Men are trash

Men are trash!
Police cars and crime scene tape surrounded my university road last friday as investigations were being carried within the perimeter of the rape. A woman was raped just a few hours earlier!
Kent Police are looking for witness, incase any one may have some information relating to the incident please fo forward it to the police.
I must begin by empathising with the girl,  rape is such a traumatic experience that no one deserves to experience. I also applaud the girl for reporting the incident, it is not an easy thing to do but she chose to seek justice. That is a big win in fighting and breaking the stigma that surrounds rape.

Recently there’s been a lot of  hype and fire around the slogan ‘Men are Trash’. Different people feel different ways about the phrase and I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion  however absurd it may be. Personally, I opted to hold out on the comment section  however the rape that occured recently has provoked me to speak out now and I believe that this is a better platform for me to fully articulate my views.

I’m not an expert on men,  I mean I have read ‘ Think like a man’ by Steve Harvey  but  I do not think that really counts.  I am also a  single woman, wait … before someone rushes to accuse me for basing the judgement of all men on the earth on the a few men I’ve come across. Calm down! I do not intend to use the phrase ‘men are trash’ in a romantic sense on this post and even when I do in real life  I am not stating it as a fact that All men are trash.

I may not be an expert but I believe that I am in a position to speak on the matter. Here’s why

  1. I have done my research in matters relating to sexual violence primarily in Kenya. I shared this research on two occasions; at a Tedx talk


and through facilitating a Gen 50 conference that focused on highlighting sexual abuse and domestic violence.

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Photography by Musila Munuve

2. I have studied Gender, Sexuality and Law at University level and my essay project was focused on the Kenyan Sexual Offences Act 2006 and I got a decent mark on the paper. ( We thank God)

Therefore I think I have standing to speak regarding sexual violence.

The Truth is that people have being saying that men are trash for longer than just the month it is trending, and have been using it relation to romance. However the #menaretrash recently blew down south as a cry for help from women who were tired of experiencing emotional and physical abuse.
Other than some radical and often white feminists who carry extreme negative views about men, no one is out here trying to kill all men, so yall need to calm down. It is important to note that there are different forms of feminists i.e. liberal, radical.  I believe that most women and men sharing the hashtag are aware that not all men are trash. However they recognise that indeed there are challenges faced by women, members of the LGBTQ, children and even other men at the hands of men. For everyone who is quick to state that women are trash please feel free to start your own campaign.

Recently, a woman was raped near my university and even prior to that I have heard of numerouse cases of sexual abuse that have gone unreported! We live in a patriarchal society and we must all accept that women are still oppressed especially in regards to sex. Let us not pretend like rape is not a real ting that happens only to people we do not know. 1 out of every 3 women will be sexually abused before they turn 16.

Is a real ting in Kenya male political aspirants tell women that everyone wants to rape them because they are beautiful.  Other incidents too have blown up where women are stripped in public areas and rape audios have been spread.

So maybe you may not agree with the hashtag but think about it for a moment. What’s worse being accused of being a rapist or actually being a rapist? Don’t get me wrong I have strong negative opinions about women who lie about rape experiences. But at the same time I think that rapists are even more horrible people. I think it’s high time we spent more effort protecting victims than we do the accused person.

Personally, when I say men are trash I  do not mean that all the men on this earth are trash. But the truth is there a many men out there doing trash things and they need to be called out for it. Whether or not, I agree with social media activism as the most ideal measure to address abuse issues particularly in Africa is debatable. However, I’m unwilling to accept being termed as an angry bitter woman for engaging with the hashtag.

You are entitled to feel how you feel about the phrase but when you speak on it don’t isolate it from the actual purpose of the trend that is to speak out against physical and emotional abuse. Otherwise we loose sight on what actually matters that is those affected by rape. I must say however,  it has been heartwarming to see so many men stand up for the cause even in the lit comment section.

Until next time,  Au revoir mes amis!

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LEMONADE

What a wicked way to treat to the girl to the girl that loves you,

Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you,

Oh, down, they don’t love you like I love you.

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Hey, so this weekend Queen Bee released some fire for an album.  Her music speaks volume especially to women of colour. Queen Been acknowledges the death of black sons, includes amazing women that have been shamed by society for being too black or not black enough and even pays homage to African attire.

