Messages, Misogyny and Nigerian Entertainment: Part II

Messages, Misogyny and Nigerian Entertainment: Part II

Where were we?  Oh yes, gender messages from the entertainment industry that irritate me or put another way, the reason why when I’m consuming Nigerian entertainment, I’m usually either  angry or pretending not to be a feminist.

 

  1. The enlightened artist poking light fun at women. These are the kind of artists that I usually could listen to and watch all day – clever, funny, enlightened young men, banging beats, trendy hip outfits, cool dance moves, interesting lyrics…until the topic turns to women. Then they turn into finger wagging, self-righteous turds with indulgent grins on their faces as they tell you that they are good men but really! Aren’t women just generally unreasonable?!

I have no objection to men singing or rapping about bad experiences with women (it’s only when I realise how often female artists in Nigeria sing about how keen they are to die for a man they’ve just met that my mood turns dark) but again it’s the generalisation, the division, lack of any attempt to analyse societal reasons for this so-called unreasonable behaviour, the assumption that they can tell us what to be that ….well let’s just say it upsets me a bit. I will just add that perhaps if some of these artists had women staff above the role of receptionist, they may have a more rounded view of the female gender.

  1. Male celebrities that bemoan the fact that women of nowadays are no longer like their mothers and that the search for modern, new-fangled things like gender equality, a desire to be treated decently and some semblance of a life outside the family is what is ruining marriages. I won’t waste too much time on this one as I will be veering into the murky world of lambasting people whose view-points are the exact opposite of mine. I doubt if those people would have gotten past line 3 of this rant. I’ll just say this, what ruins marriages is bad behaviour. It could be bad behaviour of either or both spouses. However, when men behave badly and women do not put up with it, the women are ruining the marriages and/or failing to keep her toddler-king, sorry husband, from completely throwing his toys out the pram.
  2. Lyrics. So many examples but this one stands outs:  If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then according to some Nigerian songs, the way to a woman’s heart is through mild but consistent harassment. Let me illustrate:

“I say I need you girl

You say you need some time

But time e no dey girl

Answer me on time

I dey beg you say make you follow me

You tell say you no love me” (from Sade by Adekunle Gold)

Well then, I think the answer is no, mate. There is a similar (but somewhat more aggressive) sentiment in his song ‘Friendzone’.

The singer (who I love and who has written many wonderful songs celebrating the humanity of women) is of course only expressing what already happens in society.   Some would even say the characters in his songs are being romantic. Certainly, when I was growing up in Nigeria, a guy was expected to chase a girl and if he accepted the first (and second and third) no, he wasn’t ‘serious’. Similarly, if a girl said yes to a date at the first ask then she was ‘easy’ and the victory was not ‘sweet’. To be fair, all over the world, the chase is lauded as a sign of true romance.

However, when does no mean no? Isn’t this game dangerous in respect of the issue of consent? What happened when I was growing up was that a girl had to finally tell the guy in an aggressive, unpleasant and rude way that she wasn’t interested for him to finally get the message. Any niceness was a sign that there was still a chance.

 

  1. When a male celebrity is caught cheating and there’s the understandable and predictable backlash on social media or wherever and some pompous soul takes it upon him (or her) self to point out that no one ever said the man in question was a ‘perfect husband’

Apparently the only qualification for being a perfect husband is not cheating. A perfect wife, on the other hand, needs to be a great cook (and cook all the time), raise perfect children, have a flawless and youthful figure and face, have her own money, hand you her salary every month, NEVER question you, be humble, wash her husband’s pants by hand, cure cancer…you get the picture. Cheating doesn’t come into it. A woman who cheats is a demon. A man who cheats is ‘not perfect’. All together ladies “WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR YOU TO BE PERFECT, JUST DON’T CHEAT (and add disgrace by letting them catch your ass on camera)!!!!!”

Rant over. Soapbox under the bed. I’m just glad we’re having the conversation.

 

Tracy Ofarn

 

An open Letter to the lord

An open Letter to the lord

Dear Lord,
I listened

Girl brutalized

Girl broken
I witnessed

Girl unveiled
Deviant!

Shameless!

Night walker!

Bar crawler!
His fists

Pounded every word

Into her pale, yellow, skin.

Yellow turned blood red.
Subhuman species!

Subpar intelligence!

Idiotic cacophony!

