Sexuality

Breast Ironing And The Fear Of Sexually Active Pubescents

Just when I had been tempted to think that FGM was the only remaining barbaric practice targeting the female sexuality, I was recently awakened to the retrogressive practice of Breast Ironing. Apparently, some African cultures such as the one in Cameroon find it okay for grown women, to heat grinding stones, spatulas, hammers and what nots, then proceed to press them on the chests of young girls, who are just starting to grow breasts.

The common belief behind this archaic and oppressive practice being that breasts are attractive to males. And so to prevent this pubescent girl from getting noticed by the opposite sex and possibly get pregnant if she gives in to their advances, these African mothers have taken it upon themselves to subject their young daughters to the unimaginable pain, of having their breasts pounded or massaged with these hot objects. The result; traumatized girls, shame in adulthood, malformed breasts, damaged breast tissue and sadly, in some cases, difficulty in breastfeeding their young ones later on in life.

Speaking up against breast ironing practice. Image courtesy of 9jas.com

The disheartening part about this practice is that it is carried out by mothers, believing that they are preventing their daughters from early marriages, unplanned pregnancies, unwanted sexual attention and incidents of rape. In reality, the only thing that this retrogressive practice succeeds in achieving, is promoting the lowest self esteem in women and furthering the stereotype that a female’s sexuality, is to blame for sexual violence or societal ills. These women have sadly been conditioned by their environment to think that by doing so to their own daughters, they are in fact helping them. Perhaps in the hope that they will thank them later in life for it.

I doubt whether these Cameroonian women, who have been subjected to breast ironing and are now forced to live with the negative consequences of the practice, actually thank their mothers for trying to cub the growth of what makes them beautifully female. It should be noted that most of these barbaric cultures sugarcoated as “tradition” and “helping the woman” do little or nothing to that effect. All of these cultures are characterized by one thing in common. And that thing is often to deny the sexuality of a woman by tampering with what was designed for a woman’s own good in that aspect. In the process, empowering the male’s sexuality.

In this breast ironing case, denying the sexuality of a woman and hampering the nurturing role of a mother to her infant. If this woman who has had her breasts ironed by heated crude tools in puberty, cannot be able to breastfeed her young ones and therefore nurture them, then she has been denied one of the crucial roles in motherhood. In addition to being repulsed by the image of her own breasts, flattened and ugly, from what transpired when she had just started to blossom as a woman.

Just recently, I was shocked and saddened by the fact that some young men actually thought that FGM was beneficial for a woman. We often say nowadays that the boy child has been neglected at the expense of empowering the girl child. However, that recent discovery I made on social media when I read a post from a young man encouraging FGM, makes me think that the girl child has hardly been empowered and that the boy child, is currently enjoying the benefits of being male and in a position to further oppress the female.

Breast Ironing and the tools used. Image Courtesy of Daily Express

The female’s anatomy and what makes her beautiful has constantly been considered a threat and something that needs to be kept in check, if these breast ironing and FGM practices are anything to go by. Society has since led women to believe that they are to blame if a man cannot control himself sexually. We have been conditioned to accept some horrific cultures as things intended to help the woman, even though the only thing they contribute to a woman, is causing her emotional and physical scars that are often times hard to heal.

Women have since been made to feel ashamed of identifying themselves as feminists, in the event of trying to speak up against some of these retrogressive practices that interfere with womanhood. A feminist who is trying to help the girl child escape some of these practices that do her more harm than good is often branded a bitter, wayward, male basher. But perhaps it is time that we decided to actually pay attention to what these feminists are trying to preach, in efforts of allowing a girl child to blossom as the woman she was intended by God to blossom into. In certain cases, only a female is better placed to understand the underlying consequences of some of these harrowing practices.

I tend to feel that the boy child is still very much empowered than the girl child. The boy child still gets to experience his puberty without much interference that will cause him permanent scars in future. Of course I’m not blind to the fact that some boy children, are denied the right to being children and going to school in the event where they have to herd the family’s livestock, get forced into being child soldiers and the likes.

However, society still gets to treat the boy children gently in terms of tampering with their anatomies as men. Circumcision for males is a rite of passage from childhood into adulthood. A badge of honor. Circumcision for females signals the onset of early marriages and is actually aimed at preventing the female from being sexually active or promiscuous to put it that way. In the case of breast ironing, subjecting the female to an unnecessary practice, so that the male can not be attracted to a blossoming female as if the male cannot interpret by himself, that he shouldn’t be messing with this young girl who is just but a child.

I’m in no way trying to bash the male with my sentiments as you can see both FGM and Breast Ironing practices are carried out by women on fellow women. However, what I would like to bring to the fore is the motivation behind some of these practices. Often motivations that come about in relation to the privilege that most males are accorded in patriarchal societies that do not value female contribution. Perhaps a father’s intervention could have stopped a mother somewhere in Cameroon, who had picked up a hot grinding stone ready to massage her hapless daughter’s chest with.

