A brief Slut Shaming Dictionary aka Slut Shaming on Fleek

A brief Slut Shaming Dictionary aka Slut Shaming on Fleek

This article is dedicated to one thing and one thing only, arming you with words. Yes we can, arm you with words that should be used the next time you’re going on a slut shaming mission. We would be dismayed, if you start this very important activity that helps the patriarchy control women’s bodies without using the proper slangs and terms.

What else are we here for but to help you achieve your dreams of a world without equality, a world in which women are seen as objects (preferably sex objects). In this Utopia, men would be able to strip women that annoy them on the streets naked, without fear of reprisal. Teachers can sleep with as many of their underage students as it is possible, women with cups bigger than an ‘A’ cup size can be stared at and the state of their sexuality a topic for discussion and debate. Men will be able to grab the boobs of women they meet in the swimming pool. In this ideal world, women will be able to give excuses for the rape of other women… ooops… wait… we are living in this sexist utopia already!

But… we won’t let that stop us! Hell to the No! We will still go ahead and equip you with words that hurt, words that can maim, or kill… words that will continue to make this utopia of ours what it is today, a country without the basic amenities, but is obsessed with sex, money and religion (and not necessarily in that order).

Without any further ado, we introduce our dictionary of slut shaming.

Slut Shaming – stigmatizing a woman for having sex, or stigmatizing a woman on the suspicion that she’s having sex, or stigmatizing a woman on the suspicion that she might be planning to have sex… makes absolute sense don’t it?

Ashawo: If there’s any Nigerian dictionary, the word ‘Ashawo’ is the only one deserving of a whole page for itself, just that word, ‘ashawo’ written on a plain foolscap page… why you ask. Well this is simple, ashawo is one of the few (and we dare say the only) word understood across all languages, all ethnic boundaries. Ashawo is a prostitute, ashawo gives sex for money, ashawo sleeps around, her body count is almost as high as that of the Nigerian population.
Ashawo is to be pitied, only to be seen (by men) under the cover of darkness.

Ashawo is a slut.

Slut: is a term for a woman or girl who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous (Wikipedia)

Although men who are promiscuous are called ‘Community Penis’ note that being a community penis does not make you a slut, which is why another word had to be coined for them.

A community penis is a ‘man’, because part of hyper-masculinity is your ability to have as many sexual partners as possible.

Side-Chick – the other woman; also known as the mistress; a female that is neither a male’s wife or girlfriend who has relations with the male while he is in another relationship (Urban Dictionary).

Men are expected to cheat, women are not expected to cheat. In a heteronormal, hyper-religious and homophobic society like ours that operates a gender binary system, we wonder who men are supposed to cheat with… other men? Trans? Lesbians? Who?… but that is not why we are here…

The point is, a side-chick is a slut, an ashawo, who is giving sex away ‘free of charge’.

Transactional Sexual Relationships: We know you did not come here to read big-big grammar… who grammar don epp? But there are times that you need to sound like a Patrick Obahiagbon in order to get your point across. If you can throw this sentence into a conversation surrounding slut-shaming, we assure you that will be the end of that matter!

So what are transactional sexual relatitonships?

Transactional sexual relationship is closely linked to socio-cultural expectations of gender whereby a man is expected to act as a provider to their partners and women expect a compensation for ‘giving’ sex. This results in implicit assumptions of exchange, whereby for example a man might buy a woman a drink and her acceptance implies a willingness to have sex.(Wikipedia)

In proper Nigerian English, what this means is that a man is expected to be the ‘provider’ of money and penis, and in exchange a woman is expected to ‘give’ sex and often times, these days, domesticity.

Body Count – also known as ‘how many men have you slept with?’ Having a body-count of more than half, qualifies you for sluthood… period!

With these few, but very important words, we encourage you to go into the world and put women to task.

A girl is unreachable because she’s classy, she has a job and doesn’t want to date a jobless, uncivilized slob? Call her a slut.

A girl turns down your proposal for friendship because she’s noticed that you’re borderline sociopath? Call her a slut.

A girl breaks up with you? Call her a slut.

