Pertinent Questions

Do you like that person or do you like the attention they give you?

In the same vein are you heart broken because you loved them or because you feel that you are not the kind of person who is broken up with?

What do we do with these people who assign morality to rich people?

And what do we do with those who refuse to analyse privilege and the role in their lives?

Do men even understand how patriarchy affects them?

Why are men so comfortable saying “I know how men are”?

Do the men who understand how patriarchy affects them care? I have been reminded of this video.

This race towards “most woke person“, who asked for it? Also being aware of oppression + knowing the literature behind it =/= being a good, kind, helpful person.

Why is it easier to tell women to lower their standards? Oh wait – I know the answer to this one.

Why is it commonplace to assume women don’t know who they are, what or who they want and must therefore listen to others?

With all the knowledge, why aren’t we getting better?

Nice Guys™

While I have known the sentiment “nice guys won’t save us” to be true, I was recently reminded of why it is.

As I listened to this conversation happening around me, I remembered the Marilyn Frye quote:

“To say that straight men are heterosexual is only to say that they engage in sex (fucking exclusively with the other sex, i.e., women). All or almost all of that which pertains to love, most straight men reserve exclusively for other men. The people whom they admire, respect, adore, revere, honor, whom they imitate, idolize, and form profound attachments to, whom they are willing to teach and from whom they are willing to learn, and whose respect, admiration, recognition, honor, reverence and love they desire… those are, overwhelmingly, other men. In their relations with women, what passes for respect is kindness, generosity or paternalism; what passes for honor is removal to the pedestal. From women they want devotion, service and sex. Heterosexual male culture is homoerotic; it is man-loving.”

Marilyn Frye, The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory

Yes, I have read the entire essay and I think it is very relevant to what I am talking about.

In the same essay she (Marilyn Frye) talks about male solidarity in women-hating as it sets women apart and below men. And if you think about it and as was happening in this conversation, men will not call their misogynistic and rape-y friends out because they want to maintain that solidarity with their fellow men. Do men like women outside of the utility they get from them?

And since maleness and masculinity as depicted in the world is something that men believe they grant to other men (and therefore can snatch it at any given time) – the so called nice guys tow the line. This is why you’ll hear them say “he is that way” or “don’t mind him he talks like that” and other phrases that puts burden of action on women. There is that approval men seek from other men that goes to show the rest of us that there is really no point in that lauding of nice guys ™️. Like, what is the point? I don’t get it.

I often think about something I read about the fact that it doesn’t benefit nice guys to contradict misogynistic men even though they do not agree with them or share the same values. And why is that? Is it because they also as well don’t see anyone else as human except men?

Anyway, these videos are interesting.

Memory and Jimmi Gathu

When TEFB sent out the email about their new show I went to their Twitter timeline and read a thread about Jimmi Gathu.

Jimmi Gathu is such an integral part of Kenyan culture. And I’m not only talking about what he has done on radio or shows he has acted on. I am also including how as a kid and watching him, he was part of our lives. I don’t think I can aptly explain how it was as a kid watching him and knowing he is good at what he is doing, and like we knew he was a big deal.

You hear Americans and especially African Americans talking about watching Yo! MTV Rap and 106 & Park and what that means for the culture. Comparatively for us, it was Kasskass, Rhythmix and all the other shows Jimmi Gathu hosted. I don’t think kids now understand how much of a big deal he was, we watched his wedding on TV and for a time before social media, this was momentous!!!

And let’s talk about this song and video

First of all, as a kid watching this, you could not tell me this was a Public Service Announcement. As far as I was concerned, it was a song; pure and simple. And also Knowing, like actually being aware that Jimmi Gathu was (and is) good looking. Whew.

I would watch a documentary on Jimmi Gathu. He needs and deserves all the flowers.

Broken Hearts and the Fullness of Love

If you’ve seen Hunter Prosper’s videos you know he often asks people’s about their greatest loves. And most often than not it is usually people’s first love. The person they loved when they were younger – in high school, late teens and early twenties.

It is quite curious. Even if the people being interviewed didn’t end up coupled with the person they often have such good memories. Rose coloured glasses? Perhaps.

I therefore have questions:

Is it because at the younger age people aren’t yet jaded? Is it because people have yet to experience heart break? Is it because people still do not know who they are and what they want re: love? Is it because people still do not know what love means to them as individuals outside of romanticisation?

I think sometimes saying the first love is the big love requires nuance, context and mych thought. My opinion is that there is so much contentment to be found when you realise what love means to you specifically and finding people who embody it. People who want to love you and work at it consciously. And I’m not convinced this is possible in youth.

Taken for Idiots

Definitions: divide and rule

You use divide and rule to refer to a policy which is intended to keep someone in a position of power by causing disagreements between people who might otherwise unite against them.

I was watching a documentary on climate change and they were talking about how lobbyists work. The lobbyist who was interviewed said that all they do is create doubt in the system.

And I couldn’t help but think about how politicians in this country use tribalism to create doubt. To make it seem as though voting along tribal lines serves us, although everything around us proves otherwise. It is that doubt that they have been able to hone in on.

But let us talk about ways in which Kenyans are infantilised, taken to be idiots really:

I really don’t want to swallow my words in a couple of days but how it’s made to seem that violence is going to happen, that it is the thing Kenyans will resort to come election time is a form of infatilisation. I want to believe that Kenyans know better and are better people. That Kenyans know that these elections that only happen every five years is no reason to turn violent to their neighbours because of something a politician told them. That Kenyans now have learnt from history.

