Month: March 2015

What Reality Shows Don’t Tell You About Women.

There are a lot of reality shows airing on our TV channels nowadays, so definitely our minds are getting saturated by what our eyes are seeing. And what makes it even worse is the fact that people in my country are now going digital therefore a lot of foreign channels are easily accessible to a larger number of people than before. I personally have been a sucker for these reality shows and still is by the way. But at times i tend to imagine what it would have been like if a couple of these reality shows aired what really is the reality about women’s lives. Forget the Duggar family of 19 kids and counting which is already a `unique’ theme for a reality show. How many women get 19 kids anyway in this day and age? Last time i checked, what was airing on TLC about this particular family, in my country  was 18 kids and counting and that was very recent mind you. I want you to imagine a typical conventional family where a husband and wife have to raise their kids the conventional way or a typical single career woman’s life for a reality show.

To be totally honest, most of these reality shows for the sake of viewer ratings, fail to tell you lots about women and here are some of the things they at times wrongly portray to other women…

laskenglish.blogspot.com

laskenglish.blogspot.com

1. Being Feminine is all about style and beauty.

Of course if you are watching the Kardashian family or Holly has a baby or whichever reality show you are currently watching, almost all the times these women reality stars have stylish clothes on, perfectly manicured nails and pedicured toes, great make up and not a hair out of place. Zoom back to the real world and you will most definitely realize that being feminine is not always about style and beauty. There are times you won’t even afford that hairdo you so want because of other more pressing matters. If you do your house chores manually like in most African homes of course the nail polish never lasts more than 3 days without getting chipped. You have since given up on manicures but might get pedicures regularly cuz they last much longer. Some of us work jobs that don’t require us to be stylish, you know. Perhaps you work in a factory or at a market place or a job that needs you to be in uniform throughout so definitely expensive clothes and high heels are out of place there. Those facts don’t at all make you less feminine.

In the real world, not everybody is able to move with fashion and keep up appearances for others meaning what you can afford are only second hand clothes or affordable shop clothes. You may really admire the original Gucci, Versace, Vera Wang, Dolce and Gabbana, Prada or Armani products but judging from your financial levels, you know that they are way out of your reach. And so to actually live like the way these reality shows try to portray, is actually a fantasy world that may never come true for many women in the real world.

2. It’s very easy to get back in shape after baby.

False. It’s not.

I was recently watching Holly has a baby and immediately after she got her little one, you can already see that she is back in shape and actually looking wonderful in her clothes. What these reality shows don’t tell you is that a lot of women struggle with shedding that baby fat after baby. Most of these reality shows don’t even take the time to follow up on the real weight struggles of these women after giving birth. Some of the new mommies may mention in passing `oh, i’m having trouble loosing weight after so and so…’, but you hardly ever see them sweating at the gym to try shed the weight and giving up because it is too grueling or loosing hope in the process before being cajoled to get back to the work out routine. You hardly ever see them complaining of the pain when they have to use a belt to try trim that tummy that still aches at the slightest application of pressure soon after baby.

Yet in the real world, this is what happens. I have friends who gave birth and added a considerable amount of weight that they haven’t gotten round to shedding and i don’t blame them. In Africa, a lot of emphasis is placed on feeding during pregnancy and post pregnancy. One of my relatives who had a baby about a year and a half ago and surprisingly, immediately got back in shape without much trouble had to keep contending with constant questions of `why are you not eating or drinking this and that yet you are breastfeeding?’ from the elder women in the family. There is just a lot of pressure to keep on feeding cuz you have just had a baby in Africa and then immediately having to get back to work, before you have even thought of joining a gym or something to shed the already piled weight. Plus the unconducive residential estates some of us live in that can’t allow for peaceful jogging in the morning or perhaps other kids needing your attention. The struggle for new mommies is hardly that real in most reality shows.

Every woman's dream body- socialitedreams.com

Every woman’s dream body- socialitedreams.com

3. Acquiring riches doesn’t need much effort.

With all the sitting around in reality shows, you wonder how they get to afford the luxurious mansions and lives. What reality shows don’t tell you is that someone had to work their butt off to get all that money. It might not be some of the women reality stars who actually work for it. Others are lucky to get inheritances of a sizeable bulk to be able to afford assistants to run their solo businesses for them. What reality shows don’t tell you is that for you to really make it as a woman in this male dominated world of successfully run businesses, you need to work twice as hard. Stressful business meetings are kept to a minimum and so are the normal work pressures that business people face in these reality shows. Chances are you won’t be hearing of a business deal gone wrong or a significant drop in profits or bankruptcy fears in these reality shows. As a matter of fact, it is the tabloids that fish for the dirty secrets and what is really behind the beautiful veils.

4. Marrying rich is all that counts.

Really?? Think again.

If at all you indeed value marriage, a man’s pocket will be the last thing you will look at in the initial considerations you have to date him or not. Marrying a rich man is not a direct ticket to happiness. You may afford all you have ever dreamed of but really, it is the man’s character , his level of ambition and what kind of family he comes from that matters.

5. Parenting is very easy.

For women in the real world, parenting is never easy and especially if you have extremely bad luck with nannies and kids below the age of 12. I guess how some of these rich women reality stars manage to still have a life after several babies is based on the fact that they have enough money to hire nannies. Nannies can be costly in some countries and the reason why most of the nannies in my country fail to stay for a long period with a particular employer is because of pay issues. But then, you have to be reasonable and spend the money you earn within your means. But for these women reality stars, with all the money they may be making or already have inherited, they have more than enough to pay for nannies to do all the hard work while they sit pretty and deliver a highly viewed show.

For a woman in the real world, you know that you have to give up a lot of what you did pre-mommyhood to be able to live up to the parental expectations of your child. You know how much you have to sacrifice to juggle work, a hubby and the kids. You know how much you have to save in order to give your kids a decent life that is better than what you had in childhood. You know how much it hurts to have to be tough with your kids at times to the extent where they sulk at you and don’t bother speaking to you for days. Parenting is never a walk in the park as some of these reality shows try to portray.

