Nasty Women: Launching a Successful Revolution.

nasty-woman

The title of this article should not put you off from reading it and neither should it imply that it is against the crusade of women to take over the world. It was titled such to capture the minds of people using the now popularised words of Donald Trump who labeled Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” and unfortunately, inadvertently gave high-achieving women a rallying cry. It also happened at a time when another president consigned his wife – yes, his wife and not ours – to the kitchen, the living room and the other room ( I don’t know what the other room mean but lots of people have been very creative with it.) This article is a look at what women are doing, what they are thought of doing and what they could do to achieve lasting, painless results.

Tuesday, 9th of March, 2016 was International Women’s Day and, of course, it was celebrated with pomp and pageantry. Women all over the world gathered together to affirm the strength they get from being together. I didn’t attend any of the conferences but I can predict some of the hot topics discussed that day to include – The Girl Child Initiative, Violence Against Women, Gender Parity and Feminism. Women all over the world are shouting and we are hearing them.

As with all movements, everyone is joining the bandwagon so that they will not be left behind and their voices – and products – shunted out. Unlike everyone, I am sitting on the side-lines, arms folded with a smug smile on my face!

In a bid to push forward the women agenda, women, as well as the men, are pushing the women propaganda which is that “the end justifies the means”. To these women activists, women have suffered for too long that any means that can snatch them away from centuries of male-dominance will suffice.

I read a Time article by Christina Hoff Sommers – 5 Feminist Myths That Will Not Die – that discredited some hugely popular myths making the waves in women activism circle. These five misconstrued assertions are;

MYTH 1: Women are half the world’s population, working two-thirds of the world’s working hours, receiving 10% of the world’s income, owning less than 1% of the world’s property

MYTH 2: Between 100,000 and 300,000 girls are pressed into sexual slavery each year in the United States.

MYTH 3: In the United States, 22%–35% of women who visit hospital emergency rooms do so because of domestic violence.

MYTH 4One in five in college women will be sexually assaulted.

MYTH 5Women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns—for doing the same work.

Ms. Sommers posited that these were all false; some outright falsehoods while others were not placed in a fair context. I have no desire to put down the above arguments because it won’t do any good. Women have brutalized by men and we will do well in trying to provide justifications to not pick holes.

Is there a global gang-up against women? Are they targets for mass suppression by the ruling male caste? Are women deliberate victims of the mistakes of the foolish, philandering male? I will answer a capitalized “NO!” for the four questions raised and many more that Women Rights groups throw up on our faces.

We have known it is said that “It is a man’s world” but what is left unsaid is that “this man’s world revolves around the woman!” From the days of Kings to Presidents, women have been pawns, yes, but they have more often than not been the real power behind the throne. Just like every scheming man, these women when caught do find their throats at the edge of a sword, or crudely axe, but so did men. Even Shakespeare understood this when he wrote Macbeth and of Lady Macbeth.

Women have suffered at the hands of men, from rape to physical abuse to disenfranchisement but these actions were although vicious but not deliberate and should be put a stop to. However, I know that there was no convention where all men came together and voted resoundingly that the next “item” for extermination, or at best suppression, was the womenfolk. Men have failed themselves and when they did they inadvertently failed the women and children. But the first person they failed were themselves.

Women need to plead their cause and as vehemently as possible. Women need to have years dedicated to this cause and not just a day but women need to know that men failed them because men failed themselves. We still love them like we do our children but when we are incapable of loving our own selves well how then can we love our women and children? Our problem is not a deliberate scheme to do them wrong but deeply held errors that affect everyone near us, even our dogs.

But in pursuing their cause women should not burn the bridge and push men to the wall, like we pushed them (women) to the wall. Because we failed does not mean that our women should fail too. We failed because we refused to listen, find a middle ground and tell ourselves some home-grown truths. Women should, in putting their feet to the ground, listen, find middle grounds and tell themselves the truth. The means have never justified any end and won’t start now. Women need to show us that they are better than our male ego not only in words but in deeds. They should realize that this is not attrition for supremacy neither is it a cause for revenge.

How should women do this?

By accepting that male and female complement each other. Not one can do away with the other.

This year is the year of the woman. Last year was also and next year and the years to come will be. This is women arising era but if women are seeking to show that they are better – which may or may not be true – then their objective is doomed not in achievement but in sustainability. They will throw us up into a vicious cycle.