But males you will learn, do not hang around environments where the females outnumber the males in such societies. There are in fact oblivious to the going ons and may not really see the need to speak up against some of these practices, only choosing to openly agree with them if it so happened that someone sought their opinion. And so only a feminist’s voice can come in handy in such a situation, of condemning a practice that should have long been done away with. My heart bleeds for the Cameroonian or African female somewhere who was forced to undergo breast ironing.

 

Are A Woman’s Strong Features A Determinant Of Her Desirability?

What makes a woman feminine?

Is it the shape of her face, her soft curves, the roundness of her bottom…? Are these attributes of hers considered female, what men are going to look at and say “wow, she’s hot!”? What about a female who naturally has strong features, otherwise considered “manly” or “masculine” in many quarters?

I sought to find out what 3 men thought about dating a woman who fell in the latter category. One mentioned that he wouldn’t mind the masculinity factor, as long as she possessed all the qualities he looked for in a woman.

As a matter of fact, for him, those special qualities would surpass her physique. However, he was quick to note that sometimes, the physical attributes of a woman contributed to the attraction factor, from the opposite sex. But all the same, he went on to mention female sport figures who possessed obviously, very strong features that he considered attractive.

The next man gave a complete no. He was very certain that he would not even be the slightest bit attracted to such a woman, just from looking at her strong features. The third mentioned that he tends to look at the physical attributes first in a woman.

He admitted to this being superficial and a mistake on his part. However, he highly doubted that he would get past the masculinity factor, in a bid to know more about her as an individual and what special qualities she possessed.

Well, not to judge these men for their honest opinions, I think the answers they gave me, are in truth a reflection of what many men and women alike, think about the desirability factor of a woman, considered to possess strong features.

Tennis Star Serena Williams. Photo courtesy of New York Magazine

Tennis Star Serena Williams. Photo courtesy of New York Magazine

One such woman regarded as masculine by many, happens to be tennis star, Serena Williams. To many, Serena could be confused for a man. Never mind the fact that she recently got engaged and could be walking down the aisle very soon. This is just proof that someone of the opposite sex, despite all the hullabaloo surrounding Serena’s physique, found her attractive and is willing to spend the rest of his life with her.

As an individual who has recorded huge successes in the tennis field, it was inevitable really for Serena to look the way that she does. An immense amount of training goes into becoming a professional in specifically, sport. Back in the day, when Serena and her sister were just beginning to learn the ropes of tennis under the tutelage of their father, they were just but normal skinny girls. But it would take a lot to mold them into the huge stars they have since become.

To exhibit the kind of strength and endurance that Serena exhibits on the tennis court, significant effort goes in building the right physique for it. And this is evident on many female athletes engaging in sports that need a high level of stamina, not only Serena whom many have singled out.

I tend to find musician Pink, equally possessing quite strong features which can be partly attributed to the fact that she’s also a gymnast. Many of her performances have seen her suspended in ropes while performing various tricks on stage. You need the right body for that.

Musician Pink during one of her performances. Photo courtesy of Google.

Musician Pink during one of her performances. Photo courtesy of Google.

Sports aside, in my usual routine of poring over the Internet for information, I quickly discovered that there are certain features in women, considered masculine. A square jaw was one of them. Some women I saw being pinpointed as seeming “manly” happened to possess square jaws.

There was equally the racist factor that singled out certain African-American women as being masculine just from their looks and what others considered linked to their heritage. It is sad that the former first lady of the US, Michelle Obama and British supermodel Naomi Campbell are some of those  Black women, whom if you dig deeper in the Internet, you will find many trolls calling them male or other unsavory names. A cruel reality of the many forms that racism can take including bashing genetics.

British Supermodel, Naomi Campbell on the runway. Courtesy of Elle.

British Supermodel, Naomi Campbell on the runway. Courtesy of Elle.

Back here in my country, the physical attributes of a woman equally seem to play a huge role for many in the desirability factor. There’s what biology and society’s standards of beauty have over time portrayed to be feminine. For quite a number, a woman is defined by the soft features that make her feminine. If she seems to lean more on the strong features, then something must be wrong, we tend to assume.

The fact that men are considered visual creatures may also partly contribute to this deeply entrenched idea of what a female should look like. Not to seem like I’m bashing the male, but it is accepted by many, that men look at a woman’s features that are different from theirs and therefore attractive to them. If the woman appears to look like a male, then definitely the whole idea is kind of distorted and the man can be forgiven for reacting with unmasked surprise, at this turn of events.

