LISTEN, this #feministwhileafrican hashtag on Twitter is everything I could have wished for. My fellow angry African feminists are laying it all on the line! Mental health, physical abuse, patriarchy in dating, its all being aired out and I am so here for it. Here are some of the tweets that really resonated with what I be having on my heart LOL:
THIS. IS. MY. LIFE. In my line of work I deal a lot with African men who work on the continent and have no scruples when it comes to blatant sexual harassment.They comment on my hair, my clothes, and tell me what they would do if I were single. Its a constant struggle with not cussing them out, because the moment I do defend myself against unwanted sexual advances, I'm the one who is hard to work with. So yes, I do oblige to the patriarchal structure in order to get my job done, unfortunately its a survival tactic that I do not want to have to teach my daughters.
LISTEN. I have learned one important thing being the only girl in a family full of African men: do not set yourself a blaze to keep others warm. Keep your mental health in tact no matter what, there's no shame in stepping away from toxic situations even if it is your kin folk.
My partner (and most feminist man I know) asked me innocently once "So you don't like to cook huh?" We didn't speak for an hour after that, but the shame that came from the comment resulted in me making more dinner for us twice last week LOL.
Compromise is the operative term for describing the roller coaster ride that happens when young women start thinking of dating/marrying an African man. We are asked to compromise so often, for a group of men who seemingly were raised to have accommodating women surrounding them, that we can lose ourselves in the face of an engagement ring.
This is so true, and so sad. Domestic violence is something that has historically been a way to "discipline" unruly women and a tactic to ensure that patriarchy stays in tact. Intimate partner violence is something that the African community often turns a blind eye to; as if once you are married off, your safety and well being are completely in the hands of this man. It's a scary tradition of hurt that still needs proper attention across the continent.