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A girl’s hopes for Women’s Day

As tomorrow marks International Women’s Day, women all over the world are still subjected to the stereotypes imposed on them by a patriarchal system. But a girl can continue to hope that women will learn to identify the stereotypes created for them to puppet to



I’m tired of the tropes.

I’m tired of the stereotypes.

I’m tired of being put in a box I can never escape.

I hope we will learn to identify the stereotypes created for us to puppet to: At one point women were ‘too delicate’ and ‘precious’ to go out and discover the world. In fact, woman was elevated so high she was useless. She remained locked away at home, a bedwarmer to the ‘conqueror’ man.


Then another stereotype developed, the sexy vixen, who isn’t afraid to bare all her juicy goodies and indulge in her deeply sexual self. But the sexy vixen should not hope to be married. She’s too cheap for that holy institution.

Sexy black woman

The sexy vixen type is not “good enough” for marriage. Photo: Essence

Then there’s the ‘good girl’ who is definitely a virgin till marriage. Doesn’t go out, doesn’t drink, or dance or have opinions or have a life. She will definitely be the pick for the ‘highest honour’ of marriage. She is man’s ideal of the ‘perfect woman for marriage’. But, of course, she is the last choice for business conducted outside of marriage .

And we have the ‘cool girl’ who is every man’s dream. Who is the cool girl? The cool girl is just the right amounts of sexy vixen and good girl. She’s a vixen under the sheets, but ‘good’ on the outside. She’s tailored to meet her man’s every need. She never complains when her humanity is being trampled upon or when she’s being disrespected, ’cuz she’s the cool girl!
I hope a day will come when women are released from the prison of the patriarchal system; when we ourselves no longer propagate woman stereotypes handed to us by a patriarchal system. I hope we just be ourselves, even if it’s a little mix of good, wild, crazy, sexy, moody, frustrated or staying-in-my-peejays-all-day-today.

I hope today women learn to understand more about themselves and their history and their CENTRE in that history.

I hope armed with that knowledge we will begin to understand that certain conditions we live in today are not to be taken as your inevitable burden: being touched sexually at work, being reduced to just your sexual organ, being generally viewed as of much less worth than men and being paid less because of that, your menstrual cycle being used as an excuse to reduce your worth and capability, that your being married is a rite of passage into domestic slavery, despite your various laurels and career advancements. You don’t need that shit.

Photo: Joshua Dwain

Marriage should not be about escaping the policing of your parents to the policing of your husband. Photo: Joshua Dwain

I hope parents today would unlearn their inherited faulty notions of gender roles. I hope when you tell your daughter to sweep, you tell your son to sweep as well. When you keep Ama in to learn how to cook, it is not to learn to cook for a husband in some distant future; it is to teach her for her own good, to learn cook for herself when she becomes independent. I also hope you keep Kofi in to teach him to cook too. After all, it is essential to his survival to know how to feed himself, basic law of nature. Even the beasts of the wild know that.

I hope marriage becomes no longer about an escape from the policing of your parents to the policing of your husband. Same prison.


Mother and wife may not be my ultimate calling as a woman. And that’s not a big deal. I’m not a freak of nature. I’m actually a human being just like you who has a mind that thinks of not just my womb, but the world and my contribution to it, about the universe and where humanity begins and ends, about political and economical systems and which might work for my country. I think, and I’m capable of so much more than just my womb.

But sometimes, my calling may be to being a mother and wife. And it’s as simple as that. We’re all different yet equally important fingers of the same hand. But it doesn’t mean because it’s my calling, it’s the calling for every woman. Just because my brother likes skip on one foot doesn’t mean I conclude that every man likes to skip on one foot.

When I marry you, I come to you as your WIFE, not your domestic slave to take up where was left off, to clean up and cook after you and mind our kids. Even if I love to clean, rub and dust, we’re sharing our lives and home together. It is a partnership, and all our now shared human needs and tiny ittie bitties become a shared responsibility. Especially when I have a 9-to-5 just like you do.