Proudly Feminist Demistyfied.

As some of my readers may already know, this blog is quite new and therefore slightly shy of 10 posts. As others who may have already taken their time to read my `about proudly feminist’ page just above the headline know, this is a blog that will mainly tackle issues concerning and affecting women. I may rub some people of the opposite gender the wrong way with some of my posts, which is inevitable anyway if i am to talk about women. However, it should not be taken as an indirect or direct jab at anyone as i’m simply airing my views. I believe that i’m entitled to that in my little space on the Internet known as a `blog’. And if it so happens that anyone feels a little too ruffled by my posts, they may probably be overreacting or cannot stomach a woman airing her views confidently.

I know along the way i shall encounter readers who may not like me or my blog for that matter and that is perfectly alright, as long as they stick to their boundaries while i stick to mine. Therefore comments intended to intimidate or elicit a reaction of sorts from me won’t actually elicit any reaction from me at all nor intimidate me. As a matter of fact, i have stated clearly in my `about proudly feminist’ page that criticisms are welcome. And by that i mean, criticisms that are done constructively and not as a way to try and make it look like i’m a male basher and therefore deserve to be told off. This is not a battle field and neither do i consider myself a `male basher’ for that matter.

The whole point of this blog is to put the message across to women, that it is alright to be woman, irregardless of whatever society you come from or societal stereotypes put in place, to cause a woman to feel shame for being female or not to have the ability to dream and spread her wings. And in doing so, i will deal with a whole range of topics as long as it is touching on women in particular. I welcome male readers and followers too as i would also like to know what they think about certain subjects concerning women. And for that simple reason, proudly feminist shall continue as planned.

Ladies, you don’t have to stay in a relationship if you are feeling dissatisfied.

At times i feel like we women are pushed to tolerate some things from men that if you look at them from a logical perspective, we actually shouldn’t. Today morning before i got out of bed, i was reading a certain dating article on the internet, where women were being somehow, indirectly urged to tolerate men who still valued their freedom while in a relationship with them. Apparently, the advice to women was to show the man that you actually understood his need to act free and not to fuss about the time he opted to spend with the ‘boys’ or actually fooling around with other women. And eventually, the man will notice that you actually are someone worth committing to, because over the course of the relationship, you have shown him that you don’t fret about how he divides his time between you and his social life.

Let me be very logical here from a woman’s perspective. The minute a woman gets into a relationship with a man, she automatically processes in her mind the fact that she is now currently sharing her heart with someone else. Meaning she starts to accommodate this man in many aspects of her life. She lets him know how her schedule is like and she always has it at the back of her mind that she needs to call this man and check up on him perhaps on a daily basis. She has since incorporated him as a part of her life and it is the reason why a few months down the line, she may feel the need to change her relationship status on social media to `in a relationship’ with so and so. She may also be very quick to let her close circle of friends know that she has met someone and is currently seeing this person. In short, most women are known to immediately divide their time once in a relationship in the sense that if she was this wild party girl who valued frequent `girls nights out’, she may start to reduce on the frequency once she feels like she has met this amazing person and is already in an equally amazing relationship. No wonder the times where some of her friends start complaining that she is nowadays never available for them since she met so and so because in most cases, the woman may end up giving nearly all of her free time to this particular man. Of course that is already unhealthy and i’m not asking you men to give us all of your free time for that matter in this post. The point i’m trying to drive at is that once in a relationship, many women have no qualms giving up their freedom in their quest to connect emotionally with this man and to commit to this man. When i talk about freedom, i mean the way she acted or what she did while single.

As i grow older year by year, i find that i’m getting highly dissatisfied with dating. I feel like most men are in it just for the sake of being in it. More like they don’t really mean it when they ask a woman to be their girlfriend. Men nowadays are not willing to give up their freedom. They want to have that woman in their lives but they still want to play the field and find out what’s in store for them out there or they are finding it really difficult to divide their time for the sake of us. The most appalling thing is that they don’t want us to question. I guess they expect us to tolerate those times when they are hardly communicating with us yet they claim to be dating us. Or those times they completely shut us out while out with the `boys’ or doing their thing. Or those times they pretend to be very busy when in the real sense they really are not that busy and are only avoiding being seen with us in public. The sad bit is that women are feeling pressured to tolerate these things through tag names such as `a nagging girlfriend’ or `an insecure woman’ or `a paranoid woman’. It is no wonder the particular article i was reading today had been posted by a man.

Many women are walking around with wounded hearts yet they are supposedly in a relationship that has been in existence for ages with a certain man. She wants him to give her more of his time but the man in question either acts like she is being unreasonable or chooses to ignore her needs. But then she doesn’t want to cause a scene over it or leave him for that matter because she doesn’t want to seem like she is pushing him to do things that he doesn’t want to do or because she still really loves him irregardless of how he is or has been acting. She is actually tolerating the intolerable for the sake of avoiding those ugly tag names. I at times feel like we women put up with so much from men because we actually feel like we owe them something. But to hell with those tag names for once!!!

If at all you chose me to be your girlfriend then i don’t see why you don’t want to give up some things to be able to commit to me. I’m not asking you to give up your friends or your hobbies or whatever it is that you had been doing before i came into your life. I’m simply asking you to accommodate me in those aspects of your life. To keep in contact with me without much prompting. To be sensible enough to pick my calls when i call you. I might be in danger you never know those times i call you when you are in the middle of a football match or a video game or in a club somewhere with really loud music sipping on your drink. I don’t believe it is that hard to step out just for a moment to pick your girlfriend’s call and find out why she is calling. I’m asking you to at least act as if you are a man in a relationship with someone. To change your relationship status if you may. To create a boundary with other women and not to seem to be enjoying it when they are all over you yet you are committed to someone else as a boyfriend to her. I want to feel like i’m actually valued in this relationship and not like i’m being pressured to tolerate you who is not willing to adjust anything in your life for the sake of me. And if i ask you for all these things and you seem to have trouble giving them in return, then i have the right to walk away, forget the nasty tag names because i want you to know that i cannot put up with a bare minimum from you.