You rape a girl and she reports you to the police? Call her a slut.

You blackmail a vulnerable girl into having an affair with you and then she calls it off? Call her a slut.

A girl refuses to sleep with you because you’re suffering from hyper-masculinity and have violent tendencies? Call her a slut.

A girl refuses to wash your underpants because she’s not your domestic help and breaks up her friendship with you? Call her a slut.

Slut shaming covers a multitude of sins…

Are we saying that you’re a sinner? Oh no we wouldn’t dare say that…

Do we dare call you a misogynist, self-hating, uncivilized pig?
Oh no, we are not that nasty… are we?

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Of Kisses, of Sexual Predators, Of Chijioke Amu-Nnadi

Of Kisses, of Sexual Predators, Of Chijioke Amu-Nnadi

Mine didn’t start with poetry.

I didn’t know him beyond his name, his posts, on Facebook.

I was in Uganda for 2015 Writivism Literary Festival as the festival’s blog editor; he was there too, as a guest to hold a masterclass on poetry.

He checked in at midnight with Sadiq Dzukogi. I was working at a section of Ministers’ Village –the hotel we were lodged- dining hall when he arrived. Mukoma wa Thiong’o, Pa Ikhide, and Aaron Bady had arrived not long before and I’d gone to the reception to greet them so when Ssekandi – the festival’s official chauffeur – pulled into the driveway, I went out to see who else had come in.

As I greeted him and introduced myself, he hugged me. Then one of the minders  and I accompanied them upstairs to settle in. After we found their rooms, we all made to leave. I was going back to the ground floor to continue work; he offered to see me off a bit. When we got to the first floor (his room was on the third), we stopped to wrap up our chit chat. I didn’t see what happened next coming. It just did.

He cupped my face in his hands and kissed me.

I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t even processing. I just said, “Goodnight,” turned around and walked back to where I was working. As I sat, it began to hit me. Chijioke-Amunnadi kissed me. He kissed me…he…kissed me? He fucking kissed me?

Irritation. Anger.

This was the man I had never interacted with personally, not even on Facebook. We had just met and he’d kissed me. I didn’t even know him! As I processed, I began to calm myself. I had work to do, Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire and the Writivism team did not bring me to Uganda so I could spend time sorting feelings at Ministers’ Village hotel. As I continued working, he came downstairs to give me an autographed copy of his book. I thanked him and kept working.

The next days at Uganda found me avoiding him and getting irritated when he tried to come close or call me daughter. My roommate, Nneoma, knew my irritation for the man.

One night, he asked us to move into his room which was bigger than ours so he could move into ours, because a “friend” had come in and needed somewhere to stay. I disagreed but Nneoma calmed me and said it was just for the night. When we got to his room, he looked around and said it was big enough and we all could share. We disagreed.

Adeola would later see the massive doze of ‘attitude’ I dished him regularly. And even the night she and Nneoma asked me to go with them for a dinner that Chijioke ended paying for, I had mental workings to do and ensured nothing drew he and I close.
.
I have heard things.

I don’t know Chijioke. I don’t know him at all.

Perhaps kissing me – without so much as a simple by-your-leave, may not count much in the scope of all that’s been blowing up for days but I heard the old man has been saying the girls he tried things with seduced him, they were cheap…I hope he hasn’t mentioned my name because the result will take the host of heaven to settle. My blood is that hot.

There are a few more things to say about my encounter with this man.

I hosted a project on 10 October 2015 for World Mental Health Day at University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Some of you may know about it. The Curator of the project invited Chijioke to perform as we were interpreting mental health issues through art. I had given the Curator sole right to decide on who got invited, so I chose to let things slide.

In the course of planning, we ran short of funds and she turned to Chijioke for help. He did. She was one of his “daughters” but as I’ll later discover, one of the few “daughters” he hadn’t tried to touch… Yet.

He gave a total of about 35,000 naira towards the event. I thanked him. And I kept him far.

But the old man still did not know his place and went on to attempt something with our Welfare Coordinator. He wanted to kiss her; he wanted to give her head. I wasn’t there when he said those things but she came back from performing her official duties and told me this.

