Two or so years ago, my rants about men used to be a regular thing. I used to get pissed off over the littlest of things, and then go on about how annoying the opposite sex is. I would either scribble about it in my journal, or mumble to myself in my head in between train journeys or while walking home or wherever I was going.
I’ve calmed down a lot compared to then. Really. I’ve gone from considering all men to be assholes, to not all men being assholes. And that is a huge, huge step. And believe me when I say that, because I am going to be using the phrase ‘not all men’ a lot in this rant.
But then, as it so happens, there has to be that one man or a bunch of them, that strike a chord in me, and I get upset and worked up really fast. And a little more than I even should. I am just like that, I either don’t feel anything or I feel things too deeply.
Over the past couple of months, I have learned to keep my silence. To stay put. To let any man say whatever he pleases, because I simply do not want to get involved, or because there is so much stupidity in what they’re saying that I cannot believe they are actually saying that.
Let’s talk about a few of these instances.
A while ago, someone told me that if a woman wearing a short skirt or a tiny top goes up to him and tells him she has been raped, his response would be, “well, what did you expect?”
I tried for a while to wrap my head around their stupidity and ignorance, and then I became angry so I decided to remain put. Because my anger often leads to me choking on my words, tears, and some swearing.
I wish I had said something, though. Just to shut the person up. Just to see what they had to say when I told them a woman is never, will never and should never be held accountable for her rape. Rape is the fault of only one person: the rapist.
The person then went on to say that a man’s natural instinct was sex, and so if a woman walks around dressed half naked, they can’t help themselves. At this point, I was absolutely gobsmacked. Because, in an attempt to prove their ‘manhood’, this person was instead making men seem so fragile that they cannot control their urges or desires. I mean, he is basically saying that, “we men are so weak we cannot say no or we cannot control ourselves so please, please, PLEASE, cover up!!! I beg you!!!” He is just admitting that all men are rapists, that all they need is for someone to push that hidden rapist button, and voila! the rapist will appear. Not all men are rapists, and I know that. But that statement, well, it just implies that all men are rapists. That being a rapist is just another part of a man’s personality.
He further went to talk about women in Kenya looking like hippies. Firstly, so what? What is wrong with looking like a hippy? Buddy, I am sorry to burst your bubble, but not every woman looks like the expectations of women drawn up by society. Women are beautiful in more ways than society can even imagine. Women are beautiful in more ways than you can even imagine. Women are beautiful and so much more.
This was weeks ago. And then today, I came across a video, in which a young Kenyan man is talking about what men look for in women. And believe me when I say all his points are just loosely based on the following:
1) Do not dress up in tiny clothing 2) Do not pout 3) Do not have sex with multiple partners, but its ok if a man does it! 4) Respect yourself and be honest 5) Do not show your legs 6) *Insert any other point that takes away a woman’s right to her own choice*
It is irksome that the Kenyan youth happens to be stuck in the patriarchal era where men told women what to do. And you know, unfortunately we still do, patriarchy is still a part of Kenyan society, and people like this add to it.
This man’s perception of women is simply that she should look ‘decent’, and she should ALWAYS keep her legs closed. Because women are just that right? People who dress up for men, and later satisfy them. And while he talked about how women should not pout, should not wear short clothes, should not ‘sleep around’, I hope as hell he doesn’t watch women on screen that do exactly that. Because, boy, is he being hypocritical then. I hope he doesn’t drool over Deepika Padukone or Beyonce or whoever, because, well, that’s not what men like…right? You can read my full response to him here.
These people are adding to the culture of misogyny. They are feeding off bullshit, and they are feeding people bullshit. They all seem to have this false-male-pride-ego thing going on. And they are pissing me off.
A woman is so much more than what she wears. A woman is much more than the amount of men she has slept with. A woman is her own individual being with a story to tell. A woman is strong even with her vulnerabilities. A woman can tear your world apart, and she can put it back together. A woman is a birth-giver. A woman has the right to make her own decisions. A woman is half of this world’s population – she’s a mother, an aunt, a sister, a daughter, a wife, a pilot, a doctor, a home-maker, a dancer, a fighter, a survivor, and so much more. A woman is anything she wants to be. A woman is much more than what she wears.