gender

The Annoying Habit Of Downplaying Female Assertiveness

Why do we like downplaying a woman’s assertiveness?

And this is not only a preserve of men, but of fellow women too.

Why do we expect a woman to just keep quiet and take whatever is being thrown at her or what we consider the only option?

What is wrong with a female just saying “No, that does not work for me.” ?

Why do we always have to equate female assertiveness to being picky and unreasonable?

I have been asking myself all of these questions lately. It happens on the relationship front, career front, the having kids front and literally in every other aspect of a female’s life. The pressure not to assert for what she feels is right or works for her. Instead, to make do with what is given as the general option for everyone or to just take whatever crap someone feels like bringing her way.

In my job hunting, I have had people suggest jobs that I felt were not really career paths I would feel fulfilled following. However while suggesting, people would often add the line “just take the job, don’t choose jobs.” Already, they had given me a general option. And the general option was, since befitting jobs are often hard to come by, why not take up anything that can give you a source of livelihood. Indeed, there is quite a lot of sense in this type of reasoning.

Former US First Lady Michelle Obama. Image courtesy of Google

However, could it be the reason why many Kenyans are in jobs that they do not love, simply because they were given that particular general option, of just picking whichever job that comes their way? Could it also be the reason why you sometimes walk into shops or organizations and get served by obviously bored and rude employees?

Many times in the past, I have said no to these kinds of suggestions. And I’m almost a 100% sure that those who suggested, thought I was simply being haughty or unwise for asserting for a job that to them, “might be hard to come by.” I always figured that it is way better to start at the very bottom in a field you are passionate about, than to start at the very bottom in a field you don’t care about and were simply urged to take up.

Another aspect that faces a lot of downplaying of a woman’s assertiveness is the marriage and parenthood bit. Whenever I mentioned that I did not feel it was the right time for me to settle down or have kids, someone would openly scoff at my thoughts. I sometimes feel that people tend to view life through their own personal lenses. It can be quite annoying when someone suggests that you are wasting time for waiting before making such major decisions. Everyone’s pace in life is different. However, arguing out your point with these kinds of people is often times meaningless.

We need to raise up a generation of assertive women. Not necessarily to be pseudo-feminists completely averse to the male contribution and thought process in society, but to be women who know and understand themselves and are willing to stand up for what they know works for them. The idea that a woman should be subdued to the point where everything including that which makes her uncomfortable should be accepted needs to go. Being the weaker sex does not translate to being a “yes” person. It is a mentality that equally afflicts women, who expect other women to follow the same line of thought, of suppressing their feelings.

The bitter truth is that only the assertive women manage to make it in life. Those who choose to squash their true thoughts and feelings only transform into doormats. And being everyone’s doormat is not something anyone would fancy.

 

Misogyny and Misandry; The Kenyan Society As Of Now.

A lot has been said concerning Beyonce’s Lemonade album. Mostly individual perspectives of what the artiste is on to, some negative, some positive. Today morning, I stumbled upon a post by one of our well known Kenyan bloggers and Twitter bigwig, with that particular album of Beyonce’s, forming the inspiration behind the post.

tvcontinental.tv

Beyonce, photo courtesy of  tvcontinental.tv

I decided to read it and what accosted me was simply a vile case of a misogynist rant. I do not intend to bash a fellow blogger as I would not relish being drawn into a nasty spat.

However, the choice of words in the post to describe Kenyan women as opportunists jumped out at me like a thief in the night. All that seemingly hatred, toward women further proved to me how much the Kenyan society as of now, has sunk deep into the depths of misogyny and misandry.

It’s not only the men who hate the women. The women too do not like the men. The men would love to justify their hatred with claims of the feminist wave messing up any form of rationality in women. The women becoming carefree in recent times to deplorable levels deserving a severe backlash from the male gender. The men would like the women to believe that they do not give a hoot about whatever feminist views the females now possess.

The females on the other hand will react with shock and disbelief at this outcome from men. They will not take it lying down that the men have now chosen to bash what in essence, is their newfound liberation from the shackles of submissiveness bordering on oppression. They would like to prove to the men that their hostile actions do not at all faze them and that any form of oppressive thinking toward women from men will not be tolerated.

A lot of mistrust between the sexes has now over time seeped into our Kenyan society. Men and women have no qualms calling into radio stations and live on air rant about their husbands’ or wives’ transgressions. Often one side will end up being bashed more than the other much to the glee of the radio hosts keen on boosting their ratings. I do not blame the radio hosts. It is part of their job to ensure that their shows get the highest number of listeners and fans as possible.

The way a man would sleep with a woman then after the deed decide that she is cheap and therefore, he has no desire to continue pursuing the woman and without further explanation, bolt is the same way, a woman will develop a deep dislike for men, who seem to only be after one thing from her then disappear into thin air. Indeed misogyny and misandry is so deeply rooted in our society, that both sexes do not know how to treat each other with respect after a night of passion in which both were full participants.