However, the often, negative, unmasked surprise goes both ways. Women may tend to question how female a fellow woman is, if she seems to come across as male. We assume that if this is how we look as females, then the rest of us should look the same. Quite a close minded view, you might be tempted to conclude.

Well, when genetic factors are at play as they always are in determining our individual physiques, there’s nothing much we can do about it. Looking at this whole issue from a feminist view, regardless of how a woman’s physique is, what she possesses in her mind, is far more important than a pair of well sculpted legs that may appear manly to some.

We need to stop this objectification of women, that tends to place more emphasis on what is considered sexy in a woman, at the expense of her talents and what she is capable of doing. Many women in the sports field are increasingly being objectified while pursuing what they are good at. It could perhaps be the reason why the likes of Serena Williams, have constantly endured castigation over how they look.

For many, if she looks like a male, then she definitely acts like a male and quite a number of men, may shy away from pursuing such a woman. Physical attributes have little to do with a person’s personality and a woman who possesses strong features, may turn out to be the most feminine in personality. However, many can agree with me that changing deeply entrenched perceptions may prove to be the hardest.

Thoughts?

Do I Make A Statement With My Natural African Hair?

I’m at that stage in my life when I have no idea what to do with my hair. It’s about slightly over an inch long (courtesy of a shave I did sometime in September last year, when I still didn’t know what to do with the full length, African mane on my head), partly chemically processed, partly natural. So on days when I’m leaving the house, I do the curl activator thing to make it look a bit presentable and comb it into an impressionable afro. If you can call it that.

This is my current hair situation. I was trying a kind of mohawk look sometime back.

This is my current hair situation. I was trying a kind of mohawk look sometime back.

 

This was my chemically processed, styled in curls hair sometime back at its full length.

This was my chemically processed, styled in curls hair sometime back at its full length. Forgive the 60s retro look that is oh, so old fashioned.

 

My once full length completely natural hair when I had belief in my original kink

My once full length completely natural hair when I still held belief in my original kink.

It’s not the first time I’m writing about hair on the blog. Because hair is a part of us. And especially African women who are blessed with kinky manes. That shrubbery on your head, if you would call it that on days that it just can’t sit right and frame your face right, always reminds you of your African roots. You can’t run away from it. You can perm it, like I have done in the past and recent past just to make it more manageable, but as soon as that growth of natural hair appears, you are reminded of your roots.

Not that it is a bad thing to be an African woman.

However, an African woman who chooses to embrace her natural kinky hair is a force to reckon with. I have seen celebrities try the no make-up look albeit successfully. I have also seen celebrities of pure African descent swear that the long, silky hair we were seeing on their heads was indeed natural. I have equally seen pictures online of natural, African hair that still didn’t look natural enough. So whenever I see an African woman walking around with what indeed looks natural and still appear confident in her skin, I silently salute her because I’m still not that confident with my natural one.

Nigerian Writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who has a penchant for rocking her natural mane. Bellanaija.com

Nigerian Writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who has a penchant for rocking her natural mane. Bellanaija.com

Take Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, for example, who is never afraid to wear her hair natural. She has actually talked about African hair in her books. She is also considered a feminist. Not the bashful kind of feminist who got the script all wrong and ended up appearing bitter instead of passing a message. Which actually brings me to my blog’s title today, Do I Make A Statement With My African Natural Hair?

In many ways, yes.

It takes a lot of courage for an African woman to choose to wear her hair natural. Not with the wide array of styles and weaves to choose from, coupled with all the tricks available, to help make your hair appear fuller and much more silkier than it originally is. Hair is considered sacred in many religions. They actually refer to hair in Islam as “ornaments” which a woman is supposed to cover, to avoid unwarranted attention such as admiration, envy, sexual attraction and the likes. This just proves how much power hair actually has and especially on a female.

Therefore, when an African woman decides to celebrate her actual hair by choosing to wear it natural, she is passing out the message that she embraces all that makes her African. Including her hair which had once been considered undesirable for a long time, by the African female fraternity due to its texture. A texture that seemed unusual when compared to Caucasian hair.

She is making a beauty statement that by deciding to take the often unpredictable natural look route, she is not fazed by the desirability factor. She is confident enough to work with what mother nature blessed her with. And trust me, African men are totally turned on by African hair on a woman’s head that is well taken care of. So a woman is not only making a statement but embracing that which makes her an African woman. It oozes confidence to the opposite sex.

And while it has taken a very long time for African women to love their natural hair, it is refreshing to see a natural hair fad in Nairobi, a city I have resided in for sometime. It speaks volumes about the liberation of the African woman, who tried sometimes unsuccessfully to achieve that silky Caucasian hair look. Who literally tied her head with a head tie on those days when she didn’t have her braids or weave on, because she was not confident enough to venture out in all her African glory.