Why Extreme Religion and Cults target Women

Many people in my country might remember a particular feature on a certain TV station where a false pastor who had been fleecing his followers got exposed. In one of the scenes, a woman is seen being urged by the said pastor to expose her breast to the whole church in order to receive prayers for healing. The poor woman had complained of constant aches in her breast, a condition which i would like to assume had she had enough finances, would have taken her to the doctor’s. But she was obviously desperate and in her desperation, she found herself in this particular church, requesting for prayers for healing. And you can actually hear the said pastor snickering at her as she turns to show him her breast in private. Only to order her to turn around and face the church as according to him, nobody can’t claim to not have seen a woman’s breast before. She could have been somebody’s wife and mother, mind you.

In another incident, some women belonging to a certain church in one of the African countries i shall not mention, are seen eating grass after orders from their pastor. I didn’t spot any man in their midst but only women who somehow seemed possessed by something, scrambling out of the church to the grounds outside where there was an abundance of green grass. And even after criticism from other people not of the said church who were appalled by that clip of people feeding on grass, the women claimed to have received healing afterward. There were other claims of yet another church in my country, where the women were asked to attend service without underwear so as to allow the Holy Spirit to travel freely in their bodies. Others in another country away from our continent, were supposedly tricked by their pastor into giving him oral sex as he claimed that his semen was `holy milk’.

And you might wonder why mainly women are targeted by denominations practicing extreme religion as well as cults. Before you start pointing accusatory fingers at me for touching on a sensitive subject, let me first clearly state that i am a Christian. And that i have happened to be a witness before, of how extreme religion can be used to twist the mind of an individual and especially a woman for that matter.

Women are emotional creatures. This is particularly helpful especially in our Christian lives. We get easily touched by God’s word and mostly if we feel like it is speaking directly to us. We yearn for a closer relationship with God and would like to connect with him through prayer and our spiritual walk in life. Cultists know this. Same to those out to brainwash others with their often misinterpreted, extreme, religious beliefs. Most men avoid being in tune with their emotions. As a matter of fact, they consider it unmanly to be highly emotional and as much as some may be born again Christians, it would not be very easy for someone to use their emotions to manipulate or control them with religion. Being mostly out of tune with their emotions make men to be practical thinkers. Before a man decides to run out and eat grass at the orders of his pastor, he would want to know why the said pastor is not setting an example first by being at the forefront of the grass eating stint. But for women, with their emotional desire to connect with God, they will gladly follow the orders and especially if they have already been manipulated enough to believe that by doing so they are getting a spiritual healing of sorts.

thecryingwoman.com

thecryingwoman.com

Society can be extremely harsh on women and especially if these women live in a patriarchal, chauvinistic society where the men rule. Women may be going through a lot in their personal lives in such societies. Perhaps a violent husband or a husband who is irresponsible or who left her for another woman and hardly provides. In laws who do not want to see her and almost all their waking hours are spent trying to get this particular woman to divorce with her husband. Perhaps a child born out of wedlock where the woman has to endure constant castigation. Homelessness and abject poverty. A previous rape incident where the woman isn’t allowed to talk about it at all and therefore has to live with the emotional scars as a result. These things equally happen in non-partriachal and less chauvinistic societies. And they are known to cause desperation in an individual. Cults many times welcome such women with emotional issues into their fold with an initial promise of acceptance and understanding. And being as vulnerable as she already is, she ends up unknowingly ensnared. In other situations, women suffering emotional issues may embrace extreme religion in a bid to overcome and forget about whatever their issues are. She may claim to be born again but not really sure what the word being `born again’ actually means except the fact that being overly preoccupied with religion makes her forget her problems.

Women are known to associate with authoritative figures. She wants to look up to someone. And that is why there is a particular reason why God designed a family to have a father so that he can be the head of that family and exercise his authority in that position positively, for the benefit of his family. Some men are known to misuse that authority by using it excessively and negatively therefore impacting their families in the wrong way. Others are known to neglect that responsibility as an authoritative figure. Many grown women are walking around battling daddy issues no wonder these cult leaders require their followers to call them `daddy’. And the women followers gladly do so because there is a fatherly void in their lives. The extreme religious leader or cult leader carries himself with the grace of a father and therefore she has no qualms addressing him as such. And everyone knows that a `daddy’ deserves his respect and obedience from his children. It is much easier that way for him to exert his control and manipulation over them in a cult or extreme religion situation.

Terminal illnesses. A wonderful bait for cultists and false preachers. These people know that it is never easy for a person to live with an unspoken `death sentence’ upon their lives and they use it to their maximum advantage with promises of healing. Many women have been misled to the point of death by being asked to stop their medication since they are now healed. The sad fact is that even men have fallen victim. God heals but there seems to be a misplaced notion amongst some people that even men purporting to be called by God can also heal. Yes, there are indeed those with a gift of healing from God and this is where we all need to have a discerning spirit to be sure whether the gift is really from God or a sick gimmick to garner followers.

 

Someone questioned why it only seems to be women being possessed by demons and rolling on the ground violently in church as the demons are being exorcised. Women are vulnerable and emotional. They get affected deeply by problems. Some end up in witchdoctors’ dens and dabbling in witchcraft as a result of it where the demons come in. They get even more afflicted and end up at times in wrong churches where the demons are exorcised in return for complete loyalty to the denomination leader. As a woman, i wish we joined churches out of a need of spiritual nourishment and not because we are desperately looking for something or are at our most vulnerable. I guess only then will our thinking be more practical. I believe in prayer and i believe that also an individual’s prayer works and therefore we need to trust in our praying skills and God to answer them at times.