Both sexes see no need to have a sit down and decide to either slow down the pace in anticipation for something solid or not to pursue anything afterward. I’m sure if we were that reasonable and considerate of each other’s feelings, a sit down between two adults who seemingly rushed into sex would have saved both sexes a lot of heartache.

I read what came out as stereotypical thinking from the post of what Kenyan women have now over time transformed into being. Gold diggers, sl*ts, b*****s, opportunists, spinsters on the prey for hapless men to nab and what nots. We may tend to conclude that this is just but a one sided view from a man who obviously has deep issues with women but I would like to disagree.

This is what the battle of the sexes has turned the Kenyan society into. You might be surprised that quite a number of men think the same and are in total agreement with the blogger. You might equally be surprised that quite a number of women think lowly of men and have lumped them into categories of deadbeat dads, players, good for nothings, chauvinists and what nots.

The blogger then went ahead to bash successful female media personalities with an analysis of why each is in the current marital situation. I can only speculate why he decided to go down that route. However, methinks that the fact that he knows these women are considered ideal role models by other women, just from their successes and achievements, then a direct attack of them goes a long way into trying to dent the seemingly perfect image, that these high profile women have created in other women’s minds.

Simply the malicious style of thinking that this whole issue of misandry and misogyny has caused us. It might take a lot of effort to try and at least change this whole outcome seeing that more misogynist views as well as misandrist views are cropping up with each passing day. What happened to the respect that we once accorded one another? Or perhaps there never was a strong foundation of respect between the sexes in the first place. Probably, a ground for unhealthy competition was created between the sexes long before we came across misogyny and misandry as words.

Claiming that women are learning their whorish ways from their own whorish mothers is totally misconstrued. I think a section of men has already forgotten that it is from women that they came from and when you take to insulting mothers, including single mothers, it is a whole level of disrespect toward the female gender, your own mother included. It should be noted that if a woman decides to act in a certain way considered vile by society, since it is societal views which influence our morals often times, it is not because she comes from a background of vile women.

We are choosing as a society to bash one another in the crudest of ways. If your own father left your mother and the children to face hard times yet he was in a position to provide, it does not mean that all men will walk out on women and therefore deserve to be lumped into a category of animals. I think as bloggers who have a public voice, it is our mandate to try and unite the sexes and not draw them into what seems like a hostile competition of who is better than the other. Often times, in a battle of the sexes, none of the sides win.

I would have loved to get a refreshing read of what a Kenyan blogger thought of Beyonce’s lemonade album, never mind the fact that we do not for sure know what goes on in Bey and Jay Z’s bedroom. However, what I unfortunately got was a rant aimed at painting one gender as blacker than the other. None of the genders should even be painted anything in the first place because like it or not we are in existence together and we therefore need to coexist.

There’s no justification whatsoever for a Kenyan woman to bash a Kenyan man neither is there any justification whatsoever for a Kenyan man to bash a Kenyan woman. If a woman decides to get married in her 60s and does get a man who loves her then nobody between the two has been played. If a woman ends up a single mum, then we have no reason to run our mouths on what we think caused it. If a couple ends up divorced, the issues are between the couple and not with either of the gender.

All this slut shaming of Kenyan women and finger pointing of Kenyan men by Kenyan women and men alike will only take our society to a place where we would not be able to recover it from. I rest my case.

Women Fear Men Will Leave Them; Men Fear Women Will Leave Them

I recently had a highly interesting convo with a security guard someplace in my line of duty. On a daily basis, I can talk to quite a number of people a majority being strangers and acquaintances and this security guard was no different. So being part of my job, I suggested to him an idea of how he could make himself more money and ultimately benefit his family.

He was the skeptical type. Didn’t seem really interested in the suggestion but ended up mentioning his wife fleetingly. He thought that since she wasn’t as held up as he was, then she could probably take up the idea I had. Animatedly, I began coming up with more plans for the wife on how she could implement the idea and all of a sudden, this man grew highly uncomfortable.

His demeanor changed and in an uncertain tone, he said, “Na sasa bibi akitengeneza pesa hivyo, si ataniwacha?” (and if my wife ends up making a ton of money, won’t she leave me?) Of course the statement caught me off guard and I laughed and asked why she would leave him.

Then as if challenging me, he inquired whether I was married. I lied that I was. Then he further mentioned, that if I ended up making a lot of money from my job, then it was given that I would leave my husband. I clarified that I wouldn’t since we were working as a unit. Obviously, that didn’t sound convincing enough for him and the conversation went downhill from there.

In short, this man feared that if his wife got a financial capability of sorts, then she would see no need to stick around and no amount of convincing could I do, to get that thought out of his head.

You see, both sexes fear each other.

Women fear that men would leave them for a couple of reasons;

  • After sex. (If they do, f**k em!)
  • They are not beautiful/sexy enough.
  • They are inadequate (now this is crazy)
  • Other women are hotter and more appealing etc. etc…

Men on the other hand fear that women will leave them because of Money.