Ashawo na bastard!
Dear Lord

I listened

Her screams 

Rending the universe apart
I witnessed

Pain confusion

Disbelief shock

Chase after one another

Through her eyes
Street trawler!

Sex worker!

Do mi pay!

Pro- sti-tute!
The good old boys club

Surrounded him
For hitting her

He had no shame

For getting caught with her

He blushed with pain

Ashawo na bastard!
Dear lord

I listened

She cursed

She raged

Against you

Against her fate
Her man-made fate
She called down 

The wrath of the gods
Esu is my witness

Ogun my machete

Jesus Allah

Sango Aiyelala

Na thunder go fire you!

Your children shall know pain!
I witnessed

A girl

With no name

No shame

Gather her shattered bits

Into her dignity

Her spine

Straightened

She would show no weakness

She would no longer

Be a victim

She looked me in the eye

“I will like some privacy now.” 
Dear Lord

This made me wonder

Made me muse

Dear Lord

Who’s really the bastard

Who’s the fool?
– Ayodele Olofintuade

Feminism has no space for Transphobia – A series of Tweets by OluTimehin Adegbeye

Feminism has no space for Transphobia – A series of Tweets by OluTimehin Adegbeye

Having a marginalised identity does not automatically amount to expertise on any or all marginalisations. 

I learned this the hard way.

Equality will always feel like oppression to the privileged.

At moments like this I’m reminded it’s crucial to listen more and speak less. The worst thing about being loud and wrong is the loudness.

In a way, the knee-jerk reaction of cis-women to vehemently deny trans-womanhood as womanhood, reminds me of the reactions that survivors of (violent) penetrative rape had to my assertion last year that any absence of consent in sexual activity is in fact rape.

It’s this idea that validating experiences not our own (or not those that are historically mainstream) ‘diminishes’ the value of a thing.

An idea which is of course, patently false. 

Drawing borders around the validity of experiences doesn’t actually make the experiences of those outside the borders go away. It just makes it okay to gaslight the fuck out of them. 

But people KNOW what they’ve been through & who they are. Gatekeepers force madness on folks by insisting that things they know to be true are lies, then turn around & call them mad.

You’re already inside the circle. Nobody is pushing you out. We’re just saying that you drew the line at the wrong point & it needs to move.

Now comes the real question: Whether you want to stand inside a circle where you have to be next to people you don’t see as fully human.

That’s what drives pushback against inclusion really: people who have something thinking people who are less human than them will get it too. 

Transphobic cis women act as if the category ‘woman’ is so valuable that ‘men’ will want to steal it from them. How laughable is that??

Men KNOW how trash it is to be a woman in this world. That’s why they’re always on about not wanting/being afraid for their daughters followers. 

Even cis-women don’t want to be ‘women’ as it is constructed within the gender binary. That’s why feminism exists in the first place.

So why would anyone with any kind of real ‘male privilege’ want to give that up…to ‘become’ a woman?

Nigerians will defend gender essentialist transphobia as if we don’t culturallly call men ‘woman wrapper’ or ‘woman’ as an insult.

If we really care about people, we need to stop defending borders that attempt to invalidate their lives (and eventually, simply kill them).

The Bro Code

The Bro Code

In the age-old fashion of aprokoism, we at 9jafeminista make it our job to offer unsolicited advice and help to our brothers and sisters on the internet. And as we have done a two-part article ’12 yards of wife material for Christmas’ (you can find them here – Part I and Part II) we thought it unfair not to provide a list for the Nigerian man seeking to become manlier than he already is.

We Nigerians understand how these things work, a man is a man, a woman is a woman. We know that human beings are NOT beautifully crafted, complex creatures, with varying emotions and needs. Men behave like men, women behave like women, c’est fini!

Boys play football, girls cook!

As soon as a girl is born, even when she’s a suckling child, all she thinks about is marriage. Boys on the other hand don’t like getting married so girls have to do EVERYTHING in their power not only to ‘catch’ a boy, she also has to do EVERYTHING in her power to stay married to that boy, even at the cost of her sanity or her life.

Although we have a lot of evidence that proves the above assumptions false, we still stick to our beliefs because hey, it’s our TRADITION. And as we all know, traditions are not concerned about facts, they are only interested in umm… traditions (that actually makes nil sense, but it is what it is).