That woman has since seen the light and is rapidly moving in a direction that celebrates what was once considered unusual. That woman can be called a feminist who accepts herself first, before she can begin to demand for gender equality and for more opportunities for the oppressed girl child. That woman is a shining light in a dark tunnel.

 

The “Naked Is The New Sexy” Trend

Disclaimer: This post contains some images with varying levels of nudity.

There seems to be a new trend in Celebville of prancing around resembling our African forefathers, who knew nothing about wearing clothes for decency. Our African forefathers can be forgiven for that, because they made use of readily available materials in their locality and possessed the wisdom to cover up areas considered private.

So been wondering how this “Naked is the new sexy” trend came about.

Quite recently, Chrissie Teigen, model and wife to musician John Legend received quite the backlash for wearing a barely there outfit to the AMAs, that ended up showing us a little more than we bargained for. I watched the Fashion Police go at her on her wardrobe choice and couldn’t help getting amused that, they considered her choice poor, yet more and more celebs are flashing  their nudity at every given opportunity and still get considered classy.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  Model Chrissy Teigen arrives at the 2016 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images for Fashion Media)

The Photo that showed Chrissie accidentally flashing an area that should have been kept covered up. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images for Fashion Media)

A quick check on the Internet and it is clear Chrissie has a penchant for risque outfits, that cause her regular wardrobe malfunctions. But she seems to take it in her stride seeing that she has a modelling background and a hubby, who does not seem to give a hoot over what the critics think of his wife’s wardrobe choices. Who am I to judge?

We’ve seen more skin flashing from other female celebrities to dwell on this particular one.

One of the Risque outfits Rihanna has won to an event in the past. Image Courtesy of Google.

One of the Risque outfits Rihanna has won to an event in the past. Image Courtesy of Google.

 

Yet another risque outfit that J-Lo has won to a past event. Image courtesy of Google.

Yet another risque outfit that J-Lo has won to a past event. Image courtesy of Google.

 

Nicki Minaj in a barely there outfit to a past event. Image Courtesy of Google.

Nicki Minaj in a see through outfit. Image Courtesy of Google.

See what I’m talking about?

I’ve said it here in the past that there’s this pressure for female celebrities to look and appear sexy. Perhaps oversexualized? I’m a huge fan of Ariana Grande and regularly download her music, but I can’t help being concerned that the young lady has for a while, been trying so hard to be sexy. Too sexy for her age.

I would have loved to see her gradually transition from a late teen, to an early twenties young woman to a late twenties woman. Sadly, I have seen her dress too grown up, writhe on the floor, pout her lips and push out her bust and bum for the cameras, at a point in time when she looks really young to be doing so.

Ariana Grande on stage. Photo Courtesy of Google.

Ariana Grande on stage. Photo Courtesy of Google.

And trust me, African female celebrities from the African continent are joining the “naked is the new sexy” bandwagon, as evidenced by South African musician Pam Andrews, who wore this risque outfit to an awards show sometime in 2014.

Pam Andrews. Courtesy of Google Images

Pam Andrews. Courtesy of Google Images

Celebs in the past have been known to be too quick to hush their critics with rather strong words concerning their careers in showbiz, whenever they were faced with severe backlash over how they dressed or portrayed themselves. It’s all about entertainment. Entertainment is harmless, they tend to make it seem.

Well, I consider myself no moral judge. However, the sexuality of a woman tends to be overused in the entertainment scene. We don’t get to see many naked male celebrities in video shoots but we do get to see hordes of women in barely there bikinis and varying degrees of nudity.

The culture of “sex sells” is deeply rooted in our psyc that anything that does not seem to promote sex and nudity is considered rather bland and boring. Show us some more skin, and we definitely gonna look and pay attention!

It’s no longer about the celebration of a woman’s body but rather how sexual she can appear in her skin. How many times sex flashes in our minds when we see these exposed parts of a woman that ought to be covered up but have instead been put on display. I have no idea what the entertainers themselves feel about this topic but it is rather unsettling to me.

It may surprise many to learn that the conservative Indian culture actually celebrates the woman’s body in a saree. You don’t get to see a woman’s “hooha” to quote Chrissie Teigen, her nipples or her booty. But you still get to see the feminine silhoutte that is still attractive in a saree.

Internet Sources

Internet Sources

 

Internet Sources

Internet Sources

 

Internet Sources

Internet Sources

So I’m kind of wondering if there are other ways we can celebrate a woman’s body, without having to see her naked or being privy to the fact that she has no underwear underneath. Is it even possible for our female celebrities who have over time grown accustomed to this nudity buzz, to tone down a little bit on just how sexual they portray themselves?