In most cases, men take a woman’s financial stability as a huge red flag of her inability to be loyal onward. As a woman, I tend to reason in terms of healthy competition but for the man, it is something that needs to be curtailed if need be.

Now I’m not suggesting that all men reason in such a manner but for those that do, I figure it is highly pegged on what society has instilled in men for generations and an insecurity of sorts on their part. It is a harsh fact that patriarchy rules in many societies the world over. Men have always been groomed to have the upper hand.

In recent times, women are now being groomed to have the upper hand. In the process, the men are being left behind. While the girl children are being encouraged to study and attain their maximum potential, the boy children are assumed to already know what is expected of them and to somehow, manage since they are in fact men.

I have encountered people in the past who argued that we spent so much time on girl power that we ended up forgetting all about the boy child. So definitely, if men know that a woman is likely to get justice for a gender injustice of some sort and the man is supposed to suck it up or get jeered at for being a weakling for a similar gender injustice, then men cannot help experiencing certain insecurities.

However, acting all mistrustful of each other isn’t going to even half solve this problem. From that conversation I had with this man, I made a conclusion that he was in a marriage that was riddled with mistrust. Getting him to give his wife my phone number, was equally a hurdle, because he mentioned that she would question him on where he had gotten acquainted with me from.

Well, we may be tempted to dismiss this couple as an exception but I beg to differ. The fear between the sexes has always been in existence. It doesn’t matter how much exposure one has had or education for that matter, women will always fear that men will leave them mainly because they are not good enough if the reasons given are anything to go by.

Men on the other hand, learned or unlearned almost, always fear that a woman’s financial stability is going to change her. Their fears may actually be real in the sense that many women with financial stability, do not seem like the type to be pinned down by the opposite sex. But why in the first place would a man want to pin down a woman?

You see, as a result of our previous conditioning, we got the whole script wrong. In a patriarchal setting, the man definitely has the say. The woman has none. But then, somewhere along the way, the woman discovered that with education and career success, then she could equally have a say and just to prove that she could, she had to act like she could.

Of course this left the men fighting for what they had since grown accustomed to as the norm. And the women on the other hand, fighting for the freedom they had since attained. But then, both sexes need each other like it or not so no matter how much a woman is learned or financially liberated, she would still yearn to feel desirable to the opposite sex.

She can’t admit this however, for fear of appearing desperate despite her status but it is an issue that sometimes gnaws at her. The men on the hand still need to feel respected and needed. So if a woman attains a level where she appears not to need a man and unfortunately in some cases act disrespectful toward the man, then the man is left reeling in shock.

And the power struggle goes on so much, to the point where both sexes have grown mistrustful of each other.

Do you agree?

Is It Justified For Women To Provide For Themselves?

I recently had a very interesting conversation with some female acquaintances. We were actually discussing how in recent times, it has become increasingly difficult for men to provide for women. Of course the men have always been quick to point fingers at women, as the cause for their transformation into mean individuals. I tend to hear the accusation leveled against Kenyan women as being merciless gold diggers who are only after a man’s pockets. So just to punish us and make us tow the line, the men in our midst learnt to withhold any monetary favors from us over time.

Anyways, while we were having this conversation, we ended up giving an example of how many men of nowadays, highly avoid spending on a woman they have asked out on a date or simply avoid “the asking out on a date” part because money is involved. Picture this scenario, this guy you have just met asks you out for maybe a coffee date. You are supposed to turn up for the date with your own means which in some circumstances, may extend late into the night, depending on how compatible or interesting you found each other.

Then just because he doesn’t want to spend extra cash on a cab to take you back home, this guy cunningly suggests that you head over to his house for a sleepover, since it is more convenient for you and probably safer(or perhaps only convenient for him). You agree and find yourself spending a night in this man’s house. Sex might or might not happen. But if at all sex does happen, the woman is definitely going to be blamed for giving it up too soon and being too cheap.

Well, just to be fair, for a man to send over a cab to pick you up for a date or to actually drive himself to your place to pick you up definitely depends on his means. If he does not have the resources to send a cab or to own a car, then it would be gentlemanly if he gave you a refund plus fare back after the date. Assuming your respective places of residence aren’t entirely safe at certain hours of the night, then the date can be cut short for that day, so that the both of you can arrive back home safely. You can always arrange for additional dates in future. Well, that’s just per my reasoning.

www.eurweb.com

 

Since the women of nowadays are more assertive and perhaps equally subscribed to the idea of feminism, it is not entirely uncommon encountering women desiring to provide for themselves. Perhaps if a man asked you out on a date, you wouldn’t want him to think of you as a damsel in distress and you may want to prove your level of independence, by showing up and subsequently leaving with your own means. I mean, some of these men who are increasingly withholding monetary favors from the opposite gender, are riding on the wave that the modern woman wants to provide for herself. So why should he if she can?

This whole phenomenon does not only apply to dating per se. In the home for example, there are things that a man is expected to provide for his family as well as things that a woman is supposed to provide for her family. A majority of these things are made possible by finances. So picture a scenario where just because the woman probably earns more than the man and appears to be entirely independent, then the man in question decides to abscond his financial duties as a husband and a father and lets the woman run the home financially. Of course that will generate into an imbalance of sorts and disagreements are bound to arise.

