Amidst all the noise of Kimye’s baby news (I don’t understand the hype to be honest, you’d think it was a royal baby announcement….) and the idle ‘breaking’ gist of the ex-NFL player’s (who shall remain nameless, not that you don’t know already) exposed on-going affair as he got married this weekend, the ONLY thing that really caught my attention and had me drawn to my laptop screen was the breathtaking commencement speech by the queen that is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at Wellesley College’s 2015 graduation. I adore this lady and it of course gave me so much inspiration for this week’s post…
My little sis Nkechi also triggered this week’s ramble too lol. I was feeling a little happy yesterday and decided to post a photogrid of the dishes I had made for a mini Sunday feast on Instagram with the caption ‘Not just a pretty face’. Then my little feminist (bless her lol) “Nooo you didn’t put this up *angry face* 1. Are you pretty? *tongue out* 2.Does ‘cooking’ make a lady more womanly? *sad face*”
Of course the first question didn’t need to be answered….(I kid! I joke!) And in no way was I inferring that the fact that I can cook makes me more ‘womanly’, it’s just one of my many talents :-). But it definitely got me thinking because she actually had a very good point, why is it seen that a lady must be able to cook (and other things but I’ll go into that later) before she is viewed as more ‘womanly’?
Now going back to Ms. Adichie’s speech. Incase you missed it, this is the section I’m referring to:
“There are certain things my mother believes a person should do, for the simple reason that said person ‘is a woman.’ Such as nod occasionally and smile even when smiling is the last thing one wants to do. Such as strategically give in to certain arguments, especially when arguing with a non-female. Such as get married and have children. I can think of fairly good reasons for doing any of these. But ‘because you are a woman’ is not one of them. And so, Class of 2015, never ever accept ‘Because You Are A Woman’ as a reason for doing or not doing anything”
(View the full transcript of the speech here)
Now I am far from the Oxford dictionary definition of a feminist but I do believe men and women should be treated equally, and not only when it suits us women i.e catering for the bill on a dinner date (tricky one as I’m rarely the first to bring out my purse, but not because it’s not my right to pay as a woman but depending on the relationship I have with the person, and my mood lol)
Now I didn’t actually start cooking until I was in University, I spent an hour on the phone to my mummy as she dictated to me how to make jollof rice (a huge pot which my flatmates and friends from other blocks managed to finish within 20 minutes, I was so proud!). I love food, I had to eat and I couldn’t spend all of my money on chinese food and Papa Johns so I had to learn how to cook, not because I am a woman but because it’s an added skill I wanted to have and a skill I have developed other the years.
Referring to the subject of marriage, I’d love to get married one day, I’d love to start my own family, build a home with that special person, have kids and watch them grow, but not because that it is my ultimate goal as a woman. Many men also have that same dream so does it mean that is a goal that all men should strive for? Yet it seems to be something more focused on females….
I came across this article (which struck me as quite archaic to be honest but let me know your thoughts) on things ladies can do to be more feminine and here are a few of the pointers they gave:
- Wear heels- now if you know me well, you know I’m not a heels person, I’d much rather spend that money on a gorgeous bag, in Waterstones or in the MAC store, does NOT in any way make me less feminine
- Let him take care of you- now this one made me laugh! Of course I love to be pampered, who doesn’t? But for this making me more feminine? Nah! Who says I can’t take care of him? Last time I checked, I wasn’t an invalid. It works both ways no? Again goes back to belief that men and women should be treated equally…
- Wear lotion- Seriously? Are they well? So men shouldn’t rub cream too? I’ll just leave this one there….
This list is even westernised lol. Here’s a couple you may have heard from an Nigerian mother…
- As a woman, you should be able to wash clothes by hand- as much as I do agree that certain items of clothing require hand washing and it does come out cleaner most times, this is not a womanly trait, sorry, but it isn’t…
- As a woman, you shouldn’t drink or smoke excessively, it makes you look irresponsible- I do neither but why is this gender specific? If we’re reffering only to how it ‘looks’ then it doesn’t exactly make a man look better does it? And why are they only considered about how it makes women ‘look’? It’s not great on the lungs or liver either but you don’t hear them mentioning that?
Of course I could go on but this is turning into an excessive ramble lol. My main point here is that, as Ms Adichie rightfully said, there are many justified reasons for doing the above but not ‘Because I am a woman…’.
As always, I do not have all the answers and I do believe that you can make soup, but for the right reasons :-). I would love to hear your thoughts so please drop a comment below 🙂
Till next week sweets
Miss Mimi x