JOURNAL OF THIS KENYAN WOMAN

“Not as a feminist, but as a female”

Dear Journal,

I am sorry to wake you this late in the night. I wanted to come and weave these words earlier, but I had so many words and little ink to sort them into sensible structures. Well, right now I am here because I want to talk. Please don’t frown, I had coffee with Naliaka this evening, but she wouldn’t pay attention to a serious conversation because she was too busy watching videos on Likee and Tiktok. Can’t blame Naliaka though, after all, it was her free time before her night shift at the hospital. Tsk, never mind, I will just get straight to the point.

Today I met an exceptionally beautiful middle-aged woman. She was tall, dark with a dazzling smile that made the wrinkles on her face almost invisible (If you know what I mean). Her name is Selena. Now, dear Journal, I almost ran. After all, this is Nairobi. Also, you can’t blame me; this random stranger approached me as I savored my vanilla-strawberry ice cream and behaved as if we’ve known each other since time immemorial. Anyway, I did not run. As I eyed the woman’s face, then the three bulky books that she was carrying, I decided that maybe I was just being a little too paranoid. I therefore decided to engage her and few seconds later, we were talking about Feminism.

Sigh. I know about feminism. I have since my time in high school and have met several men and women with whom I’ve had discussions on the topic but at some point, I started avoiding such conversations. Dear Journal, many today have misunderstood and misused the principles of feminism and its causing ruin. Well, I shall dwell not on that.

An hour later as I watched Selena retreat with her packed lunch on her left hand, I smiled. She was one of those who still held constructive conversations on feminism.

“And when all is said and done…” She had said,

“…it comes down to your state of mind. Your intelligence.”

Before I could speak, ask what she was trying to say, Selena proceeded.

“If you already understand that the early feminists intended for women to be treated justly, to have more opportunities, be treated as beings with capabilities and intelligence too then you know what to do. You know that they never intended to demean men and therefore, right now, instead of fighting against them, work with them. Stand your ground, grab every opportunity viciously, do not shy away from showing how intelligent you can be. The early feminists fought for women to have these chances today. Be wise and work for your personal independence.”

As she stood to leave, she laughed and said,

“One more thing, as you walk head high, do not forget to accord respect where it is due. After all, it is a two-way traffic.”

I don’t know what to make of Selena but what she said did make sense.

Journal dear, I won’t go into defining what feminism is nor remind you of its history; its three waves (That my dear is for you to research if you don’t already have an idea). But the conversation with Selena made me think of something else. The co-existence of the male and female gender. I mean, according to my understanding, the existence of feminism is to fight for equity in a world where one gender faces injustice. If some women mistake feminism as an ideology built to put them above men and if some men view feminism as a movement created to attack them, then how about we try to understand how to exist as just human beings.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. I am beginning to yawn, so I will explain this fast.  If for a moment we forget misogyny, misandry, male chauvinism and even the feministic ideologies. If for a moment we forget all about genders and look at the person in front of us as a fellow human being. Treat them like we would like to be treated. Be humane and think less of taking advantage of the other. Just maybe then, the world would be less dark. Dear journal, do you think that there will come a time where men will accord the women respect that they earn, and men will be appreciated as human beings who have feelings and that also need care? Do you think there will come a time where humanity will triumph over the darkness that brings along, rape, toxic masculinity, toxic feministic ideologies, materialistic greed? Where men in the society will understand that women won’t accord them respect because they should but because they earned it? Where society will understand that its okay for men to feel sad, to cry, to want to be cared for because they are human too? Aaaaah! Well, I don’t know I can only hope? Believe it’s possible?

Well, I don’t know really, but the more I think about it, the more head aches come visiting so I will leave it at that for now. I would like to go warm my bed now but before I bid thee farewell for today, I have questions. I believe that for feminism to work, men need to be involved, therefore, If we do not educate the men in our communities, in the society, how will their mind set evolve to that of a world where women are viewed as equal to them? If women start disregarding the men in the society, do you think they will support the feminism ideologies? If men keep disregarding women and viewing them as the inferior gender, do they think they will be accorded respect and treated fairly by women? I suppose it all narrows down to everyone, both male and female, being knowledgeable and open-minded.

Sigh. Dear Journal, forgetting my ever-active brain, today was a wonderful day and as it ends, I hope that the lady Selena and I will cross paths again. Who knows, maybe next time we will talk about love and relationships or maybe law and order. Whatever it will be, I wouldn’t mind listening to her weird remarks and wise words.

Also, seeing that I’ve yawned for the fourth time in ten minutes, I believe its best if I went to sleep. Thank you for being such a good listener. I shall remember to get you inks of many assorted colors, that way you will be entertained.

Today,

This month,

This year.

9 thoughts on “JOURNAL OF THIS KENYAN WOMAN

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