I tend to find a whole lot of misunderstanding in both genders of what feminism entails. And while feminism may many times advocate for the financial liberation of women, it does not mean that the men in the society should now take a back seat. I’m fully aware that for many women with a desire to get into a relationship or marriage nowadays, money is a motivating factor. Heck, money is a motivating factor for both men and women alike!

However, their initial desire to be provided for by a man let’s say in monetary terms, stems from the fact that the man has always been Biblically and historically required to provide for the woman. I do not dispute the fact that many women get over zealous to be provided for to the extent of fully transforming into gold diggers. But just to be logic, when looking at a potential mate, the fact that he can provide for you both emotionally and financially almost always comes into play. Human beings are constantly yearning for a better, stress free life than the present.

I come from a family where many of the women provide for themselves by choice. That is reason enough to make me transform into this highly independent woman in future, I (or you) may be tempted enough to conclude. Funnily enough, I do expect the man to provide. I want him to do his part while I pull the weight doing my part. That doesn’t entirely make me less of the feminist kind of woman I purport to be. I’m equally unapologetic of that particular fact that the man should provide what is his manly duty to provide.

There is an upsurge of single women in my country raising their kids on their own just because the fathers of those kids weren’t man enough to provide for their offspring. And while I applaud these kinds of women for their bravado, there is always that all too real eventuality of the woman struggling under the weight of all those responsibilities. Sometimes culminating into a desperation of sorts that may push her to take any kind of job just to fend for her children. There is also that section of single mothers who have been blessed enough to sufficiently provide for their children without any strain.

Kudos to the latter kind.

However, whether she is fully financially capable or not to be a single mother, the input of the opposite gender is equally needed. And while a section of men may want to hide behind the false illusion that Kenyan women have become gold diggers, therefore deserving of being on their own with their children, I find no justification for a woman providing for herself if at all there is a man in her life, who can equally pull his weight with an input and especially, if there are children involved.

What do you think?

 

Must You Be Gay To Work In A Hair Salon As A Male?

A Hair Salon. en.wikipedia.org

A Hair Salon. en.wikipedia.org

My  current employment entails a lot of moving around. Just the other day, I walked into a hair salon for non-hair related errands. As I was chatting with the female employees, mostly explaining why I was there and what I wanted, in sauntered a girlish looking male. I could have been forgiven to think he was a woman with a quick glance at him, judging by his equally very female walking style and demeanor. I had to look again just to be sure that he was indeed a man. And yep, he happened to be one of the employees at the salon.

Encountering this man made me look back at all the other instances where I had walked into a salon and met a male employee who by all means acted female and looked female. I do not wish to jump into conclusions but such occurrences are usually attributed to the fact that these kinds of men, who act all girlish definitely have to be gay, in my country.

True to the assumption, some of them are indeed gay and not ashamed of that fact. It could also be a contributing reason for them to have a preference to work in the salon industry, seeing that their girlish tendencies could not be accommodated in the tough, male dominated fields.To be honest, rarely would you find a male with girlish tendencies working kazi ya mjengo (construction work in Swahili) or in the Jua Kali sector (informal sector) mainly a preserve for male workers.

But are we indeed right in dismissing all the men in the salon industry as gay “weak” men??

A few years back, there is a salon I loved to frequent. Two of the workers happened to be every inch the Meru (a Kenyan ethnic group they both belonged to) men. Both of them were married with a child each yet these same men, could give you the best nail services you would have ever wished for. I remember one of them sharing tips with me, on how I should file my nails so that they wouldn’t break easily if they were long and I had to do house chores. Eventually, they moved away and opened their own salon.

Seeing how Meru men in my country are considered males deeply in touch with their masculinity, would we then have been justified in concluding that these two men of the same community were gay? Better yet, do we consider the woman fraternity so fickle to the extent where people of the opposite sex, who choose to work in fields where there is a lot of interaction with women, are considered weak or having an abnormality of sorts?

If you ask me, I would prefer male hairdressers, manicurists and pedicurists any time over their female counterparts. I find men more sincere with their work and thorough than a couple of women in the salon industry.

In recent times, we have seen the word metrosexual being thrown around. Again this reminds me of an incident in the same salon where the two men I have talked about worked. One weekend, I decided to get a pedicure done. Lo and behold, just sitting opposite me was a father who had brought his lovely daughter to the salon, with really long natural hair which caught my attention the minute I walked in, to have it braided. Instead of leaving her in the capable hands of the hairdresser, this dad had decided to keep her company and while away the time getting a full pedicure done. He had even rolled up his trousers to the knees for the exercise!

And while I was a bit taken aback then, I really admired his parenting style. I mean, this was a typical African man, Black man even, for those who are more comfortable with that term, who had opted to do what has for years been reserved for the mothers and wives and that was, accompany his daughter to the salon and actually keep her company! I felt like other fathers could learn a thing or two from him. And so what if he was getting a full pedicure done?! Couldn’t a man be allowed to pamper himself at times?! Can we confidently call this man a metrosexual or gay even?!

