sKenyans, shame on you. Dishonour on you, your family, your children’s children, and your cow

Ah, some Kenyans (sKenyans) on twitter, and facebook; aren’t you lot just a terrible example of humanity? Not a reason have you to be terrible, but there you go sharing what has been unsolicited, and is harmful. I don’t know why these 4chan-esque posters are allowed online, but I have this deep desire to see them no longer. And for the most part, I have managed to avoid them; but with the ability for people to have multiple accounts at a time, and that thing called manual reposting, it’s not an entire success. Hence how I found myself reading tweets by unnecessary bigots regarding a kiss.

This kiss is heterosexual, and boring which in itself isn’t worth much furore if any attention. However, because sKenyans on twitter, and facebook apparently have to fill some quota on being harmful negatives, they pervade the kenya-twitter-sphere with their misogynistic slut labelling of the woman involved in the kiss.

If their problem was the man involved, I’d probably be less moved to comment on it. It’s not, however. It’s not that the man is a liar, a sexist, misogynistic, sycophant government official, who spends more time making the government look irrational than communicating effectively enough to manipulate people into seeing the government in a positive, or non-negative light. Because there’s no one working for a government’s communication department that isn’t manipulating people with their messages. Their problem is that the woman was pictured with a man who isn’t the man she was pictured with prior. Their problem is that she’s a female. And that’s misogynistic.

sKenyans are a shame; repugnant excuses of humanity. Exaggerating a kiss to sexual acts, and then slandering a woman as being irresponsible with her sexual life is revolting, and undeserving of any consideration that doesn’t lead to rebuking of their behaviour. Equating a promiscuous lifestyle to deserving of rape in the case of a woman is violent. Expecting them to learn different, to be good is a pipe dream. There’s more chance public money stashed in Switzerland will be returned with all the interest gained than the likes of @masaku will stop being hateful, spiteful persons committing violence against women for the sole reason that they are not him.

I let it known that I watch telenovelas. I don’t have great, elaborate reasons. The actors are mostly attractive, the acting is outlandish, the stories tickle my humour, and they have erotic love scenes. This doesn’t mean I ignore the messages they put in them. If I did, I’d end up being a mindless consumer; not my cup of tea. As such, I have found telenovelas to be toxic media of messages, which when taken up by people not bothering to question the messages, or critique them, then promote harmful ideologies, and cultures in the viewer.

Why do I write this? Well, I’m watching Lo Que La Vida Me Robo; a Mexican telenovela about Monserrat, whose first love, Jose Luis, is framed for murder by her family because her brother committed the murder, and the guy is poor. Her other suitor is rich, and through spectacular manipulation, helped along by no-cellphones, and the woman believing a sceptic too easily, she ends up married to suitor number 2. There’s turmoil as she rejects him when she finds out Jose Luis didn’t betray her and thereafter seeks her out. But then she finds herself falling in love with her husband, suitor number 2; which provides another source of friction.

I’d have no problems with the telenovela based on such premise, save for the execution of the story. Suitor number 2 rapes his wife, and with a flippant apology, expresses his regret about it. Apparently all is forgiven when she falls in love with him. If that isn’t an endorsement for marital rape, then someone needs their definition of marital rape aptly adjusted.

Do I mean that rapists shouldn’t be forgiven? That they aren’t loved? I don’t. I’m not so idealistic as to think they don’t get either. I, however, get pissed when a story handles such a real issue badly. Monserrat doesn’t get a remorseful husband for long; she doesn’t get an appropriate apology. And she doesn’t seem perturbed by the rape for more than five episodes. When the husband refers to the rape when she finds out she’s pregnant, asking if she doesn’t hate it because of the night of conception, she shrugs and says no. It wasn’t that big of a deal.

Bad-telenovela-teachings said what?

They aren’t problematic alone. Monserrat’s murderous brother gets protected by the family, and his brother-in-law when the truth is revealed. They could turn him in, and clear Jose Luis’ name, but not even Monserrat tries to do that. Why? Cause Jose Luis is working on her husband’s hacienda, and she fears her husband would kill him if he knew. I rolled my eyes five hundred times during that particular arc in the story. It’s not over as yet, but good-writing-Shonda if it doesn’t make me wish logic existed in telenovela lala land.