In the visual she narrates a story of infidelity in the most powerful and profound ways. She narrates the different stages involved in her emotional experience; denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, loss, accountability, forgiveness, resurrection, hope, redemption and formation.

 

It is suspected that the Queen herself was cheated on and if the most admired woman on earth was cheated on by her husband where is the hope for the average woman JK. It’s  a reminder that cheating isn’t something we can control as women, if a man wants to cheat on you, nothing you do can stop him from cheating on you.

Cheating isn’t something that you can fix.

Obviously cheating in a marriage setting  is more intense due to the life term commitment involved. However small small, your girl could relate to the experience, even the baeless can relate lol. Your girl’s  high school ex boyfriend was a serial cheater, he cheated and everyone around her knew it, except from her. It hurt, because it had her feeling like there was something wrong with her and her ability to be a woman.

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Cheating  breaks hearts

Earlier in the day I read an update from a famous Kenyan woman that sparked this post. The update shamed Beyoncé for sharing her story with the world. I’m not going to throw shade but it’s disgusting what society does, we turn men into our earthly gods, we put them on this pedestal and praise them, putting their egos at the top of the ladder.

Firstly, how could you decide that the wrong doer’s rights come before the offended. Even in court the case is about the wrong done to the claimant and not the effects it has on the defendant. Feel free to advocate for the male ego just don’t shame a woman for being cheated on while you’re at it.

Secondly since when did we justify cheating or all sit down and agree on the penal code women should use  when dealing with infidelity. Honey please take a couple of seats. Don’t get me wrong, a wrong doesn’t justify another wrong I’m not saying that  women should commit murder after infidelity all I’m saying is that there is everything wrong with cheating and nothing wrong with a powerful woman using her platform to share her story and inspire other women.

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Why do we raise girls to feel like they must baby a man’s ego? why should shrink our selves so small to need a man to survive. I believe that there is nothing wrong with a woman wanting a man rather than needing him. Infact I believe that’s the most purest form of love. Dear Young men , if you are looking to feel needed check elsewhere but if you are looking to be wanted and deeply loved then you may go ahead and consider hitting me up.

 

Love and Peace, Nyarkagan  achiel kende!

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey into Womanhood – Relationships

Dec 28, 2015, 11:54 AM
From Me
Guten Tag!
I hope you are all enjoying the festive season,I am. I will begin with a disclaimer;  it may seem that I share TMI (too much information) on my posts.  However, if in doing so I inspire one little girl or boy, I will continue to do so.
My birthday was a few weeks ago and it hit me that, I am old. I am almost 20, oh gosh where did the time go! It’s just the other day I turned 14, I don’t understand how my parents are dealing with this, yani baby Kylie is almost 20!
I guess I just have to slowly surrender the days of my youth and embrace life as it comes. As an African girl, it’s gotten to the stage in my life where it is considered appropriate for me to start searching for the one. It is assumed that you are meant to find your spouse in University or as the Generation Y would phrase it ‘time to find bae’. You know the drill ‘school, university, boyfriend, graduate, employment, marriage, kids’.  As Chimamanda Adichie says ‘we teach girls to aspire to marriage and to compete with other women for the attention of men’. I’m sorry not sorry for being ‘feminist’ but the pressure the African society sets on young women is unrealistic. It is the reason why they end up with rogues or being the ‘dreaded’ single 40 year old woman.
The unspoken rule dictates that for a woman to be happy she must have a man. It’s devastating that a woman will stay with an abusive man. Our grandmothers were treated like Queens and here you are allowing him to treat you like rubbish. We need to get fed up of crappy relationships and situationships as we are with poor governance. We need to learn how to love and value ourselves once again.

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Gentle men, I know you pretend that chivalry is dead but I know  you have it in you, why wait till your 30 to start treating women right. Jacob waited seven years for Rachel, to him it felt like days because of the love he had for her.

I am blessed because my parents guide me correctly. Some of the best advice I ever received from my mum and best friends mum (Mama Amy) is date and socialize with different guys, date a musician, a doctor (no Djs please, jokes) and a church boy. How can you marry the first guy you date in this day and age?(Sorry not sorry if you thought you were the only one). Go gp karting, go for ice cream, go to the cinema, hike, do things you can’t do when you’re older, only entertain productive relationships when you have earned each other’s worth. It’s not a race to find love; you have marriage to spend the rest of your life with one person.