I find the idea behind assuming all men in the salon industry to be gays as stereotypical and bordering on the homophobic. I’m no advocate for gays, don’t get me wrong. However, I wouldn’t spend my time hating on them and lumping them together in a category, I assume is befitting for them like working in a hair salon for example. As much as we would like to live in denial as Kenyans, the gay community is in fact in most of the fields in our country. Some of them we can’t even easily tell that they are gays yet they are bankers, economists, lawyers, businessmen, your cab guy, you name it.

Just because a section of men tend to be inclined to act more of female than male does not automatically translate to them being gay. And no, it is not a requirement to be gay in order to handle women in a salon. As a matter of fact, it would be insulting to insinuate that women matters such as hair dos, manicures and pedicures have to  be done by men who are “out of ordinary” in their sexual orientation. And if we would like to stick to that stereotypical thought, then would it equally be in order to state that women in the matatu (public transport) industry are lesbians as well?

Being a rough, male dominated field, these women have to literally discard their femininity in order to fit in. They have to dress in trousers, have their voices transformed into a hoarse rasp just from all that yelling for commuters on a daily basis and actually act tough to be able to compete effectively with the men in the same field. Why doesn’t anyone feel inclined to call them lesbians for acting male and for choosing a field, that for years was reserved exclusively for men? Is it because we come from a society where everything associated with men is more serious, as opposed to what is associated with women and therefore, women who venture into it are meant to be applauded for it not branded?

Have we actually taken time to understand the motivation behind these women choosing to work in the matatu industry? Have we thought of something to do for them in order to uplift them and in the process get them back in touch with their femininity? Most of these women are single mothers fending for their children and with the non-employment issue in our country, even a male dominated field could do for them. For some, being in this industry is actually a passion. Something they love to do.

Isn’t it time that we also thought of viewing men working in the salon industry as people of the opposite sex who were passionate with everything beauty related? Perhaps it could have been the only thing that they are really good at and if at all it puts food on the table, why not?

 

 

 

Are You A Confident Woman??

I once skimmed through one of Joyce Meyer’s books, The Confident Woman and I was literally surprised by her definition of a woman considered confident.

By all standards, I could not be described as confident at the time. I was struggling with friends, family, relationships… plus it was ever so hard for me, to stand up for myself, if I didn’t like something. It almost seemed like I had given everybody a free pass, to trample all over me while I was left there battling my negative emotions.

At that point in time, I was a very miserable person and it often times showed. People would avoid me because one thing or another was depressing me to the point where I failed to be good company. It was actually by miracle, that I stumbled upon this particular book and decided to go through it judging by the fact that, I’m not so big on motivational books.

Just the other day, I was reading a certain feature on the newspaper, where readers submit a pressing, personal issue and this expert on relationships, dishes out advice that is Christian based. One of the women who had written to him was obviously battling a bad on and off relationship yet, she clearly stated in her letter, that she knew the man in question loved her and she was scared that if she left him, she was never going to find another to love her the way he does.

A confident woman does not equate bad treatment to love, period! Hard to take I know, but the truth.

We hold on to people who do not deserve us because we are not entirely confident with our abilities. We tolerate friends who are obviously taking advantage of us by all means yet, we are still not entirely confident to stand up for ourselves and put an end to the drama. Confident people are not people pleasers. They are not mean, obnoxious people who irritate everyone around them with their negative energy. Rather, they are people who know what they want and are not fearful to state it.

When a woman suffers a bout of low confidence, it equally interferes with her esteem. Indeed many people, male or female, suffering from extremely low self esteem at the same time lack in confidence. Low confidence is the root of women tearing each other apart. Many times, women who are lacking in confidence feel highly intimidated by their counterparts, who seem to be quite confident with themselves.

When they see another being able to stand up for herself, climb the career ladder steadily due to her confidence levels, appear highly content and confident in her skin, their inadequacies go into over drive. They then subconsciously embark on a sabotage mission. Most women can attest to the fact that, those other females who appear confident and sure of themselves are mostly, the subjects of snide remarks behind their backs and nasty gossip.

There is no school that can teach one on how to be confident. We are actually our own teachers. Perhaps we can start by accepting ourselves the way we are, looks and all. Let’s put the words “UGLY”, “INCAPABLE” and “NOT DESERVING” out of our minds. Let’s stop thriving on comparison.

We of the female gender are highly guilty of comparing ourselves to others of the same gender. We cultivate low confidence levels and jealousy by constantly looking over the hedge, to see if the grass is greener. Indeed the grass almost always appears greener on the other side even when it is only an illusion.

Let’s stop listening to whatever opinions others have of our own abilities. They may equally be secretly battling low confidence and therefore, projecting their fearful view of life to us. If we constantly internalize what everyone says about us, then we are going to have a very long list of mostly “CAN’Ts” which greatly affects our confidence.