Is there really a future for little girls who have grown up witnessing their celeb moms shaking it on stage, in see through clothes that revealed their breasts and bums? Would I still reach out for that music CD next time I’m out shopping, of a female celebrity I love, in music videos that were akin to a nude party?

What do you guys think?

 

An Increasing Number Of Kenyans Are Addicted To Pornography

I know the title of my post today is going to set tongues wagging but I state the above with good reason.

I’m a frequent guest of cyber cafes. I have been a blogger for close to 3 years now. Actually, I clock 3 years of continuous blogging on different blog sites and this particular blog next month. And in all that period, I have frequented cybers and logged into computers for public use, several times only to be accosted by images of naked men and women. Meaning that the previous user(s) was/were viewing some pornographic material online. Forget the warnings of “No viewing of pornography sites” that many cyber owners like to paste on their walls. An increasing number of Kenyans are addicted to pornography.

Now I’m not trying to be a moral judge and point fingers at people. On average, I think all Kenyans have come across images of near naked men and women alike in addition to simulation of sexual acts in mostly raunchy and risque music videos, soap operas and movies. Born again Christian or not, Muslim, Jew or Hindu, if you are a user of our matatus sometimes the screens overhead showcase all kinds of risque music videos which you have probably glanced at, albeit unwillingly. It is a fact of life that sex is believed to sell and therefore, entertainers maximize on their sexuality.

Anyways, this morning was no different for me. I log into a computer and see one of the sites being surfed by a Kenyan was a pornographic site. It is an observation and a worrying observation. And while some people may choose to argue that pornography has no grave effect on a person and may even spice up sex in a relationship, I tend to slightly disagree. I’m not going to dictate what my fellow countrymates should watch or shouldn’t. It is a personal adult choice.

However, I am going to state that an addiction to pornography leads to feelings of guilt, shame and often an addiction to sex. In this era when HIV/AIDS is a reality in addition to numerous life threatening STIs, an addiction to sex is a road I doubt any normal functioning human being would like to take. Pornography addiction often fuels a lack of respect toward the female gender. Most of these female adult movie stars tend to be violated by the opposite sex in the movies. It might be for show but for the viewer, it only does a good job of instilling the sexual stereotype that women are sexual objects and should be treated as such. Many sex offenders have been known to have a secret addiction to pornographic material. Sex in these movies is often depicted as a sense of dominance by a man to a woman.

Bestiality acts are a constant feature in some pornographic material. Kenyans may laugh and create memes mocking individuals who have been caught red handed having sex with animals and maybe beaten to death by irate residents but in reality, this is a sad situation. For a normal human being with sexual desires for a fellow human being to end up choosing to have sex with animals, something in his psychology must have been previously corrupted by something else. I refer to a he, because in all the incidences Kenyans have heard concerning bestiality, the perpetrator is often of the male gender. However, I state again that I’m not using my post to judge but to enlighten.

Paedophilia stems from pornography addiction. Children have been molested by guardians and adults who are charged with protecting these children. Children have been lured into shooting pornographic material for perverted individuals, who only care about feeding their warped sexual desires in addition to making money in whatever unscrupulous ways. Nobody wakes up one morning deciding to molest a child. He/she must have gotten molested in the past as a child or corrupted gradually to the point where the act being committed does not seem warped to him or her anymore.

Lastly, pornography is breaking marriages and relationships. Forget the belief that it can be used to revive an otherwise dead sexual aspect of a relationship. Pornography will only give an individual unrealistic expectations for his/her partner. The saying of “I want a lady in the streets but a freak in the bed” further proves the kind of unrealistic expectations we are setting for our partners. Of course sex needs to be enjoyed but expecting your wife to do what you saw some woman paid to do it for entertainment on a blue movie, is in reality unfair. Rape happens in marriages and all because we allowed our minds to be drawn to pornography and we are now on a path to sexual self destruction.

The most vulnerable are our children of this generation who are growing up in a technology fueled era where they can access all kinds of gadgets. If you are already a parent, it is time to check if your young son or daughter is already being exposed to pornographic material. It might save you future heartache.

For Men, It Is A Pleasurable Activity; For Women, It Is Often Laden With Stereotypes.

I’m a talkative person. Perhaps that is what makes me privy to sometimes, weird conversations. I shall not reveal identities for obvious reasons but I shall definitely share.

Someone of the female gender this week, shared with me that someone else of the male gender, had warned her against allowing a female friend of hers from holding her infant child. Why? Because according to this man in question, since he suspected that the lady friend to the one who shared with me the info was sleeping around, then she would be dangerous to the baby. In short, when a baby is handled by a person sleeping around, a woman for that matter, then that baby constantly falls ill.

thisisafrica.me

thisisafrica.me

I don’t know if this applies to other African countries but in my country, there is that cultural belief among some ethnic groups, that your baby should not be handled by a cheating husband or promiscuous woman. Sadly, this person who also happens to be my friend wanted to find out from me if it was indeed true. I didn’t even know what to tell her. But I had so many unanswered questions in my mind that I doubt will ever get satisfactory answers.