The murderous brother is also a thief, and fraudster. He, and his homoerotic friend execute a plan of falsely marrying a rich woman(who’s supposed to be ugly), and then making off with her fortune to Brazil. Him, and his friend run off to his sister’s hacienda to hide when the truth is found out. And it takes weeks for the jilted rich woman to find him, and only because he steals from his friend, who decides to get revenge by telling the rich woman where her fake husband is. What does the murderous brother get in punishment? A 12 month deal to be her legal husband, and suffer her vengeance. So far in the show, she doesn’t have a mean streak. It feels like the vengeance will entail home arrest, and considering her house, that’s a vacation for the murderous brother.

What does Jose Luis get? If telenovelas teach one thing, it’s that eros love is limited, and as such you can only love one person at a time. Bogus. Because of this, Jose Luis is turned into a villain. Which is bogus. Of all the characters, he suffers the most; the story should even be about him primarily as he loses his career, his identity, his standing in society, his family is apparently non-existent, his best friend, his lover, his wives as he marries twice. But it wouldn’t be in line with the teaching of the telenovela that the person to lose the most may be justified in bringing hell upon those who thrive in their misfortune. It just wouldn’t work.

I dislike what the telenovela has shown thus far as intriguing, and appealing themes. A murderer shouldn’t get to not even worry about going to jail beyond framing someone else. If Dimitrio(the murderous brother)  is that apathetic, then it works. Hopefully, that’s the point of his story thus far. Nevertheless, knowing he’s not the villain, and all the defence he gets from his aunt, reeks of a bad boy turned good. It shouldn’t be the case, cause mindless viewers are going to see it as a legit move. Possibly even apply it to their real lives.

Bad boys aren’t a real life thing cause storybooks, and Hollywood didn’t prop them up as salvageable beings in need of good hearts, and soft touch.

Someone having their life taken away from them shouldn’t be punished by being villainised so that the people the storytellers want to be liked by the audience can live well, and good.

A wife shouldn’t be afraid of her husband, or flippant of his actions, especially when he commits violence against her. Nadia, the lead’s best friend, has a violent husband who she thinks is gay because he doesn’t touch her, or any other woman sexually. Way to strongly imply that homosexuals are dangerous televisa. Two for one. She fears him a lot, until she finds a lover, and missing his attention, and affection is what drives her to be defiant towards her husband. It hurts my head to await her journey’s progression; cause on the one hand, it’s great she’s standing up for herself; on the other, I hate that it’s because of her lover. As if to say victims of abuse shouldn’t stand up to their abusers for anyone but someone who is their lover.

Furthermore, the lead female character shouldn’t be welcoming her husband, and contending that beneath his rage issues, he’s really a good guy, so that’s why she just shrugs off his abuse. Even the show’s priest supports, and promotes the idea to her, that her husband’s anger issues are solved by loving him. Talk about a dangerous message.

The telenovela is barely halfway through in airing, therefore, there’s still room for the characters to develop better, and contentious issues be addressed well, and good. But so far, the messages have been too harmful to be ignored. I hope no one is watching it and thinking they only need to be affectionate towards their abusers to change their ways; or that protecting criminals because they are family is the best thing to do.

It’s not.

It’s culture

I’m angry; raging a storm inside; and that my blood pressure reads normal should indicate that I have low blood pressure when unstimulated. I’m mad as hell.

This has been a week entrenched in misogyny, and rape that is not of the legal definition.

First off, Njoki Chege, the unnecessary antithesis to womanhood, and positivity in womanhood in Kenya, wrote an article describing the men who don’t fit her standards of being a husband. Now, for the purpose of this, I read her article. It is surprisingly painless.

She lists quite sensibly why she doesn’t date, or want to marry men who should be in her league age-wise. The points she lays out including bad drinking habits, bragging with unimpressive things, basing dates on frivolous, overhyped, or cheap gigs, and not holding intelligent conversations. She also points out many of them despise strongly opinionated women.