Confidence can be elusive. It is fragile. We need to guard it.

By guarding our confidence levels, we do not have to develop a defensive attitude toward what others are saying. Other people will always have an opinion of sorts. Some will genuinely give it while others will give it maliciously. We need to learn to sift between genuine opinions and opinions intended to shred us off the little confidence we have gathered.

Women need confidence in their relationships with the opposite sex. It beats my logic why we are ever so fearful of breaking off a relationship that is obviously doing us more harm than good. Are we really aware of what we deserve from men? What is our definition of love? If this is not a marital union, then why are we sticking around when we are being cheated on, beaten, disrespected and controlled?

A confident woman will not stay in a relationship that brings the worst out of her. A relationship that makes her miserable and unsure of herself and her future. A confident woman is not scared to be single. If you are looking for security from the opposite sex, then the mere thought of being single will scare the shit out of you. Sadly, a huge number of women seek security from the opposite sex and it is not entirely their fault.

They may have suffered an absentee dad in their lives, sexual abuse from those who were supposed to genuinely love and protect them, divorced parents, domestic violence or were orphaned young. We do grow up and become adults capable of taking care of ourselves but some of the deeply inflicted scars in our lives do not completely heal. If as a woman you find yourself constantly clinging onto bad treatment and lacking the confidence to walk away from it all, then you need to really ask yourself some hard questions. You need to revisit your past and try to work on it, in order to make sense of the present.

Confidence does not come overnight. If I were to state that I’m fully confident at the moment then it would be a white lie. I still have those moments where I tolerate something I shouldn’t, where I agree to someone’s opinion while knowing very well that whatever is being preached is not something I conform to…heck! I’m still female and being confident every day, week and month is not our thing. However, with constant positivity and practice, I know that confidence can be achieved.

So, are you a confident woman??

 

Young Women Need To Change Their Mentality First In Order To Succeed.

So everything is now back to normal, I presume, after a weekend’s visit to our country, from the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

I particularly liked something he said concerning women yesterday, when he addressed the nation from the Safaricom Indoor Arena. He cautioned us against treating women as second class citizens. Something that many feminists are very familiar with in their common quest for gender equality. He further mentioned that when you educate a woman, then her offspring will surely be educated.

It was indeed very refreshing to hear someone speak so passionately about the need for women to be respected and protected from FGM, early marriages, Sexual Assault as well as Domestic Violence. These are injustices that happen on nearly a daily basis in several parts of the world. I have read chilling stories of women from the DRC who have had to endure continuous gang rape from soldiers.

One particular story stood out for me, of a Female Activist from the same country, who got gang raped as a result of her Activism. She is currently in one of the refugee camps in our country. It was heartbreaking to read about the kind of horrors that women from war torn countries have to endure.And especially women trying to advocate for change.

Indeed, I felt very lucky to be a Kenyan and from a country that has endured relative peace since Independence. And as much as ethnic clashes happen in certain parts of our country, as well as the 2007 post-election violence, majority of the women in Kenya have been safe.

I believe that the President of the United States had a very strong point in suggesting that the rights of women should be respected. He seemed particularly impressed by the young women in our country, with an entrepreneurial spirit as well as a zeal to champion for women’s rights. As a father to daughters himself and the president of a Superpower, he indeed understands perfectly the contribution of all genders to a society.

However, I think that the young women of this generation in our country, need to first change their mentality in order to be successful. When compared to other nations in the world where oppression of women is rampant, it is evident that Kenya is way ahead on matters gender equality.

Nowadays, literally every home in Kenya would love to have educated daughters. Educating daughters in more recent times has stopped being seen as a waste of time. And educated women in our country, have gone ahead to do amazing things as evidenced by the likes of, Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai, The Honorable Phoebe Asiyo and the first Kenyan woman judge, Lady Justice Effie Owuor among many others.

With changing times though and an over emphasis on vanity at the expense of intellect, an ever increasing number of young women, is no longer interested in being recognized for their extraordinary strides and contributions they have made to the society. This phenomenon is worsened further by the emergence of the socialite trend as well as the excessive glorification of celebrities.

Young women of this generation, whether educated or not, have been led to firmly believe that with the right looks and physique, then instant success will land at their doorsteps. Focusing on a specific area of specialization in their quest for success is dismissed as drab and uninspiring. This outlook has become deeply entrenched in the young women of today, that they do not imagine themselves taking up a venture that is considered for the “lower, uneducated class”.

It is evident in our country at the moment, that unemployment levels are particularly high. Most of the lecturers who taught me a couple of units in Campus, would occasionally encourage us not to anticipate for employment as soon as we graduated. Each one of us is gifted in certain areas and according to one Myles Monroe, we go to school to perfect our giftings. Our lecturers’ point was to utilize our giftings as well as the knowledge we have since acquired in school, to be able to gainfully employ ourselves.

