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Columnists

Womyn Lives Matter

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!

Twitter: OrtegaTalks

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