By fighting their cause without resorting to lies and half-truths:

When a deliberate lie is found in an argument there is every tendency to discredit the whole. People are questioning the veracity of some statements like the ones listed above and more people will continue to. Women liberation is an emotional campaign and emotions are always associated more with subjectivity than objectivity. Half-truth may take them there but it will not keep them there for long.  It may make women win the war but will not make them victorious.

By being humble in their assertions and push:

I hardly find anyone that listens to and agrees with a proud man. Not because he is not making sense but because everyone wants to dent his over-sized ego. Funny enough, this is where I think women will lose ground. When are say “humility” I am not talking of cap-in-hand, I-come-begging kind of humility. Rather, I am talking about women not lapping their victory in our faces and telling us to go locate hell. Nothing depicts a strong victor as one who in victory is still humble. Are women taking over or do they want to share space on the podium? If they have the mind of sharing the podium, that is accepting that male and female are same then they will manage their forthcoming victory with a sense of humility but if they have the mind of the former then we may be discussing other outcomes.

By not adopting the “Things Fall Apart” method where women become – bulls – in the china shop.

Permit me to heave a stanza from the poem The Second Coming by W. B Yeats, popularised in these parts by Chinua Achebe’s book Things Fall Apart. It reads –or sings;

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

We don’t have to take victory for victory sake. We take victory because we need it to better pursue a just and collective cause. Some countries took victories from the “colonial masters” when they didn’t need it and their children have found themselves wishing that their parents had not been so hasty. Power corrupts – Men can testify to that – I hope women have a cure for that malaise. In their victory who wins? Only women? The world? Who loses? Their children? Stability? Women need to ask themselves these questions. It should not stop them from “taking over” powers but it should make them prepared when they “take over” powers.

By persevering and continuing; Great things start small and take time.

We may say let’s wait until women win this fight but from all angles, they have cornered some victory and we need to see what they do with it. And no, this does not postulate that they should not be given equal rights because they have not shown competence with the duties handed over to them. I am advocating that if women show us that they are the better alternatives by maximizing and leveraging on the victories they have achieved then they can be sure of speedier victories.

A Day with Twitter Trolls

I have the knack of testing people’s resolve by being an opposition. I have the belief that it helps strengthens my own belief system by purging untested arguments while giving my counter party food for thought. On Monday, November 23, 2015, I did my thing by trying to see reason with religious fanatics because this has been a research case study; trying to understand the line, the thin line, between fanaticism and spirituality. I argued my case briefly with a social media personality and all was well. However, I was not testing wills that same Monday, but was staunchly in support of an issue but the unfortunate omission of a word perpetuated by working under the constraint of having to write within 140 characters brought me to fore with twitter trolls and the vengefulness of social media. That morning, I had even skimmed through an article on what not to write or do on social media unaware that in less than one hour I would be the centre of a circusian attraction.

I tweeted in reply to someone’s tweet; “I don’t know why rape – unconsenting sex  – is treated like a taboo and not consenting sex with multiple partners? Twisted world!” Continue reading “A Day with Twitter Trolls”

Boko Haram: Our Contributions

I am lapsing into depression, the second time after my first and only experience in 2001. I have tried to resolve it by changing any radio station that is airing the news that 200 teenage girls were abducted just today in the Northern state of Borno by the Boko Haram insurgents, who only yesterday, claimed an official estimate of 71 fatalities with more than 200 injured. And official reports are always grossly underestimated in Nigeria. How did we come this far down the cesspit of callousness? How did we fall into a deep sleep that we didn’t know that the house we built or that we are trying to build is being destroyed. Calumny, accusations and counter-accusations are now the order of the day. They have never helped us and will not start now.

They say Boko Haram is faceless, is that true? Continue reading “Boko Haram: Our Contributions”

What Does Twitter Really Say

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Twitter began like a joke but is now graduating to being a big deal. It was conceived by Jack Dorsey et al and was launched on March 21, 2006 under the social media and microblogging platform. Facebook came two years after and put twitter in the backburner. Facebook ranks second on the Alexa rankings of websites the world over while twitter ranks 11 up from 12 as at June this year. However, I am of the opinion that twitter is bidding its time and that time is now and at the present pace at which it is on it will soon overtake Facebook in appeal and usefulness if not in number of visitors and revenue. With twitter came information; crisp, concise and immediate at the snap of your finger. Twitter gives us 140 characters to express ourselves explicitly but more importantly succinctly and if you cannot do so in this hurried world of headlines-news-only then you may move over to other social media sites. On the other end of the stick you have, at most, 140 characters to decipher and understand a tweet; if you have mental or psychometric problems then you will also have to move over. Twitter is shrinking an already shrunken world and is helping to translate the ‘global village’ into a ‘global street.’ And soon we will be talking about a ‘global house’ or even a room. Continue reading “What Does Twitter Really Say”

