Usually this is a statement that signifies what strides we have made as a human race as far as evolution is concerned. To remind us that gone are the days when walking in sisal skirts and no bra was a continental uniformity. We no longer carry mini laptops as phones. Newspapers are becoming fast obsolete and we have become digitized. In this day and age, women have become more empowered, emboldened and more vocal. But have we?
It’s a tricky time to be a girl who has come full circle.
To know your self-worth and identify: what is too much to tolerate. It’s even harder if you have fought your demons and no man can bring you down ooh it’s a battle 365 days a year. And then there’s that quarter we were taught in school.
In 2016 if you are a girl who is outspoken and vocal, then you are bitchy or disrespectful. If you keep to yourself, for no other reason than being an introvert then you are giving sass and attitude. If you are pretty then you have to be a snob. If you are on the other side of pretty then you must tolerate everyone so you are not deemed rude. It’s even thicker when you are a successful girl. The world is full of pretentious, callous and conniving men who will support a women’s empowerment cause for a grant or donor aid but in actuality hate any woman in power. Like how dare she come to the table with the big boys? It’s not a generalization since there are men who are mentally liberated and genuinely support women’s empowerment. In the same environment there is a sizable portion of men stuck in the odyssey of the 14th century where women had very little to do with national leadership let alone global influence.
Let’s keep this conversation local.
Do we ever stop to think what became of the women we bashed out of office for whatever reason? The Sholleis, Barazas, Waiguru and so on and so forth? Do we ever stop in the midst of our conversational banter and think just what exactly became of these women? Their lives, their personalities and their lifestyle? I do and it shakes me to the core. I bet you if you met Shollei right now she would struggle to be the pace-setting individual she always has been. I bet there’s two parallel personalities when you encounter her. On the one hand she is a charismatic, driven and sweet soul who will force her way through doors she chooses to. On the other hand she would be a guarded, highly cautious and perhaps shaken human being. All this because in the course of dispensing her duties, something went wrong and instead of attacking her work her gender and sexuality took centre stage. Its 2016 isn’t it.
We have conditioned our girls and women to be fearful of reaching the pinnacles they set.
We strip them off their power by telling them of their inefficacy and inequalities. To maintain the status quo, we literally dragged Baraza out of office for a reason that was almost evident yet so colloquial. She only got to tell her side of the story years on. But it’s more than Baraza and her likes. Of the girls who look up to these women whose spirit society is busy killing? Imagine being in law school and striving to be the next DCJ of this land. Then you see the tribulations befalling the pioneer of that possibility. Something shifts in the way you perceive power. You slowly start to believe that being in a position of power is toxic to your existence. Then you all wonder where all these ‘Bitter Bettys’ come from. We spoke to their fears and scared their Sasha fierce.
This is where we misconstrue the concept of feminism and some of us think it means being acting and living like a man. In actuality, the essence of equality is not that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man. The gospel as preached by Marlo Thomas.
It’s tough being a girl in 2016, ask Hillary Clinton. Or Oprah. Or president Sir leaf Johnson. Or the spirit of Wangari Maathai. Keep up the good fight, stay in your black suit and pointed stilettos, the world will move over for you.