I hope to God we stop the slut-shaming and finger-pointing. I’m tired of the double standards. I’m tired of men being allowed to cheat blatantly on their women, because ‘it’s how men are’ yet women are punished severely for daring to breach their ‘designated boundary’.

A woman in the My Dress My Choice protests of 2014 against sexual abuse and slut-shaming in Nairobi. Photo: AP

A woman in the My Dress My Choice protests of 2014 against sexual abuse and slut-shaming in Nairobi. Photo: AP

I hope fervently that we come to learn that if I’m in a short skirt, it is not an excuse for you to help me strip my body bare and expose my parts. There’s a reason I left some of it covered. Hell, if I wanted to walk out totally naked, I wouldn’t need your help. Erase that barbaric, savage mentality. There’s a reason why you’re not in some forest, scratching your armpits and flitting from tree to tree. Don’t reduce your humanity and in the process insult mine.

When a woman is raped, questions like “Why was she dressed like that in the first place?” “Why did she go over to his house in the first place?” “Why was she there at that time?” are expressions of shameful ignorance. What you imply by making such illegitimate enquiries is to suggest that men who rape are animals and not human beings, incapable of control, lacking of a brain, so deserve to be put on a dog leash, kept in a cage and fed twice a day on a metal plate.


I’m tired of women fighting against themselves, backbiting, obstructing and affecting the progress of any other woman (or man for that matter). The idea that ‘women are their own enemies’ is a clever way of turning us against ourselves, because you know what happens when there is infighting amongst women? The dream we’re fighting for remains an illusion. What is the dream? To be put back in our place as human beings of equal worth. That destructive idea is another of those patriarchal lies sown deep into our membranes to hinder our progress.

I’m tired of the “Oh dear Mr. Man, please decide for me what path my life is to take!” You’re a being of incredible power. You can literally move mountains if you wanted to, place a goddamn hill in your living room if you chose. You can transcend time and space. Don’t squeeze your five dimensional self into a one dimensional shadow of yourself. Now that’s a freak of nature.

I’m tired of you thinking you can bully me on the road because I’m a female driver. I’m no different. Put my life in danger, and I will scream every profanity I know on you. And you will shut up, take it all in and apologize. I’m tired that there’s a stereotype of “Women drivers” [said with a frustrated or irritated shake of your head].

Don't think that because I'm a woman, you can bully me on the road. Photo: Mango Production/Corbis

Don’t think that because I’m a woman, you can bully me on the road. Photo: Mango Production/Corbis

I’m tired of the TV tropes. I’m tired of being the one that stays at home and worries about the safety of my man as he goes out to discover the universe or conquer the bad guys or aliens or whatever. Can’t I help in the discovery and conquering too?

I hope with all my heart that the hypocrisy institutionalized religion uses to suppress one side of humanity (womanhood) for the selfish self-aggrandizement of the other is recognized for what it is: a hypocrisy, a dangerous evil, a sheep in wolf’s clothing, a violation and opportunistic attempt to control the mind using the divinity of religion.

I hope everyone all over the world comes to understand the reality that MISOGYNY IS A VIRUS. This virus will destroy humanity if we allow it to continue to fester in our thoughts and beliefs and in our actions.


I hope these words will not be stereotyped, and thrown on infertile ground, wasted. I hope you read this with all senses of your humanity about you. I hope you understand that by living with the faulty notions of patriarchy and misogyny you hinder political, economic, social, spiritual growth of humanity. We are god-like beings. To hinder another from their total potential is an unforgivable crime to ourselves.

I hope we learn to unlearn the lies we have been taught.

I hope you understand that woman is man and man is woman and together we make a powerful creation: Humanity.

A wise person once said, “Love your neighbour as yourself”. I think that sums up everything nicely!

Happy International Women’s Day! Make it Happen!