But who wants to work so hard at self employment, when a sexy body, further perfected at the gym, numerous invitations to social events, a rich boyfriend as well as a horde of selfies on social media, can make you the money you would like to have. The society of recent years, teaches young women to exploit their vanity to their maximum benefit. It teaches young women that sitting behind a desk in the corporate world, driving the latest car model and living the good life is all that entails to be accorded the “successful” status.

Many young women have since ceased to exploit their talents. They would rather stay in uninspiring jobs than take up a business venture, that may need them to start low, may be unpredictable financially in the initial stages and may demand a lot of dedication from their part. Most of these successful entrepreneurs we see today started from somewhere. And if you follow up on their stories, they may have started from the lowest point that you could ever imagine. It only took a step of faith and zeal on their part, to be where they are today.

World leaders such as President Barack Obama and the likes, may ramble about the need for young women to be empowered and educated day and night, to no avail if at all the mentality is still the same. If young women are not willing to stop viewing other occupations as those reserved for the classless and uneducated in society. If young women want to take the easy route to success by using their bodies and looks to that effect. And if young women decide to pay attention to what other young women think of them.

As a young woman, I believe that the path to success starts when we are willing to focus on something we know we are good at, no matter how challenging it may seem. When we stop bothering with what society says about women in general. And when we open our minds to other different, possible prospects other than what is being portrayed to us as the trend.

Have a thoughtful week!

“Busty Women Love Sex”

I have put the title of my post today in quotes because it is something I heard from someone else quite recently actually. And sadly, from a fellow female. I don’t know how that came about, but this minute we were talking about something else and the next, she was like she has heard that phrase being thrown about. And the way she said it seemed like she really believed in it. My first reaction was rather personal, as I took it as a direct jab to my physique which falls in the said category. My next reaction was, appalled. In that state, I wondered who had come up with such a nasty truth sexual stereotype which I had never heard of before.

I mean, everyone loves sex. But we are all a bunch of pretenders who tend to paint sex as something dirty that resides only in the minds of perverted oversexed individuals. And that a woman who sleeps with several men is a whore whereas a man who sleeps with several women is macho blah, blah, blah…

favim.com

favim.com

Indeed we do believe so much in the latter stereotype that two rappers we know of in the music scene ended up concluding that the woman, both of them had slept with, was a whore. They didn’t look at themselves and see that they were probably lacking in integrity, for lusting after the same woman or the other one in the picture, who decided to sleep with his pal’s girlfriend was actually malicious. Since they are typical men full of themselves with their ego, successful rapping careers and money, they both decided that she had to be a whore for accepting to get laid by the two of them. So automatically, the woman is lacking in morals and is therefore cast aside and the men assume they were manly for sleeping with her and carry on being buddies. How warped??

Relationship blogs tell women that they should wait certain durations before giving themselves to a man they have began dating recently. I’m equally guilty of stating the same here in this blog. However, never have I stumbled upon a relationship blog which stated the duration of time a man should wait, before bedding a hot lass he has just started seeing. The story usually goes, men will always be men and that sex is a constant feature in their minds, which of course drives them to try all sorts of tricks on women in order to get laid. If the women in question fall for the tricks, usually because they are a bunch of clueless females, who believe that sex equals emotional bonding with the man, then they have themselves to blame for being too cheap.

Certain societies go ahead to further claim that a woman needs to have certain parts of her genitalia removed so that she can be tamed sexually. For men, it is a rite of passage. For women, it is to curtail her desires to want to have sex. As if God was nuts in designing a woman’s genitalia to include all those parts it has. These societies do not factor in the fact that by tampering with what was initially designed for a purpose, they are denying the woman the right to have a fulfilling sex life. Worst case scenario, causing her further unnecessary complications during childbirth and her menses. It is all for the sole reason that if left the way she was, designed beautifully, then she will automatically transform into a promiscuous female. Indeed there are women out there who point fingers at their fellow uncircumcised sisters as being dirty or whores.

This practice is so deeply rooted in some societies, to the extent where learned individuals residing in urban areas, still see the need to take their girls upcountry to get circumcised. It has actually taken the intervention of female activists to try and get some societies to understand that an uncircumcised girl is not flawed in any way. She is not inadequate as a woman and therefore does not need to be cast aside and subjected to ridicule. However, there is still a stretch of a journey left before FGM is totally done away with.

As a female, I feel as if we have been brainwashed to the extent where we have started believing in some of the nasty sexual stereotypes being thrown around with regards to women. For someone to actually point out that women endowed in a certain way are lovers of sex, is totally absurd. For some to go ahead and state that women from certain communities can’t keep their legs closed is even more absurd.

And then this same people are the ones who will go whining to radio stations that their wives are total logs in bed. Or they are ever laden with excuses as to why they don’t want to get intimate. If loving sex for women is a crime, how then do you expect this same women to enjoy the act of sex? Personally, I do not believe in anything such as someone loving sex. We all do for a fact. If we didn’t we wouldn’t be getting highly dissatisfied in relationships or marriages which are lacking in sex. We would be totally content and carrying on with our businesses as if nothing is amiss. As a matter of fact there would be no such term as “sexual frustration” neither would there be extra-marital affairs.

