Some sexist beliefs, myths and traditions that need to be abandoned right away!

1.Girls have drama

Everyone has heard about this silly stereotype: Girls are dramatic. It’s as old as friendship itself. Growing up I used to hear my fellow girl friends say that they would rather have boys as friends, as they are less gossipy and have less drama as well. With time, I began to believe this lie, at least until I was friends with  a few boys here and there. The same gossips and conflicts that go on between female friendships are experienced in the boys’ circles as well. The common stereotype is that boys are more laid back than girls. We should stop associating this negative characteristic “dramatic” with girls. It’s a character common to both genders.

2.Men are primarily sexual beings and women are not

Men are more sexual than women. It’s just biological. Never mind that some men have very low sex drives, and never mind that some women and very high sex drives. This gender myth has very little basis in reality –but it is a cultural value. Particularly in the church, it is common to emphasize modesty and chastity in women –often for the sake of the oh-so- uncontrollable male sex drive. Church tends to teach young  women on shielding their bodies from their spiritual brothers’ wondering, lustful eyes. I’m calling this one. While men and women do have biological and chemical differences, a given man is not necessarily more sexual than a given woman. And it doesn’t help women when the society pretends that men are the only sexual beings. When purity/modesty culture is the name of the game, women take on responsibility for the sins of those around them-imagining that they are culpable for others’ wayward hearts. And on the flip side, men grow to view themselves as untrustworthy, uncontrollable, and primarily sexual. Let’s do men and women a favor and start talking about female sexuality in the modern society.

3.Payment of bride price

I know many will say “but it’s only a token of appreciation”.. If was, then it would be a two way thing ;bride and groom price. I listed this here because of a number of negative implications that come with it, experienced by both genders. First, some communities use this as a method of extorting the groom.  Second, obviously  the need to pay for the bride price, turns women into goods. We only pay for goods or services. In a society where women are striving to eliminate objectification, this practice right here is an obstacle to our progress.  This practice is also one of the reasons why there is still so much violence against women in marriages, especially in Africa. A study conducted by the Un recently in 37 African countries revealed that around 50-60% of African men consider  beating their wives a necessary aspect of marriage, while a similar percentage of women think themselves  deserving  of a beating. With practices like bride price,it is the woman received in exchange who pays the ultimate price for this innocent-seeming gifts.

4.Giving up your last name after getting married.

I still fail to understand this tradition right here, or why it still happens. Your name is your identity. The expectation that women should change their last name for marriage, swapping their own identity for their husband’s, is unarguably sexist. And I say unarguably because no one could claim there is an expectation of the same name change in men. I know it’s part of our tradition for the woman to change her name when she gets married, but like I always say, just because its tradition, it doesn’t men its good or right.

So what do you guys think. Should we keep or  give up the above practices? Let me know in the comments section

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STOP STREET HARASSMENT

So we are walking on some busy pavement when some guy who is seemingly drunk starts harassing us subtly because we didn’t return his advances. The man even changes the direction he was walking towards and starts talking stridently and hurling insults towards us. Other passersby notice but they keep walking like it’s nothing.  The drunk finally tires and walks away. We were just walking minding our business, why wouldn’t he do the same?

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Street harassment

Second instance: I and my cousins have just bought a mattress and we are at the stage waiting for a Matatu to board, when a guy starts saying that we should invite him to come warm the mattress because a lady is purportedly not supposed to sleep on a new mattress alone. At this point I am clearly really irritated and tell him off. His ego is wounded and he starts threatening that I don’t know what he is capable of when angry. All this time his peers at the stage listen and say nothing.

These two true instances are just a drop in the ocean when it comes to what we as ladies go through every day. When a woman complains of being cat called or harassed the first thing people  ask about is what she was wearing. Why should a lady’s choice on dressing be blamed for a man’s inappropriate behavior?

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Statistics show that 65% of all women have experienced street harassment. This is according to a survey done in the U.S.A, which I suspect the number could even be higher in Africa.

How many times have we seen women being stripped of their clothing in the name of dressing immodestly? How backwards is that? This disrespectful act shows that some men still view women as public property to be handled how one wishes. It’s 2017! How can one still be holding on to that kind of mentality. You have a mother, sister, aunts etc. If you can’t stand them being cat called or harassed why do it to someone’s daughter/sister/mother/wife?

An encounter with a street harasser anywhere is creepy, upsetting, scary and very annoying. It’s not a debatable topic: Women don’t appreciate unsolicited advances or what’s baptized by some as “compliments”.

I blame this kind of behavior on our culture that promotes a macho behavior. This is basically a display of dominance. It’s also a form of sexism in our society, where men basically feel like they can say anything to the women at any time, and that women should just take it.

Street harassment is not trivial or something that women are asking for. Everyone has a right to feel comfortable and safe in public spaces.

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IS MARRIAGE ABOUT TOLERANCE?

This issue caught my eye as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed. Some lady had asked for advice from married women in a certain Kenyan fb group, since her marriage was falling apart at six months only. What left me puzzled was the advice, as most said to tolerate because marriage was about that. lets sample some of the replies

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I have never been married, but if the advice you will give me is tolerance, watching movies and reading books which are biased (favor men) when it comes to advice and being submissive, then don’t. What everyone should understand is that time changes, and so do norms, culture, traditions etc. Change is inevitable.

I believe a marriage should be about partnership, conflict resolution, monogamy, love, laughter, communication,  and happiness.

Sure, there will be misunderstandings here and there, but it shouldn’t be all about that. The term tolerance insinuates that its just downs on downs, no ups.And honestly the gender which carries this huge role of tolerance is women.

The analogue system of marriage is not working anymore. So we better create a new reality of the institution before it becomes extinct all together.

So, back to the facebook post. Not all the comments irked me as some ladies gave  some pretty good advice. Read them below

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So what do you think? Should we stick to the traditional methods or adopt new ones when it comes to this institution? let me know in the comments section

 

IS THE BIBLE SEXIST?

Before you attack me, let me state that I am a believer who occasionally [sorry mum] attends a Pentecostal church. I am also an activist, if you like a feminist who believes in the equality of both genders. Considering these two scenarios, I find myself sometimes silently disagreeing with the preacher on matters marriage/relationships and even at times general life matters. The way the church is set up you can’t however voice your different opinion on matters Bible lest you find yourself being called the agent of the devil. I have to ask these hard questions anyway

To start with, sexism is devaluation, stereotyping prejudice, discrimination, especially against women, on the basis of sex. So, is the bible sexist? Let’s look at some of these verses.  1 Corinthians 14:

” As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the Churches. They are not allowed to speak, but be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”

This is a straightforward passage. Why is it disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church? Does submission mean silence of women in church as well? [I am not for submission]. Consider this other verse as well ; 1 Timothy 2:

” Also that women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire but by good deeds, as befits women who profess religion. Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men;she is to keep silent.”

These are just two examples, other verses which I have come across are Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 peter 3:7 , 1 John 2:13. There are more examples throughout the old and new testament.

Another thing  I will point out is that all of  Jesus` disciples are men, same as the elders mentioned in the bible. This very issue (sexism)has affected the society as a whole since we have very few female leaders as we are portrayed by the bible as followers and listeners of men.  As a reasoning Christian, I cannot reject these parts of the bible which are seemingly sexist, and acknowledge the others to be the word of God.  What are your thoughts?

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Gatundu Girl

Straight out of the village, writer, book nerd, Gladiator in pjs, expert babysitter, screen addict

Island Girl On A Mission

Spreading Love and Light One Blog Post at A Time!

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