It is important to mention the money part because I heard he said these girls – the ones he’s tried things with – were after his money.

Dem too love money.

– Mary Ajayi

Shagari Street

Shagari Street

It always begins with a song. Then memory sets in. Soon you are coursing down familiar roads, back streets, broken waters. Suddenly, you are back here again. It is the same house on Shagari Street with busybody neighbours.

You are one of the privileged few; you own a tokunbo car, you live in a self-contain, your white-collar job holds retirement benefits. And you worked for it; you earned by self-sacrifice as you soldiered through university fending for yourself.

It always began with a song. Fela. Then you lit your first cigarette. Orlando Owoh. Then you took your first gulp of liquor. You found your taste in forbidden substances, in the brew for the society’s dregs. The foremost reason stayed with you. You wear it on a locket, your mother, a maiden image just before Father desecrated her, left her for death.

Every time the thought recourse through you, you make  a fist and aim to drive it into wall, faces. You could not forgive the old bastard, not even at his funeral. You could barely hold the urge to grip his cold cotton-wool stuffed nose. Let him die again.

You carried the bitterness in a pouch, like bile. It stained your demeanour, left a tinge that earned the respect of men, the curiosity of ladies.

It was first trendy classmates, then desperate youth corp members, then she. You saw mother in her, didn’t you? It was the same eyes, you could swear on Father’s grave. It was the same smile too. Sade was a reincarnate.

Forbidden fruits never stayed out of your reach, pursuing a spouse out of the reach of your social class. Middle-class still you were. But education, you thought, was the cure to social divisions, the melting pot for unexplained inequalities.

She loved you. She treasured you. She kissed the strip of skin between your brows and yet, you did not shiver out of your dream. You had to have her, by all means. Orphan marries into Old money. Daughter of Millionaire Elopes. Perfect tabloid captions.

She left the old mansion in fair clothes and followed you to Shagari Street. You turned a princess into a house-keeper. She made your meals and your bed, and you both slept in it like young cubs. You kept her nights feverish and during her days, you fled to make money.

Then life happened. The cusp of love once filled with affection was diluted with reality’s tragedies. Tragedies you could live with. Tragedies she could live without. Then one night you returned and she had sulked back to the old mansion.

It always begins with a song. Burning Spear. You lit your first spliff. Bob Marley. Then you hit her on her return. Your bunched fist jammed into her translucent skin and called blood.

She returned but you didn’t. You did not forgive her; let soothing waters of love run on your hurt. Let the aqueous mixture sublime on the bed of passion, moans, and orgasms. You put a bottle of liquor in your right, a glowing spliff in your left, a condom on your member and you fucked the world instead.

You skipped nights and days, strayed into the dregs of the city to squeeze cheap lemon-sized breasts, oblivious of her missed period, her growing belly, your seed, the baby.

When her water broke, you were nowhere to be found. You were hustling the street for forbidden substances. Sade was wailing. Baby was coming. Sade was weeping, crying out labour pains on the floor of your apartment on Shagari Street. You were lying with a jaunty dancer called Linda. Sade stopped to cry and you shivered your orgasm. Baby stopped to move and you lit another spliff.

You returned to Shagari Street and you heard about their deaths. You had desecrated her, left her for death too.

You are Father.

Dami Ajayi

*First published on Mr Dami Ajayi.wordpress.com

*Published with author’s permission

…A woman is guilty of everything

…A woman is guilty of everything

Let me tell you one small something that happened yesterday morning.

As I alighted from the bus that conveyed me to my work place, a young man was making cat calls. Me, I almost never respond to anyone making psst sounds at me. If you can’t politely call out ‘hello’ or ‘excuse me, please’, then forget the message. But this one was persistent and as though he read my thoughts, he switched to ‘Excuse me!’ So I grinned to myself and turned back to him. He moved closer and pointed at my chest, muttering some words.