Spend time alone, it is important to learn yourself, write down your goals and dreams, and make sure that you’re offering the best version of yourself to the one. The ‘one’ isn’t out there for everyone, but if she/he is let them find you. Invest the energy spent on finding love in building lifelong friendships, girls nowadays are too much. Instead of being jealous of your fellow Queen for finding her match or obsessing about the one, go out with friends, enjoy your youth. Vunja mfupa kama bado meno iko – Swahili proverb (break your bones, whilst you still have teeth).

My journey into Womanhood- Part 1

I apologise for my silence but amidst my transition I sometimes get overwhelmed.

To all my new readers, karibuni (welcome in kiswahili) into my thoughts, in my posts I share what my mouth is afraid to speak.

Looking back into my childhood, I remember the moment I realised I was different from the boys, I remember learning that girls had a dudu and boys had a chuchu. I remember my mum reminding every sabbath when I went for children story at church to sit properly so as not to expose my knickers to the world.

I started my period at fairly young age (I cried so much) and hated it! However, I remember playing the period card to miss swimming class or even just to be allowed to leave class. (tihihi) I remember feeling like I needed to be discreet about my periods, I needed to hide my pads  and the fact that I had cramps from the boys (why though!).

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My Tomboy days

 

Then my body began to physically change, my hips grew wider, my breasts began to grow and my bottom enlarged. I was so excited to wear a bra that I even got my mum to buy me those kid bras (I was finally a woman or so I thought). I began to get attention from boys (so exciting) lol, but even still I was shy. I had spent so much time with my brother that I began to walk like him (you know, that lame bounce guys had back in the day). I slouched my shoulders and wore sweaters in the heat as I wasn’t embracing the changes I was going through.

 

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Back when I was Stupid in love, hehe I might share that story another day

 

 

My mother and big sister were not having it all, my mum even once threatened to put a basket on my head as I walked so that I could walk straight. My sister would make sure I shaved, hehe she didn’t want me to walk around like I was carrying a cat under my arms. ( I appreciate it fam! you saved me a lot of shame). My dad played the biggest role, he complimented me daily and told me I was beautiful and for that I never needed a guy’s reaffirmation. Thanks to them, I was a very confident teenager, maybe even overconfident.

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Cross your legs, head up and strut your way across your room!

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“Keep your chin up Queen, don’t let your crown fall”- Tumblr

 

 

I don’t belong to you

Habari gani, my lovely readers.

Well i’m tired, I’m tired of the world defining what “woman” should mean to me, I’m tired of some men defining what “beauty” should mean to me. I am not one to get worked up over comments on my physical appearance but I’m tired.

Do not get me wrong, I applaud women who wear their hair natural, but I hate it when I’m forced to fit into a certain definition of beauty, choosing to wear my hair relaxed or weaved (human hair) doesn’t mean that I am ashamed of my heritage. It doesn’t diminish my African beauty or make me any less of woman. I am tired of being continuously asked to wear my hair natural, “NO I will not wear my hair natural until I decide to do so myself”. I refuse to give into the trend because everyone is doing it, especially because attention is only paid to the women who have 4c hair.

When I made the choice to relax my hair, I didn’t do it because I wanted to look like the average western white woman, I did it because I was tired of breaking blow dryer combs and crying as my hair was combed.  I relaxed it because my natural hair was too hard for me to maintain.

It especially upsets me when guys ask me to go natural, I appreciate the fact that people are interested and more prone to particular things, but please stop asking me to change myself to fit in to your idea of “beautiful”. I refuse to do so.

“I hate it when girls wear make up/or too much make up” or “I hate it when girls dress a certain way, like it’s good for the thirst but something should be left to my imagination”. I find it hilarious that they are guys who honestly think that I dress for them, LOL, please get it straight, I dress for me, I wear my hair and make up for me. Please do get it right, I don’t belong to you or to your ideals of what I should be.

Asante for listening to me rant.

Kenya needs feminism

On Wednesday morning, I created a post with five reasons why I need feminism, little did I know that later that day yet another scandal would transpire. “Mollis” if you are an active Kenyan on Social media you have probably come across the audio clip.

