Random Thoughts I Have Had Lately

I could listen to someone talk about something I don’t care about if I love how they speak. Two YouTubers come to mind.

Entitlement is a fascinating concept because I am so curious, aside from society telling them so, how do men embody and internalise that entitlement to the labour of women?

We can’t help or avoid performing. I think it is integral to living. At times we just have to do what we need to do.

People can’t be who you want them to be.

I’m not as I think I am. This makes sense to me but sometimes I seem to be looking at myself from an aerial viewpoint and asking myself “is that me?”

I don’t really need to be talking as much as I thought I did.

Art and mainly music has eased a lot of my anxiousness.

I deeply detest capitalism.

These words. So so true.

_________________

I had another post planned for today but my mind can’t focus. A lot is going on in my head and life but yeah. Hopefully I’ll finish it for next week.

In the meantime if you’ve read until the end, I appreciate you.

Gender Based Violence, Rape Culture and Male Entitlement

TW: Rape, Assault

Rape culture is systemic, embedded in society and acting like it is individual failing is in reality a tool of the system. The truth of the matter is that the patriarchy allows, has institutionalised and encourages cis menโ€™s entitlement, violence and as long as this continues, statistics on non-men experiencing abuse will not decrease.

picture source: here

If you were to be asked why men are quick to be violent to women, what would you say? What are the threads that connect on this behaviour? Why do heterosexual men think they are owed something by women? Why do men think that joking about violence is not a big deal despite evidence to the fact?

Because wanting to act like these things happen in a vacuum will not lead us to freedom (in this case freedom means being able to live our lives without fear of violence).

TO THIS DAY, we still have to explain to people that coercion is not consent. We still have to tell people that saying no is not an invitation to convince someone to say yes. We are still talking about why rape jokes fuel rape culture. And at this point we have to agree that there are people who are willfully ignorant and also, that men do not care and want to hold onto male privilege while at the same time be seen as nice guysโ„ข.

And let’s not forget that men are rarely held accountable – by the system and even individually – for being rapists or even those who fuel rape culture (insert media personalities here).

Whenever an incident of gender based violence is catapulted in media (because we know that there are many more that we do not get to hear about), the talking points remain the same year in, and year out. And you cannot convince me that men are as ignorant as they want to pretend to be or that they care about gender based violence. And even instead of caring enough to make any change, they are busy saying “Not All Men” or “Educate us” or “men are also raped (which they are but why only bring it up when we are talking about women?) or that bullshit of “I have a sister, mother, daughter” (which basically means they only see women as people when they are related to them) etc. That, is not helpful and further proves that men and the system as a whole are not interested in relinquishing male privilege as they keep derailing conversations.

And we know that men know what is happening and it disgusts me that we have to keep asking them to hold men accountable. It is terrible that we have to keep debating our humanity and telling (almost begging) men that our bodies are our own. And that it is not for them to comment on or dominate.

Men do not care beyond their need to look like they are “nice”; benevolent misogyny will not save us. Men who address women instead of their fellow kinfolk/perpetrators will not save us. If for anything else, no matter how much of an ally one is, there is no interest in relinquishing the privilege and it is SO OBVIOUS especially because they will never talk to their fellow men about these things – just random posts on social media.

Beyond a change in the system, are there things that individuals can do to change things? Yes. We should support efforts of grassroots organisations who do work in this area, men especially should open their wallets. It is not only about tweeting support dudes. The time for performative allyship is over.

Resources

Crime data – Here

FIDA – Here

Usikimye – Here

For viewing

Post script

I cannot imagine engaging with misogynists and rape apologists on social media platforms at this moment. As if it makes a difference. It doesn’t. And if it did, we still wouldn’t be having this conversation. Something would have changed. But nothing has. NOTHING.

Government Spokesperson and Gaslighting

Did you watch the government spokesperson when he spoke about paying higher taxes? Did you watch Big Ted lie to us shamelessly because he is in bed with the current administration?

