Utopia That Does Not Exist?

By littleGiniK

I was once talking a walk with two male colleagues going for lunch. The cafeteria happens to be quite some distance away from the office. I was carrying my handbag, the laptop and heavy books, while my colleagues had their hands in their pockets. At some point I stopped and asked them how they could possibly be walking by my side and not offer any help. One of them was quick to retort, “You are the ones fighting for gender equality, why should I help you?” We got into a long argument about gender equality. Suffice it to say that he did not offer his help, at least the other colleague offered to carry the laptop.

This incident came to my mind last week when there was heated argument on twitter about whether it was right for a woman to support a man, following the infamous story of a woman who was found dead in her apartment and who it is said had been involved with a well known former TV anchor.

This debate had me thinking a lot about gender equality. This expression can be quite misleading. I like to think that gender equality refers to equality of dignity and opportunity between men and women and especially equality to participate fully in public life, political, professional and social sphere. Let’s face it, men and women cannot be equal in their respective sexual nature, they are quite different. They are not equal but complementary. There should therefore be no question as to which of the sexes is superior. One is either a woman or man by birth. In each case that person will be superior who manages to develop the characteristic virtues of his or her own sex overcoming the defects which are considered peculiar to the same sex.

A man has always been expected to provide and protect, a woman to care for others. A man is expected to be strong, brave, sporty, a woman gentle, tender, feminine, modest. A man has more muscle, a woman more heart. There are things a man will do and get away with even though they may not be so good. If the same things were done by a woman, she will come off looking worse. A man is expected to provide and support his family and a woman to care and nurture hers. The constant bickering between the sexes has resulted in them seeing each other as opposition rather than complementarity. This has led as, Cormac Burke in his book “Man and Values” states, to a disruptive feminism or “masculinism” obsessed with a struggle for power which tends to reduce all aspects of men-women relationships to opposition.

It is not uncommon therefore to see men fight with women to get in or out of a bus, or a man being ‘kept’ by a woman. On the other hand, women have become so defensive that any affront from a man is believed by them to be a show of superiority of sex. There is no better demonstration of this than on our roads. It has also led to an uncomfortable situation where men refer to all women as ‘ladies’ because they’re afraid the word “woman’ may offend.

While it is commendable that feminist movements have endeavoured to correct the many abuses of preceding centuries, it must be noted that equality cannot be right down to every aspect that concerns men and women. The differences between the two sexes should complement, create a harmony, and not compete. Which man would appreciate a woman who had a moustache and hairy legs? And which woman would respect a man who does not show a certain strength, the capacity to face difficulties in a positive way, initiative especially of taking full responsibility of his family? A man can constantly find inspiration in what is feminine; a woman in what is masculine.

A world that does not encourage men to be more masculine and women to be more feminine is a poorer place for growing up in, for learning to be human . C. Burke.

* I attribute the title of this post to one of my followers.

Operation Get Maoga A Smile

This post was originally posted by savvykenya here

 

To understand why I am doing this, please read this post: I Need Your Help.

Maoga is a young man from the previous post who had his jaw removed during surgery to remove a lymphatic tumor.

Maoga with his mother before surgery

After the surgery, I visited him at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Maoga at KNH after his surgery

Today I have spoken with his father. He tells me the surgery to replace his jaw will cost Kshs. 150,000. Yesterday night, the informal settlement he is staying at in Nairobi was demolished by the authorities.

Even if I do win the Kshs.50,000 (I’m told votes alone may not be the judging criteria), we’re still short by Kshs.100,000.

It is because of this that I have decided to ask for your help: MPESA. Send to the number 0727 832685, it’s my number. I will give you a full report. If 200 people reading this send Kshs 1000, that’s Kshs.200,000. If 1000 people send 200 bob each, that’s still Kshs.200,000.

P.S. If you are a blogger, please REBLOG and let’s commence operation Give Maoga a Smile.

For other readers: RETWEET, SHARE on your FB walls, send your 2 cents, do something.

