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

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

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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

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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

Open Letter: Sexual Liberation Is About Dignity Not “Sluttiness”

Dear World,

Open LetterEven if you believe pre-marital sex to be immoral for religious reasons, there is no denying that women in particular are treated cruelly for falling short of this standard. I have had a hard time convincing moderate, conservative, and religious Ghanaian women to shun a sexual double standard that praises men for sex, yet degrades women for exerting sexual agency. I have failed in part because my personality does not appeal to the sensibilities of many Ghanaian women.Striving to emulate a British Victorian construct of a “lady”, many Ghanaian women abhor women feminists such as myself. They say we are crude, vulgar, and that no man will marry us. Even with justice on our minds, a well “trained” Ghanaian woman will refuse to listen to the content of feminist messages as the presentation of such a message is not dressed with “lady-like” language. If women find our reputation so distasteful that they refrain from listening to well thought-out arguments on women’s liberation, it feels as if the sexists are winning.

Nonetheless, this essay is not about me and my sordid relationship with many Ghanaian women online. It is the first of a series of “open letters” aimed at Ghanaian women clarifying infamous feminist positions. It is about sexual liberation and its central message. A major misconception is that sexual liberation only seeks to encourage women to have sex. In reality, sexual liberation seeks to remove sexist insults and devaluation to better allow women to make individual sexual choices without shame, disrespect, dehumanization, or men’s control. Whether you want to abstain, sleep with the entire block, or somewhere in between, the choice and power is yours. It is your body and no one should insult you for the sexual choices you make, just because you are a woman. Continue reading

For Colored Girls Who Depended on Women Feminists When Men Feminists Were Grossly Inadequate

 

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Sometimes women deserve respect
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Sometimes they don’t. As a man, you have the luxury to choose if women get to be worthy of respect today.

I write this essay absolutely heart broken. I am at my wits’ end. The power of socialization defeats me. And I reluctantly recognize, that only women will want women’s freedom as badly as a person suffocating needs to take a breath. At the end of the day, the destructive power of sexism is merely an intellectual exercise for men. For men, it is witnessing someone else’s mistreatment and deciding whether to ignore, support or undermine it. For women, it is waking up everyday to live in a world where you are presumed to be less. Less rational, less equal, less emotionally stable, less economically viable, (have) less political power, less social standing, less brilliance, less respect, less pay, (be) less capable, less strong, less sexual, less less less. And those few men who claim to have made a commitment to re-orient the world, so women fail to be treated as less, are unfortunately less than inspiring. Nonetheless, the fight for equitable societal conditions moves on, as I write this essay to detail 6 habits that leave me clinging to my sisters for support.  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

Rape By Another Name: Coercive Sex In Ghanaian Society

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In civil and criminal law, we call this false imprisonment. In everyday world we call this predatory scum behavior.

When you live in a society that teaches men that their sexual satisfaction is more important that women’s well-being, sexual coercion becomes normalized. As the picture indicates, many men in Ghanaian society are comfortable engaging in dirty tactics that seek to break women’s will, rather than create a safe, secure, and comfortable setting for consensual sexual activity to occur. The result of which is the gender based sexual double standard. While seemingly harmless, sexually repressed double standards for men and women create a toxic climate conducive to women’s exploitation. Continue reading