Man. You should see the little rush of embarrassment that ran through me as I looked down at my shirt and noticed that all the buttons on my chest region flapped open! And there was no camisole! And I cannot wear full fleshed bras even to save my life! Ha. I thanked him, walked a distance and buttoned up.

But this is what I really want to say: there are many guys who notice such things like a girl stained from her period, a torn slit in a skirt, straying bra straps, panty lines, unzipped trouser, a woman’s wrapper almost falling off and many of such sights. But you know what they do? They ogle and laugh and make jests and point fingers and take pictures and put them up on Instagram and Facebook with captions like ‘bitches’ ‘hoe busted’ ‘o boy, see bobbi’ ‘if they rape this one now, she will start talking’ ‘doomed for hell, indecent bastard’ ‘look at her, no shame. Cannot buy ordinary pad, but can afford that ugly makeup. Winsh’ and many other silly comments that will follow.

We live in a world where a woman is guilty of everything, both what she knows and what she knows not.

©Jennifer Chinenye Emelife

On Yorubaname.com, Diversity and a paucity of women in governance: An interview with Kola Tubosun

On Yorubaname.com, Diversity and a paucity of women in governance: An interview with Kola Tubosun

Kola is a feminist married to a feminist (don’t have a heart attack neither of them is transsexual) a11058389_10153108316234235_1325312141973476939_n   teacher, father and a firm believer in diversity. He’s a culture advocate who is gradually working his way into becoming one of the foremost authorities on the propagation of Yoruba Language. 9jafeminista caught up with him on Facebook post election and we decided to have a chat with him.

9jafeminista: You’re a writer, a teacher, a husband, a father, editor of a couple of online magazines, you recently ran a successful fundraiser online and launched Yoruba names dictionary… Where do you find the energy to combine all these and quite successfully too?

 Kola Tubosun: Hmm, When you list them like that, it sounds like a huge deal. In actual fact, most of what I do are regimented. I work in the school from 8am to 4pm. I try but am often unable to do much else during that period. But miracles happen. Then I have some time usually between 4pm and 7pm to follow up on other personal commitments. It got overwhelming at some point, so I had to re-strategize at the beginning of the year. I recently hung up my pen as the editor of the NTLitMag but I know that it hasn’t fully excused me from other responsibilities on that publication, and to writing in general. Good planning, sleeping, and exercising, help.

9jafeminista: When Nlitmag was launched I felt it was an ambitious project in a Nigeria that was really on a large scale, indifferent to the arts generally. Would you say a lot of things have changed since those days?

Kola Tubosun: Well, the magazine was carved out of NigeriansTalk itself as a way to showcase literature from the usually unheard voices and perspectives in Nigeria and around the continent. It wasn’t meant to be “large scale” as such, or anything, but merely a platform to let deserving voices be heard on a monthly basis. We have achieved that aim over the two plus years that we ran it, reaching thousands of readers and writers. Now it needs a new leadership and a new direction and I look forward to seeing where else it can go.

 9jafeminista: Although you’ve tried to downplay how hard you work and the way you manage to deploy your different talents effectively. I’m curious about your latest baby… The Yoruba names dictionary. How did you birth the idea, why do you think it is important that we have that kind of website now, how relevant is it in today’s village we still erroneously consider a world?

Kola Tubosun: When I think about it – and I have done that quite often these days – the idea has always been there. My father always said that there are no stupid questions, so my memory of growing up around him throws up several instances of my restless curiosity about words, names, events etc. He patiently explained them to me, and I’ve retained a lot of those imparted knowledge. However, at adulthood, I realize how much of the information held by adults will disappear with their demise, and how much we’d have lost by buying into a “globalized” culture that celebrates monolingualism (and monoculturalism) at the expense of our own language and cultural experience. This I find totally unacceptable, And when I realized that I have in my power to change things, I also realized how late it seems and how much earlier I (and many more people with similar skills and motivations) should have been on this. To be fair, many have (See Tunde Adegbola, Francis Egbokhare, Ron Schaefer, Tunde Kelani, Akinwumi Ishola, etc), but note that they’re all adults. Where is the new breed? Where are the leaders to take the mantle into the new generation?