Anyway, so there we were on the World Wide Web, doing our usual poke-nosing, and like superman, flying around, looking for some poor victim to rescue from trouble. And then we stumbled on THE LIST! A rather long tending to boring list, admittedly, but it’s the list all the same. That elusive bro-code, the one presented to men so they’ll be able to earn their ‘manhood’, and in the process lose their humanity. We are not claiming this list is the cause of the high rate of domestic violence, assaults and rapes committed against men and is silenced, neither are we saying that the result of this list is the high rate of domestic violence, assaults and rapes committed against women. Because then we’ll be saying that this list only makes us all victims, and we’ll never, ever, say something like that!

What we’ve done is pick out the best and most important points on the list, so we won’t bore you to death(as we nearly were) or give you conniption because of outrage.

  1. Bros don’t use umbrellas: we picked this point first because it is the most relevant and important part of the bro code, because seriously, why would a man who’s a real man use an UMBRELLA? We hope you understand being a man means you’re a machine… Robocop kinda thing. Is it raining and you need to go out urgently please, please, in order to please your next door neighbor, and all the people who don’t have enough trouble in their lives but to watch you, do not use an umbrella. Please let the rain beat you well-well, let it soak your nice clothes and socks. In fact catching pneumonia from walking in the rain is a proof of manliness. On the other hand, with this sun that behaves as if it’s about to melt the flesh off your bones, using an umbrella is a no-no. Let the sun beat you, let it give you a headache, because using an umbrella would lead to the immediate vaporization of your penis, and then what will you become? God forbid bad tin!
  2. A bro does not bitch! – are you depressed? Are you constantly thinking about the fact that you don’t have a job, and you’re still staying with your retired parents, whose benefits have not been paid in months? Are you sick? Broke? Suicidal? Please do NOT tell anyone this, don’t unburden your soul to anybody. Is your wife beating you up? Please don’t complain, just be making jokes and pretending you’re alright because… you’re a bro! Bros don’t bitch! Bros don’t cry! They suffer in silence in order to look good to people who have nothing to offer in the way of support.
  3. Bros before hoes(a hoe is any woman that’s not your wife or member of your family)- this here is an amazing sontin! Gentlemen, it’s official, your female boss is a hoe, all your female lecturers are hoes, your female friends are hoes. Your best friend’s mom is a hoe, so is his grandmother and great-grandmother. The reason why we love this point is that it makes perfect sense! Is your female boss asking you to finish a project but at the same time your ‘bro’ is asking you to send an urgent text message to him? Please look at your boss in the eye and say (preferably in Ebonics) ‘Bros before hoes.’ Flash her the peace sign and watch your promotion in leaps and bounds.
  4. Bros do not make eye contact when in the urinal/if a bro strikes another bro on the crotch, both bros do not acknowledge it/bros do not do full body hugs – these points are the foundation of homophobia, but hey… as we have repeatedly said, this list is the ish. The three points above points at how men are NOT attracted to other men, only men are attracted to other men and they are afraid of being attracted to other men because men are only attracted to other men… oh wait, think we’re getting our wires crossed here…

Watch out for part 2!

A tribute to Fezeka Kuzwayo by Sybil Nandi Msezane

A tribute to Fezeka Kuzwayo by Sybil Nandi Msezane

Her name is Fezeka Kuzwayo affectionately known as Fez by friends. She was a loving daughter who took care of her mother and did her best to make her comfortable through all they had been through.

I am Khanga
By Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo

I wrap myself around the curvaceous bodies of women all over Africa

I am the perfect nightdress on those hot African nights

The ideal attire for household chores

I secure babies happily on their mother’s backs

Am the perfect gift for new bride and new mother alike

Armed with proverbs, I am vehicle for communication between women

I exist for the comfort and convenience of a woman

But no no no make no mistake …

I am not here to please a man

And I certainly am not a seductress

Please don’t use me as an excuse to rape

Don’t hide behind me when you choose to abuse

You see

That’s what he said my Malume

The man who called himself my daddy’s best friend

Shared a cell with him on [Robben] Island for ten whole years

He said I wanted it

That my khanga said it

That with it I lured him to my bed

That with it I want you is what I said

But what about the NO I uttered with my mouth

Not once but twice

And the please no I said with my body

What about the tear that ran down my face as I lay stiff with shock

In what sick world is that sex

In what sick world is that consent

The same world where the rapist becomes the victim

The same world where I become the bitch that must burn

The same world where I am forced into exile because I spoke out?

