How Patriarchy Has Created Toxic Masculinity And Femininity In The Lesbian, Bisexual, And Queer Spectrum In Nigeria
How? You ask. I will tell you…
We often hear about the heteronomativity culture being imbibed in the LGBTQI community. However, it is one of the reasons why Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer women face oppression from patriarchy, which manifests itself in many ways. Most importantly, it affects our relationships with other people and how we relate to ourselves – through our sexuality or gender identity.
Let’s understand heteronormativity…
Coined in the 1980s as the “dominant ideology,” It is explained as everything heterosexuality and all its privileges over other forms of sexual orientations. It imposes heteronomative values and beliefs on other people who do not identify as heterosexual. i.e., there are only two genders (male and female) and society’s expectations of these genders.
In Nigeria, heteronomativity plays a huge role in the lives of most lesbians, bisexuals, and queer women. For example, the cisgender masculine-presenting lesbians popularly known as “Stud” or “Tomboy” find solace in a masculine identity through gender expression. Also, the transgender men who do not conform to the gender binary are on this spectrum. Remember, we assume power is associated with masculinity, so they are automatically placed under male dominance. Therefore, they are expected to live by, behave, and act by social norms of society standards.
In intimate relationships, feminine-presenting lesbians or bisexuals attracted to masculine-presenting lesbians and transgender men are routinely forced to pick one of two gender options, assume that gender role, thus giving birth to toxic masculinity and femininity.
With toxic masculinity and femininity, social norms of entitlement create power differences between the gender binary, such as portraying femininity as weaker beings, sexual objects, and believing in strict gender stereotypes. It also comes in the suppression of emotion that allows anger, contempt, and pride.
Let me show you the signs of toxic masculinity and femininity in an LBQ relationship.
When a feminine-presenting lesbian or bisexual has to be submissive, undemanding, and nurturing (must do all house chores).
Masculine-presenting lesbian should be the “man” in the relationship and should provide everything for the relationship.
When a masculine-presenting lesbian or Transgender man is emotionally, financially, and domestically abusive to their intimate partners.
When sex has rules and roles between LBQ intimate partners, that may lead to sexual assaults.
Disassociating you from family, friends, and people in general in the name of jealousy.
To my fellow Nigerian Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgender, and Queer folks, I have a few pieces of advice I want to share with you.
Remember your body belongs to YOU and not your partner.
Be okay to acknowledge where you stand in that relationship.
Have tough conversations. Talk to your partner. Do your best not to get defensive, and really listen to how your actions have impacted them. You might be surprised that certain things you did or said came across differently from how you intended.
Most Importantly, You are valid in all your diverse self!!!
Written By: Grace Isong Akpan
The Impact of Absence: The Critical Need for Feminist Philanthropy and Intersectional Organizing in Nigeria
Feminist philanthropy has gained popularity in recent years as more and more individuals and organizations realize the importance of investing in initiatives that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. However, the lack of funding for intersectional organizing in countries like Nigeria that have the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA) is creating a negative impact on the marginalized communities that are struggling to create change.
Feminist organizations claim to not fund due to what they may have signed with the Nigerian government or how meaningful engagement is mostly about inviting the intersections to fit into the checklist box of who is being in the room. This lack of funding and meaningful engagement is leaving the LGBTQI+ community in Nigeria to fend for themselves in a country where their existence is considered illegal. This creates a ripple effect that trickles down to the most vulnerable individuals in these communities.
The fear of meaningfully engaging and talking about LBQTI issues within feminist organizing is a reality that needs to be addressed. The struggles of the LGBTQI+ community intersect with issues of gender, race, and class, which are at the core of feminist activism. To ignore these intersections is to perpetuate the same systems of oppression that feminists are fighting against.
The lack of funding for intersectional organizing in countries like Nigeria that have the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act means that the individuals and organizations that are fighting for LGBTQI+ rights are struggling to create their intersectional funding. This creates a situation where they have to rely on external funding, which is often not sustainable or reliable.
The impact of this lack of funding is significant. LGBTQI+ individuals in Nigeria face daily discrimination and violence, and their struggle for equality is a long and arduous one. Without the support of feminist philanthropy, the road to equality becomes even more challenging.