The President Who Ruled From a Wheelchair

U.S. Presidential Portraits

Ever heard of the acronym- FDR? Or of the caption – The New Deal? Or of the president who ruled from the wheelchair? FDR does not mean Federal Reserves neither does it mean Fixed Deposit Ratio. The New Deal is not the name of a musical group or of an award-winning western movie. The phrase – the President who ruled from a wheelchair- is not a folklore nor a parable, all these are facets of one man; his name, his policy and finally his disability.
Born January 30, 1882 in New York to a pleasant and aristocratic family, the young Franklin entered into politics in 1910 at the age of twenty eight when he was elected a New York senator. In 1912, he was re-elected despite the fact that he could not campaign because of a bad case of typhoid fever that kept him bedridden Continue reading “The President Who Ruled From a Wheelchair”

Beyond the Convention of Education.

Gone are the days when we leave Secondary school and crown ourselves with the title of ex-students, also awarding to ourselves the certificate that guarantees our gallivanting around the streets like big boys without a care in the world for the future. After all, we will soon be going back to school, to the university, where freedom is liberal and independence surfeit. The hiatus between secondary education and university education can take between a year and 6 years for some people; for me it took 3 years; a time almost allowing for me to graduate if I had entered directly into the tertiary institution. When we finally gained admission, we were local champions in our neighbourhood, having finally entered the coveted walls of the university, polytechnics or even colleges of education. Our lifestyles, modes of communication, dress-codes and in totality behaviour radically changed within a few months of becoming students. However, maybe it is just me; because I have grown up or the prevalence of tertiary school students around now, the hype that used to surround secondary school students who have entered the hallowed gates of the university has greatly reduced and I hope that crucial matters may be clearly seen now that the dust has cleared and the smoke is settling down.

As I said in the above passage, I wasted 3 years waiting for admission before I finally got admitted into a polytechnic which culminated in another wasted academic period in my life (this is a vitriolic discourse for another day.) while waiting for admission, I tried to read voraciously so that my O’ level papers will be complete and so that I could easily pass JAMB whenever we met again. Reading was the only meaningful thing I did in 3 years! Of course, I looked for work, but my frailty and young face was an obstacle towards achieving that aim so I resigned myself to nothing. If my opinion is sought, the years after a child’s graduation from secondary school could turnout to be the years for future fecundity and not for present prodigality. Parents and students alike wish for a seamless entry into tertiary institution from secondary school but this may be a huge waste of time in that we allow our worldly-wise, but business-foolish children from one controlled environment into another semi-controlled environment. The period after secondary education should be the period where our kids are taught real-world experiences.

When kids drop their pens after their O’ level exams, the seemingly ‘wise’ ones go to look for work while waiting for JAMB to get their acts right. The foolish ones patrol the streets and every social place trying to live up to a new image they cut out for themselves. However, the ones who are really wise don’t get a job but they learn a job. Some parents and their wards think this is demeaning. “How can my child go and learn tailoring or hairdressing?” they query. That vocation could be the best and cheapest investment you may hand over to your child considering the level of unemployment and decay in our academic system. When you equip your wards with a vocation you have taught him/her how to fish and stirred up in them an extant sense of responsibility that is dying out in our kids below 20. The best time to make money is while in school. Ask Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and a host of other young entrepreneurs. They made their money while under the four walls of school and discovered that they could make their mistakes anonymously too without shame of being found wanting. Your kids can too.

The education that is being passed to our kids are as archaic as the Walls of China even on subjects that are daily evolving such as computer science and engineering. The lecturers don’t know beyond what they were taught in 1980 (which was already outmoded as at then) and which is what they are transferring to your wards now. They will graduate “left-handed in old age”. Also, the incessant strike actions that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) constantly engage in to improve their lot and not that of their students is not a guarantee of a good life for your wards. Finally, there are no jobs out there and the competition is going to be biting in the next couple of years because 50% of Nigeria’s population is below 25 years. In ten years time, these 25 years and below kids will be out of university and will be jostling for the few places available for employment that Nigeria’s private and public sector have to offer. Do you want your kids in that cutthroat, red ocean of job-seekers? Definitely no!

