Victim blaming ,Shame ,Judgement and Pain -Being a Woman (pt 1)

What did she do! ,who told her to do that!,She probably deserved it!,She brought it upon herself ! ,something is wrong with her! Yeye si mwanamke kamili! ,Its her fault !, She was weak! ,Hawezi zalisha! ,She did this ,She did that ,She! She! She! ……She is a woman!

We have all been caught saying those words as we shift blames on a woman who is a victim of something, I know the wheels are turning in your head saying “I don’t think we really do that….!” and you are trying to find a reason to justify why you did that. Such things make me think of how the moment a girl is born ,the society judges her and declares her guilty .

I have read several articles about rape and each of those articles always advises women, inorder to avoid being raped ,we shouldn’t walk in dark places and to also avoid wearing provocative clothes, not knowing the kind of blame they are passing across to a rape victim mentality ,hence encouraging and justifying the act of raping itself ,leading to lack of accountability from the rapist .Each and every time a woman has been raped ,majority of the people will conclude that ,she was either dressed provocatively or she was walking in an unsafe area .The mere justification that us women are sexual beings and therefore we should be ashamed and cover our body because it drives men to uncontrollable urges and animalistic behaviours such as raping ,cat calling and sexual harassment ,is a scam itself. Several cases of old women and young children being raped have been reported,nobody wants to address that these victims didn’t wear provocative clothes or walk in dark places to warrantee such experience. To me a rapist is a rapist ,and no circumstance like ‘woman wearing a provocative cloth’ turned him into that person .People assume rapist are this individuals who are lowlife and are outcast from the society ,but they are actually just ordinary people like relatives ,teachers ,lawyers ,guardians and maybe your boyfriend or husband.

We need to stop victim blaming ,we need to stop blaming women for falling prey to such predatorial acts. And when am talking about blame ,am not just talking about only men playing a part in shifting the blame to women who fall victims to such sexual offenses ,am also talking about those women who blame such victims and going to the extent of saying ‘she deserved it’ ,’she brought it upon herself’

Domestic abuse has also been on the core of women receiving blame from it .Women have been blamed for actually causing a beating from a husband or boyfriend ,and even after the victimized women die due to the beatings ,people still blame her for staying in such a relationship ,going to an extend of calling her weak for not leaving .What people don’t care to inquire about is who is the abuser? These kind of offenders don’t receive the same kind of attention that abused receive .And its so sad ,that in some cultures ,domestically abusing a wife is seen as a form of love “sisi wakalenjin bwana akichapa bibi kila siku inamaanisha anampenda” .For so long ,domestic abuse has been normalized and even seen as a sort of requirement for married men to participate in ,so as to show the wife her place in the house ,which basically means under him. I will go ahead and just quote Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi “A husband is not a headmaster. A wife is not a school girl ”

We need to stop excusing an abusers action and we need to end such direction of questioning :’what did she do?’ because its not the victim’s fault.

As women,we are conditioned and presurred by the society from a young age,that our whole purpose and our major price in this life is marriage ,the idea that ,that’s the only thing that can make a woman complete in the eyes of the society is unfair and irrational .Unfortunately ,this has led to women being blamed for failed marriages and relationships ,based on the argument that, ‘marriage ni kuvumilia’ which basically means ,the woman holding the relationship together and other men and women ,judging her of her cheating spouse and being the cause of it as well .The absurd reason surrounding a cheating husband or boyfriend is always how apparently ‘the woman is inadequate as a woman’ ,which excuses the cheating husband/boyfriend actions,hence just turning into a serial cheater who is unable to take responsibility of their actions.

We need to stop the train of thought ,that a woman is the cause of a failed marriage/relationship and maybe other women will stop falling prey to married men antics of how he dint marry the right kind of woman ,and the rest of the lies they tell you to get into your pants.

The society rejects the idea of a man being inadequate or vulnerable in any way ,so that’s why ,since time itself,women have always been blamed for childlessness in the marriage .The notion that a man is impotent is rejected ,and even thought to be shameful by the society ,which brings the question of shifting blame to the woman by the in-laws ,even though the woman is not barren. The society is more welcoming to the idea of shaming and shunning a woman ,than doing that to a man.

Technology has been a miracle worker ,and through it ,couples who are having trouble conceiving have been able to get to the root cause of the issue ,hence knowing the solution to take after knowing where the problem lies, but still ,men need to come to terms with the fact that they are allowed to be vulnerable because its human ,and being impotent doesn’t mean ,you are less of a man.

Do you all remember Sauti Sol’s song Nereah “Mungu akileta mtoto ,analeta sahani yake.” We were all there when they sang it ,and we sang to it also ,waiting to belt out the Nereaaaaah! part. Let’s talk about pregnancy.

Pregnancy is beautiful ,but some circumstances have turned pregnancy into something women should be ashamed of. Alot of women ,have been judged harshly for ending up pregnant and a man being absent in the picture ,with the reminder of that she was warned not to get pregnant .What really baffles me is that ,nobody takes their time to sit down their sons ,to tell them ,if you get a woman pregnant ,it is your responsibility to step up and care for your child ,and don’t get a woman pregnant if you are not ready to be a father. The kind of behaviour and culture that we encourage of :a boy is allowed to be a boy until the day he decides he is man while a girl is not allowed to be anything less of a woman,needs to stopped and eradicated .