Feminist philanthropy needs to embrace intersectionality fully. It is not enough to include marginalized communities in the conversation; they must also be given the resources and support necessary to create meaningful change. This means acknowledging the unique struggles of marginalized communities, including the LGBTQI+ community, and providing targeted funding to organizations that are working towards their rights and empowerment.
In conclusion, the lack of funding for intersectional organizing in countries like Nigeria that have the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act is creating a negative impact on the LGBTQI+ community. Feminist philanthropy needs to embrace intersectionality fully and provide targeted funding to organizations that are working towards the rights and empowerment of marginalized communities. Failure to do so perpetuates the same systems of oppression that feminists are fighting against, and ultimately hinders progress towards true equality and justice for all.
Written By: Grace Isong Akpan
How Gender Disparities and digital gaps affect the LBQTI Community
Gender disparities and digital gaps are two issues that disproportionately affect LBQTI individuals around the world. LBQTI individuals face unique challenges in accessing digital tools and resources, which can impact their ability to access information, employment opportunities, and social connections.
In this post, we will explore the gender digital divide and how it affects LBQTI individuals, discuss the challenges that LBQTI individuals face in accessing digital resources, and highlight the ways in which LBQTI organizations and activists are working to bridge the digital gap.
What do we mean by Gender Digital Divide?
The gender digital divide refers to the gap between men’s and women’s access to and use of digital technologies. This divide affects LBQTI individuals in several ways. For example, LBQTI individuals may face discrimination or harassment online, which can impact their ability to use digital platforms safely and confidently. They may also face barriers to accessing digital resources and information, such as limited access to technology, lack of digital literacy skills, or a lack of LBQTI-friendly content and resources.
The LBQTI Community and Digital Access
For LBQTI individuals, digital access is critical for connecting with other members of the community and accessing LBQTI-friendly resources and services. However, many LBQTI individuals face significant barriers to digital access, such as discrimination, censorship, and lack of resources. LBQTI organizations and activists are working to bridge the digital gap by providing digital literacy training, creating LBQTI-friendly content, and advocating for LBQTI-friendly policies and platforms.
Intersectionality and Digital Disparities
Intersectionality refers to the ways in which different forms of discrimination, such as those based on race, gender, class, or ability, interact with and compound one another. LBQTI individuals who also experience discrimination based on other factors may face even greater challenges in accessing digital resources and opportunities. For example, LBQTI individuals who are also people of color may face additional barriers to accessing digital tools and resources due to systemic racism and discrimination.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Gender disparities and digital gaps are two critical issues affecting LBQTI individuals worldwide. LBQTI organizations and activists are working hard to bridge the digital gap and create LBQTI-friendly digital spaces and resources. Even as individuals, there are several things we can do to support these efforts, such as supporting LBQTI-friendly digital initiatives, promoting digital literacy, and advocating for LBQTI-friendly policies. Working together can help create a more equitable digital landscape for all LBQTI individuals.
What can we do? (Call to Action)
If you are interested in supporting LBQTI-friendly digital initiatives, consider donating to LBQTI organizations that provide digital resources and training, such as the Initiative for Gender Equality and Sexual Reproductive Health ( IGE-SRH). You can also get involved in advocacy efforts to promote LBQTI-friendly policies and platforms
Finally, be sure to share this post and raise awareness about the critical issue of gender disparities and digital gaps for LBQTI individuals.
Written by: Adele Confidence Odinakachi
Self-insecurities and its impact on Lesbian, Bisexual, And Queer Relationships.
Self-insecurity is a pervasive issue that affects many individuals, but for LBQTI individuals, it can be particularly challenging due to societal discrimination and stigma. It can manifest in many different ways, including feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and low self-esteem, and can have a significant impact on relationships. In this blog post, we’ll explore common self-insecurities faced by LBQTI women and strategies for addressing them to build healthy, fulfilling connections with others.
Self-insecurity refers to feeling uncertain or inadequate about oneself, often stemming from experiences of shame or negative feedback. For LBQTI individuals, self-insecurity can be particularly challenging due to external factors such as homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia. Growing up in a society that often sends negative messages about being LBQTI can lead to internalized self-insecurity, making it difficult to feel confident in oneself and in relationships.
