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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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.”
The adulation and objectification of Women (aka Shorty, Ukwu, Waist, Ada, Mama, Baby, Bebe) in the hip-hop industry, is a daily subject that masculates the musicality of the masculine artists in this genre.
Once a vixen got lectured on the visibility of misogyny in the hip-hop industry and was asked how it feels to be the subject of hyper-sexualisation and objectification. Well, all she wants is her money and this of course, aligns with the feminist theory of Bodily Autonomy, as long as she is of age to decide what she wants to be, video vixen or rocket scientist, all join.
But then this could also bring about the question: How does one differentiate trying to fit into the image of the woman as a sexual objectfrom when a woman is sexually empowered?
Usually, when a woman is not being sexually objectified in the music industry, she is depicted as Miss Needy; the beggar who sticks to a man because of money or Miss Bitchy, the woman who uses her sexual wiles to take everything a hardworking man has spent all his life gathering. This has been delineated in songs like PSquare’s Chop MyMoney. Atimes the woman is portrayed as this totally innocent person who has absolutely no need for material wealth, but only NEEDS to be loved. This is encapsulated perfectly in Davido’s ‘Aiye’ – she no wan Ferrari, she no wan designer, she say na my love o!
Whether she’s an angel or a bitch, the woman portrayed in almost all the songs, produced in the Nigerian music industry, is almost, always IN NEED of something,
But, this is not about PSquare or Davido or any other artist that may or may not have contributed to the longevity of misogyny in the music industry. This is about Kiss Daniel and his ‘single hit’ called Mama.
This Mama, who is a reflection of a built beauty; tall and thin, silky and smooth skin, seamless straight hair and hair-extensions, becomes the role model of the African woman. You must take note that she is not only unconventionally perfect, she is also always available to use her perfect body parts to make you feel better about yourself. She is not thinking, well… nobody expects her to think . She is a thin thing begging to be entertained, but then she doesn’t say it, she should be seen and touched, but not heard. So, she uses her sexualized parts to paint an ideal picture, where she fits in perfectly as an object; an object that is desired because of her nudity and the beauty she had to nearly kill herself to attain.
Women’s depiction in musical videos doles out expected behaviour for the woman, just like the stereotype that stands taller than the true story. A good woman is the woman who cooks all, and not the woman who knows all. She should be primed and neat, reserved and hot for her lord only. And for Kiss Daniel to really know if this woman cherishes him or not, all she has to do is wash his plate.
He is the seeker, she is the prize. Although he has seen all the qualities he needs in her (being that marriage is the ultimate reward a man can give a woman), she still needs to wash his plates in order to prove her worth, and also fetch water.
The reason Kiss Daniel emphasizes these two very important domestic activities is because nothing shows love than for a woman to shun all gadgets like dishwashers and pipe borne water in favour of drawing water directly from a well and hand-washing all HIS dishes.
To be Kiss Daniel’s Mama, biko my sister, fetch water for him and wash his plates!
Where Kiss Daniel veers off from the usual narrative that’s the staple of the male dominated Nigerian music industry is that he did not put her in a position of NEED, in this case, Kiss is the supplicant and she the one doling out the cash.
She can afford to buy him an Infinity. She is not a lover in need. She is not Miss Dependant, she is Miss Independent. .
Adichie avers that masculinity is a hard, small cage, and men are placed in this hard small cage. The truth remains that strength ought not to be measured for any gender, and Kiss Daniel notes that he can be in captivity. This song is noteworthy because it stands out in this one aspect, although it fits in, with every other narrative that seems to oil the wheels of the Nigerian Music Industry.
And with this glowing review, Kiss Daniels might get bolder and admit, one day, that his ‘Mama’ doesn’t necessarily have to handwash his underwear to prove her love to him.
Or P-Square might end up singing –She can chop my money,She no wan chop my money, Cos she got her money