by Toluwanimi Onakoya
“Women are always tearing other women down,” “Women are bitchy and catty,” “Women are women’s worst enemies.” Is this the truth? Or is this the easy lie that society has told us over and over again and we’ve begun to see it as the truth?
On Monday, Tiwa Savage shared some similar sentiments when she retweeted a tweet discussing how “women are always tearing Tiwa down.” She quoted the tweet saying this has always been the case and she sincerely doubts it would ever change. She continues to say this is not the case with the female fanbase of American artistes like Rihanna, Beyonce and Nicki Minaj.
It’s always been like that, I doubt it will ever change. Maybe I for just jeje dey yankee dey sing my rnb because I see how hard the Rihanna navy, beehives, barbs protect their own ? https://t.co/9PqfRKZn1P
— Tiwa Savage (@TiwaSavage) May 25, 2020
These reactions were all caused by a random comment made by a Twitter user, implying that Tiwa Savage is an “äshawo.” While a lot of Nigerians are bonded by passing judgements, turning up their noses at people and feeling overly righteous, it would be doing a disfavour to the womenfolk by terming all of them “haters.”
How is this funny. How can you put tiwa savage, a hard working woman and ashawo in the same sentence? This is so disrespectful https://t.co/wani2EvKfi
— Faith Paul (@Faithysia_blunt) May 25, 2020
Young girls have been fed this kind of erroneous beliefs that women are the worst for other women and that they don’t make good friends. Young girls learn to unconsciously try to distance themselves from their peers; claiming the usual “I’m not like other girls,” “Girls and their drama…it’s too much and unnecessary.” But these are just cliche stereotypes that don’t necessarily ring true. While there might be terrible women out there, there are great, loving and supportive women as well. It would be a great disservice to them if narratives such as “women hate women” keep being passed down.
Young girls need to learn that they can find life long friends in their gender and also a lasting bond, affirming relationships with their female peers. For the longest time, these kinds of sentiments have been aired in pop culture media, making it seem like women were the “devil” or just unsuitable friends. If one looks closely, there’s a fountain of “buddy” movies featuring men embarking on a series of adventures and growing their friendship.
There is very scarce little that represents solid friendships between women and girls in which the female characters are not adjuncts to men. This is not depicting reality. In reality, female friendships are not always difficult or toxic. Women are women’s biggest supporters.
Looking at the tweet Tiwa Savage was referring to, under the offensive statement, so many women came to Tiwa’s defence. They castigated the Twitter user and pledged support for Tiwa Savage. Labelling all women as her biggest haters would be incredibly unfair to the women that look up to her and have put so much intensity in supporting her. Actually, the real enemy is this false narrative.