March 11, 2017
As the commemoration of the International Women's day went on this week, the air and indeed social media was imbued with images, memes and the 2017 hashtag #beboldforchange all of which I enjoyed. I came across a heartfelt article by one of my contributors and while it may seem like it's a feminist rant, it's more of an "writer's purge" on some of the issues which still plague women from around the world. If anything, it's a rant against anyone male or female who still hold on to archaic views where women are concerned. Enjoy
Every time I hear those words from shallow males, or like-minded females, fury rises inside of me.
How can I be ordinary?
Have you any idea? Of what it takes to be me?
Have you any idea of how I have struggled to break free of societal limitations? Your life was a lot easier than mine simply because you were born male. I worked twice as hard as you to achieve half as much as you did. The rules that apply to me most often do not apply to you.
‘How?’ You ask. Did anyone ask about your virginity status at the start of your marriage? Did anyone judge you for sowing your wild oats? Have you ever lost job or business opportunities simply because you are a father and might not be readily available for the demands of the job? Have you ever almost landed your dream job, gone through series of rigorous tests and interviews, arrived at the final selection stage, only to be turned away because the interviewer is uncomfortable with hiring a young parent, and thinks you should stay at home to spend more time with your child? Have you ever experienced that dejection, that crushing moment, that feeling of disbelief, in that very moment when the ‘Married’ in front of the ‘Marital Status’ on your CV is the obvious reason you don’t get the job? I’m guessing your answers to all these are negative.
Let me ask you this; have you any idea how it feels to bleed (sometimes painfully) four days every month? And still carry on regular activities as though nothing is different.
Have you any idea what it takes to carry a 4kg baby in my tummy for 9 full months? Did I tell you how difficult the nausea and the vomiting in the first 3 months were? Have you any idea how awkward it was for me to do my regular chores in my last trimester? Do you even know how painful it is to push a whole baby out my vagina with minimal epidural? Did I tell you about the secondary episotomy and the cervical tear, the heavy bleeding that almost took my life?
Have you any idea how tasking it is to go back to class one week after having a child? Do you have the slightest idea how embarrassing it is to sit in a class and your blouse is soaked from the overflow of your breast milk that had not been sucked by your baby in a few hours? Have you ever prepared for an exam while your baby is teething and ill at the same time?
Do you even know, that through it all, I am not allowed to complain or lament? Are you aware that society expects me to bear all of these gracefully, with a smile on my face, and also raise my daughters to do even more?
Tell me again. Educate me. What exactly is it that makes me ordinary? My XX chromosome? Ta!
Your ignorance amazes me. Take half of my burden and crumble under its weight. I sit here at my desk and feel sad for you, and the way you bask in the euphoria of your ignorance and illiteracy. Because you my friend, have absolutely no idea.
See, I am not a male-hater. This is not a male-bashing article. I was raised by and am surrounded by brave and amazing men who have shaped me and still love me unconditionally; my husband, my brothers, my dad, and several other wonderful men I have been privileged to meet.
I tell you the truth; in the eyes of these men I am not and cannot be ordinary.
You should see her hilarious article on her multi-tribal marital experience...
Funmi Longhi Dakum
Funmi Longji-Dakum is a lot of things. A registered nutritionist and dietitian, an event manager, a talent manager, a writer, amongst other things. She's got a crazy creative mind and a jolly happy attitude to life. She's married to a fine Jos boy and is the mother of a cute little boy. Follow her on social media IG:@funmidakum Facebook: Funmi Akinfenwa Longji-Dakum.