If you are an African Woman, flaunt it!!!

I have never considered myself to be a black woman and i’m almost 100% sure that most African women, who have the privilege to travel and live in foreign countries where those of our heritage are referred to as `black women’, usually face quite a challenge getting used to that reference. The issue is not in the name. I personally don’t have a problem with the term `black woman.’ Rather it is the fact that most of us who have been born and brought up in Africa have grown up with a majority of people of the same skin color. In my country for example, we use tribe to identify ourselves. Not very wise of us but from colonial times where the colonialist required African men to wear a Kipande (identification document) with a few basic personal details, including tribe where one belonged to, i guess Kenyans got used to identifying themselves by tribe. I’m Kenyan by the way, for those who are and have been wondering. And therefore it is not uncommon to hear a Kenyan woman proudly identifying herself by tribe so `black woman’ is kind of quite foreign to us.

Anyways, i usually get very fascinated in a positive way by interracial relationships. I particularly like the merging of two different cultures by two people who do not belong to the same race. And if there are bi-racial kids in the picture, it makes it even better. However, there is a kind of worrying trend that i have come to notice when a section of women in my country in particular, get into relationships with White men. It is almost as if this section of women literally forget themselves and the fact that they are actually African. It is rather comical because it’s usually very noticeable to all those around them who often shake their heads in wonder. Of course there are many Kenyan women who date and marry White men and hardly change. As a matter of fact, you can barely notice them on the streets. But there is still that small section which decides to either bleach their skin (with highly noticeable results), get very skinny, act in a certain `borrowed’ way or dress very skimpily all because they have managed to nab that European or American guy.

I’m reminded of a laughable incident in my church a couple of years back when a young Kenyan woman decided to attend service. Of course there is usually that moment when visitors are welcomed and asked to stand so automatically she had to stand. What caught our attention was the fact that she had on this really nice weave with a purple shade on one side. Now being in my hometown with quite a number of conservative people, already that purple shade on the weave was a cause for alarm but in church, everyone wants to seem hospitable so we didn’t show it. Anyways after service, my sister, cousin and i were naturally curious to see the rest of her outfit. Mind you we didn’t know yet that she was in an interracial relationship but we did soon enough cuz she had this cute little bi-racial daughter with her that day. And eventually she came walking out of the church gates in a really tiny purple dress (fit for a club), 6 inch heels and her daughter in tow. And you can imagine the scene she caused. Literally everybody’s eyes were on her including the churchy looking refined family men. They must have gotten into a lot of trouble with their obviously churchy wives that day for ogling. And we wondered how she had sat in that dress in church if it was that short when she was standing. I know, so judgmental and bitchy of us but we couldn’t help it.

Yet another almost similar incident happened in a market place in the town i grew up in before moving to my current. We were walking down the street toward a popular supermarket directly opposite the open air vegetable and fruit market and ahead of us was an interracial couple. Now for some reason, this White man decided to keep caressing the small of his girlfriend’s back as they walked which of course caused an uproar among the market men and women. They kept hurling insults at them for acting so scandalous on the street. Well, i couldn’t blame them cuz in African culture, PDAs are  highly discouraged but as if in total defiance, the guy continued caressing and the chic seemed utterly oblivious of the commotion they had since caused. I guess they were pretty lucky that it didn’t turn ugly. A lot goes on in the market place at times.

It’s kind of sad for some African women to actually feel pressured enough to change when they get into interracial relationships. I guess we have this misplaced notion that being and acting African wouldn’t be so endearing to the man from another race that we are currently dating. We are actually ashamed to embrace ourselves and heritage. And you might be totally surprised that the man hasn’t voiced any opinion yet that he wants you to dress in a certain way or wear your hair in a certain way or act in a certain way. As a matter of fact, we are equally ignorant of how the White woman behaves other than what has been fed to us by the foreign shows we watch no wonder the scandalous dressing by some in these types of relationships. And we end up making total fools of ourselves because those of our culture can tell that we are trying really hard to be something we are not. We elicit tag names and branding which we could have otherwise avoided if we embraced our Africanness in this amazing new relationship we are in.

If you as an African woman in an interracial relationship do not bother to communicate with your man on what is acceptable in your culture and society and what is not, then he has no way of knowing. After all, he is a foreigner. And he will therefore act in ways with you in public that will be offensive to those around you. If you are not comfortable in your skin, then you have no business looking for validation in an interracial relationship cuz chances are you will hardly get it. You will bleach your skin, cake your face in make up, dress scandalously, get skinny and to top it all off, make a clown of yourself. Again your man won’t notice your clownish attempts because he is foreign and therefore without a knowledge of how things are conducted in your country. So to him, it won’t be a cause for embarrassment but to you, everyone else around you will be laughing at your flimsy attempts to match up to your man.

imgbuddy.com

imgbuddy.com

We are African women and should be proudly so. We are naturally curvaceous, it is no crime. We can be really dark, chocolate or of a much lighter shade. Our hair doesn’t grow to amazing lengths. It is kinky, of reasonable full length and many times unmanageable but we have come up with all these wonderful numerous ways to style it as a result of that. Our society dictates that we dress modestly if we are not in traditional regalia, that is. Of course there are foreign fashion trends that we have picked up but still, despite the fashion trends we know how to dress acceptably because a lot of us in our society are still very conservative, chauvinistic even. We don’t walk around kissing our men and caressing them passionately in public. It is simply not us. Then why forget all that the minute you meet a man not of your race? As a matter of fact, being an African woman you should flaunt whoever you are and whatever ideals you believe in. And i’m very sure that these foreign men we date would respect us more if we showed them that we are proud and appreciative of who we are whether they find it awkward or not. I guess it will be highly endearing to them than our attempts at being endearing. Men always love women who are sure of themselves and not desperately trying to be someone else. It is what keeps them around much longer than all our tactics combined. So if you are an African Woman, flaunt it!!!