The culture of encouraging men to birth several children without taking responsibility for them has diminished the sacredness that is involved with making of a child ,hence making it more of an act rather than a miracle.

What we need to remember is ,its not a woman’s fault for a man falling short on his responsibilities, as well as change on the concept surrounding the inability of a single mother to raise a child and the child to turn out right.

A child belongs to a woman and a man ,not a woman only .

The beast of a burden that a woman is saddled with for being a woman is not only suffocating but also painful .The society only labels you to be a woman if you allow to be shamed ,mistreated ,blamed ,become voiceless ,as well as being praised for the amount of pain you can take ,as if that pain qualifies you to be a women.

Its not right ,its not human and there is no justification for a woman to be burdened when the society decides to fall short.

#GeneralEquality #orangetheworld #spreadtheword #Dontbethatguy

A huge appreciation to my ever dedicated friends who contributed their thoughts and experiences to make this article happen.

Thank you for taking your time to read.

Traditional roles :Woman vs Man/Society

Women exist in relation to the whole society ,not in relation to men.

Anonymous

If I asked you today ,whats a woman’s and man’s role in the society? ,how would you answer. I think this is the most unanswered question and we go all throughout our lives trying to figure it out as well as answer it ,the way you answer It may determine a lot about your beliefs,values and I guess the mark that you will live in the world .But most of the the time or majority of the time, society answers that question for us ,without giving the room to be disputed or to question it.

So a few days ago ,I was having this heated conversation with a friend of mine,and It was mostly based on gender roles ,the conversation was about why should a man wash utensils and cook while its the work of a woman? Am going to answer this question the way I argued my point to him.

From the day we are born to the day we leave our parent’s/guardian’s house we try to acquire skills that will enable us to survive in the world when we go out there, and to me cleaning,cooking and washing is a skill that each and every adult should have or atleast try to learn,so my friend’s argument was based on the logic that according to assigned gender roles ,men are not supposed to cook or clean at all.

Times are really changing ,and what worked for us 50years ago is no longer working now or such traditional expectations are irrational and holding unto them can even derail you as a person, and I think most of young kenyan men try to hide behind the statement ‘according to tradition’ by masking their irresponsibility. Majority of the men will likely defend themselves during breakups by saying ‘huyo dem hakuwa wife material’ which generally means ,she didn’t cook ,clean or wash for me ,which led to such women being referred to as ‘slay queen’ .

Such statements have led to women being dragged throughout social media by being made to feel inadequate for who they are. The idea surrounding gender roles has led to men looking for substitute maids rather than a partner ,the man wants someone who can take care of him ,similarly the way his mother did. Such negativity surrounding women who are not ready to be used as substitute maids in a relationship or marriage ,doesn’t address the traditional roles for men. When I was arguing with my friend ,I told him ,”if you are thinking in terms of traditional roles of women ,you should also think in terms of your traditional roles as a man ,because your role as a man traditionally is to provide a stable home .”

Societal expectations pressures a woman to immediately perform her role when in a relationship, which generally means cooking and cleaning but what it doesn’t address is the role of a man . I asked my friend how would he react when he starts dating a lady and immediately the 1st month of the relationship she tells him to pay her rent or grocery ( I think he immediately came into his senses after this statement) ,I continued by telling him that most men will react by calling the woman a ‘golddigger’

What am trying to drive at ,is that gender roles should be shared between men and women 50/50 ,when a husband loses his job ,its the wife’s duty to provide for the family by covering the husband’s 50% ,when the wife is sick ,its the husband’s duty to care for the family by covering the wife’s 50% of house chores.

The society is built around a man’s world by promoting patriarchal mentality ,but we also have to realise its our duty to question the society as well as critic it by not surrendering on our beliefs.

The idea of there being a right kind of woman is both unfair and false .The truth is that any individual who has been assigned the female gender is a real woman

Anonymous

The First Step


I wish I could tell you that I am so full of content as I write this blog ,but I’m not ,my thoughts are scrambled and I’m really anxious about a lot of things you know .All I know is that I have got this thing weighing heavily on my heart that I know I need to get it out ,truth to be said I don’t know whether its words or emotions.

But that’s the thing about words and emotions ,they are so intertwined that you don’t know where one begins and where one ends ,I mean there is not enough words that can be used to express the depth of emotions and there is not enough emotions that can be used to understand words.

Am sorry am not using this post to address a serious issue ,but for today and for my first blog post, I just wanted to be selfish and do something for my sanity , and no am not depressed ,its just that today my soul is weighing heavily on me.

The truth is ,I’m unsure of this step in my life ,all I know is that I needed to take this first step, and one thing about first steps is that they are never easy ,all you’ve got to do is keep climbing and never face the facts under any circumstances.

I wrote my way out

Salute!!