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Last Saturday I exhibited “Hey woman” at Cantonments.Thanks to Paul for allowing me to use the space, and thank you to everybody who passed through. I appreciate you immensely.

For those who couldn’t make it, here’s the “thesis” we passed around during the exhibition. And some of the comments people wrote down after seeing the installation.

Feminism

Feminism is a subject people walk on eggshells around, women. Feminism isn’t a badge of honour women will proudly wear, much less men. A woman will want to be called anything but a feminist. The popular perceptions or misconceptions are; feminists are first, “anti-man” before “pro-woman”. Feminists are women who have over exaggerated the plight of inequality in gender. Feminists are women whose response to any sentence that has a man in it is “That is oppression. Don’t let him oppress you.” Feminists are women who believe that women are the superior species and thus deserve more than men. The one that baffles me the most is when people say they believe in gender equality but they’re not in favour of the “feminism noisemaking”

So what is feminism? There are several definitions of feminism flying around, I won’t bore you with variations of it. But the basic definition of feminism is: Feminism is the belief that all people are entitled to the same civil rights and liberties and can be intellectual equals regardless of gender. 

There are some very smart people who argue that if women want so badly to be equal with men they should be able to hold doors for themselves and physically do what men can do. If all mothers asked their husbands to breastfeed their babies in the name of what they perceive equality to be, maybe this argument would be nonexistent.

You don’t need a scholar to tell you that men and women aren’t or can’t be equal in the complete sense. Our make is such that there will always be things both parties can do that the other can’t. Every Dick, Tom and Agatha knows that.

There will not have been a need for feminism if decades ago equality was a myth. Perhaps if a decade ago men were the oppressed sex, it would be the “meninist” cause we would be rooting for. But it hasn’t been so, and it completely isn’t so even in the present.

I hope in the future the concept of feminism is so clear and embracing that it is no longer a concept, but a natural phenomenon. But as it is now, identifying yourself as a feminist means someone is going to see you either as a loud or disgruntled or unreasonable or promiscuous woman who wants an excuse to be an ass and get away with it

The media is so hostile about feminism that some women feel compelled to not identify as feminists.

Feminism is the equality of women & men. The term itself and the movement behind it have NOTHING to do with hating men. Yes, there are women who hate men and yes, most of them say they are feminists. But they aren’t feminists, they are assholes misandrists. And you have to learn the difference between that.

Aziz Ansari describes effortlessly what a no-brainer is in his interview with David Letterman. “If you look up feminist in the dictionary, it just means someone who believes men and women have equal rights,” he says, after asking fellow feminists in the audience for a round of applause. “But I think the reason people don’t clap is that the word is so weirdly used in our culture. Now, people think feminist means, like, some woman is gonna start yelling at them.”

He continues to add his signature humor to the topic, which is clearly important to him. “I feel like if you do believe that men and women have equal rights, if someone asks if you’re a feminist, you have to say yes, because that is how words work,” he quips, adding a metaphor about a doctor who treats diseases of the skin but deems the word dermatologist “too aggressive.”

So in “Hey woman” saying “you love pussy but you don’t get feminism?” is me sincerely wondering how you can love pussy (which can only be found on the female body) but not understand the oh-so-simple concept of women wanting equality.

“I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side” – Maya Angelou

Being a woman

It’s only a scandal when a woman is sexually active.

But it ain’t a thing when a man is body jumping

 

“Boys will be boys, that’s what people say. No one ever mentions how girls have to be something other than themselves altogether. We are to stifle the same feelings that boys are encouraged to display. We are to use gossip as a means of policing ourselves – this way those who do succumb to sex but are not damaged by it are damaged instead by peer malice. Girls demand a covenant because if one gives in, others will be expected to do the same. We are to remain united in cruelty, ignorance, and aversion. Or we are to starve the flesh from our bones, penalizing the body for its nature, castigating ourselves for advances we are powerless to prevent. We are to make false promises then resist the attentions solicited. Basically we are to become expert liars.” – Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)

It’s so hard being a woman. Everybody and their father has an opinion on how you should look, what you should wear, what colour of lipstick makes you look less of a slut, why you should gain weight, why you shouldn’t. Being a woman can be so damn hard. My generation is so entrenched in social media; the opinions of online buddies and complete strangers. Everybody has got a say on a woman’s body

Society says “skinny girls are bae”.

Society says “thick girls all day”.

Society says “inner beauty we go chop?”

Society says “your face dey bore but your body pap”.

Fuck society, stay awesome, stay you.

Be true to yourself. Be comfortable in your skin. Be skinny, be slender, be thick, be fat, be cute, be happy. Be you.

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