nollywood would be too typical so I choose to write on the Nigerian woman in the blogosphere. This is as serious as I will get.
According to a report by The World Association For Christian Communication (WACC), an organization that promotes communication for social change, in most countries of the world, women represent more than half the population. It is recorded that they perform the lowest paid activities and are concentrated in the low-end jobs and occupations. McClintock, in her 1996 work, states that women do two thirds of the world’s work, earn 10% of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property. In a country like Nigeria, culture and religion help to keep women in the chains of poverty, silencing and excluding them and permitting men to take the greater share of resources.
The traditional media in Nigeria also does not help matters. It rather maintains the status quo through excluding women, giving them little voice, demeaning them through various forms of stereotypes and increasing their vulnerability. Ordinary Nigerians, which include the bulk of Nigerian women, are not key players in the media.
But with the dispersal of new media, particularly blogging, women have achieved a new and constructive awareness that subversively questions the back stage position of their gender. It has provided women an opportunity to create their own opportunities. Several Nigerian women own blogs and are using this as an opportunity to express their femininity and their feminism.
Afrobabe’s blog is one of the most popular blogs and she makes no pretensions about her sexuality. Particularly interesting are the pictures on each post. On her post ‘Nigerian roots’ Afrobabe has the picture of a japanese on a wooden phallus even as this is unrelated to the post.
Theafricanwoman, in her introductory post discusses the stereotypes of African women and seeks to challenge them. She wonders why there seems to be an obsession with the naked African lady and the one with a child on her back and firewood on her head. While she agrees that this this was once and still may be the case, she also adds that there is more to the African woman than these.
Catwalk is another blogger who uses her blog to discuss the woman’s sexuality. Though her stories are mostly fictional. They are often sexually charged as seen in her post: Things Mama should not hear me say.
Standtall is well known around the blogosphere as an activist. In the recently completed Nigerian bloggers award, Standtall received an award forthe best use of the theme ‘Activism’. Her post ‘no word for rape’ hears her passionately condemning the crime and rising up to speak for the victims. Standtall attempts to give a voice to the women who usually would not be heard.