By Ajang Barach-Magar, Nairobi, Kenya
April 9, 2017 (SSB) — Over the past few years, I ‘ve watched Twic East Girls Scholarship Program (TEGSP) with utter exasperation as it sprouted and gained ground. For anyone who may not be conversant with it, TEGSP is a girls-only scholarship program where preference is given exclusively to girls of Twi ethnic origin. Boys and other non-preferred groups are never considered as potential recipients.
To be lucidly clear from the outset, what I am challenging is the overt discrimination of male children and their subsequent exclusion. TEGSP is so deeply misguided. On their occasionally dysfunctional website, they do not provide any passionately and thoroughly reasoned grounds for their absurd decision to enlist the education of girls as their only priority. Perhaps, it is inevitable that anyone would encounter ridiculous difficulties trying to justify such an archetypal act of misandry.
Nevertheless, some of those who support it ~ chiefly Twi Community in the Australian state of Queensland, ‘ve attempted to rationalize their discriminatory gender criterion. It is unrelievedly surprising that hundreds of adult males and females – a mini society in its own right, but one at its absolute mediocrity, can be so derisively passive, irrationally insensitive or both.
Up until now, almost none of them does not think there is anything wrong with something that decisively renders half of our children ineligible to be part of what is supposed to be the community’s collective determination to eliminate illiteracy. By the way, the whole Twi Community in Australia are well-known for having never really done much in the past for the Twi members back home, and a keen man would observe – with a forced laugh, that their first attempt is a comically bad one!
One of the faux arguments in favour of TEGSP’s perverted agenda is that it is a necessary affirmative action. Let me take you a bit further back. The term of “affirmative action” was first used by the former U.S president, J.F.Kennedy in 1961 while issuing executive order 10925 ordering all his government contractors to take “affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that all employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, colour, creed or national origin”.
As you can see, it originally had absolutely nothing to do with gender empowerment. Today, the phenomenological fascination is that affirmative action is now widely used as an innocuous term in a desperate attempt to justify what are typically fatuous sexist preferences – always in favour of women.
Supporters of TEGSP often resort to the mantra of bridging the wide educational gender inequities that exist among older generations. Under this aegis, girls are portrayed as the powerless bunch, the ones our most concerted effort must be directed at. Nothing can be further from the truth. Young boys and girls face equal vulnerabilities. Both sets of children ~ especially the needy ones, look up to older members of the community for everything. The so-called discrepancies only exist among men and women.
It is worth noting that women are getting a free ride. Nearly all illiterate ladies are married off to capable men who take care of them, so even an uneducated woman would still ‘ve a stab at success in life without working for it herself. Boys do not ‘ve such opportunities when they grow up. They are even the more vulnerable lot. Girls’ case is always exaggerated.
If anyone feels the need to produce a more educated generation of Twi women, a far more sensible approach should focus on eliminating societal stereotypes that impede girls’ progress in school. Since I am not a sociologist, it is not my responsibility to point them out, but any fool knows full well that giving children equal opportunities is certainly not one of them.
Otherwise seeking to marginalize young male children in the pretext of leveling the ground is a senseless act of gender discrimination. Or is anyone in their wildest dreams attempting to establish an hypothetical female-dominated future Twi community – what is called a matriarchal society? By the way, the term “matriarchy” is defensively defined, mainly by female scholars who are unable to agree on it. They, however, all concur that prostitution and other female-dominated professions but where men act as auxiliaries do not depict true matriarchies!
It is important to point out that societies that embrace feminist ideals typically vanish within a few centuries. That is why women-ran eras exist at the end of civilizations, every last of them in history. There was a famous one at the end of the Babylonian civilization about 4,000 years ago.
People’s flirtation with feminism can only turn out to be counter-intuitive. No one can guarantee what will happen in the future, but whatever realities of the days are heavily dependent on the actions we take today. If the feminists’ elusive hope of a female-dominated world is implemented, what will happen to biology, engineering and technology? The man pioneered and keep advancing this vital area of human knowledge. With or without women, science would continue to thrive. You would be speaking nonsense if you imagine women’s contribution in science to be a significant one.
If anyone contests this assertion, I am prepared to cite the requisite evidence. Even today, official statistics indicate that women comprise barely 10% of the members of Britain’s Royal Society and that is 200 years after Isaac Newton immortalized Physics as a proper science, and 150 years after Charles Darwin discovered what is arguably the most influential idea in human history. America’s NASA is no different. China’s case is even more spectacular.
If the Twi Community in Australia want to invest in our children, let them support truly the best and brightest ones without regard to their gender. They can include boys and still retain their name as Twic East Girls Scholarship Program. We wouldn’t lose sleep over that. After all, even South Sudan is governed by Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), a political party that bears the name of a different country!
Thankfully, TEGSP remains an Australian peculiarity. I may not be confident of the Twi Community in the United States, but there is a really good chance that the vast majority of those in Canada would never lend credence to it in its current format. Call it what might suit you, but in my opinion, there is something remarkably childish about feminist women and their male sympathizers ~ the main people behind TEGSP.
In this regard, I cannot help but invoke Isaac Asimov’s remark about the infantilism of pseudoscience: “inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you ‘ll find a security blanket; a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold”
You can reach the author via his email: Barach Magar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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