What is Self-insecurity?
For LBQTI individuals, self-insecurity can be particularly challenging due to societal discrimination and stigma. Many LBQTI individuals have experienced rejection, discrimination, or harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Additionally, societal expectations around femininity, beauty standards, and gender roles can further contribute to self-insecurity.
Self-insecurity can be a difficult issue to grapple with, particularly for LBQTI individuals who face additional challenges of discrimination and social stigma. Understanding the ways in which self-insecurity can impact relationships is crucial for building healthy, fulfilling connections with others. In this blog post, we’ll explore what self-insecurity is, how it can affect relationships, and strategies for addressing it.
Let me show some common self-insecurities faced by LBQTI women.
As LBQTI women, self-insecurities can be a constant battle that can impact our everyday lives. Whether it’s dealing with internalized homophobia or struggling with society’s expectations of femininity and beauty standards, self-insecurities can affect our mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. Here are some common self-insecurities LBQTI women face and ways to overcome them.
Fear of Coming Out: One of the biggest insecurities LBQTI women face is the fear of coming out. It’s natural to feel scared about revealing your sexual orientation or gender identity, especially when facing potential rejection and discrimination. It’s essential to surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family who can help you navigate through the coming-out process. Additionally, seeking support from a therapist or joining a support group can help you feel less isolated and more understood.
Body Image: Another common self-insecurity faced by LBQTI women is body image. Society often perpetuates the idea that femininity is linked to a specific body type, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Focusing on self-care and prioritizing your mental and physical health is important. Engaging in exercise, meditation, or yoga activities can help you feel more confident and improve your overall well-being.
Acceptance in the Workplace: Many LBQTI women face insecurities related to their workplace environment, such as discrimination, harassment, or being passed over for promotions due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s important to advocate for yourself and your rights by seeking out supportive allies in the workplace, joining a queer-affirming professional organization, or even considering switching to a more inclusive company culture.
Family Relationships: Family relationships can also be a significant source of self-insecurities for LBQTI women. Remembering that you deserve to be loved and accepted for who you are is essential. If your family doesn’t provide that, seek out other supportive individuals who can become your chosen family.
How Self-Insecurity Affects Relationships
Self-insecurity can manifest in a variety of ways in relationships, from jealousy and possessiveness to mistrust and poor communication. LBQTI individuals may struggle with feeling accepted or understood by their partners, friends, or family members, leading to feelings of isolation and disconnection. Negative self-talk and a lack of self-confidence can also make communicating effectively and establishing healthy boundaries in relationships difficult.
How Does This Affect Our Relationship with Others
Self-insecurities can significantly impact relationships with others, including romantic relationships, friendships, and family relationships. Here are some ways this could happen:
Difficulty with Intimacy: Self-insecurities can create a barrier to intimacy in romantic relationships. Fear of rejection or not being good enough can cause LBQTI women to shy away from emotional or physical intimacy, leading to feelings of isolation and disconnection in the relationship.
Strained Friendships: Insecurities can also affect friendships, causing LBQTI women to withdraw or become overly needy. This can create tension in the relationship, as friends may feel like they are walking on eggshells or not sure how to support their friend.
Addressing Self-Insecurity in Relationships
Recognizing and addressing self-insecurity is crucial for building healthy, fulfilling relationships. Strategies for addressing self-insecurity can include engaging in self-care activities such as therapy, exercise, and meditation and building a support system of trusted friends and family members. It’s also important to practice self-compassion and empathy toward oneself, recognizing that self-insecurity is a common experience and doesn’t define one’s worth.
When it comes to relationships, communication is key. Open and honest communication can help build trust and understanding, reducing the impact of self-insecurity on the relationship. Setting boundaries and practicing self-advocacy can also be helpful, as it allows individuals to prioritize their own needs and build a sense of agency.
What we have said so far………
Self-insecurity can be challenging, particularly for LBQTI individuals who face additional external factors such as discrimination and social stigma. By understanding the ways in which self-insecurity can impact relationships and taking steps to address it, individuals can build healthier, more fulfilling connections with others. It’s important to remember that self-insecurity is a common experience, and seeking support and resources is a sign of strength and self-care.
Written By: Adele Confidence Odinakachi