So, to answer your question specifically, this Yoruba Dictionary of Names started as an undergraduate project while I was in the final year at the University of Ibadan in 2005. But it is an extension of a number of years of looking for something like this. They say if you look for something and you can’t find it. Create it. In 2015, ten years later, I finally found enough people to make it happen as I’d want it.

And to your final question: how relevant will it be? Let me answer this in a minimalist way, and saykola that even if all the dictionary does is provide a way for ME to be able to find the meaning of any Yoruba name that I want whenever I want it, and for my son’s benefit as well, I will have succeeded. However, I assume that it will have the same (or more) benefit for a lot more people in the world, and that is an added benefit.

9jafeminista: Well you’ve made your point about how globalisation appears to be snuffing out diversity. Could you talk a bit more about that?

Kola Tubosun: As per globalisation, this is – just as the name implies – a global problem. The problem is in a false belief in the acceptance of ONE culture and language as the panacea to the problem of global distrust and misunderstanding. That if we all speak English (or that we all do anyway), we won’t have as much problems in the world. People who make that argument however don’t say yes when you substitute “English” in this case for, let’s say, “Hausa” or “German”. I think it’s fueled by a kind of laziness (or to be charitable, “conservatism” – a belief that things are already how they are. Why change?). The end result is the extinction of thousands of languages and, along with them, cultures and worldviews that could only have added to us.

On the one hand, the predominance of English is there to help communication and global interaction. Nothing is wrong with that. But the attendant consequence of discounting our own languages (or feeling ashamed about them) is the drawback. Go around Nigeria today and find out how many parents still speak their language to their children. Then find out why. You’ll be ashamed.

9jafeminista: Let’s talk about Nigeria’ and her multifaceted problems mostly fueled by the patriarchy. I know you followed the recent elections that ushered Muhamad Buhari in as the president. The absence of women in our political space was emphasized by the only woman running for the presidency Remi Sonaiya … And we know how that went… How do you think we can address this problem?

Kola Tubosun: Nigeria’s experiment with civil rule is new, and so can be excused for dragging its feet on some of the crucial indices of progress. I’m buoyed by the fact that women have, even in our recent past, proven themselves capable of doing great things in the public space. I speak of Dora Akunyili, Oby Ezekwesili, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, among many others. Ours is a patriarchal continent, for the most part, and it will take a while for our politics to reflect anything different from our centuries of socialization and conditioning.

9jafeminista: Half of the voters are women as at the last census… So why this tokenism? A kind of ‘just take and shut up’ thing successive governments have done. The way lip service is paid to “the female-gender” (whatever that is) and the past president’s boast of being a feminist… But we need more women in governance! Were can’t keep using our ‘young’ civil rule as an excuse

Kola Tubosun: You’re right, and I think more women should vie for positions of power. But I don’t think that we want women to be voted in JUST because they’re women either. I preferred Obama in 2008 to Clinton, but only because I believed him to be more capable. If the US election today is between Elizabeth Warren and anyone else, I’ll choose Warren. Also, because she’s put herself out there, and because she’s capable. We have many capable women in Nigeria, but where are they in the public space?

9jafeminista: Doesn’t this take us back to the question of patriarchy? Especially when you think about godfatherism in our political space and glass ceilings preventing women from achieving their true potential

Kola Tubosun: True. And we’re not alone. I find it interesting, for instance, that it has taken America this long to even consider a woman for that top position, in the number of centuries they’ve had presidents. Talk about institutional patriarchy! We at least had a woman presidential candidate just 16 years into our new democratic experience. It’s not perfect, what we have. Actually, it’s terrible, considering the number of strong women we’ve had in our history, from Madam Tinubu to Mrs. Funmilayo Kuti. But I believe that the problem is a societal one. Our government is a representative of who we are. It’s like a chicken and egg situation. Writers are already doing their part. Artists should follow. And we as a people should stop encouraging Nollywood movies that cast women as helpless, hapless, creatures when they are not being cast as witches or husband thieves. We should begin to tell their stories as strong agents of positive change in the world. Things won’t change if we merely expect it to.