Stupid Feminist Girl? 5 Simple Steps to Valuing Others’ Opinions

One night, I laid on my bed unable to sleep. Somehow, I was really disturbed by wetin no konsine me. I had watched Chimamanda Adichie’s interview with Hillary Clinton where Chimamanda mentioned she was upset at Hillary’s Twitter bio that began with “wife”.

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“Not-so-stupid” Ms. Adichie with several honorary doctorate degrees from prestigious universities (photo credit: chimamanda.com)

I moved on after watching the clip, because you know, Chimamanda is busy chilling with her dollars from the interview so why should I be taking panadol for someone else’s headache? As you’d guess, it was a hot trending topic on social media. Most conversations I saw were normal people just sharing their thoughts on the matter. However, one struck me enough to keep me up at night, thinking. Or maybe it was just my pregnancy hormones. Either way I was sha up, on Facebook. In this post, Chimamanda was described as a “stupid feminist girl”. Stupid ke? Of all things?

I wasn’t disturbed by my Facebook friend’s disapproval of Chimamanda, or her disgust at the interview with Hillary. It was the disrespect that got me thinking. Why can’t we value and respect the opinion of others even when we disagree with them? This is common sense, right? Everyone should know this?

In addition to respecting others opinions, it is important to also consider their perspectives even if you feel strongly about yours. For example, my husband, Seyi, always has strong opinions on literally everything under the sun, well except for food; as long as it’s edible he’s good. I on the other hand am more laid back. Earlier in our marriage I didn’t realize that because of our differences, the result was that Seyi had the last say on most decisions. He would provide 1000 more reasons to support his stance than I did mine. Part of it is because he’s incredibly intelligent, and the other part is that if he was being honest he’d realize he wasn’t entirely open to modifying his view irrespective of my come back.

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photo credit: Femi Abolude

Our conversations would often go something like this:

Me: Oko mi, I am thinking we should paint our living room navy blue.
Seyi: Navy blue is odd, why not red?
Me: Eeeer that will feel like we have blood all over the walls. What’s wrong with navy blue?
Seyi: Navy blue is too serious, we need a color with personality.
Me: Well, I don’t really like red.
Seyi: Well, navy blue would reflect the sun into the house and the rays can ultimately cause cancer.
Me:…..

Here’s a better way that conversation could have progressed:

Me: Oko mi, I am thinking we should paint our living room navy blue.
Seyi: I was thinking red. Any reasons you want navy blue?
Me: Red is just not my preference, reminds me of blood.
Seyi: Why don’t we go to the store over the weekend to get swatches? We’ll find something we both like.
Me: Ok, sounds good.

See how much better that was? These are my five ideas on valuing others’ opinions.

  1. Not every time follow follow. Always think critically about things and form an opinion – for, against, or indifferent. You don’t have to go based on what everyone else is saying. What do you think about the matter?
  2. Not every time gra gra. Choose the times when you have a strong opinion; I only do so for things that matter to me.
  3. Stop talking and listen. Ask the question – “what do others have to say? Actually listen, and respect what others have to say even if it is different from what you think. Our differences make the world and our relationships all the more interesting.
  4. Don’t add salt and pepper. Take things at face value and don’t infer meanings that someone didn’t clearly state.
  5. Waka pass. You don’t need to always voice your opinions. You can disagree with a view point and be quiet about it. Besides, who asked you?

What do you think? Was my mind overreacting in thinking that the “stupid” comment was inappropriate?

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18 thoughts on “Stupid Feminist Girl? 5 Simple Steps to Valuing Others’ Opinions

  1. Love this! You might not agree with someone’s opinion but you can be respectful about it. After all opinions are like noses, everybody has one. 😀😀

  2. Another great post. The comment was extremely inappropriate. How can you call someone stupid because you disagree with them? At the worst, you might think they’re misguided but stupid ke? I used to argue for Africa in the past when it came to something I felt strongly about which back in my younger days was almost everything, lol. But now like you say, everything is not gra,gra. I don’t even have the mental space to be doing all that, I do the agree to disagree thing a lot.
    Lol at Seyi being opinionated, no, na lie! Lol

  3. You are absolutely right. I can be very aggressive and I didn’t know my husband can be also (in some situations). I guess I might have rubbed off on him a long the way (lol). I’ve noticed something about him based on the example you gave about your conversation with Seyi. But as much as I’m the loud and opinionated person between myself and my husband, I’ve learned to articulate my point and keep quite and even at that my husband will talk for hours still trying to drive his point home when I’ve already moved on (they what’s want to have the last say….lol) I’ve grown to detest back and forth conversations. Abeg it takes too much energy…lol.

    I guess it’s human nature to want to impose ones perspective and opinion on the other. There are times that I’ll be aggressive about something and be so strong about it until I hear the other persons’ view and realize that my view might not necessarily be wrong but the other person’s view is more reasonable.

    We can sometimes be close minded without actually thinking thru but as you’ve stated everyone should be entitled to their own opinions and views as we can agree to disagree. Someone else’s view should not be considered stupid or irrelevant (I’m so guilty of this)….lol…..

    We should all learn to tolerate each other’s views cos we can’t all think alike. We are all diffent.

    • You said it right!! Abeg that energy for back and forth is way too much. And yes, being open minded to other’s views is important; the world would be a very boring place if we all thought alike.

  4. I remember that interview. Stupid is such a strong word…I mean seriously, anyway, thanks for sharing this. It made me think of conversations I have with my husband and others with differing opinions and I’ve learned to keep my unpopular opinion to myself or just be respectful when expressing them. Good read! 😊

  5. LOL @ “Well, navy blue would reflect the sun into the house and the rays can ultimately cause cancer…”
    You don’t need to always voice your opinions.–yass!
    Great read!

  6. I have totally enjoyed the time I’ve spent on your blog today.

    The thing about access to the internet is that it has given almost everyone the opportunity to voice their opinions without reasoning or common sense, that’s why you go online and find the rudest of humans.

    It’s okay to disagree, but why must I take a blow from you because you don’t agree with me?

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