Do Kenyans know that the violence will always affect them, the “common mwananchi” and it won’t remotely affect the political class/rich? I want to believe yes.

We aren’t puppets to be used on a whim by politicians.

Our greatest issue in this country is poverty which will never be resolved by politicians because keeping people poor is how the ruling class maintains power. And that’s facts.

Irreverent Thoughts

It is harder in this individualistic world to be kind for the sake of. In most instances people are trying to see how the kind act/word will benefit them PERSONALLY.

It irks me when I see the comment “Love wins” on heterosexual couple posts. Like……..

Most people don’t know what they want. They know what is expected of them though and then convince themselves that that is what they want.

I would support police if they forced people to KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING. (jk)

This isn’t irreverent as such – social media is THE performance. Doesn’t matter what people try to convince themselves about what they are posting – it is a performance.

The Wedding Industrial Complex has really set foot and captured Kenyans, and it still pales to what the Nigerians and South Africans are doing. Also, Kenyan weddings are low key boring because of the unrefined mish mash of white wedding + religion + tribal culture things.

Why Do Foreign Musicians Talk About Kenya That Way?

Whenever I see foreign musicians talk about how they miss Kenya, can’t wait to come back and whatnot I am often curious.

I get it, we want these celebrities to love our country and whatnot.

But doesn’t it bother us that our own musicians don’t reap the benefits of being musicians in this country?

It should.

We have heard that musicians from other countries come here, they are paid well. PAID WELL. And sometimes, them wanting to come back is not so much about the country but rather, the economic benefits they reap from coming to perform here (otherwise they would come without there being a concert).

Concert promoters often say that having Kenyan performers doesn’t reap the profits the foreign musicians do but I think that is a cop out. And that is why what Nyashinski did with Shin City is important and urgent. Those like him, with the muscle and ability to mentor and uplift other musicians.

I won’t say much about our useless government but the fact of the matter is that it is by design that local musicians aren’t as supported as they should be.

Social Media, Influencers, Advertising and Content Creation

As usual, definitions

Content creation is the contribution of information to any media and most especially to digital media for an end-user/audience in specific contexts.

Wikipedia

That sounds so abstract, right? And I think that this is by design.

advertising, the techniques and practices used to bring products, services, opinions, or causes to public notice for the purpose of persuading the public to respond in a certain way toward what is advertised.

Brittanica

Hmm.

Let me be clear I do not think making music, art, writing, painting, sculpting, actors, dancers, photography etc is content creation in how it is often used in this day and age.

Video essayists, podcasters, people who create on sites like Patreon, even vloggers – those create content.

Influencing on the other hand……….

I sometimes see SOME people say they are content creators, creatives and I’m like…. capitalism really sold us the idea that advertising/marketing goods and services is some form of art. Like it’s somehow different from the advertisements we see on TV or radio. But is it? When you post trying to sell those who view whatever product or service in exchange for pay, aren’t you just advertising? I don’t think we can argue with this point. It is an advert placed on social media on behalf of a company – “Paid Partnership”.

There was a TikTok where the person said something to the effect that “Google exists to provide avenues for corporations and advertising companies to sell us things” and how do you argue with that seeing what for example YouTube is now. These social media companies like to spread the messaging that what they are doing is helping to create connection and all that nonsense but in reality it is creating environments and collecting data about consumer usage and then turning back to corporations to tell them “Look, these people spend time on our app/site so advertise with us.”

And isn’t that what influencers do?

Influencers like the term content creators to detract from the fact that they are just selling stuff

Tiffany Ferg

Someone who has accumulated, cultivated a large following, with the ensuing assumption that they can influence their followers through the parasocial relationship and then turn around and basically sells – whatever it is- to those who consume their offerings on whatever platform (It is funny to me when we are told that influencers aren’t meant to make us buy things but to “inform” us about the product/service).

An advertisement by any other name is still an advertisement. Just because you attach a personal story to it does not make it less so.

Especially if every single post is #Spon, #Ad, #PaidPartnership?

We really need to separate this need we have that what we do for money (our jobs) being a thing we are passionate about – or even thinking it is that important because I don’t know – it really isn’t in the grand scheme of things. Make your money how you must (we all are out here) but don’t make it seem as if you are doing something noble, important or that there is a difference from other people’s jobs because you perform vulnerability by using your personal experiences to sell the rest of us something.

Final Thoughts

Hyper consumption will not save us.

To be honest the speed with which I skip an advert on YouTube is how I forward and scroll past adverts on Instagram done by influencers.

I think the worst thing that happened re: influencer culture is how we treat musicians, actors, writers etc.

Let us also keep in mind who our enemy is here: CAPITALISM

Death to celebrity culture and attendant issues revolving around it.

To close, I am not here for bad faith arguers and simplistic thinking on this matter.

My Body, Your Opinion(?)

I am fat. Like size 20/22 fat. And there is nothing I can wear to hide this fact.

So I’m always surprised when I see especially older women snicker about something I’ve worn. The internalised fatphobia of it all.

I was beach side and let me just say, a woman who happens to be fat, who wears what she wants seems to be a sight to behold. Especially if she is black. Cause I can tell you the white women don’t even get a glance. Meanwhile I’ll just be wearing a one piece swimming costume and there is an expectation that I should wear those ugly ones with a skirt or bikers. Yuck.

I really wish we’d all understand and deal with our fatphobia, internalised or otherwise so we can all live in peace without the side eyes and whispers. Heal beloved. Thanks.

I am the representation I needed when I was a kid. Hide for what? For who? Nonsense.