Moderation

As much as the sun is loved and adored,
nobody wants to see it at midnight.
Don’t overdo anything
because you have shone brighter
than they did,
or you can shine brighter
than they can;
allow someone else
whenever it’s their turn.

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What the Hell is “Womyn”?

WomynWhat is that? The truth is, feminism is so broad- there are a thousand kind of feminists- that two feminists may not necessarily fully agree on one thing. 

When you come up with this kind of mess that bluntly says “dissociation from men”, you’re not really addressing the equality aspect of the cause. You’re not saying “I want to be equal to you and have the same opportunities that you have, dear men, because I’m a separate being too”.

Instead, you’re saying “I don’t want to have anything to do with you”. Women and men are separate entities but neither of the two sexes can survive or keep the earth alive without the other; that’s besides the point. The word “woman” isn’t equivalent to “half-man”; that is basically what the cause originally sought to emphasize.

Whether you call women “womyn” or “mynwo” or “wurjdhdggd” isn’t the point. We want to be separate entities that co-exist with men in a society that respects everyone equally, irrespective of their sex. 

“Women” is one word. A “woman” is a “womb-man”. A separate entity; the other kind of man, not a subordinate. When you come up with this kind of sentimental mess, “womyn”, you’re messing everything up. You’re drifting far away from the cause. You’re not saying what you want.

Are “womyn” a better kind of women now or something?

Class Injury

Black Girl

“Girl in the Window” | Prudence Heward

It’s almost hypocritical for me to write about the struggles of the working class- I try as much as possible not to say “lower” because of the negative connotations that are often associated with the word. I’m a citizen of two countries; I’m in the university, and I’m okay, health-wise. I am a little girl’s dream come true- me, I’m the little girl. I did not state that I “was” the little girl for a reason; our little, inner selves never just disappear, even when our bodies change.

My parents were in the lower-middle class, status-wise, when I was growing; they were both lecturers. In reality, although we had an “okay” house and at least one functioning car, and my brothers and I went to good schools, we were still members of the working class. I used to daydream a lot more than I do now- there were a good number of excursions and items that I wished I could afford. Don’t get me started on the inferiority complex that I suffered from too. I wore my mum’s hand-me-down’s majorly.

I did phone-call business for my mum (20 naira per min.) and sold recharge cards under an MTN umbrella with two chairs. I sold pure-water and “minerals” (pop)- I hawked for a day around my house and never did it again; I preferred to sit. Then we got a small kiosk and I began to sell more stuff till my dad completed his building of proper shops. Men would pull my growing breasts back then, when I wasn’t looking. It made me angry and resentful- I was like 11 or 12- but I learnt the art of sucking things up very quickly.
I used olo– grinding stone- to grind peppers, fetched water, used wood or coal to cook whenever we ran out of kerosene, and all. My life wasn’t the hardest. People who lived close to me were not very wealthy either- “a face-me-I-face-you” apartment building, one ile-alamo– clay house… it wasn’t the fanciest neighbourhood. Thinking back to how people used to stare at me in envy like I was some princess, we (my family and I) really were local champions.

The Janitor

“The Janitor Who Paints” by Palmer Haden

We don’t celebrate the working class enough, hence, the urgency that people place on being wealthy. You’re nobody in the society except you are rich or can pretend to be. It has gotten worse with the advent of the social media- there is this desperate, adoration-seeking urge that people have to display a level of wealth/influence.

Class injury sits with you in different ways: One way is that you feel uneasy in upper-class settings when you become a member of the middle-upper or upper class. You miss the joys, the struggles and the pain that came with being in the working class, and you feel like something is missing in your life, or you don’t deserve to be where you are, or you feel guilty/bad because some people are not enjoying life as much as you are.

Another way that it manifests is that you try to get away from the people you used to be like as much as people, even members of your own family- you don’t want to be reminded that you used to be poor. You don’t want to remember the struggles, the hurt, and the societal “shame” that you used to experience. I see people like that a lot on social media. “I’m not poor, and I don’t sit with the poor” type thing.

I’m still a member of the working class; I came into the country that I currently live in some winter ago, with a few clothes and some books, and there has been no drastic, overnight, lottery-winning change in my life.

Class shapes every aspect of our lives, and those of our descendants, and I find it quite interesting; our society and inequality are pari passu, and we’ve been taught that it’s okay. Even if you are not part of the 1%, don’t be at the bottom among the 99%.

In conclusion, the point of this whole epistle is- while you struggle and hope for better days, you should be proud of yourself and your class. You are not a failure if you are not rich, and you’re not inferior either. It’s easier said than done, but be grateful for what you have, and find joy in the little things.

Stand tall and proud wherever you go; don’t put yourself down for anyone, and don’t let anyone put you down. Acquire new skills, develop yourself, and be innovative, not necessarily because you thirst to be one of the 1%, but because you want to build yourself and contribute your quota to your society. A line from Badlands goes like this- “poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king, and a king is never satisfied…” 

Religion and Class

img23

We were talking about intersectionality in my class today, and we looked at social locations (like as race/ethnicity, indigeneity, gender, class, sexuality, geography, age, disability/ability, level of education, occupation, migration status and religion) and how they shape the way a person interacts with the world and the way the world interacts with that person.

The reason why many white people go “what the hell are you talking about?” when you tell them that they have white privilege is that they may be disadvantaged in many other ways at the same time. If an able-bodied, straight dark-skinned African woman with a PhD tells a white, differently-abled, lesbian who only has a high school diploma and is working in a factory that she has “privilege”, she might take offence, like “what privilege?” There’s a good chance that the white woman would not be followed around a store or racially profiled by the police, PhD or not. There’s also a good chance that the black woman would be able to attend certain meetings and functions at the University of Toronto that the white woman may never get invitation letters for. 