Did that mean that single women were not supposed to hold their married friends’ babies because they were unhitched and definitely sleeping around? The lady in question is single and the one with the child is married. Does that mean that men now have the mandate to decide for a woman, who is to hold her baby and who shouldn’t considering the fact that this man, has no relation whatsoever to my friend? Explain the relation between sexual activity and being a contagious transmitter of illnesses to young children. And why are women often judged so harshly in matters sex?

Sometimes it is really difficult to question culture and tradition. And especially, when belief is deeply ingrained in individuals. As a matter of fact I found the whole conversation to be in bad taste. I felt as if the stereotype of women engaging in sexual activity as being dirty, was further being propagated against someone, I was made to vow never to disclose the information to. Of course I wouldn’t. How would I start even?

The fact that it was a man who had come up with this whole conclusion made it even worse. What right did he have to judge a hapless woman who probably had no ill intentions toward the said child? Why didn’t he warn my friend against letting both men and women handle her baby because of their so called philandering ways? Why only the woman?

And was it a possibility now for my friend to avoid her friend and therefore create a rift between them because of this information? Would she be blamed for being suspicious now of her friend’s motives each time she wanted to hold her baby? Isn’t loving one another as we love ourselves the right thing to do?

The fact that in many societies the sexuality of women, is always associated with negativity while the sexuality of men, is often associated with some sense of pride, further contributes to some of these deeply ingrained notions. Indeed it is so bad to the extent where some people believe that women who get raped brought it unto themselves. Perhaps they wore the wrong attire or they attracted the wrong attention or they walked in the wrong places after dark, are the reasons that this section of people use to justify why a woman got raped.

I have encountered misplaced stereotypes in the past against single women living alone. With some men thinking that a woman renting her own place has all the freedom in the world to invite different men to her house for sexual activity. Nobody judges a single guy living alone even though in some cases, the evidence of a string of different women spending the night on consecutive days, is open for others to see. But they are just being typical guys! We often assume. Men and women alike. That is what guys do! We conclude. Save me the explanation that men cannot last long periods without sex.

Since when did chastity only apply to women and not men? But that is how society has over time defined the sexuality of men and women. That is why malicious sexual propaganda is often targeted at the female gender and not the male gender. It is a sad state of affairs and one laden with double standards. When I see learned people who have lived in urban areas thinking the same, I know that it will be nearly impossible to change how things have been.

 

Are Older Men Better Lovers?

This is a curiosity that has over time gotten the better of me.

When I talk about older men, I do not mean the men in the “sponsor” category, where the woman does not mind how wrinkly the chap looks or whether he has erectile dysfunction issues or not, as long as she is smiling all the way to the bank. I mean men who are significantly older than the woman they are intending to date. Say between 10 to 16 years older than their love interest.

Men who were previously married but then it never worked out and they ended up divorced or separated. Men whose spouses are deceased. Men who have never been married and are already at the 40 years old mark. Those are the men I’m talking about.

So question is, are they better lovers than their younger testosterone driven counterparts?

Financial Capability.

Of course a guy who is significantly older has put his finances in order. We all secretly or openly know that, one of the factors that women intending to get into relationships with particular men consider is the men’s financial capabilities. This does not translate into gold-digging per se.

A woman would want to be assured of the fact that a man is in essence capable of taking care of her needs. That should she get his children, then he can be able to provide financially for his family. If a man seems a little unsure with his finances, many focused women would opt not to carry on with the relationship, for fear of financial uncertainties that seem to be looming in the future.

Older men in their 40s already have a significant amount of years while gainfully employed, under their belts. In such a scenario, the man has over time climbed through the ranks, learnt how to manage his increasing finances over the years, has experience with various financial responsibilities and is now at a place where he is sure of his financial capabilities. If not gainfully employed, he at least has a business that he has been running for a while and is quite stable.

Shout over the rooftops as you may that women are conniving opportunists, this particular financial capability in a man, whether older or within a woman’s age bracket, is almost, always very alluring.

Maturity.

No doubt about that. With years comes maturity. I am not trying to imply that younger men are immature. My argument lies on the fact that since this man is older, then he has definitely seen more than  what a younger man has seen and wised up in the process.

If he has tried a marriage before and it never worked out, then he is better placed to know the rocky patches that married couples have to navigate. Perhaps he has learnt from his mistakes if he was at fault. Definitely, he does not intend to repeat those same mistakes with another woman. Maybe, he has had to unfortunately grieve a loved one who could be the mother to his kids in situations where his spouse is deceased. He fully understands the pain of losing someone you love and how to cope with that loss.