 

 

Career Choice and Wife Material???

 

elleafrique.com

elleafrique.com

I find it sometimes ridiculous when a section of men want to tie career choice to the kind of wife a woman will make. There was an article on that recently on one of the dailies in my country, where the writer had decided to even give types of careers where the women in those fields supposedly made bad wives. I think among the list of the careers which had women falling in the lowest part of the spectrum for good wife material, happened to be police women, women in the travel industry and air hostesses. I can’t remember the rest because i was basically skimming through judging by the fact that i don’t believe in whatever was being preached. However, i did happen to notice that the list of careers given where the writer purported that men loved to marry women in those fields, happened to be the moderate ones with a career in teaching as one of them.

Now i have nothing against teachers and i actually consider it a very noble profession where everyone has to go through the hands of teachers, to be who they are at the moment in whatever profession. But i can’t help but think that with changing times, liberation of women and a wide array of career choices to make nowadays, a profession in teaching wouldn’t top the list for many modern women seeking to get into the job market. Someone made the conclusion recently that we have empowered the girl child to the extent where we ended up forgetting all about the boy child. I would like to differ a little with that view. In my opinion, i tend to believe that society empowered men a long time ago. Long before women even had the opportunity to make a decision based on career. Back to the times where a woman’s designation was to give birth, raise the kids, keep the home clean, till the land and make the man happy. But the men had the opportunity to buy land and livestock, engage in trade or to even go to school for that matter as they were considered highly beneficial to the family unit. After all in African society, they were the ones tasked with inheriting their father’s wealth and managing it effectively after his demise. If that wasn’t enough empowerment at that time, then i don’t know what to call it.

With time, activists started to notice that the girl child had been left far behind. And that the professional contribution of a woman in society was equally needed. Nobody bothered to take the girl child to school. And if they came round to doing it, she wasn’t allowed to really proceed to the end with her studies. Her only benefit was the amount of bride price she would fetch for her father. After that, she was resigned to a life around the homestead and not much room for dreams and aspirations, if all that happened was pregnancy after pregnancy and a preoccupation with raising kids and looking after her home, which by the way, belonged to her husband. And gradually, parents started being encouraged to take the girl to school and to allow her to dream and actually proceed with her studies to her maximum satisfaction. Eventually, people eager for change and seeing the logic behind it, picked it up and soon the girl child was on her way to the top. Whatever happened to the boy child is that he grew complacent in his position. He wasn’t trying enough because he already knew that he was highly beneficial to the family. Nobody really pushed for the boy child to be taken to school because his father already ensured that without much prompting. He knew the importance of having a son and an educated one for that matter to better make manly decisions in future. According to me, the men became comfortable in their position and were only jolted back to reality by women jostling for top corporate positions who were equally well qualified for the job. And the stereotypes began.

Tying the career choice of a woman to what kind of wife she will make is utter nonsense. It is the character of a woman that determines that. If at all she grows horns (translated literally from my national language to mean becoming haughty or unbearable) because of the position of a CEO or Founder of some multi-billion business she now owns, then blame it on her choice to forget where she has come from. There is a lot of power struggle going on in the home when the man starts to feel threatened by his wife’s success. Men can be egocentric at times. We forgive them for that. After all, as a result of their early empowerment at the expense of the women, they came to believe that they are entitled to the best career choices and positions. Women on the other hand are known to passionately defend what they have worked hard for. If she feels like the man is trying to pull her down, she will retaliate by acting hostile and tougher. It is a fact of life no wonder the common advice to marry at the same level. But i know that there are women who never change irregardless of their achievements and whatever field they are in. Women who have since mastered the art of a work-family life balance. Women who are lucky enough to have supportive and understanding husbands. Not men preoccupied with trying to prove that they still have got the upper hand. Trust me, if you are constantly subconsciously fighting a woman because of her achievements and the threat it poses to you, she will get into defense mode and whatever it is you have together won’t work.

Ask yourself why a sizeable number of highly successful women are surprisingly single mothers. It’s cuz the men in their lives at the time when they were climbing the career ladder started a war of trying to prove themselves better. When the woman went into defense mode, the man branded her a difficult person incapable of being a wife. They dragged each other to court, she asked for maintenance being as empowered as she is, he cried foul because she was supposedly already successful and could afford herself and her kids without him, she claimed it was his responsibility as a father to his kids, now they don’t see eye to eye. And the man now claims that women `grow horns’ the minute they start to make big bucks. He is now looking for one who isn’t self-motivated or highly ambitious.

Dear man, women fear the thought of being dragged back to the dark days when the woman’s place was in the kitchen. They know that they are empowered at the moment and they are constantly fighting to protect that title. What you men should do is secure your title as being `long empowered’, embrace the change, act supportive of her career choice, understand her schedule as long as she balances it with her wife and motherhood status and forget the stereotyping. As a modern woman, i can hardly choose a career with a future husband in mind. I choose a career i’m passionate about knowing that i have the right to do so because i’m no longer limited by society. It is the same thing to men when making career choices and along the way we meet our compatibles who are destined to marry us. Whoever ties a career choice to what kind of a wife a woman will make is desperately trying to prove that he is better without actually working to secure his `long empowered’ title. He only comes out as lame and stereotypical.

 

Ladies, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a chequered relationship history.

Have you ever encountered those mean men who cunningly ask you `how many men have you ever slept with?’ only to get mad at your answer and accuse you of lying or being a tramp if you decided to unknowingly be so honest?

Or worst case scenario, a single African mother with one child of mixed race and the rest pure African, who has to endure constant gossips about her and snide remarks from none other than her fellow women, because she is supposedly loose for having children with different fathers including those from other races.

