The great discomfort

A Facebook friend of mine unfriended me. Before unfriending me, she mentioned that she had observed that I had started a blog on feminism, and made a point of being offensive about the fact that I was an active feminist.  She told me that she didn’t believe in feminism and that although she championed for the rights of women, she would not want to be associated with feminism, adding that she would be offended if she was ever referred to as a feminist. I had just started writing my blog at that time, and I was getting a number of … Continue reading The great discomfort

This way of being a woman is not working

Sometime back, I came across a post by a woman sharing about how hooked she was to social media, that on one occasion, her husband hit her because she got into bed with her phone, and she couldn’t put it down. Interestingly, many women commenting on her post found it ok for her to be hit for not paying attention to her husband, particularly while in bed. There was very little alarm raised over the fact that she had been hit. She seemed more concerned about her addiction to social media, than the violence meted out on her. Reading the … Continue reading This way of being a woman is not working

The revolution will be intimate

A few weeks ago, my Facebook friends were subjected to family drama on my page. A relative of mine, clearly unhappy with my gay rights activism, demonstrated his outrage by indicating that I had taken what he referred to as “ the gay and unnatural joke too far”, and to “unacceptable heights.” He reminded me of his relationship with me, one that would make him my father in cultural terms. I hadn’t seen that coming to be honest, and so I didn’t have a response ready. My first instinct was to ignore, say or do nothing. This response was driven … Continue reading The revolution will be intimate

When did we hit the sky and start climbing down?

Like many women, I was given a set of rules and advice for just about everything as I was growing up. One of the most important ones was on education. I was encouraged to study and until there was nothing left to study. The phrase ‘the sky is the limit’ was one that I heard too often as I was encouraged in that direction. Later I was told ‘forget the sky, there is no limit’. On relationships and love, I was advised to not even focus on that, until I was as highly educated as possible. Children on the other … Continue reading When did we hit the sky and start climbing down?

What if Khadija was your neighbour?

I didn’t watch Saturday night’s feature on KTN about Khadija, a 16 year old girl who was brutally burnt by her 60 year old husband in Mandera County. I followed the story on Twitter though, where horrific images of the young girl’s burnt body had been posted, along with comments on the issue. The comments demonstrated outrage; first over the man that had abused the girl, and second towards the community that had been silent about the issue. People were particularly angry because Khadija has been living with severe burns on most of her body for about four months, without … Continue reading What if Khadija was your neighbour?

Why was my womanhood not celebrated?

When I was 16, I began to write a novel about Wambui, a girl who was born with a rebellious spirit. In my story, I depicted Wambui as a girl who constantly questioned and defied gender norms. Her grandmother was constantly lamenting that Wambui had inherited the rebellious spirit of her grandfather, and often wished that her younger brother, Kiarie had inherited it instead. She worried that a girl with a rebellious spirit would never find a man to marry her. One of the highlights of the novel, was when at the age of 15, Wambui was required to help … Continue reading Why was my womanhood not celebrated?