I mean we do live in a country where politicians gaslight us day and night and every moment in between but let me tell y’all, in a way, I am verklempt.

The audacity of that man talking about the comparison of taxes paid in Europe and here. The sheer audacity of it all is indicative of how the ruling class doesn’t care about the populace.

They really do take us for fools.

(this is the point where you must Google to see what Europeans get for the taxes. Including free education and health)

So while he loudly proclaims that we pay taxes comparable to countries in Europe and yet, NOTHING works in this country. And this isn’t even hyperbole. Nothing works.

People are dying because of preventable things, Kenya lacks autonomy because we HEAVILY rely on donors, politicians are stealing every single day, roads are deplorable, economy is in shambles, quality of health and education are not up to standard and even those of standard people are paying exorbitant prices for. In short, Kenya is a failed state.

And YET

AND YET

He can go on TV and say that we shouldn’t complain because people in Europe, who have access to so much, pay the same taxes.

Honestly – it is the rudeness, the unkindness – for me.

Riddle me this Mr. spokesperson, what are our taxes being used for? Is it the Kshs 2 billion that is being stolen daily that the president proudly told us about with no shame? Is it to line the pockets of politicians and tenderpreneurs? Because it is OBVIOUS it isn’t being used to make lives better for Kenyans.

People I Dislike on the Roads

People who reverse into a main road. This might seem like a small issue but it makes no sense to do this and I don’t know why Kenyans love doing it. Go forward and do a 20 point turn if you need to but stop this shit.

Have you ever been behind someone who has indicated and then takes a decade to actually turn? Like they even brake the car to a complete stop before turning. Infuriating.

The signs for KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING are all over these highways but Kenyans want to act like the law doesn’t make sense driving 40 KPH on the most left lane on Thika Road. Honestly.

Drivers in small cars who take wide turns. This is amusing more than anything else to be honest. Turning as if it is a lorry.

Motorcyclists who cannot make up their minds if they want to drive in the middle of the road or on the side (and end up scratching your car).

Matatus and buses. No explanation needed.

By the way driving unnecessarily slowly and with no confidence causes very many accidents. I need to work on getting data to support this assertion.

Random Things I’ve Thought About

People delight in other people’s misfortune because it makes them feel like their life isn’t so bad, an upper hand of sorts. And since capitalism tells us that we are in competition with each other, then that feeling of being “better” becomes easily justifiable.

Social media really makes people believe that everything that they have thought, they should say and that people want to hear (read?) these things. And people need to question why they post what they post more often. Just because there is an avenue to write your beliefs doesn’t mean you should.

Been going to the gyno recently and I think it is important for people who go there to be more vocal about when they feel uncomfortable. Talking with the gyno – it is a new one, I really laid it on them how it is important for me to be comfortable because I have been in situations where a gyno has made me uncomfortable and I actually named names which I do not think he was ready for me to do but I think it is important to do so.

I got a Spotify account and the best thing about it is how I am getting to hear songs I haven’t heard in a while. The thing about these apps is they play you the same song over and over again because the algorithm (correctly) assumes you like them so that’s what had happened with Deezer. I got comfortable.

Did you pretend to understand Monty Python humour when you were a kid? Only me? I mean, I definitely loved the humour when I watched it once older but def lied when a kid

Privilege, Kenyans and “isms”

I am discussing Kenyans as a collective in this post. If you feel what I am talking about does not reflect your thoughts, opinions etc then it is what it is. Additionally, there is nothing new I am saying here – these are things that have been written about, pondered on, actioned and all that. But it bears repeating.

Kenyans as a lot have opinions on privilege that at times are questionable. We often reduce systemic issues to personal anecdotes. We reduce our opinions on things based on how they affect us personally. “I have never experienced racism so it must not exist,” “we don’t need feminism anymore (because I am a middle class lady with opportunities that this class affords me),” “poor people shouldn’t have children” etc.

