Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Well Behaved Women Barely Make History

http://www.naijastories.com/2015/06/caged-3/

"Like a compass needle that points north, a man's accusing finger always finds a woman. Always.", Khaled Hosseini quotes in "A Thousand Splendid Suns"[I know I have used this quotation as an ending note on another blog also, happens to be my favorite]. I partially agree with this quotation. No offense to Mr. Hosseini, but I believe the pointing fingers are not only that of men but rather the whole society in general. I know you must be tired of reading, watching, hearing, and what not about feminism. So are we. We are also tired of writing, making, screaming, and finding ways to make our voices heard. We are also waiting for the day when we will finally get to stop all this and be in peace.

When it comes to feminism, there is a misconception that it directly involves men-hating. NO! Feminism is not about men hating. Feminism is also not about wanting more or less. Feminism for me is more about being treated like just another person than someone from the second gender. And I know there are millions of other women like me who can relate. 


I am writing this today on behalf of those women who are tired of being considered rebellious for seeking the freedom that they deserve. Or when things go wrong everything comes down to the conclusion of "because you are rebellious". It is ridiculous how everything can come down to us being "wild" or "carefree". Here is a story that I was debating whether I should share or not.. well whatever.. 


So, I was in this house party. There were a bunch of people, both men and women, drinking and having fun. Typical weekend I should say. So there is this guy that I've met a couple of times, def. not good friend. We are talking and then after a certain point he tries to get close to me to a point where it gets more than uncomfortable. Yes I should have slapped him or even kicked his ass. But I didn't because I froze. It felt weird, unseen, and unbelievable. Well all these details are not very important. What that guy tried to do was disgusting in itself, but what turned out to be more frustrating is how it became my fault for inviting all of it. It happened because I was drinking, or the cloth I wore, or the way I talked. Despite my straight up saying no to the guy, what stood out more was my personality that somehow "provoked" the guy. Hence, I invited it!!! 


When I got response from educated group of individuals going "You need to be careful and calm", I felt betrayed. This is what I don't get at all. What makes it necessary for me to be "careful" or "calm"? Is it just because I am a woman? I am as capable and independent as that guy or most men around. I was born the same way and will die the same way. So is just being "woman" enough for me to stop having fun and living my life the way I want? Why do I have to always watch my steps or my tongue in order to safe guard myself? Why do I have to learn to protect myself? Instead of teaching me to be "calm", "careful", "less wild", "civilized" and the likes why can't we teach these men to be "calm", "considerate", "respectful" and the likes? [Not all men of course, before I get accused of generalizing].


I understand that there are bigger rights women are fighting out on streets for. The recent one would be women asking for citizenship to be issued under mother's name back home. Don't get me wrong here, I do think that it is important. I hope it gets approved, if it hasn't already. But what I am more concerned about is, I may get to get my daughter issued a citizenship under my name, but will I be able to give her the life she deserves? Where she can go crazy and wild as her heart pleases without having all these fingers pointing towards her questioning her every move? She will get to vote for the person who will rule a state/country, but will she be able to walk in the dark alley at night in the same state/country without the fear of being pulled into the corner and raped? To me little things matter as much as the big ones. I would want a position in a political party if I get it with the respect I deserve. I would want equal pay if I feel it's worth the effort I put into it. 


I just wish this world didn't have so much of gender stereotypes going on. The more I think about it, the more depressing it gets. I may have all the rights protecting me in this place that I reside at the moment yet the society that surround keep reminding that I am a woman and just for than reason I need to always be careful and well behaved. But as the saying goes, "Well behaved women barely make history"and I am def. here to make one.. Cheers!! ;)