The Normalcy of Abnormality

ayawuku

Just yesterday, I had to suffer through tweets saying women stay in abusive relationships because they enjoy sex with their abusive partners.
Of course I scoffed at this flawed reasoning. Funny enough, the whole conversation did not trigger anything until a few hours ago when I was reminiscing over events in Ghana with my sister.

My sister is one person I admire wholly. She is smart, beautiful, and brave. I will go out of my way to say she is my favourite feminist.
I learnt from her not to take crap from anyone (male or female but especially male) because I’m a girl. No sir, she will speak up and fight right back for justice.

Anyway, so I had decided to not get involved in this issue but during our conversation, she made mention of the night she dared my uncle to hit me again so she reported him to…

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Miseducation of Obiba: Why Ghanaians Stay In Abusive Relationships

obi 2Sex is not a reason why women stay in abusive relationships. The research on domestic violence shows that sex is often traumatic and painful for women suffering abuse. In Ghana, women in abusive relationships often suffer vaginal and anal tears, urine leakages, miscarriages, are at risk of unwanted pregnancy, and are more likely to contract STIs including HIV. It is rather obvious, that sex with a person who beats you, humiliates you, disrespects you, and violates you would not be pleasurable. While it may be difficult to understand why women stay in abusive relationships, speculation often perpetuates myths that isolate victims even further. Rather than assuming, it would be in every person’s interest to seek out well-informed, researched answers. The evidence shows that sex is not pleasurable for women who are in abusive relationships, as abusive relationships often include verbal, emotional, physical and sexual violence. Pleasurable sex can rarely occur in an abusive context, not only because the victim is afraid of the abuser, but also because abusive relationships lack mutual love and respect.  Continue reading

Short Post: Vaginas In Ghana, The Elixir Of Bliss

vaginaYesterday, I had the unfortunate experience of reading brutally negative comments about women with vaginas who engaged in pre-marital sex. So I decided to write this loving post about ALL vaginas, not just women’s. Vaginas are a euphoric source of pleasure. They are self-cleaning, self-regulating, and self-contracting independent sexual organs. So I am almost shocked that ignorant people would argue that frequent sex will “destroy” or make a vagina lose its elasticity. First, to reiterate, having sex outside of marriage does not make you unworthy of respect or love, just because you’re a woman. Second, vaginas do not care if you are married or single.  In addition to the fact that our education system has so clearly failed many, hateful comments against women who choose to have sex outside of marriage make no sense. If the claim is that frequent sex turns one’s vagina into a “gaping hole” then married women with healthy sex lives have gaping holes as well.What a rude, and hateful way to refer to the vault of wealth that has been securely tucked in between your thighs. Third, penises are just not that powerful. If babies cannot destroy the elasticity of a vagina, a penis certainly cannot take it away. Vaginas are usually tight enough to hold in menstruation aids such as tampons (which are much smaller than average penises). Checkmate misogyny. Vaginas are the elixir of bliss. So you ! Yes you with the chocolate, deep hue brown, earth tone, vagina. Kegel on in pride !

Wifey Material: Marriage As A Means Of Ghanaian Women’s Subjugation

The pressure on women to marry in Ghanaian society is suffocating. While heterosexual marriage is presented as an elective life choice, it is often treated as a necessary requirement that all people, especially women, must accomplish to garner respect and success. Even though marital pressure exists for both men and women, it manifests differently. Women are socialized to desire marriage as the primary indicator of a fulfilled and completed life, while men are socialized to view marriage as an eventual but necessary step that will rid them of their boyhood freedoms. Marriage ensures that women’s social position remains subordinate to men because it is used as a bargaining chip to convince women to conform to restrictive gender roles. Thereby, making marriage in Ghana a heteronormative site of male dominance. Continue reading

Christian Without Christ: How Religious Identities Distort Morality In Ghana

religion2Jesus of Nazareth is hands down one of my favorite people ever. The basis of my initial moral compass, Jesus demanded from us that we help the “least of our brothers”.  That we help the poor, heal the sick, and sometimes defend women who have sex outside of marriage when they’re about to be killed by an angry mob. Essentially, Jesus required us to take upon his work and protect the most vulnerable as a means of reducing the suffering of one another. However, Ghana, a Christian majority country rated as the most religious in the world,  is also one of the most unequal and corrupt. How do both of these things co-exist? They co-exist through the use of religion for the domination of others. Because Ghanaian society is uncritically hyper-religious, many do not notice that a professed religious identity, as Christian or Muslim, does not necessarily translate into good moral behavior. Ironically, making morality interchangeable with having a religious identity allows the dehumanization of religious minorities and non-believers, while providing a safe haven for abusers. I seek a shift in perspective, where we as Ghanaians evaluate morality on the basis of how we treat each other, rather than whether we serve a God(ess) or which God(ess) we profess to serve.  Continue reading

Barima Nsu: 8 Ways Feminism Benefits Ghanaian Men

feminist black man

Remember when you were crying as a child and someone told you “mmarima nsu” (boys don’t cry)? Remember how they were trying to get you to stop crying, and used this tactic to convince you to stop? Remember how they taught you that one of the worst things that could happen to you is that others will think that you’re not a boy, later in life a ‘real man’? Remember how someone convinced you to alter your behavior to fit into some definition of what a boy was?

Did you ever get the memo on where this definition came from? Nonetheless, do you remember being told that this definition of boy/manhood was “natural”? Do you remember wondering why people spent time and energy teaching you the requirements of the definition if it were natural? I mean if it was the natural way that boys acted, why did so many people spend time checking you if you didn’t act that way? Remember the ways in which this definition exercised power and authority over you? Because despite what you wanted to do, you always had to ensure that your behavior fit this narrow definition. Remember when you performed this definition so often that it became a part of you? This definition of what a man should be is patriarchal masculinity, and feminism declares that your manhood is not anybody’s to judge, regulate, or take away. Continue reading