6 Women Allege That XO Senavoe Raped Them

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“I pulled away and coiled myself at the top of the bed hoping he’d leave me alone/give up but he only pulled me closer to him and spread my legs open I begged him to at least use protection but he did not listen.”

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A few days ago I opened my email account and was shocked by the words on my screen. Two women had come forward accusing the same man, rapper XO Senavoe, of getting them intoxicated and engaging in penile-vaginal penetrative sex without their consent. They were accusing him of rape. The next few days,a total of 7 women came forward, some by phone conversations and others by email. In this essay I only print 6 women’s stories. Continue reading

Resolving Existential Angst Through Lemonade: Black Women Are

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Won’t let my freedom rot In Hell.
Imma keep running ‘cuz a winner don’t quit on herself.

– Beyonce

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Beyonce smashing binaries and car windows

Before we begin asking questions about who we are, we are told who we must be. Confined to simplistic binaries, we the Black women of the world are told that we can only be what whiteness is not, we can only be what masculinity is not. At the end of this short piece, I want every Black woman to understand herself not in relation to men or to whites, but in relation only to self existence. Womanhood is not the opposite of manhood. It is not a means to balance the world. Blackness is not the opposite of whiteness, it is not all that whites fail to be.

On the contrary Black womanhood does not necessitate a definition that relies on our oppressors for existence or for relevance. Nah. We, the Black women of the world, we just are.  Continue reading

Feminism: The Only Means Of Preserving Men’s Moral Worth

Diary Obaa Boni

Diary Obaa BoniDear Diary,

Irony is exemplified as feminism is accused of man-hating, when it is the only means of maintaining men’s moral worth. I am exhausted with being accused of holding ill intentions towards people on the basis of their gender identity as men. I feel stuck.

I am sure it feels like I am harsh with men. However, I assure you, it is their guilty conscience, and the undue liberties that they are given as members of an oppressive class, that makes it feel like so. Not coincidentally, whites, the upper class, and other privileged people often interpret a critique of their role in maintaining unjust systems of domination as an attack on their person. Sadly, marginalized people who internalize the false superiority of the privileged often tend to interpret critiques as attacks as well.

However this sentiment has proven dangerous.

For if opponents of gender equality can convince everyone that feminists hate men, then no one will listen to the nuanced, complex critiques that feminist women have to offer in support of the eradication of unjust systems of male dominance.

Worse, women who want to eradicate gender-based oppression are forced to prove an allegiance to men: the same social class of people that oppresses women, before their arguments are considered. What a conundrum we women feminists are placed in.

Continue reading

Why “Smart” Men Still Hold On To Sexism – 5 explanations

I might be the only person not impressed by "the sexist but charming" Christopher Hitchens.
I might be the only person not impressed by “the sexist but charming” Christopher Hitchens.

“Why are smart men still sexist?” The question itself is a bad one. Why do we presume smarter people possess better ethics? Well, it is because we are ableist. Ableism is the systematic maltreatment and disenfranchisement of people with disabilities. One’s moral code has much to do with their socialization and their integrity, and little to do with their intellectual capacity. You and I could be brilliant and evil, or we could be not-so-brilliant and kind hearted. Nonetheless, societal attitudes teach us to possess contempt for intellectually disabled persons. So much so that we presume those with high intellectual capacities to be superior.

If a man reinforces the societal idea that women are inferior to men in anyway, we should refrain from attacking his intellect and aptly scrutinize his moral code. Men are sexist, not because they are intellectually unable to understand why gender should not be a basis of social hierarchies but rather for psychological, sociological, and individual selfish reasons. This post discusses 5 of the many reasons that many smart, educated, men continue to reinforce men’s assigned superior social position at the expense of women. Continue reading

Why Abusive Men Falsely Believe They’re “Good Guys”: Chivalry’s Distortion of Morality