In his mature state, he is not prone to making irrational decisions. He may clearly know what he wants out of a relationship with a woman he has just started seeing. I’m sure a couple of women have ever encountered an older guy who straight up stated, that he wanted to settle down perhaps on a first or a second date. In such scenarios, the woman who is always younger, may immediately think of bolting because this man seems to be in such a hurry to have a wife yet, she may not be ready herself to settle.

In some cases, it is not about being in a hurry. It could only be that this significantly, older man knows what he wants. In his maturity, he sees no reason to skirt around issues or play around. He is direct to the point with what he wants and deems fit for him.

Sex

There is a lot of uncertainty that comes with younger men and sex. It is not entirely an isolated case of a young man bedding a woman, then pulling an epic disappearing stunt immediately after the deed. It is however strange, for an older guy say 14 years older than the woman, pulling the same stunt. Most do not.

Sex to them is not a game of conquest. It is not a feat to be achieved and in the process prove yourself as a stud in bed. With years of experience, older men know better how to please a woman in bed. They take their time. They ensure she is satisfied. It is not only about their own pleasure. A woman does not have to fear that what they did behind closed doors, will make its way into the ears of the boys in the hood. As a matter of fact, sex will feel safe with him.

There’s something alluring about an older guy

I’m not sure if it is that self assured stance or the fact that clothes look good on the fit ones. Obviously, this does not translate to them automatically being good lovers but it is one of the factors, that make them attractive in the dating world.

Think Idris Elba,

Terrence Howard,

EMPIRE: Lucious (Terrence Howard) addresses his family in the "The Devil Quotes Scripture" episode airing Wednesday, Jan. 21 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX

Lucious (Terrence Howard) in an Empire episode, addressing his family. Google pics.

Blair Underwood

 Blair Underwood/perezhilton.com

Blair Underwood/perezhilton.com

And these are just the ones in the public eye, some hitched. What about the normal, single, older men who take care of their weight, know how to dress and look significantly younger than their real ages?

 

Readers, your thoughts?

 

 

 

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.

You Are Not A Slut If A Man Leaves You After Sex

I think it’s high time women stopped pegging their sexuality on what men think. If you sleep with a man and then immediately after the act he takes the high road, then he was only after the sex and nothing else. Stop analyzing how much he texted or called you before you finally gave in. Stop analyzing the presents he showered you with in the days leading toward the act.

He was simply grooming you for the part. After he got what he initially wanted, he grew distant. He gave you one word replies. He acted all irritated by your presence. He ignored your calls. Hung up even. In some cases, he even went as far as calling you easy to your face. He made you feel like a slut in the process just from the disrespectful way he treated you in the aftermath.

nymag.com

nymag.com

I’m here to tell you that you are not a slut if a man leaves you after sex. He was simply after the sex. He wasn’t interested in knowing you as a person. He wasn’t interested in your qualities, your hobbies, your cute dimple on the left cheek. He was just on the prey for a lay. And the best thing you can do for yourself as a woman is to cut him loose and never look back.

Otherwise if you carry on pursuing, this man will carry on disrespecting you to the point where you begin believing that you are truly a slut for sleeping with him. You are not a slut. You simply missed the red flags. So take it as a lesson. Any man who seems to be grooming you for sex should be given a wide berth before anything happens. If you do entertain him, then be prepared for the bolt. There’s no skirting around it.

If he shows up 3 or 4 months down the line after no contact, he simply ran out of options and remembered how easily you fell for his grooming tactics. Never mistake a Houdini who suddenly shows up as having realized how important you are. As a matter of fact, he has no idea how important you are, because in the first place he took no time to get to know you other than between the sheets. Don’t give him a second chance to slut shame you.

If you need to know what signs to read in a man who is only after sex read this http://www.definitelylorna.wordpress.com/8-signs-hes-only-after-the-cookie

 

Are You Comfortable With Your Number?

I got to watch the movie, What’s your number? starring Anna Faris (whom by the way, I find quite entertaining) while in campus. I thought it was quite a bold move by Hollywood producers, to settle on such a story line seeing that many people, are quite uncomfortable discussing the number of sexual partners they have had in their lifetime. And more so if they happen to be female. But that’s what Hollywood is synonymous for, pushing boundaries. So here was the character of Anna Faris, a female, talking about 19 partners already!

