Thursday, 3 January 2019

Because they are women

Today, I saw on twitter images of a young woman stripped naked with chickens and ropes tied around her waist. The story was that she stole the chickens. The incident happened at Nkpor, in Anambra State, Nigeria. In chapter two of my eBook (Speaking from the mind: unconventional thoughts) I discussed the act of stripping a woman alleged to have committed an offence (or a crime) naked. In my eBook I tried to understand why men, in particular, take pleasure in stripping a woman naked in public for allegedly committing a crime. For me the act is a stereotype against women. I ended up with a proposition that somehow helped me to understand the reason behind the act. My proposition centred on the opposite of the usual “why” question, which is “why not”. My argument is that the premise upon which such a stereotype against women is formed is simply “why not” - which is followed by the reason “because they are women”. A lot of men conceive the idea that women are the weaker sex created out of the abundance of men and should be eternally inferior for such a divine gesture - the notion that a woman was created out of a man’s ribs. For me the logic of “why not” appears to be dominant over “why”. My argument is that if you are looking for a reason to do something or justify your actions asking yourself “why” will not be as convincing as asking yourself “why not”. For example, if those men who find pleasure in stripping a woman naked ask themselves why they are doing it they may not be persuaded to carry out the act. So they prefer the easier option which is why can’t they do it and that provides them with all the reasons in the world to do it. This dehumanising act has undertones of a patriarchal society which is nurtured and sustained by a male-dominance mindset. As long as we continue to live in a patriarchal society where men view a woman’s privacy as a privilege to the woman such a dehumanising act will continue to happen. The worst is that the law enforcement system is porous, which is why people who perpetrate such a dehumanising act continue to get away with it. 

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Brief retrospection of 2018

In retrospection, the year 2018 was a good year, in overall, though it was full of numerous challenges. The challenges came with several mistakes. But I have no regrets whatsoever for the mistakes. I am grateful for the lessons that my mistakes taught me. One of my greatest challenges in the year 2018 was when some of the values that I hold contradicted with the principles that I uphold. I am still in that space where I am learning to reconcile my values with my principles. I hope to become better in the incoming year. 

Many times in the year I found myself confronted with situations similar to that of an Armorer. I had to choose between keeping the faith of an Armorer or answering the morality question. It is often difficult trying to convince yourself that there are things more important in life than money when you are confronted with situations where money seems to be the only answer. What is even more difficult is trying to subdue your appetite for vanity when the choices at hand are skewed against your options. But I tried not to keep the faith of an Armorer. For me, in the course of the year it wasn’t about the price going to the highest bidder. It wasn’t about me succumbing to the conventional wisdoms. And it wasn’t about me being politically correct. Rather it was about me being the best version of myself. It was about me leading a life I would be proud of if I read it as a story in a book.

The first time I heard about the faith of an Armorer was from my father. I think it was in 1997 in his office at Our Lady’s. It was on a Saturday, I remember. He was having a conversation with his boss, Late Chief Ignatius Onuorah, Ọdịnaigwemmandụ 1 of Agụlụ, and I was executing the task I had been given - sorting out the printed Sunday bulletins. But I was eavesdropping, as I always did. They were discussing the work of George Bernard Shaw. It was one of his masterpieces; a play called Major Barbara, screened in 1905. They discussed a scene in Act III of the play that involved Barbara Undershaft, Adolphus Cusins, and Lady Britomart Undershaft. Though both men strongly believed in the morality question, however, they shared the view in the possibility of buying the Salvation Army. In the course of the year I invoked the lessons I drew from that conversation to deal with my situations.

Three years later, the second time I heard about the faith of an Armorer, it was my father and I having a conversation. It was about an incident that happened under his watch at the office; an incident that nearly destroyed the good name he had built for decades. It was a challenging time. But at the end of it all he still maintained his good name. Chief Igwemmadu still remained his close ally until he (my father) joined his ancestors. And then Chief followed few years later. I am sure they are still close allies on the other side. Like my father, I tried in the course of the year to maintain close to my allies regardless of how challenging the times were. 

I hope in the coming year to remain resilient in the values that I proclaim and resolute in upholding the principles that I believe in. I hope to continue to learn how to deal with my unconscious biases. Most importantly, I hope to continue to maintain my zero expectation attitude. 

I hope you have a wonderful new year, 2019! 
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