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casual-black-guy-with-thumbs-up_15838825There are many ways people pretend to be ethical. A popular way is to focus on religious identities while ignoring the substantive ways in which religious people treat others. As previously discussed, hyper-religious, post-colonial spaces like Ghana pay closer attention to whether people call themselves “Christian” or “Muslim” than to whether people treat other people with respect and dignity regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or race/ethnicity. Another way our society distorts morality  is through chivalry. Chivalry, especially in a romantic context, is a set of gendered performative actions that men take in relation to women. Examples include holding the door open for women, or bringing women flowers or some gift as a token of love. Supporters of chivalry claim that the essence of chivalry is about being kind to women, yet supporters of chivalry cannot explain why this type of “kindness” has such rigid gendered rules and barriers.

Meaning, if chivalry is about kindness why do men sometimes refuse to walk through doors that women hold open? If chivalry is about kindness why do men not engage in this kind behavior with other men? Why not pull out your homie’s chair when you both go out to dinner? Adɛn, you don’t want to be kind to your homie?

This post has one goal: to discuss how teaching men and women to view chivalry as indicative of good behavior distorts morality. Continue reading

Saving Yourself For Marriage: Examining Women’s Inferior Right To Body Ownership

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newRegrettably this post exclusively focuses on sexual autonomy in a heterosexual context. The idea of “saving yourself for marriage” is a patriarchal concept that stifles women’s sexual autonomy. Even worse, “saving yourself for marriage” places women’s right to bodily ownership into men’s hands. Utilizing concepts from American Legal Jurisprudence, this essay argues that while men are given absolute ownership of their bodies, women are given the inferior possessory right of inhabitancy, rather than ownership of their bodies.

If patriarchy is a war on women, then patriarchy’s most powerful military base is in a woman’s mind. And patriarchy does an excellent job of convincing women to accept sexist value systems that justify men’s domination and women’s subjugation. I myself have had to work to rid my psyche of internalized sexist ideas. Growing up, I was a quintessential patriarchal princess; and I wanted so badly to have worth and to be a “good girl”. Thus, I embraced sexist value systems that told me that I would be worth less if a man, who was not my husband, penetrated my vagina sexually. So I was committed to “waiting until marriage” before beginning a sexual life, despite knowing that most heterosexual men were not waiting. Like most people who selectively enforce religious doctrines that warn against pre-marital sex, I was convinced that it was acceptable for men to possess the power and liberty to sexually explore, while I repressed my sexual desires in search of approval and validation from a patriarchal society. Continue reading

Stand Up For Yourself Girl, Men of Quality Support Gender Equality Anyway

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Alif Laam Meem MuslimFraternity
Alif Laam Meem Muslim Fraternity

Let no man convince you that you will only be deserving of love after you have stifled your soul to cower under his big boot.  I mean this sincerely and earnestly when I say: you are beyond foolish if you sacrifice self-sufficient, dignified personhood for a dictator you will also call a husband. Many Ghanaian women, especially heterosexual women, are so afraid of being unmarried that they’re willing to trade in dignity for partnership. It is a major reason why women are anti-feminist: the fear that it will destroy their dating lives and their prospects of marriage. I cannot say that I blame them, after all marriage is so emphasized for women that unmarried women are treated as worthless. Even though women should not seek men’s validation, it is a widely circulated myth that women who become feminists are shunned collectively by men. Sure,  gutter niggas sexist men find feminist women to be repulsive, but quality men dey. If a man is anti-gender equality, why would you want to partner up with him anyway? Why would anyone want to be with someone who does not understand that women are equal in dignity, social standing, intellectual capacities, value etc.?

It seems to me that what Ghanaian women desire is love. However, inherent within any loving relationship – that is worth keeping – is respect. Deep respect. Deep respect and love, cannot co-exist with sexist and domineering attitudes. Sexist and domineering attitudes are not reflective of quality men. We all deserve quality partners; the kinds who resist injustice and stand in defense of our personhood by supporting systematic gender equality, also known as Feminism. Continue reading