5 Questions on International Women’s Day

Here are the five questions:

1. Instead of asking whether Kenya is ready for a woman president or not, shouldnt we be asking what kind of woman presidential candidate do we want? Do we want Martha Karua? or perhaps do we prefer someone else?

2. Why havent any Kenyan female politicians come out openly to support the only female presidential candidate running? Is iCon
right in saying that women hate to see other women succeed?

3. Do other women have deep-seated questions about ‘Feminism’ or is it just DR Crew member, Davina?

4. Will there ever be a time in Kenya where we have a First Lady who is ambitious and driven enough to break the patriarchal
cycle of political dynasties by vying for public office in her own right a la Janet Museveni or Hillary Clinton?

5. When will Kenya finally come up with a way of formally recognising all the heroines of this country?
Isn’t Wangari Maathai proof enough that successful women in Kenya are not rewarded or recognised by their own government for their national and international accomplishments?

Any takers? Let’s talk.

The Gospel Of My Delusion

Feminism. Bemused. Insomnia.

In that particular order, the three words with which I have suffered the longest love-hate relationships. Today I’ll focus on the first, and I’ll get right into it by admitting that there was a time when I couldn’t be convinced to touch it. No. Not with a seventy-foot long bargepole. Not if it had just stepped out of the most expensive autoclave. Not, even, if it participated in scientific research and won the Nobel Prize three times in a row. A friend made me promise, some time back, that I would never allow myself to ‘get into that feminism crap’ [sic]. Howbeit, the days go by. They do, really. I must now go back on my word because I’ve gotten to that point where I can only afford to keep the promises I made to people that have since passed on. (John1, you should not be reading this, but if you happen to, I would like to say I’m sorry. I’m just trying to be my own person now. Honest. I hope you understand. Friends?)

Nowadays, days, I’m attempting to figure out why a piece of me has always been wary of feminism. Except it is taking much longer than I anticipated, and though I should like to spare no costs in finding the underlying cause of this mistrust, I am unwilling to consider psychoanalysis. Alas, I distrust Freud more than I could ever distrust anyone or anything else. However, I will let him be. It is far too early in the year to digress.

Onward.

In the heart that beats within my heart, I know what feminism is [supposed to be] about. Continue reading

“What Is It?” Part 2

Is it a headdesk?—is it a facepalm?—is it a handcheek? Heck, I don’t know what it is this time. You decide.
– [Read Part 1]
Double Facepalm Diasporadical

I should have just walked out. Except I couldn’t. I was going crazy wondering how much crazier this bunch of people could get. I had to know. So I opened my mouth. Again.

‘But these men who beat up women…what exactly is their problem?’ I asked. Continue reading

Five Reasons Why Matriarchy is a Minority

As I was having breakfast this morning, I bumped into a documentary on KBC. What? I was channel surfing and I saw a guy climbing a tea tree. Anyway, I watched for maybe an hour, because I like documentaries. In that one hour, I saw a pretty girl on a horse, naked men doing the twist on tea leaves, and a 16 year-old crying because of forced marriage. He was a guy. Continue reading

Lest We Forget: The Unsung Heroines for Constitutional Reform in Kenya

Mother & Daughter (c) M-Y-R-AAfter 20 long years of struggle for a new constitution, we have finally crowned the Second Liberation with a clear win. This has not come easy. It has come through blood and sweat, eating of teargas, sleepless nights and many anxious moments in our checkered political history.

Without doubt, most Kenyans, some more than others, have played a role to make this happen. But as with the first liberation struggle, I am afraid that after the dust has settled and the curtain closes on the celebration parties, one crucial sector of the society that played a very key role to make this happen may soon be forgotten, as battle for power and recognition takes centre stage Kenya-style. Who am I talking about? Continue reading

From Female Circumcision to Breast Ironing: The Curse of Maturity for Young Girls in Africa

Recently, a fellow DR blogger posted a blog regarding the  invention of a new controversial product called the Anti-Rape Female Condom. Our lovely readers in turn responded, giving various perspectives of the object – its very existence and its efficacy in controlling rape. Of the many comments, some written in humour and others in indifference, one captured my attention:

And when exactly do we introduce our daughters to this concept…?

Beyond the political bullshit of the day, something much bigger bugs me – our Socialization.

We can change our institutions and vote for new constitutions, but until we deal with our socialization, the very core of our beliefs, our norms and ultimately our actions, we are never going to make any progress; whether  as individuals, as a country or as a continent.The law will not help us. If anything, the law protects our fundamental beliefs. It protects our right to cultural affiliations and religious association. The law is there to protect what we believe is the norm. Sadly, some of our norms leave a bitter taste in the mouth

If our norms allow men to prey upon innocent women, rape them, impregnate them,infect them with diseases and leave them for dead, the solution does not lie in inserting jagged, plastic objects in women’s vaginas, as a protective measure. That is certainly no way for a young girl to be socialized. The problem is not with the child, the problem lies with male socialization.

The same holds true for female circumcision, it is never about the young girl, it is about the male element in that society. To quote Agnes Pareyo, also known as the Vagina Worrior:

Continue reading