You’d think as a female, when all the girls are screaming “Female empowerment”, “Let’s stick together,” “Girls Rule,” etc that I would of been first in line? – negative.

It’s quite interesting when I look back, but being an only child , going to an all girls school up until university and being raised by my mum single handedly I was never really compared to boys. ¬†My mum was right to enforce me to stay away from them or in her words of support and safety scream religiously, “Don’t get pregnant,” but that was really the highlight of any conversation that was associated with the opposite sex.

For me growing up, I was a Nigerian first, then I was Black and these were the only two factors that my mum highlighted and the only two labels that my mum told me I’d have to work twice as hard in life for because of.

So fast forward 20+ years and race has always been a defining factor for me when seeking equality – not being a female. I worked harder than ever to prove my excellence as an individual and most importantly as a black, Nigerian individual in the UK from immigrant parents.

Then I came across the Black, Nigerian, Igbo, FEMALE author Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie who through her thought provoking novels Americanah, Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus, I was introduced to the notion of “Feminism“. Now I’d come across this word in a history lesson circa 2005 but my stance on feminism was the suffragette movement and being able to vote as a female. That was as far as it went.

However it all changed. Chimamandas voice on feminism got me thinking. Her excerpt in Beyonce’s track caught my attention even more, and then all of a sudden social media was outrun with female empowerment, pink power collectives, aiming to bring together and collaborate all females than ever before.

Forgive me for being a cynic because I really was. I didn’t understand the sudden urge for female solidarity. I was already under the prejudice that females couldn’t ever work together because we were “bitchy and catty”. Once I realised that was my trail of thought I knew something was wrong.

Then the cynic in me increased¬†further as I started to see feminism divided on social media. Fast forward to the woman’s march and it was clear that intersectional feminism was now the talking point. It wasn’t about just inclusion of woman, but inclusion of black woman, disabled woman, fat woman, slim woman… can somebody say complicated.

So my question was “WHAT ARE FEMALES REALLY FIGHTING FOR?” “WHAT DO WE ACTUALLY WANT?”

I went to a talk at Southbank Festival a few weeks ago, hosted by the one and only Chimamanda Adichie and finally the question was asked and it was put perfectly. “Equality.” Equality to be able to do what men do and not feeling any prejudice and there being a “but”. For women to be able to reverse a situation and ask themselves If I was a man would I be expected to do this. If the answer was no, then in that case us not feeling guilty for doing the same. For women and men to be educated from an early age to be vulnerable, to speak out on behalf of each other, for both genders to be taught to cook and it not being an expectation of the female alone – but be a HUMAN necessity.

Once I heard this it gripped me emotionally because I could finally relate. Not due to being compared to boys when I was younger, but being compared to men as a 20 something female. The thought of being expected to be a certain way and respond to men in my life because I will be a girlfriend, wife, mother. Having to be submissive in situations that could compromise who I am and what I stand for as a woman today.

For this reason I can say that I am a Feminist. I can say that “Pussy is Power” because the stereotypes and pressures placed upon us need to be recognised by men and appreciated, reciprocated and acknowledged. Most importantly the need for CHANGE.