This is NOT my world

I reject that world

My world is a world where fathers protect and don’t rape

My world is a world where a woman can speak out

Without fear for her safety

My world is a world where no one , but no one is above the law

My world is a world where sex is pleasurable not painful…

She was a singer with a beautiful voice that could bring you to tears.
She was a fierce feminist and activist who spoke truth to power.
She was a friend and sister who checked on those in her circle without fail.


She is Fezeka Kuzwayo; daughter, sister, friend, activist, feminist, vocalist, writer
Say her name and stop this mislabeling her.
Just because the justice system failed her does not change that she was raped, yes Fezeka was raped by Jacob Zuma and 10 years of her life stolen because instead of solidarity she was vilified and attacked.

Say her name Fezeka Kuzwayo

Rest in Power sis…


We will continue to soldier on
We will keep you alive as we continue with the work started when you refused to be silenced and spoke of your RAPE, we refuse to have history write you as an accuser when you were raped.
You will be missed Fez
#sayhername Fezeka Kuzwayo

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Nigerian women must approach the gates of Heaven with a penis in one hand!

Nigerian women must approach the gates of Heaven with a penis in one hand!

Frankly speaking, I don’t see anything bad in what the G.O of RCCG preached about. He spoke for the men, from the male angle. Now, what are ladies telling themselves on this issue?

I think single ladies should also up their game! I do not mean they should go add to their culinary skills, single ladies need to start demanding and setting standards for the type of person they’d settle for.

Would they?

Are they not more bothered on how to prove they are a “wife material” in order to grab a penis? While the men are “dishing” out criteria to them what are the ladies doing? They’re smiling and nodding their heads in jubilation that the days of their “sorrow” as Singles are going to be over.

No man is doing you any favour by asking for your hand in marriage. You can decide not to marry a man who can’t cook, you can decide not to marry a man who can’t do house chores, and you can decide not to marry a man who can’t pray for 24hrs abeg!

It is either he meets your criteria or he “waka front” with his penis.

Listen, even if you can cook for Africa, if you marry a man who can’t cook, you won’t find it funny at some point.

Go and ask women who their husbands can’t even boil water, go and ask women married to men who just cross their legs in the sitting room watching Arsenal and Chelsea play while their “virtuous wives” are running from pillar to post: from the kitchen to the bedroom, changing diapers, running around all alone. They will tell you how frustrating it is. Whether you are sick or not, you will enter the kitchen and cook, whether you are pregnant and unfit, God help you if your pregnancy is the way it does me whenever I “carry belle”, you’d so look like a skeleton that you won’t even see yourself, let alone see kitchen, but you will still cook because you must take care of your husband who must be “kept” so as not to become ‘husbandless and go to hell fire’.

That is double wahala!

You know it is only Nigerian women who must approach the gates of Heaven with a penis in one hand and pestle in the other!

Hian!

Please, that Bullshit that our mothers and great-grandmothers had 50 children and still did all the house chores doesn’t apply here at all. Some of our mothers who suffered and suffered to keep their Husbands still got “more wives” added to them after all the cooking, the daily pounding of yam and preparing “efo riro” didn’t make them the “superb” wife still.
This is 2016, there are Bankers, Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, Engineers etc. among women.Some women augment the income of their husbands, some single handedly pay the bills, while their jobless or “Contractor husbands” stay home all day. They will sit down and cross leg at home till their wives return from work. You mean, it is fair if these set of women return from work at 10:pm and they’d still dash to the kitchen, grab mortar and pestle and start pounding yam?

Abeg, as they are giving you criteria before they can marry you, give them yours too. Whatever criteria they set for you, set it for them too. Nobody is doing you favor by toasting you or by asking you to marry them. Or are you languishing and waiting earnestly for a “Messiah” to come pick you from the gutter?

In pastor E. A Adeboye’s voice… “Ladies, don’t marry a man who can’t pray for one hour at a stretch, don’t marry a man who can’t cook. Don’t marry a lazy man. Ask the nigga to pack his penis in a polythene bag and go find somewhere to sit joor. You don’t need him.”

*Drops mic*

 

buki
Bukola Afolabi Ogunyeye