Or a single mother who keeps on getting hit on by men who think that she is very available since she doesn’t ‘belong’ to anyone. And by the way, being married doesn’t mean that a woman now belongs to the man she is married to. She has actually been joined in Holy matrimony to him. Another clarification for the clueless ones who think that since they come from patriarchal societies they have the mandate to `own’ their wives.

Just how many women have been drawn into depression for the sole crime of having a chequered relationship history that has since come to light? Women whose husbands now want nothing to do with them because they discovered that they once aborted. Now i’m not an advocate for abortion but despite that fact, i believe that i have no right whatsoever to point a finger at another of my gender who has unfortunately had to endure that. All for the sole reason that shit at times happen and none of us is born very knowledgeable.

We sometimes fall in this journey called `life’, get up and learn from our mistakes. If at all we don’t learn from our mistakes then we only have ourselves to blame and not others to point judgmental fingers at us.

Women who feel the need to hide their children from a previous relationship gone bad because they are scared that the man present in their lives at the time, won’t be able to love them fully if he knew she has other kids. And these kids left behind by the mother have to suffer as she embarks on a new life with another man.

Just who questions men on the number of women they have ever slept with before marriage or how many kids they have ever sired and abandoned the women? Well, the answer is self-explanatory.

Women have been socialized never to question men. It is deeply entrenched in us and even though we are at times dying to know what this man we now call a boyfriend or husband has been up to before we came along, we mentally train ourselves to forget it.

We refrain from asking not because we wouldn’t be interested in knowing if we are currently married to a man who was once a Casanova or are dating a Casanova for that matter, but because we know our questions will get us nowhere. Probably elicit an angry reaction from the man. Fair enough.

But who gave the men the mandate to question us about our past relationship history and to judge us for that matter if we are not allowed to do the same to them? More questions that obviously are lacking in comprehensible answers.

Anyone who has been in romantic relationships before knows very well that it is a f***d up world. People fall in love easy but when it comes to falling out of love, it is harder because there are complications in the name of `feelings’ or perhaps an `unplanned pregnancy’.

Women are guilty of thinking with their hearts. We can’t really help it and that is why we will ignore all our instincts which tell us to flee before it is too late. Of course there are those women who are really lucky to meet their prince charming in their first loves, date for 2,3,4 years and get married with a white wedding.

Most are not that lucky. Most will have to endure longterm relationships that eventually amount to nothing, numerous short lived romances leaving them questioning themselves, perhaps a teenage pregnancy or an unwanted pregnancy by the father of the child, tumultuous relationships that drag on for years and all because we think with our hearts.

Have you ever looked at a man you have just started dating and suddenly the question `am i really dating the right man?’ ran through your mind? That is your instinct telling you that your decision is probably the wrong one. But we could be seeking solace or not wanting to find logic in that question because our hearts tell us that we are in love. And in the long run we end up hurt by this same man that we trusted.

It happens too to the men. Falling in love with a no good only to end up messed up. But i believe that the men are better equipped to handle relationship heartbreaks as they have the ability to completely divide their minds and society isn’t as harsh in judging them as it is with the female gender. They hurt too terribly but eventually move on whether there is a child or children in the picture.

For a woman with a child, some people will question. And especially in societies where there is a lot of stereotyping of unmarried mothers. She may even be blamed for it and especially if it comes to light that she was the one who walked out of the marriage or whatever arrangement she had with the father of her child.

In my society, i’ve heard some people claim that men from this and that community can’t accept to marry a woman with a boy child. With a girl child, they can compromise as girls are said to pose the least threat. With a boy child, there will be complications, so i hear. Such kinds of stereotyping of single mothers and the likes.

For the man, a simple explanation that it didn’t work out with the mother of the child will do and another woman will gladly move in as long as her heart tells her she loves this man irregardless of his past baggage. It is the harsh reality that we women have to accept and be wiser on the kind of information about our past relationship history that we give.

If at all you meet a man who claims to love you and can’t love a child with a different father that you have, then dear sister, he doesn’t deserve you. Do not at any point feel the need to please him by disowning your own child for him. That is just a too big sacrifice to make for a man whom you are not even sure he will stick by you for the rest of your life.

Someone who truly loves you will love you with the whole package. He will not see the need to prod about your past relationship history because he knows that the past is buried and it is the future we are pursuing and as long as you are sexually healthy, loyal and much more wiser, then it is the two of you that now matter. He will not whatsoever judge you for past wrong decisions that you made.

I personally do not believe in this excuse that the men give of `loathing the thought of you having been intimate before with another man to the extent of a child being born as exhibit.’ Trust me, if we women thought the same way, then many men would have had trouble trying to date us as we wouldn’t have given in. The men have no right to give the excuse of jealousy as a driving factor to being judgmental of women who are clearly not virgins.

If you can’t handle the whole package, just say you can’t and your reasons will be understood . Another will be able to handle it if fate allows. As for ladies, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a chequered relationship history as those experiences made you much more wiser than you ever were. They taught you the harsh truth about love that we always choose to ignore. In short you are more logical in your approach to love.

A woman’s tribe and sexual prowess??

I come from a country of 42 different tribes but the number could be higher, judging by the fact that, a few smaller tribes claim to have unfortunately been excluded in the number and also the fact that a section of Kenyans, including moi, are of mixed tribe. Of the 3 East African countries (there are other East African countries too but i would like to talk of the 3 now), Kenyan women are the ones known to be more outspoken, less submissive (according to some) and more aggressive when compared to their Ugandan and Tanzanian counterparts.

Ugandan culture requires the women to kneel while addressing the men as a sign of respect. Something that our Kenyan men dream of one day happening here. As a typical Kenyan woman, i can confidently attest to the fact that kneeling for our men will never happen. First because it is not a part of our culture and second, i can almost imagine a Kenyan woman going `What the hell??!’ `Nimpigie magoti kwani yeye ni Mungu?’ (I kneel for him what for? Is he God?). Yep, the hard truth. I once read an article where foreign men (mostly European and American) who had at some point dated a Kenyan woman, were currently dating one or married to one were being interviewed on what they thought of us. The interesting bit is that most claimed that we were too aggressive (careerwise) as well as outspoken but overall good or exciting if you may.

