The man in ‘woman’ can’t stop attaching himself to all.
UNAPPRECIATED: Women’s month is here and as we look forward to March 8, take a look at how society continues to refuse to celebrate women as achievers.
I know of a woman
She wakes up every morning to face it all
She faces the biases, the stereotypes, the comments
I know of a woman who keeps wondering
Am I the woman everyone is talking about?
For in Uganda, they all talk about a certain woman
The taxi driver, the boda boda rider, the Subaru driver
They all talk about a woman
The woman who exists not
This woman is a creation of their biases
They claim, or they assert
That she is the worst of drivers
That moment when all the world notices bad driving
They assume it must be that woman
“Alabikka mukazi” they exclaim
As though to imply that all bad drivers are women
Or perhaps that women are bad drivers
So somewhere in this country
There’s this woman
She wakes up like all men
But her fate has already been decided
The court of public opinion has pronounced itself
That this woman, is a bad driver
God forbid she knocks a boda boda rider
The world will gather to roast her
In the same country, this woman must dance to the beat
Upon graduation, they tell her, this degree didn’t matter
The aunties, the grandmothers, the cousins
They all sing one song to her
“We want the other degree
She wonders, which degree this is
We want the special degree, the one that gets us to dance
They want a man, they want a husband
For all her years at university, all her achievements
All these get reduced to one thing
When are you getting married?
They won’t tolerate any delay
Any delay implies a curse
We can do something, we can make you marriage material
The aunties can’t wait to get the share of the bride price
As she progresses in her career
Shattering the glass ceiling
The men, they wonder, it’s impossible
It can’t be her intelligence, her hard work
It must be the bedroom that made the way
Yes, the bedroom got her to the boardroom
No matter how hard she works, it will get reduced to her body
Remember when she bought a brand new car
The men claimed that it was a man who made it possible
Is there anything this woman can do?
At what point does she get the recognition
When is it about her?
The man in ‘woman’ can’t stop attaching himself to all the achievements
I know of a woman, she’s not allowed to cry out
When assaulted, when raped
They tell her to shut up
That she is to blame
Why do you dress skimpily?
What took you to his place?
She’s already judged, her consent matters not
This woman must live in a country where she is to blame for everything
If she is happy, we must wonder
Why is she happy?
If she is sad, we must celebrate
She deserves the sadness, she is responsible for it
I know of a woman, she’s built it all with her husband from scratch
Now he claims, she doesn’t look good anymore
Stretch marks don’t work for Dzaddy anymore
Dzaddy wants better, an hourglass
He now wants out, and wants it all
All she did was keep home and raise the children
It’s all my money, let her leave, he proclaims
Now she must cower in shame
She’s still to blame
Maybe you didn’t satisfy your husband enough
Maybe you didn’t keep up with his desires
She’s still to blame for this failed marriage
When the world needs a scape goat, this woman will play the role
But one day this woman arises
She suddenly smashes the man in woman
She breaks free of the prisons
Prisons that have kept her held, hidden and battered for years
She realises that she’s not just a woman, she’s a womyn
She stops apologising for being a womyn
She can’t wait to live
She can’t wait to drive that manual car
She can’t wait to move into fields zoned out by the patriachs
She is finally alive, she won’t be tormented any longer
She demands for what had been stolen for all the years
She remembers, she affirms, we run the world
Is the world ready for this womyn
Is it ready to deal with the full force of her power, her energy?
Can the world not run when this womyn rises from the ashes
After years and years of entrapment
After years of subjugation
She can’t wait to live
She can’t wait to shine
Will this be the year?
Will this be the season?
Will this be the generation?
Will this be the country?
That welcomes this womyn
That realises she can’t be reduced to anything
That confirms, that may be
May be after all
We can all be feminists
And that may be, feminism is the grand idea
That womyn or woman is a powerful force that must not be restrained
That womyn lives matter!