As long as history is taught through the colonialist lens we will never be able to understand how the issues facing us, including the yoke of capitalism, are intertwined. As long as our education system does not challenge the status quo, we will continue to have substandard opinions on world matters. That is why some think reverse racism is a legitimate thing. That is why people don’t question missionary work. Or the existence of IMF/World Bank.

It is why we worship at the altar of rich people (especially men) without questioning how the money was acquired. It is why people don’t think colourism is an issue in Kenya, or think that skinny shaming is as bad as fat shaming. It is why upper and middle class kids don’t understand that it was the luck of the draw that they were born in the families they were. It is why, with gusto, people use the silencing tactics of “You are not the target audience”, “you cannot afford this so you shouldn’t call out racism” and other such statements. It is also why we never speak of the history of ethno-nationalism and how politicians use this to keep this country on it’s knees.

Pretty much, talking with some people, you can tell “I have thought this thing and therefore it must be true and no one will tell me otherwise and I will not seek for more information.”

How can we experience, drive for change without knowing what we are talking about?

To be real, I think we refuse to realise the interconnections of all these isms.

We have to imagine a Kenya beyond sexism, tribalism, classism, homophobia, transphobia etc. Do I have the answers? No. But I want to do what it must take to imagine a country, a world where EVERYONE is living well. And not only me. We have to, as Sister Mary Clarence said, Wake up and Pay Attention.

Someone who read this post before I posted it said: Liberalism, which is one of the things that is severely limiting imagination, has learned the language of acknowledging privilege but not really being willing to let go, to actually make concrete material and ideological changes that transform the present and the future material- I might even wager and add spiritual- conditions of people, especially the dispossessed, the outlaws and outcasts.

So yes, we know and we say. And then what? What tangible actions can we do beside learning the vocabulary and correcting people on social media? Because I can tell from how your kids are talking that you are passing bigoted ideas to them.

Most people really accept without very much question the assumptions they are given.

James Baldwin

I Dislike Paying for Parking

On Saturday, on a whim really, I wanted chicken wings for dinner but I don’t usually go to the butchery. The only place that came to mind was the Kenchic butchery in Hurlingham.

I was in and out in 3 mins. I ended up paying 50 shillings for parking.

WHY?

Someone please explain to me why this is a thing? That shopping center doesn’t even have any store in it worth this so why the ridiculous charge? I know often it is the landlord who decides these things, and in this case, it is APA. Come on now.

I can tell you for free, just like I avoid ABC Place because of their ridiculous parking charges – I will NEVER go back to that place.

/end rant

Edited to add

The sign at the barrier says that the first 30 mins is free

Questions That Need Answers

  • Why are we so scared?
  • Why do people refuse to question?
  • And even those who question, why don’t we ask better questions?
  • When did we lose the plot?
  • Why capitalism?
  • Am I the only one who has realised that buying things and mainly clothes, bags and shoes is not necessary?
  • How is this jam so damn fire?
  • Can you imagine someone writing a Best of 2020 Kenyan albums list and not including BLK2541?
  • Are people really watching these reality TV shows with Kenyan “celebrities“?
  • Why are some books so compelling?
  • Why hasn’t animation in Kenya become a thing? Or better?
  • Why are things so expensive?

Hot Takes – Specifically Kenyan Edition

On the Road

I was on Enterprise Road on Saturday and a Citi Hoppa cut me off so badly. And since there was traffic, I started thinking about how we drive in this country. We must agree that we are violently unkind people while on the road. All of us. Lorries bullying smaller cars, matatus and buses being reckless, drivers refusing to give each other way, police maniacally looking for who will give them a bribe, motorcyclists doing what they do etc. Part of it is that since we are mostly powerless in this country, being ridiculously aggressive on the road is one way we feel we can exert power over others. Another reason is that we are rude. Kenyans are rude and it shows.

On Real Estate

Send this to all real estate professionals.

A house is not a mansion just because it is a stand alone house.

Stop building stand alone houses that have no green spaces. What’s the point then? Might as well stay in an apartment.

Hire experienced interior designers because whew…. these houses out here are UGLY.