When it comes to sexual prowess, according to rumors flying around for years, Ugandan women have been said to rate higher. There is talk of traditional sex aunties in Uganda who train the pubescent girls as well as those about to be married on how to treat a man in bed. If there is any Ugandan woman reading this, kindly clarify. There also has been talk of if a Ugandan woman manages to nab a married Kenyan man, then his Kenyan wife should prepare herself to forget him for good cuz word out there is that he aint coming back. Again, i need clarification on this. Back home, Kenyan women’s sexual prowess has always been rated according to which tribe a Kenyan woman belonged to. There are those women from certain tribes who according to our men, are tigresses in bed, others from another tribe who are supposed frigid and boring in bed, others from yet another tribe who are purported to want sex morning, afternoon and night time…and the list goes on.

About 3 weeks back, i was travelling to a small town on the outskirts of Nairobi and there was this guy who was sitting next to me that decided to start chatting me up immediately after we left the city. He was basically a stranger to me so i was very guarded on how i engaged him but he was the very chatty type and soon he was telling me about a past girlfriend of his from a particular Kenyan tribe. Now the thing that caught my attention was a statement he made regarding her which went something like `you know (tribe name) are naughty.’ I immediately interpreted that to mean naughty in bed because of the next thing he continued to say…`she had gotten me used to some things which i found hard to adjust after we broke up.’ Well, i didn’t bother prodding him further about the `things’ as i didn’t want the conversation to head in a direction that i wouldn’t be comfortable with. But i couldn’t help making the conclusion that there are so many deeply entrenched stereotypes regarding the Kenyan woman’s sexual prowess.

Of course society and culture plays a huge role on how women view and engage in sex. In conservative societies, sex is mostly associated with procreation purposes and women from early childhood, are trained to know that sex is dirty and something that shouldn’t be enjoyed by the woman. Sex to them is actually an unnecessary bother for the enjoyment of the husband. So if he asks for it, he shouldn’t be denied and in most cases, since society and culture prohibits the woman to use contraceptive methods, she may find herself pregnant each time she has sex with her husband. No wonder some societies go as far as encouraging FGM to further cub the enjoyment of sex by the woman. The idea behind societies engaging in FGM is to make the girl not to engage in sex acts before marriage so those parts in a female’s genitalia designed to bring pleasure and satisfaction to a woman during sex are usually cut off or tampered with. And soon after FGM in some of those societies, the girl is married off as a sign that she is now woman enough. I don’t want to go further on this particular female circumcision issue as it could still be a highly sensitive topic to some which may generate a lot of negative as well as positive debate. However, the point i’m trying to drive at is that changing some deeply entrenched societal and cultural matters in an individual and a woman for that matter, could be very difficult.

But then sexual prowess may also depend on the open mindedness and exposure of the woman never mind the fact that she could be from a community where the women are considered `boring’ in bed, if there is such a word even to describe the sexual prowess of a person. In such a case, i don’t think it would be fair for the men to generalize. Just because there are rumors flying around concerning how women from a particular community are in bed, doesn’t mean that all the women in that tribe are actually the same. This is the 21st century and most Kenyan women are enlightened and learned. Most are also interested in having fulfilling sex lives with the men in their lives and therefore, they may not be that inhibited in bed. If indeed there are those who still choose to be inhibited, then it is a matter of personal choice and not the tribe she comes from.

 

What are we supposed to do when the Men in our lives aint giving us the attention we need??

Over the years, women have been branded all kinds of things- Attention seekers, Drama Queens, Fickle, Crazy…

Well, i won’t deny that probably some fit perfectly in those tag names judging from their past and very recent behaviors. But i beg to differ when a woman is branded a Drama Queen because she threw a fit when her man seemed to be denying her attention or an Attention Seeker, when she decided to do something just to get her man to give her the attention she NEEDS. Notice i am not using WANT but NEED because contrary to popular belief, that women can be demanding of certain wants, i believe a man should give his woman attention. It is what she needs.

It doesn’t matter if you have a boss from hell who is obsessed with deadlines or you work  highly awkward shifts at work, or how much the boys are entertaining on a Saturday night or just how much you are passionate about whichever football game you like. If you have a woman you consider special in your life, create a work-social life-love life balance and ensure that you give her the attention she needs. Men who claim that women get demanding during the course of their relationships need to know that they are at times the contributors of her sudden unexpected demanding ways. If you gradually reduce the frequency of your calls or the times you two meet, she is going to wonder why you are withdrawing attention from her. She will tell you a couple of times that she thinks that nowadays you seem too busy. In most cases, the man wants to continue being absorbed with what has been preoccupying him off late and the woman will take it as if he wasn’t even listening or taking her seriously. She will begin to sulk. Next she will begin to sound like she is nagging. And this same man who probably assumes his precious time with the boys or at work is being interfered with, will immediately brand her `a nagging girlfriend’ or worse, assume she’s PMSing and the less wise ones will go as far as blurting out `are you on your period?’

It is indeed true that at times our period brings out the worst in us. But as long as you are not of the same gender as us, you have no right whatsoever to tie `that time of the month’ to our actions. If you as a man are not ready to give the woman in your life the attention she needs, then you have no business being in a relationship with that woman. Women try their level best to give the men in their lives attention. Oh, how we love our fulfilling jobs or those times we are at the salon with the girls or out shopping, but we still remember to spare a couple of minutes to call our men and tell them where we are, as we find out how their day is coming along. And even though some of us may be unfortunate enough to have bosses like the devil incarnate or bitchy colleagues at work or some friend whom you would have loved to long terminate that friendship, but you just can’t because you probably still owe her some money or simply don’t know how to, Guess What??!! We still call the men in our lives to rant and rave about it. Never mind that your tale probably sounds like an actress on a Soap Opera reciting a non-sensical poem to her lover, considering the fact that most men in my side of the Sahara, would be caught dead watching `Allejandro and the barbed wire fence’ or `Soledad and the wicked witch’ programmes.

