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

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

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

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

Postcolonial Grammar Snobs…God’s Biggest Creation Mistake Since Lucifer

grammarThe need to feel superior to others is never ending. It manifests in many ways, but the worst manifestation has to be the self proclaimed grammar snob. Intelligent enough to memorize the rules of a dominant colonial language, self-proclaimed grammar snobs lack the vision to understand that lingual rules are arbitrary and often used as a means to demean and exclude those without access to status quo institutions. Grammar snobs in Ghana are a beautiful contradiction. They hate colonialism, yet embrace colonial means of determining worth.For them, those who are unable to memorize and utilize the arbitrary yet heavily enforced lingual rules of British colonial English deserve to be demeaned and mocked. It does not matter that language is supposed to be a means of communication, for Grammar snobs it is acceptable to refuse to recognize the content of someone’s message, and to focus instead on trivializing their message because they don’t write or speak English the way our beloved colonial masters instructed us to. Ayeeko. Continue reading

Name calling “Fetty Abena” : A Lesson On Privilege, Class, and Assholes

Faggrey
An image of the Twitter user @F_Aggrey

  I am so sick and tired of men attacking women’s appearance when women say something that they do not like. The most flagrant display of privilege occurred when a man whose body exists outside of standard notions of acceptability, attacked the woman pictured, on the basis of her appearance. The Twitter user @deezydothis crudely referred to the woman pictured as “Fetty Abena” in an attempt to humiliate her, while silencing legitimate questions about the sustainability of a charity project he was involved in. For those that are unaware, Fetty Wap is a popular singer/rapper notable for lacking an eye and publicly embracing his atypical appearance. “Fetty Abena” is a play on concepts. Essentially, instead of addressing Ms. @F_Aggrey’s legitimate concerns about the sustainability of his charitable project, @deezydothis chose to humiliate her by bringing attention to her eyes. He followed his demeaning comment with more abuse. A now deleted comment stated to her “you literally cannot see the bigger picture”. In addition to displaying a callous disregard for Ms. @F_aggrey, the above interaction represents what often occurs to women who ask uncomfortable questions: a denigration of our appearance. Continue reading

4 Reasons I Hate Being Called A Queen As Being A Human Should Be Enough

Screenshot_2015-10-03-19-51-47
Or treat women like human beings. Maybe try that?

My women friends and I hate being called “Queen”. Because often times “Queen” is a way in which sexist men divide women into two categories: one category affords women respect, while the other category dehumanizes and denies women respect. For many sexists, being a human is not enough reason to respect women. Women are thus divided into either “Queens” or “whores/bitches”. Queens receive patronizing, shallow “nice” treatment, while hoes are hit with demeaning and hostile treatment. Interestingly enough, women who anger men quickly go from a “Queen” classification to the more hostile “bitch” or “hoes”. Therefore, you’re a Queen only, and only if, you comply by men’s arbitrary rules of acceptable behavior. Continue reading

Using Men As A Financial Plan Is Justified In A Sexist Society

A picture of rapper M.anifest
A picture of rapper M.anifest / Disclaimer: I am NOT calling Manifest sexist or accusing him of holding these views. Credit: https://instagram.com/p/3Jzx29w3cU/?taken-by=manifestive

The only time that sexist men care about the systematic disenfranchisement of women as a function of gender, is when they are negatively affected. I have to clarify, that while pictured, I am not calling M.anifest sexist. I have to clarify because the fragility of masculinity will have men crying, defending their reputation as “good guys” over addressing the institutionalized political, economic, and social marginalization of women in Ghana. Back to my post: repeatedly, I hear men whine over having to economically provide, without addressing why such gender roles exist: patriarchy. It is the root of a social system that divests in women’s education, denies women equitable access to jobs, and disseminates widespread ideas that indoctrinate woman to believe  that heterosexual marriage will be their greatest achievement. Essentially, in a patriarchal society where women are reduced to men’s domestic helpers, where women are confined to the home and expected to labor in that space, where women’s economic power is continually dismantled with rampant discrimination, using men as financial mobility becomes a learned means of survival. It is patriarchy, that seeks to reinforce a social order where men dominate women by granting men economic power, and leaving women as dependent on men for survival. Thus, men (and all persons) displeased with the normative ideas that require men to care for women financially, should seek to take apart patriarchal economic distribution, or shut the fuck up  rather than resent women and complain.  Continue reading

Politics of Bodily Alterations: Why Bleaching Differs From Trans Body Modifications

To Sena, and those that genuinely seek answers. The suffering of Trans people is astronomical. In US and Canada, they are murdered at a rate higher than cis Black men. Trans people’s life expectancy is reported at about 30 years old, while cis people live up to about 78.To maintain moral principles that require us to reduce the suffering of our fellow human beings, I contribute this blog essay.

Marsha P Johnson trans woman advocate for Black civil rights, HIV access, and ending homelessness.
Marsha P Johnson trans woman advocate for Black civil rights, access to HIV medication, and ending homelessness.

If you can imagine the difference between a person getting nose surgery to be able to breathe again, and a person who gets a nose job to be viewed as more attractive within society, you understand fundamentally that even the same act can have completely different meanings depending on context. What is lacking in the comparison between bleaching and the actions that Transgender persons may take is just that: context. In a very real sense, Black people who bleach and seek to be more attractive to a colorist society that values lighter skin, represent the nose job. Conversely, Trans people who may choose to surgically modify their bodies are trying desperately to breathe again.   Continue reading