For all of you in the diaspora or those of you who are not Kenyan (I see you guys in my stats, I appreciate you for making this blog international)  let me elaborate. The clip is of a man named Morris and a woman having sexual intercourse, however throughout the clip the woman repeatedly tells him that she surrenders and that she is tired but he ignores all her attempts. A majority of Kenyans on social media found it hilarious, simply because the woman had a strong Kenyan accent as she pronounced Morris as Mollis, surrender as salenda.

But when is rape ever funny? You see possibly it may have been staged but that doesn’t change the fact that what was happening is wrong.

This leads me to my first point, grey rape, this is where initially there was consent but later the victim changes their mind. Rape can occur in marriages and even in relationships. Just because you have had sex with someone before doesn’t mean that you have to have sex with them again. It is okay to consent to sex to begin with and then later change your mind, it is your body you are entitled to the No or Yes. Rape occurs in the absence of consent.

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Another comment I saw was, why didn’t she scream? like really, I will not even waste my time with that. The main thing that bugged me though is that most people were only upset by the clip because it could have been a female related to them. In my opinion that is rubbish, being a living being should automatically grant me respect.

I am so passionate about this topic and hence I could go on but I’ll stop there for now. If you are interested in making a difference or even in gaining more knowledge on the matter, catch me at the Gen 5o+ conference on August 20th – 22nd.

Register in the link below

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1rlLMAMOAd00sEZ-U5l32J93n80FLybbgPPG1Rr8q1lw/viewform

Kenyans need feminism because

  1. The Mollis video is not funny
  2. The men in Nyeri need support
  3. Stripping women on the streets is wrong
  4. Public transport or streets should not be a danger field.
  5. “Cat calling” women is wrong

LOVE YOUR LINES

Good morning and Happy Sabbath,

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but I’ve been a little bit shy and then I saw someone but up a video on the same matter and that motivated me to finally share my thoughts.

As an adolescent up until teenage hood I crazed about having the perfect bikini body, pretty much as most girls do, on some days I’d succeed and on other days I didn’t. As I began to grow older, I began to develop stretchmarks (YES, I WENT THERE) and I hated every part of it, I began to feel like my masterpiece had been tampered with (Yes I just called my body a work of art). I tried to use oils to hide them and it helped a bit but they still existed, I remember one day my friend Noni told me “they’re here to stay”.

Then I had a conversation with some of my classmates and one asked me what I would do if I was in a bikini and a guy came up to me and handed me Bio oil, unfortunately at the time I gave an answer that I am not proud of. With hindsight though I would have responded differently (that feeling when you think of a better come back at home).

First of all, this master piece that I have been blessed with is mine alone, I do not dress it for the desire of men and secondly I would never surround myself with such an immature boy who chooses to minimize my beauty to some marks. So guess what, this coming Summer break (whoop whoop, i’d have graduated!) this melanin filled masterpiece is going to be in a bikini at the coast and I shall give zero care to anybody’s opinion.

Ladies embrace your body, keep it healthy because you only get to have one in this life.  The images are courtesy of google but I will definitely join the movement soon #Loveyourlines

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Peace✌

MAGNIFIED

In the light of Society v Victim which addressed some problems with rape culture, I knew I needed to dig deeper, looker closer and even view the situation from a different perspective, to fully understand the situation. A study by Campbell et al 2001 showed that out of 741 rapists 35% of the male rapists were victims of sexual abuse. This is number is just too large for me to accept, this cycle must be abolished.

I hope that you gain something from the read, it’s kinder long but hang in there till the end. The story is inspired by my surroundings hence the references to my village.

Otieno – born at night

People believed that Otieno lived up to his name because he was dark, Parents reprimanded their children for even daring to think about Otieno. “Otieno is such a naughty boy” they would say.  Otieno would steal, cheat and lure girls and then deceive them with his charm. He was a “bad boy”.

His life experiences were often ignored by many, people choose to see the bad rather than the good in him. Many failed to see the beauty that the darkness in him held, he was creative and intelligent,he was going places. It’s just that his dreams were crashed at a young age. Otieno disfigured his destiny in trying to impress his father, he worked so hard trying to get his father to love him but it was all in vain. Mzee paid little attention to Otieno, Otieno thought if he couldn’t his father’s attention by being nice then he would try to do it by being naughty. He watched his father the late Mzee Otieno abuse his mother, because he believed that Otieno was not his product.It was instilled him at an early age that he did not have to respect women as they were his inferior.

