For four days every month since I “became a woman” at the age of eleven, my crampy discomfort coerces me into wishing I were male and afterwards I continue to take delight in the complexities that make me female. At least until the next time, next month.
I’ve regarded the many heated debates about female-male equality/equity with mixed feelings on the one hand and detachment on the other hand. Would it be considered utterly flippant if I was sincere enough to admit that sometimes I couldn’t care less about feminism? Quite simply, I am mostly concerned about being treated fairly compared to the next person, whether male or female, with or without a penis. Period. (this reminds me of crampy discomforts).
Recently, I read an article, and in it the Nigerian writer articulately expressed their displeasure at the use of an all-white cast in a particular Hollywood film. Their main grouse was that the black race was not represented, which to them ranked even lower on the Unfairness scale than being represented inaccurately. Their argument was that the whole thing reeked of lack of diversity.
I thought carefully about their opinion and after according it the requisite respect I remembered my resolution to reassess one-sided evaluations, and decided to apply my “Put the shoe on another foot” test.
Then I mused, would similar sentiments arise in a white person when reviewing an all-black cast film? In that instance, would the non- representation of the white race seem as unfair? After watching a movie that oozed chocolatey melanin in every scene, would Whites or Blacks shake their heads in despair, wringing their hands at the absence of a white actor? I wondered. Again, I decided that I couldn’t care less about the colourful (or colourless) film affair. It triggered zero sentiments in every fibre of my being.
A case in point is the Benetton (or was it Gap) advert. There was ear-splitting outcry about racial disrespect over the Yin side (white taller kid resting her elbow on the head of a shorter black kid), yet not a word about the Yang side (Black taller kid resting her elbow on the head of a shorter white kid).
This advert matter pretty much bored me. To me, it seemed like yet another debate for the sake of debating. Ah! Social media, please take back some of the liberties that you have afforded us, suddenly we have discovered our eloquence and now our throats are sore.
So, much ado about nothing? Or have my own problems with actual substance made me so jaded to the point of indifference at these things that some consider to be irritating inconveniences to their sense and sensibilities? Have they made me too tired?
Well, give me twenty-four hours of constant electricity daily and never-ending litres of petrol, maybe then I’ll find the time and emotions to invest in a debate about why the sun shines in the day and the moon by night and not the other way round.
I’ve decided to pick my battles pickily, I don’t want to be excited by another person’s war cry, taking up a sword to fight battles without first considering the factors, not even knowing why I am fighting, then pointlessly getting cut and bloodied (again, I am reminded of crampy discomforts).
As far as I’m concerned, lending my voice for or against every debate now (before I’ve carefully considered if it affects the direction of the needle in the fuel gauges of both my power generator and motor car), will not make me appear more intelligent than I already am.
These days, the will to be a Nigerian is all that I have strength for. 😄