For women to be given a time limit on when they should get intimate in relationships is actually furthering a sexual stereotype that should have long been buried. For the self-righteous moralists, who are already pointing fingers at me for stating that, I’m not in any way encouraging immorality. And should women who sleep with men so soon after getting into relationships with them be branded loose or immoral, then the same should be applied to men who actually take the next step in sleeping with those same women so soon into a relationship. There should be no double standards as the act being carried out is the same.

Sex has always been a tricky subject and I’m totally convinced that it will be a long long journey before equal standards in this issue are attained. More so due to the patriarchal thinking by some.

Are women settling for less in relationships???

I think so.

I come from a society which places age limits on women when it comes to settling down. The first time i encountered this was when i was talking to a friend over the phone and all of a sudden, he mentioned that i was remaining with only 4 years before i became ‘expired material’. I was 24 then meaning according to him, i ought to be settled by 28. The second time was yet another male friend who acted genuinely concerned, by letting me know that in 3 years time, i should be settled with a hubby. The third time, it wasn’t directed at me but to all women generally. This female lecturer was telling us in class how she had met one of her former students who was already in her late twenties and not yet married. According to her, she was concerned as to why this particular former student opted to first concentrate on her career before settling down and advised her to hurry up and find an eligible man.

Welcome to Proudly Feminist, where such stereotypes are trashed!

Women have been pressured by societies to the point of settling for less in relationships because they don’t want the `expiry date’ to catch up with them. As long as the man seems willing to settle and the woman is in her late 20s, then she has no qualms moving in with him, never mind whether they are indeed compatible or not or whether he will ever make it official or never. Makes me wonder at times when the `expiry date’ for men is since some stay till 35 years of age before they think of marriage. I have heard of men claiming that women who have reached their 30s while still single are no good, because of the number of sexual partners they have had from the time they broke their virginities. Others claim that by 30, a woman is already aging. Who talks about the number of sexual partners a senior male bachelor has had? Who talks about a man aging by the time he hits 30 while still unmarried? Never mind that some 30 year old men already have a beer belly thing going on in their bodies. All these people furthering these stereotypes need to know that a marriage is for a life time and that the period of time you date someone also matters.

thatstotallytarot.com

thatstotallytarot.com

Many people have been led to believe that the dating period does not count. I don’t dispute that fact as there are indeed people out there who dated for less than 6 months and ended up in wonderful, solid marriages. However, for those women who are for the idea of dating for a longer period of time and are also a little scared that age is catching up with them, my only advice would be not to fret. I personally, do not believe in age limits. The placing of age limits on women by society is what makes women rush into marriages without getting to know the men properly. It is what makes women settle for bogus men because they are scared of society pointing fingers at them. Yet there is a good reason why people date in the first place. So as to learn about each other more and to find out whether you can handle each other’s shortcomings or not.

Why should you put up with less only for a marriage to break 2 or 3 years down the line?

What women need to know is that having a man in your life is not a direct ticket to happiness.  It is equally not an escape route for personal insecurities and problems. Another thing they also ought to know is that it is perfectly OK  for a woman to have standards as to what kind of a man she wants. It doesn’t matter if it will take her 10 years to find that man. As long as she is clear on her specifications, then she should not worry what society thinks of her. Some women are equally known to point fingers at their fellow unmarried counterparts by claiming that they are single so that they can prey on their husbands. If at all you married the man of your dreams and trusted him fully to the point of living with him in the same house, why then are you worried that a single woman somewhere is going to snatch your man??

It is this pressure that society places on women that makes them settle for men they are not sure of and have them turn into these paranoid monsters, who in turn will face ridicule from society yet again, for watching over their husbands like hawks. Nobody places this rush on men to marry. As a matter of fact, men are allowed to pursue their dreams, make their investments and enjoy their singlehood to the fullest and even though some concerned parents may at times ask for grandchildren from their sons, it is never that serious. Women on the other hand are made to feel odd for wanting to pursue their careers, make their investments and enjoy their singlehood. They are made to feel that with a man in their lives, everything will just fall into place and that their worries and fears will just fade away once in a marriage. What society fails to acknowledge is that in recent times, everyone is for himself and therefore, you may get into a marriage where the man is hardly a provider. You then need to have something to sustain you and your family while in such a situation.

There is nothing absolutely wrong with delaying marriage no matter what age a woman is. A woman needs to be very assertive when it comes to relationships. The same way a man points out clearly the kind of women he would settle down with and the kind he would not dream of even getting near, should be the same way a woman points out the exact kind of man she wants. When society kills that assertive spirit in women by making it seem like they need to do something so as to get that societal respect, then we have many women getting into marriages for the sake of it. They do not get married to the ones they really want rather they get married so that they can have kids before a certain age catches up with them or to beat the outrageous `expiry dates’ placed on them. The end result is people tolerating each other in marriage and not loving each other enough to keep the marriage bond strong.