The reaction she got was exactly why she doesn’t date men of the age-set she assumes is expected of her. They hated on her opinions, and her. The irony was grating; and the hypocrisy made me get off facebook, and twitter. People read, but saw what they wanted. They didn’t comprehend her point. Typical but still irritating. The culture of misogyny took its practitioners off a cliff while they raged, and yelled about how unfair, and stupid Njoki Chege is for writing that she wants a man with an expensive car, financial stability, and good money management, with intelligent conversation content for a husband.

Second act of violence took place on Accra Road where guys take Embassava buses, and matatus. A hoard of men stripped a woman of her clothes because they were too tight, and provocative. To hear Embassava touts talk about it, they distance themselves from the crime that took place before them, and defend the criminals by portraying the woman as having provoked the men by talking back when they insulted her, and ripping her clothes by grabbing her pant leg out of the grip of one of the marauders.

I was stupefied by the defence. Some guy slept on the violence he witnessed, and decided it was the victim’s fault. She took herself there, and provoked the assaulters to rip her clothes off. Stupified.

Less stupifying, but equally as irritating is the reactions to the video of the assault. The typical rape culture enablers were there to regurgitate age-old tropes of “she shouldn’t have been wearing”, “she provoked”, “this is decency blah blah blah”. The others were annoying with their “what’s wrong with society” “what’s wrong with men” “I wonder why they did that” queries. The answer is simple; rape, misogyny, and male entitlement culture.

Kenya is a terrible place for women. Not as terrible as most of the continent, and that is saying something of the continent. Africa is riddled with disgusting misogyny, and rape cultures. Women work the most, the hardest, the longest, for the least. the money goes to men, and not all men, just the ones who have wrought havoc upon others, or have the power to do so. Men supported by women, and women who think being a man gains them a superior, and utmost level of humanity, and wealth.

It does, but it’s not acceptable, or ethical.

Men, and some women, think they have the right to police women. They tell women what to do, how to do it, why, when, and where; and if a woman refuses, she deserves the violence coming to her. Why do they think like this? I don’t have the words, coherency, or motivation to map out millennia of anti-woman ideologies designed, and distilled over time to become damn near inherent to humans. Millennia of anti-woman ideologies, and colonisation by Arabic, and European empires, and cultures have influenced, and been entrenched in the education of people in Kenya, and Africa at large to the extent that men think it’s natural to police women, and most of their time, to the detriment of the women.

It’s rape culture that has pervaded this country, and its citizens, and it’s killing the spirits of men and women who are its victims, and poisoning those of men, and women who are its perpetrators. Yes, women perpetrate the culture. They rape, and they enable rapists. Are they significant? Rapists who are women are difficult to tally up because their victims rarely report the rape officially, or publicly. It has everything to do with the shame attached to womanhood that is not only domineering, but strong enough to violate another.

Thank you Victorian era culture brought to us courtesy British Empire.(sarcasm)

Women who enable rapists are of a significant number. They are the ones that tell victims to keep quiet, demand victims prove their assault, fault victims for being assaulted, say victims deserved the rape, accept payment to keep assaults quiet, especially to save the rapist’s public reputation from the ugliness of being known as a rapist; and worst of all, support rapists. These women are in such great numbers that you could enter a matatu full of women, and they’d be at least half of the seats.

This anti-woman culture is ingrained in the country’s general society, and it’s not dying off any time soon. Before the Brits came through with their brutality to change cultures, there were cultures that meted violence upon women and called it nature. Circumcision robbing girls of natural sexual bodily functions, lack of political powers, lack of economic powers; and lack of equal footing with men in terms of being seen as human are many cultures that were prevalent in plenty of old nations in what is now Kenya. They have only thrived in years since independence, with people even laughing when shown the consequences of circumcision when it comes to birth. It’s a gruesome thing, but not to people practising it. Old women believe they’ve survived the pain, so can the following generations. Men believe it’s an honour, and since they see it as an honour, women must conform to their standards if they want to be married by them. In Kenya, tribalism is at level with overt racism in Europe, and Asia. Some people will literally rather stay single than marry outside of their old nation.

Such entrenched cultures can only be done away with using the same avenues the colonisers used to impose their cultures upon African natives; but are our teachers willing to teach a different culture from that which they were raised to believe was the utmost superior culture in the world? Not in the next two lifetimes I bet. Not unless it goes down with guns, and whips, and brutality to change for the better.