“If you educate a man, you educate and individual. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” - Dr Kwegyir Aggrey (1872-1927)
The older you grow as a young person, you begin to think a lot more about the person you want to be, the legacy you want to leave and the kind of parent you want to be if you were to be blessed with that responsibility. In doing so I have found myself thinking a lot about my mother as my primary example/role model of what a woman should be. My mother has always been a no nonsense woman, but at the same time loving, caring and hardworking. Sometimes in our conversations she says to me, I really wonder about you and how it is that you came to be a feminist. This of course, got me thinking. How did I come to value the feminist movement so much? And now it has hit me, it was her all along. My mother. Being a family of girls, my mother never had a concept of the girls do this and the boys do that, if something needed to be done, and you were there not doing anything, you best believe she would make you do it. I remember one holiday my cousins came over to stay with us. That holiday my mother woke us all up at 5am every day, made each of us a cup of coffee, sat down with us and did bible reading. She would make sure that by 6am we were done, at which point she would allocate our chores, the girls were to go outside and work in the garden, whilst the boys were to remain in the house, sweep the house using a mustvairo (Shona for a hand broom) despite us owning two vacuum cleaners, and after that dust the house and make breakfast. The next day we would swap, the boys in the garden, the girls in the house, and this continued every day for the whole holiday. I remember once one of my male cousins dared to comment that working in the house was women’s work, at which point my mother very firmly let him know that there is no such thing. The purpose of her making us do all of that was for us to see that girls can do anything just as much as boys can and vice versa. That as a girl, your whole life need not be dependent on a man, do something for yourself. As a man, you must also be able to run your own household and be able to do things for yourself so you do not view women and use women as mere objects only meant to jump to fulfil your every need. Be able to be an independent individual. Coming from this kind of upbringing, it offends me, it bothers me, and i cannot accept it, when the world tells me, I must remain in this box because I am a woman, and a man must be put on a pedestal because he is a man. It offends me. It offends my moral conscious. Patriarchy offends me. Purposefully or unwittingly my mother planted something in me, and now it is bearing fruit. I am a feminist not because I wish to see women over power men, but because I wish to see my biological make up being viewed just as that, and not being used to determine what I can and cannot do, what I must or must not say, or how I should or should not think. Because above being a woman, I am a human being, just like any man. South African novelist and essayist Nadine Gordimer once said something to the effect that she did not view feminism as a issues or a cause exclusive to women, but rather as moral That human morals should move us to sympathise with a woman who has been raped not just because she is a woman, but because she is a person, and I absolutely agree with that. We really need to rid ourselves of this notion that certain things are only for women and others for men. And we need to get rid of this concept that men can’t be bothered about women’s rights. There is no reason why a man cannot be a feminist. When after all it is a movement for the equality of everyone. We can’t change things be denying the existence of patriarchy. No, patriarchy exists. We see it every day. But rather we must counter it with feminism, where a woman can be cherished and respected just as much as any man. Now for this to happen, it is not just a matter of putting legislation in place. There is a bigger picture, we need to transform society. Hence the quote stated above. I f patriarchy says a woman’s place is at home with the children, then we must use that to effect change where it is possible. By educating women as to their rights and about equality, they will in turn teach their children, who will then go out and effect change. If a mother’s biggest influence is with her children then she must use that influence to teach her daughter that she can do anything she sets her mind to and treat all people with respect, and she can teach her son the same, and emphasise that a woman is not there to be abused, belittled and taken for granted. And ultimately that patriarchy offends the essence of human morals.
Everyone should give a second of there time to reblog this. Instead of reblog girls in crops tops. Just shows raw love.
Our children our future. There must be more we can do. That right there is selflessness.
This is everything though…
Date a girl who writes.
Date a girl who may never wear completely clean clothes, because of coffee stains and ink spills. She’ll have many problems with her closet space, and her laptop is never boring because there are so many words, so many worlds that she’s cluttered amidst the space. Tabs open filled with obscure and popular music. Interesting factoids about Catherine the Great, and the immortality of jellyfish. Laugh it off when she tells you that she forgot to clean her room, that her clothes are lost among the binders so it’ll take her longer to get ready, that her shoes hidden under the mountain of broken Bic pens and the refurbished laptop that she’s saved for ever since she was twelve.
Kiss her under the lamppost, when it’s raining. Tell her your definition of love.
Find a girl who writes. You’ll know that she has a sense of humor, a sense of empathy and kindness, and that she will dream up worlds, universes for you. She’s the one with the faintest of shadows underneath her eyelids, the one who smells of coffee and Coca-cola and jasmine green tea. You see that girl hunched over a notebook. That’s the writer. With her fingers occasionally smudged with charcoal, with ink that will travel onto your hands when you interlock your fingers with her’s. She will never stop, churning out adventures, of traitors and heroes. Darkness and light. Fear and love. That’s the writer. She can never resist filling a blank page with words, whatever the color of the page is.