As long as we are in love, our men take top priority and if at all you man encounters a woman who doesn’t bother calling you just to say hi, forgets your birthday and hardly rants and raves about some b***h who gossiped about her and she got to know about it, then you probably fall under 2nd or 3rd or 4th priority in her life. Trust me, the top priority in her life gets to hear about her rants and raves, gets called on a daily basis and gets visited, occasionally with hot deliciously prepared food she thought wisely to bring along with her. When we love, we make you a part of us. We don’t deny you attention because some guy at the salon is pedicure massaging our foot or we are trying on this absolutely gorgeous blouse at the market. Chances are, we will even take a picture of it with our phones and send it to you directly just to ask how you like the blouse. We women love attention and we equally love to give it. When you deny or withdraw the attention from us, we turn into Cruella de Ville or in a worst case scenario Miss Desperado.

It is something we can’t do without and not because we suffer esteem issues or aren’t sure of ourselves. As long as you signed that unwritten contract with us to love us then bring that love with a ribbon of attention wrapped around it. Call us everyday (it shouldn’t be after every five minutes), tell us you love us, notice when we change a hairstyle, pick our calls in the middle of a football match even if it is just to tell us that you are busy watching football and will call us later. A sane woman will understand that. Tell us we look beautiful in that dress that is probably not yet fully paid for but we just couldn’t leave it behind at the vendor’s. Listen to us when we tell you what awesome thing is happening in our lives even if your mind is clouds away. At least act like you are listening. Surprise us with random dates. Trust me even if i’m as broke as a church mouse, if my boyfriend called me at 4 asking me to meet him in town for coffee, as long as i’m free, i’d rather borrow fare from a neighbor to town. And trust me, all your attention acts will be duly reciprocated by the woman concerned.

What is it with this `stinking woman’ thing?

I get highly incensed whenever i chance upon a post or an article talking about female hygiene downstairs. Most of these posts and articles are actually written by men as if they are very informed about the female genital make up, never mind that they have never gotten to a mile of studying gynaecology and obstetrics. Often times a couple of supposed real life men with real life encounters with a stinking woman, would give their accounts of how sex was horrendous because the smell was so bad. I recently chanced upon one such article where women were now being told how many times they should take a bath in a day, because the men had since discovered that some didn’t at all. I found the article outrageous. First, because it was a man yet again writing it and second, it came out as `woman bashing’ to me. More like expose these bitches who feel so good walking around wearing designer perfume, when in the real sense they haven’t showered in a week. Let them know that we men have discovered their dirty little secret.

www.youngliving.us

                             http://www.youngliving.us

First of all let me make it clear that the number of times a woman chooses to shower in a day is none of you men’s business. There are some women who battle health issues that are often triggered by cold temperatures and therefore choose to only shower once a day. And as long as she is wearing panties in the right material, shaves her underarms and pubic hair frequently, wipes herself after her short calls and isn’t suffering from any ignored infection downstairs, then there is absolutely no way her showering once a day will cause a bad smell. If a woman does not prefer showering for several days then let her be. If at all you do encounter such a woman as a girlfriend, feel free to tell her that she needs to improve on the hygiene department. If she goes ballistic, then she’s probably no good for you and you are free to move on to the next one. Funny bit is, there is a soul mate for everyone out there and though you did not initially like the fact that she ignored showering for several days, you will be surprised to find a man who will totally be smitten by her, never mind her cleanliness or non-cleanliness habits. What you can’t deal with, another can and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Simply a fact of life.

The issue of sex and oral sex in particular is a tricky one. And some men have taken it upon themselves to keep bashing women that they are mood killers because their natural scents down there are just bad. Scent plays a huge role in attraction no wonder the natural body scent of your man or woman makes you feel good or equally turns you on. Every woman has her own unique genital scent and men should take note of that. It is not a type of scent that should be noticed when fully clothed and have washed the genitals. Of course there are women who have been socialized never to touch their genitals including while showering. In such a case, blame the society they come from. Because trust me no matter how hard you try to drum in the fact to such a kind of woman that she must wash her genitals, she will not listen. I have read of societies where women are forbidden to shower during the whole duration of their period. It doesn’t mean that these women are careless on matters hygiene. They are simply following societal rules.

If the natural genital scent of your woman (who is sexually healthy) puts you off during oral sex, then she’s probably not your compatible. If it changes along the way, you need to let her know. She might not be aware of it and on most occasions, it could just be a normal yeast infection that needs to be taken care of. As for all these `supposed’ bad sex accounts i keep reading about, where the woman is blamed for smelling so bad because she doesn’t shower, i just wonder why these particular men did not let the woman know. Why did they have to keep it to themselves only to come up with their own conclusions and share it with journalists out for a juicy story?

I can’t help but fear that some clueless persona of the opposite sex who chances upon such a post or article might just end up concluding that all women are dirty. I feel like such articles only serve to embarrass women as people who are not that keen on their hygiene but still expect to have fulfilling sex lives with their `clean’ partners. That we have to publish such stories on newspapers in the hope of putting the message across to women when the men can simply improve on their communication skills with their wives, fiancées and girlfriends. As long as you two are shagging then you need to be open with each other. Forget the excuse that you fear getting her mad. The truth will always hurt but those who endure the pain eventually end up healing. If she can’t take the truth from her man then she is not worth your time plus with language, you can make it as polite as you can.

No matter how juicy or entertaining those particular kinds of posts and articles are, i don’t think i’ll be getting used to them any time soon.