11-Faces-3-African-Art-Oil-on-Canvas_Udubrae-Art-Galleries_AfriMod

The fact remains that a person could be privileged and oppressed at the same time- privileged in some areas and disadvantaged in some- based on the several different social locations that they fall into. I didn’t choose to be black and you didn’t choose to be white. It would be very wrong to guilt trip you based on your race, and if I say that H&M is terrible when it comes to hiring, I’d expect you to understand where I’m coming from.

What stood out to me, however, was religion. My mind drifted off and I had to try to bring myself back to the setting because I focused on it intensely- religion.

If you do not practise Christianity or Islam in Nigeria, you could very well be looked down upon in different social settings, and that is a fact. If it is not Christianity or Islam, it is demonic, and it must be cast and bound. One could wear a hijab or wear a necklace with a cross pendant in most parts of Nigeria without any problem, but as soon as they come out with an opele ifa or wear their ide to main settings, there would be a problem.

With the “you and your generation will go to hell” threats and all sorts of harassment and fuckery, you almost have to hide in a way. I see it now, that religion is very related, not just to culture, but to class, hierarchies and discrimination.

Save Justitia

justice

Let us save Justitia;
let us rescue the Lady of Justice.
They have blindfolded and enslaved her,
and taken her voice away.

They command her to strike
even when she can’t tell who is who,
who is right or wrong,
and who is innocent or guilty.

Things are not being done fairly,
but how can she tell
if she cannot see for herself?

They tell her blue is white,
and white is black,
and black is red,
and red is green.
The assigned kidnappers have
been trained to deceive her.

She holds a sword in one hand
and a scale in the other,
but bigger and sharper swords 
constantly threaten to attack her.
She feels the bigger swords’ pinch on her back,
and she takes their orders without question.

So, dispose the sword and toss the scale;
we must do it, have no fear.
We will not let evil prevail;
O̩ya will take over from here.

oo

 

Fattening

Ilè̩ n je̩ ènìyàn.

A farmer plants and reaps his harvest.
He places seeds into the ground
and gets food in return.
Then he gives 99% of his food
to the ones who sit on the highest chairs.

Ilè̩ n je̩ ènìyàn.

One day, the ones who sit on the highest chairs
will be placed into the ground too,
properly buried, like mere seeds,
six feet under the ground,
but they will not grow back.
They will become food for the earth.

Ilè̩ n je̩ ènìyàn.

The earth feeds them,
then it eats them.

Lady Justice’s Husband

lj

Lady Justice’s husband
is a White supremacist.
He grabs her breasts
and bites her ears,
slaps her buttocks
and wipes her tears,
tells her he loves her
and calms her fears,
and in the mornings,
she does whatever the hell
she’s asked to do.

I’m Not Your Little Negro Girl

He wants to be my knight.
I have noticed his random displays of might.
He gazes at me seductively whenever I’m in sight,
but all I can predict is a sorry plight.
How can you be the one that I’d keep warm at night
if you don’t think everyone should be treated right?

Her Sore-n

Theirs was like the relationship
between the sun and the roses.
The roses need the sun;
the sun doesn’t need the roses.
We all know the sun never really notices
the roses until they vigorously sway
their petals from side to side.

Rose thought she’d be a lot happier
if the Sun came down to live with her.
She shook and swung, flirted and sucked
[his light in as much as she could? Amen].
She’s severely burning,
but she’s glad she’s the hot guy’s main girl.
She’s now closer to being his wife;
death is her new, perfect life.

Don’t Live in Denial

When someone shows you
who they really are,
you must believe them.
Don’t live in denial.
Make no excuses for them.
Go over what you learnt
from your experience with them,
forgive yourself for everything
you think you did wrong,
and move on.

Exist in the present,
bury the dead feelings that have
made your heart their home,
and leave it all behind.
Live.


UNREQUITED LOVE:

There are two kinds of abuse in love. The first kind is the one you suffer from before the other person shows you who they really are and what they really want. The abuser would be them if it’s the first kind, because they can’t really decide if they want you or not, at your own expense. They’re not sure if they love you, so they want you to wait till they make up their mind.

The other kind is self-inflicted. Someone bluntly says they don’t love you or they don’t want to have anything to do with you and you say “oh, I mustn’t pay any attention to that. He’s a Pisces. He’s just being his moody self; there’s nothing wrong here,” or someone refuses to return your calls and messages and you say “you know how these INFP Capricorns and Scorpios are, plus his grandma’s sister’s daughter’s baby daddy’s second cousin’s niece died, so he’s probably just in a bad mood or busy with work”. No, what are you doing?

The other person/party wouldn’t be at fault in cases like the second one. It’s up to you to jolt out of this terrible, energy-sucking fantasy that you have placed yourself in.

Ask yourself, “what good is this unbalanced, abusive union or lack thereof to me?” If your answer is “none”, you can make a change right there and then. You can cry if you need to. You have to make yourself happy again, without them. 

You wouldn’t need to worry about, or be unsure if someone loves you if they do, because it will be clear; it will be as clear as a bright, sunny day.

The key to the prison in your heart is in a safe place in your mind. In cases of unrequited love, one must accept the challenge of thinking more and feeling less. Feeling and daydreaming, till it begins to affect your health, will affect you very badly. It will make you useless to yourself. It’s hard, but one must die first to possess eternal life. Stop living in denial. Let go! 🌻 “Alaafia.” 💛🍯