I also found the movie quite thought provoking in the sense that several critical questions arise just from watching it; Is it necessary to keep count of the number of sexual partners one has had? Could one of them end up being a lifetime partner? Is it OK to have quite a large number? Is a woman cheap for admitting to having so many?

whatislovedrcookerly.com

whatislovedrcookerly.com

A 2014 Kenya Demographic & Health Survey draws the conclusion that 2 out of every 5 Kenyans have 2 or more sexual partners. The introductory line of an article on the Standard Digital website dated January 15 2016, by Paul Wafula states;

A man in Kenya has an average of 7 sexual partners in their lifetime compared to 2 partners for women on average.

I am not utterly convinced by the latter statistic judging by the fact that many people are hardly, entirely truthful when discussing their sex lives. For women, this is worsened by the patriarchal societies we come from, which arrogantly assume that women should be sexually pure. If not, to at least pretend to be and to sound convincing enough.

I emphasize on the word arrogance since men have always been treated less harshly in matters, sexuality, unlike women. In some African societies, for example, polygamy and the keeping of concubines by men is endorsed and the women expected to automatically accept it as manly nature. It is quite interesting to note that some women in such societies, participate in creating situations  for their husbands to have additional sexual partners.

Just this past week, I encountered a very weird scenario when an older woman complimented me on the gap between my two front teeth. She then proceeded to inquire from me on whether I was married. When I replied in the negative, she mentioned that looking the way I did with that gap, she would not mind getting me as a second wife for her husband. She seemed to be half joking, I really wanted to believe but then while speaking in a low tone, she sounded equally, half serious.

I asked her whether she wouldn’t be afraid if I proved to be a competition assuming her husband fell hard for me and ended up forgetting all about her. To which she replied with a sense of confidence that since I would be the younger wife, then I would definitely be under her instructions. To be quite frank, this conversation which I guess had been intended to be good natured, ended up leaving me feeling very funny in a weird kind of way.

In Africa, it is not entirely uncommon for women to find additional wives for their husbands. This further proves the liberal nature that male sexuality has been accorded by society. And seeing that this woman was from my mother’s generation and had probably been brought up in the village like many of that generation, she must have been well versed on tradition.

We cannot entirely blame her for being backward in her reasoning since women in my generation too, have been forced by society to excuse men for having multiple sexual partners. I keep hearing the notion that men cannot survive long periods without sex and elaborate explanations as to why this is so. Women on the other hand are usually branded slutty for having several sexual partners no wonder the inherent need to fiercely guard their number as a secret.

So if it is indeed true that men cannot go long periods without sex, then they must be highly sexually active in their lifetime, from the very first time they experimented with sex. This first time being perhaps in their teenage-hood and all the way to their late 20s and early 30s, depending on the time they settled down in marriage. Then the average number of sexual partners for Kenyan men, could actually be higher than what is given in the survey. The same applies to women who have over time taken to keeping their true number a well guarded secret.

With the onset of the HIV/AIDS scourge, openly discussing one’s number is made all the more complex for fear of the sexual stereotypes that come along with that admission. It is often assumed that a man or woman who unashamedly admits to sleeping around may probably be having some sexual disease of some sort that he/she is spreading around.

High libidos are many times frowned upon as being proof of one’s promiscuous nature. A woman in a marriage may feel inhibited initiating sex as a result of the sexual stereotypes attached to women who seem to be possessing high libidos. Society has created situations where, a woman is not supposed to seem too eager to have sex. Yet the man should exercise confidence in asserting for sex, irregardless of whether he wants it from one woman or several women.

However, with the knowledge that HIV/AIDS is in existence, wouldn’t it be important to hear a truthful account of one’s sexual history that you had an intention of getting into a sexual relationship with? And wouldn’t it be unnecessary to hold it against the woman because of her number, if you too as the man, equally has a number bordering on the same?

And while women have always felt the pressure to cover up for their sexual indiscretions, some high profile women have gone against the norm and publicly spoken about their number. At some point in time, Ex supermodel, Janice Dickinson admitted to having slept with close to 1,000 men in her lifetime including actor Sylvester Stallone. Knowing how Janice is, I’m sure she cared less what people might think of her. Proprietor of House of DVF famous for it’s iconic wrap dresses, Diane Von Furstenberg in an interview with Post magazine sometime in 2015, centered around her memoir The Woman I Wanted To Be openly stated, “I slept with a lot of people and I’m glad I did.”

It would be unnecessary really, to hold it against these women for being openly unapologetic of their sexual past. As a matter of fact, I find these women quite comfortable with the way they chose to live their lives whether society would eventually judge them for it or not. I tend to think that they derive their confidence from the fact that irregardless of what could have been considered slutty by others, these women ended up to achieve notable feats in their respectable fields thanks to their individual talents.

The decision to openly discuss one’s number depends on an individual and whatever he/she expects to achieve with the admission. Whether it is necessary or not to keep track of one’s number depends solely on the initial drive behind it. However, sexual health shall always remain very important and something to keep in mind while engaging in sexual activities.