A child with a vocation will go to the university and build on it. He has a focus and vision but will need the certificate and most importantly the relationship he will forge in school to enhance his vocation. Vocation differ and include arts, handiworks and skills. What are you giving to your child today? Running off to school to run off into the ever-expanding labour market may not be the ideal legacy for your child. Besides how may salary earners do you know that are rich if they did not dip their fingers into the messy pots of financial impropriety? Think of the future of your child beyond the conventions that reigned supreme during your time. Times have changed and we will do well to change with them.

I have a dream… that our tomorrow will come!

I have a dream… that our tomorrow will come
It has become a common joke by Nigeria’s teeming comedians, repeated at every “crack ya rib” event to the animated delight of their audience. Everyone, parents and children alike, laugh at it but foolishly fail to see the wisdom in it and take caution. This joke is a reflection of a great disservice and cankerworm that has infested the rich, blood veins of a very important relationship. However, the ignoring of this jocular but serious warning should not come as a surprise to us because the late Chinua Achebe said it all in his book Things Fall Apart that ”He whom the gods will kill they first make mad.” What is this belaboured truth that hurts so much yet is most ignored? That has been rife in the mouths of I-go-die, Basketmouth and their cronies? It is this; “Years ago our parents told us that we are the leaders of tomorrow, but years later we are still being waiting to lead. It is either tomorrow has not come or our parents lied.” Our parents have refused to lead well and have also refused to pass the baton. Continue reading “I have a dream… that our tomorrow will come!”

Who is Japheth Omojuwa

I read the king who danced naked more than two decades ago and it never ceased to baffle me why people will be so afraid never to tell a king his fault to the extent he will be naked and his advisors will say he is wearing the best apparel. This story was brought to the fore of my mind two days ago when I watched Rome (the series film) and subjects were clapping for Mark Anthony who was pathetically practicing a duel with his Aide camp, Veronius. Nobody could whisper to his ears that he was a mockery of himself and far gone in spirit to replicate the feat of the able general that nations dreaded and Romans loved. It was at that moment I pitied royalty. It was definitely hard to separate praise-singers from truth-tellers.

Just yesterday the twitter world was agog by a seemingly offensive statement that one of their own made on television; Japheth Omojuwa. He was quoted by Channels Television on their Rubbin’ minds to have said that “our noise on social media is achieving more than Gani (Fawehinmi) did” Immediately he got out of set the mudslingers were at work and for the first time since following him on twitter I saw a flustered JJ trying to explain that he did not and could not say such a thing against the venerated activist Gani Fawehinmi. Friends and enemies came to his aid and @omojuwa even got his much needed I love you no matter what everybody says you said. But did he really say what they say he said? Continue reading “Who is Japheth Omojuwa”

Reminisces

Reminisces
January 16 this year, I hit the 4 year mark in Oceanic bank. Sitting on my sofa in a reflective mood I run through the different episodes of my life whilst trying to live the slogan – experience peace. It had been both challenging and rewarding especially those rickety moments when I recall with nostalgia the offer from my Head of Operations in the last bank where I worked. He offered me an unauthorized 2 weeks leave of absence to test the ‘Ocean’ and if I am not satisfied to come back. Cockily, I informed him that I have mentioned my intentions and burnt my boats, like the Roman general of yore, and what remained was either victory or death. He let me go. During my many turbulent times I have asked myself what I was thinking when I refused to keep that offer in the cooler as a plan B.
There were times when it was hell; having a branch manager whom you have concluded hates you because he made every day of your life unbearable; weekends inclusive. I almost dropped my resignation letter but that same stubborn streak I had told me that my circumstances should never defeat me. I ploughed ahead. I have outlived a lot of ogas and undergone numerous experiences. In the midst of these, I always made sure I become better from them that after one year in Oceanic bank I felt that the 2 years I spent in two other banks were wasted because I did not garner any sustainable knowledge.
Churning memories in my mind I remember female colleagues who outshone me in the area of deposit mobilization. Or was it the other who could spew brilliant memos at the snap of her fingers that leave me gawking. I am a sexist; nothing stings me more than being beaten by females. They were good at making me feel depressed. Other things that depress me were cabals (Current Account BALanceS) and unresolved situations. I have had faster heartbeats when I spied my dropping deposits. However, unresolved issues were the worst; the always come back again to haunt you when you least expected. Continue reading “Reminisces”