She’s the girl reading while waiting for her coffee and tea. She’s the quiet girl with her music turned up loud (or impossibly quiet), separating the two of you by an ocean of crescendos and decrescendos as she’s thinking of the perfect words. If you take a peek at her cup, the tea or coffee’s already cold. She’s already forgotten it.
Use a pick-up line with her if she doesn’t look to busy.
If she raises her head, offer to buy her another cup of coffee. Or of tea. She’ll repay you with stories. If she closes her laptop, give her your critique of Tolstoy, and your best theories of Hannibal and the Crossing. Tell her your characters, your dreams, and ask if she gotten through her first novel.
It is hard to date a girl who writes. But be patient with her. Give her books for her birthday, pretty notebooks for Christmas and for anniversaries, moleskins and bookmarks and many, many books. Give her the gift of words, for writers are talkative people, and they are verbose in their thanks. Let her know that you’re behind her every step of the way, for the lines between fiction and reality are fluid.
She’ll give you a chance.
Don’t lie to her. She’ll understand the syntax behind your words. She’ll be disappointed by your lies, but a girl who writes will understand. She’ll understand that sometimes even the greatest heroes fail, and that happy endings take time, both in fiction and reality. She’s realistic. A girl who writes isn’t impatient; she will understand your flaws. She will cherish them, because a girl who writes will understand plot. She’ll understand that endings happen for better or for worst.
A girl who writes will not expect perfection from you. Her narratives are rich, her characters are multifaceted because of interesting flaws. She’ll understand that a good book does not have perfect characters; villains and tragic flaws are the salt of books. She’ll understand trouble, because it spices up her story. No author wants an invincible hero; the girl who writes will understand that you are only human.
Be her compatriot, be her darling, her love, her dream, her world.
If you find a girl who writes, keep her close. If you find her at two AM, typing furiously, the neon gaze of the light illuminating her furrowed forehead, place a blanket gently on her so that she does not catch a chill. Make her a pot of tea, and sit with her. You may lose her to her world for a few moments, but she will come back to you, brimming with treasure. You will believe in her every single time, the two of you illuminated only by the computer screen, but invincible in the darkness.
She is your Shahrazad. When you are afraid of the dark, she will guide you, her words turning into lanterns, turning into lights and stars and candles that will guide you through your darkest times. She’ll be the one to save you.
She’ll whisk you away on a hot air balloon, and you will be smitten with her. She’s mischievous, frisky, yet she’s quiet and when she has to kill off a lovely character, when she cries, hold her and tell her that it will be alright.
You will propose to her. Maybe on a boat in the ocean, maybe in a little cottage in the Appalachian Mountains. Maybe in New York City. Maybe Chicago. Baltimore. Maybe outside her publisher’s office. Because she’s radiant, wherever she goes. Maybe even outside of a cinema where the two of you kiss in the rain. She’ll say that it is overused and clichéd, but the glint in her eyes will tell you that she appreciates it all the same.
You will smile hard as she talks a mile a second, and your heart will skip a beat when she holds your hand and she will write stories of your lives together. She’ll hold you close and whisper secrets into your ears. She’s lovely, remember that. She’s self made and she’s brilliant. Her names for the children might be terrible, but you’ll be okay with that. A girl who writes will tell your children fantastical stories.
Because that is the best part about a girl who writes. She has imagination and she has courage, and it will be enough. She’ll save you in the oceans of her dreams, and she’ll be your catharsis and your 11:11. She’ll be your firebird and she’ll be your knight, and she’ll become your world, in the curve of her smile, in the hazel of her eye the half-dimple on her face, the words that are pouring out of her, a torrent, a wave, a crescendo - so many sensations that you will be left breathless by a girl who writes.
Maybe she’s not the best at grammar, but that is okay.
Date a girl who writes because you deserve it. She’s witty, she’s empathetic, enigmatic at times and she’s lovely. She’s got the most colorful life. She may be living in NYC or she may be living in a small cottage. Date a girl who writes because a girl who writes reads.
A girl who writes will understand reality. She’ll be infuriating at times, and maybe sometimes you will hate her. Sometimes she will hate you too. But a girl who writes understands human nature, and she will understand that you are weak. She will not leave on the Midnight Train the first moment that things go sour. She will understand that real life isn’t like a story, because while she works in stories, she lives in reality.
Date a girl who writes.
Because there is nothing better then a girl who writes.
who is her!!!??? I Lovee
Danai Gurira putting Zimbabwe on the map.
A man chained to a tree at Jesus Divine Temple (Nyakumasi) Prayer Camp in Ghana sleeps on a bed made out of bamboo. This is where he has lived for over eight months.
© 2012 Nick Loomis/Human Rights Watch
People with mental disabilities suffer severe abuses in psychiatric institutions and spiritual healing centers in Ghana.