Tag Archives: education

No Country for Women – Part 3

Just when you think our “leaders” are finally getting it together, they open their mouths and expose their lack of common sense and basic intellect.

Slightly over a week ago, William Kabogo, a Kenyan governor, decided to give a lesson, let’s call it “Challenges to Socio-Economic Progress 101,” to a crowd in his county that had gone to witness him launch a water project. The remarks he made made me wonder who exactly elected this guy and why. For it is impossible to disguise such stupidity. Politicians have doctorates in being chameleons, that I know. However, there is a certain level of stupidity that quite simply cannot be chameleoned (yes, I invented a word) away. Surely, how did the electorate miss this man’s brand of stupid!?

Here are some of the remarks that he made as reported by the Daily Nation.

“…and you young women should find husbands and get married because you are the cause of all these problems we are having yet there are men all over the place.” Oh OK. So the existence of women is the reason why there is unemployment, poverty, poor infrastructure, inadequate health services and lack of water, among others!? And men are magically the solution to all these problems!? And getting married will allow the men to unleash their problem solving skills and propel communities forward!? Obviously the only aspiration young women have is to get married, right!? Yeah, that’s definitely the most effective way to eliminate problems faced not only by the governor’s county but the whole country! Really though governor!? Please miss us with that craziness. That is nothing but chewed up grass.

“Once you get to 35 and you don’t have a husband, you should find out what’s wrong with you because you are on the wrong path, isn’t it? Now we’ll start the practice where if you want to get elected, you declare your intention with your wife or husband at your side.” Again, when did the singular goal of every woman become getting a husband!? So if you are not married then you are on the wrong path and doomed to fail at life!? Ha…spare us the lies governor. There are millions of single women who are thriving in all aspects of their lives. And what’s this about declaring your intention with your wife or husband at your side!? Because what does that prove? What is the correlation between being married and being a great leader!? That’s right…absolutely none. There are any unmarried people who excel as leaders. Heck in some cases they even perform better than their married counterparts.

“Someone who is able to manage a home is equally able to run the affairs of the people. But if you cannot manage a home, yet there is usually no cause for worry in a home…can you manage public affairs?” Eh eh…clearly his insanity has no quota. There are plenty of people who are great at the home front but not so much so on the leadership front. Again, there is no correlation between the two. If his statement was even remotely true then every married person would be an excellent leader.

Some of these politicians are simply exhausting. Sometimes I think it is a tactic they use. They keep us so distracted by their ridiculousness and scandals that we don’t notice that they are actually too busy not fulfilling the promises they made when running for office.

What’s equally appalling is that there were people in the crowd cheering him on and cosigning his craziness!? Really!? Is that where we are as a society!? Don’t get me started on the reporter who had this to say about the governor’s remarks, “These would have passed for a set of innocuous statements or advice from the governor had the facts and context not been different.” Ala! In what context would these remarks have passed as harmless or advice!? Please tell us.

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Not Your Insult

Why is it that people use girl as an insult? “You throw like a girl,” “Stop being such a girl,” “Quit acting like a girl,” these are just a few examples. There are very many variations of “girl as insult” out there. Why do we as a society condone this bizarreness!? When is the last time you heard someone say, “Don’t be such a boy” as an insult!? When is the last time you heard boy/man/gentleman/male being used to insult anyone!? Can’t remember, huh!? Maybe it’s because those words are typically used to denote positive attributes. We all know what phrases like “You’re the man,” and “Man up” mean. A girl accomplishes something and suddenly it’s “You’re the man Jane!” Whatever happened to “Congratulations!” or “Great job!”? Do they not suffice? Do they not aptly capture the moment and sentiments that follow?

I really do think the fact that girl is considered/used as an insult by some sections of society plays a part in the way girls/women/females/ladies are treated and viewed by those very sections. We have basically been reduced  to insults to be thrown around without much thought. It’s dehumanizing and results in women being treated as objects.

Every time someone hits me with “Don’t be such a girl,” or words to that effect, I always reply with “I.AM.A.GIRL,” and then serve them a generous portion of the side-eye. If I am not  feeling particularly generous, I tell them to go jump off a cliff, and then walk away. When I have the time and energy, I recommend books they should read to rid them of their foolishness.

We need to stop this craziness though. It might be hard to change the minds of much older folk but it is not too late for the younger ones. I am not in any way saying that we should condone such behavior from people who are older. If they throw a variation of one of the “girl insults” at you, calmly and politely tell them that you were not born to fulfill their warped beliefs. For the younger people…just change your ways…recognize that girl is not your insult…as a matter of fact it is simply NOT AN INSULT.  For those with young children, please don’t impart “girl as an insult” on them. If your baby boy isn’t particularly good at kicking a soccer ball, don’t tell him “You kick like a girl/Stop kicking like a girl.” Find other ways to improve his game. Don’t tell your daughters “Don’t be such a girl,” either.

Being a girl is not a negative thing. Believe that.