His misery began when he was just a little boy he was abused, sexually, the incident broke him. At the time, such incidents were perceived as taboos and therefore no action was taken upon the matter.

It was no surprise that Otieno became an addict in his adult life, Freud’s psychoanalytic theory would suggest that, his Id battled his Ego in attempts to deal with the experience.  The battle was not one the Id could win and in order to defend him , the anxiety from the experience was displaced into Alcohol and women abuse. Eventually Otieno ran away to the city where he managed to slip in jobs at a Mjengo once in a while. Therefore, when it was time for Achieng to go to Pilot school, Otieno was more than willing to cater to his niece, because he too was charmed by her. Unfortunately he was so charmed by her that one day he just went ahead and  did it.

On the fateful day of  2nd September, Mama and Papa welcomed into the village a bouncing baby girl,  and they decided to name her Achieng.

Achieng- born when the sun shines

The village had never seen such  a beautiful child before, In fact many doubted that she was a product of Mama and Papa because of the way her eyes sparkled in the sun and her melanin complimented the earth. She was beautiful not just to the eyes but to the heart, not just in appearance but in spirit, whenever there was conflict, her presence would simply resolve it.

Achieng and her family didn’t have material wealth, they only had 3 miserable cows and a donkey to their name. Papa was an aspiring business man who spent all his time working hard in order to ensure that his family would have enough to make ends meet. His career demanded long working hours and therefore he spent a lot of his time away from his family. This was not a problem for Achieng and her siblings because they knew that their Papa loved them.

Mama on the other hand wanted to become a singer. When Papa would leave for work, she too would head to the local bar where she would perform Ohangla songs and dance to Kanungo, she paid little regard to her children. Mama knew if she had not been forced to marry Papa, she would have been an Ohangla super star.

Achieng’s charm was so strong that even the people that envied her couldn’t not bear to hate her. She was a dreamer, she wanted to become a pilot. She loved the idea of being able to work in the sky and travel the world. She knew that there were many places and faces that she needed to visit and see. In the core of her soul she knew that she was destined for greatness.

Achieng then graduated from  Kodera Secondary school and gained admission to flying or at least she thought that was the plan. Papa went out of his way to raise funds for her to travel to Nairobi, where she would be received by her uncle Otieno. Otieno was Papa’s brother and even though Otieno was not trusted by many, Papa believed that his daughter was in safe hands. But was she really?

Of course we must blame the rapist because rape is a choice but then we must also shift the approach society takes towards victims if we wish to eradicate rape.

✋I will be your voice✊

I warn you this post is about to get deep and graphic real quick,

I spent my Christmas holidays in the village, (really typical of my parents) but that’s besides the point. A young girl in primary school began to share horror stories about her school with me. For her privacy I will call her Unknown.Unknown described to me how some of the male teachers in her school would take advantage of some girls. He would lure their innoncence by offering them chips, sausage(things that these young girls love) and in return the young girls were to perform sexual favours for him. Someone said that these girls should know themselves and not allow themselves to be used but guess what some of these girls don’t even know what there getting themselves into they don’t understand and can we really blame them for this perverts actions? Even more , legally the law recognises this as being a crime. I asked Unknown whether they had reported the matter to the head of school,and as expected she hadn’t just as I expected her say. She told me that they were too scared to speak out because they were afraid, they were afraid that no one would believe them.

These frustrated me because it is horrible enough that this young girls are subjected to such abuse and but even worse is the fear to speak out that has been instilled in them. This situation of Society v Victim must end.

These young girls need you and I to take action, they need us to be their voice. We need, WE MUST speak out and save our children.

When you feel attacked , I will fight for you,
When you are afraid, I will hold your hand,
When you feel alone, I will comfort you,
When the world is against you, I will be your MVP,
When you are too afraid to speak, I will be your voice.

Slowly changing the world,like the humming bird,one step at a time.

I must admit this has been the hardest post for me because it is such a delicate matter and so my duty of care( Tort of Negligence,law students would get it) increased,but it randomly hit me in the middle of the night,I must speak up. We must speak out now

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