My 5 Links

This was an initiative started by Egichomo here. You simply post five links to certain posts as done below then tag about  five bloggers to do the same. Here goes:

Most Popular Post: Why a Kenyan Revolution will Never Happen

This post was written a few days before February 28th. If we can all remember, The Arab revolution was sweeping through countries such as Tunisia and Egypt. Back home, people sort to come up with something that would make Kenyans stand up and tell the political elite that enough was enough. February 28th was chosen as the day in which we would sing the national anthem at 1PM. This post by cdooh sort to explain why a Kenyan revolution would never happen. As we speak, I do not know what became of the Kenya Feb 28th initiative, but I suppose, as a country, we have had to address other more pressing issues.

Post That Did Not Get The Attention It Deserved: The Journey

This is a poem by beenduta. I leave it to you to interpret it as you deem fit.

Post Whose Success Surprised Me: Review: Twitter App LMAO!

This is a review of the twitter API LMAO! that was made by Amasy. The reason why it’s success was such a surprise is because the person who wrote the post, greatrnk, is not such a tech person. As a result, the review was more of an ordinary review rather than a technical one.

Most Controversial Post: The Unspoken Rules of The ‘Kalocal’

This is not a controversial post, since there has not been one written here yet. However, I believe this post by Deestinguished will win if a poll of the most controversial post is done. This is a post which gives some rules on how to conduct ourselves when visiting our various ‘kalocal’

Post I Am Proud Of: Martha aka Thatcher Karua: Is Change Here?

This was the very first post on this blog. It was written by Justalffie just after Mike Sonko and Kabogo had been elected Members of Parliament in by-elections.

I tag the following (who are more than five. Rules are made to be broken!)

Cdooh who blogs at Private Thoughts of A Young Kenyan

Greatrnk who blogs at The Greatrnk

Justalffie who blogs at In His Mind

Deestinguished who blogs at Life In Paragraphs

Beenduta who blogs at Bee Illustrated

Pre7amer who blogs at Pre 7’ame’ers Blog

Ascofu who blogs at Ascofu at Work

Antwarogue who blogs at Rogue Blog

SONS OF THE DEVIL!

They come at night,

Swathed in dark clothes and combat.

Brandishing weapons, sharpened and of might.

I only have my bare hands,

Hardened and senile from years of toiling,

knowing this day would come.

Wishing it never did.

and i hide my seed.

Shelter them from the painful truth,

that this is the world i bore them to.

and i plead for their lives and mine too.

But there is too many a foe.

With only a single evil cause.

Sons of the devil!


And they push me aside.

Part my legs. Not gently as he did,

before he left us behind.

Brutally as though i never lived.

Hold each limb in place with a strong hand.

Hands that stink of young women’s blood,

with tears of old women, salted.

and they rip my clothing,

Beloved sons of the devil!


And they violate my woman,

laugh and mock my curves, depressions and bumps.

I bleed loudly,

my heart screams silently,

Helpless, worthless.

Till i can bleed no more,

Till the tears run dry,

In a land with plenty a reason to cry.

Let them not get my daughters i pray.

Yet they still do and i hide my face,

from their deafening pleas,

Yet i close my heart to their painful cries,


I am ashamed.

For i cannot hold their little hands.

Or prevent them from touching their budding breasts,

Sons of the devil!

And I cannot hear them call me mother,

I cannot taste their warm tears,

Caress. My naked body.

and i cannot one last time, smell their innocence.

Before they take away their chastity.

and i am ashamed,

cold, unmoved, dead.

Eyes still open.

Tears streaming.

and i ask in death, as i did in life,

”Sons of Africa, why do you destroy your women?”

©Ado Yiembo.

Copy and pass ”Sons of the devil” around to your hearts content but always post my copyright notice above correctly both as courtesy and as a legal necessity to protect any writer. Thank you.

Love made in Radio

So another day I happen to listen to radio, which is a rare thing as most Kenyan radio presenters talk too much, and I caught a conversation that really intrigued me. Apparently this show is the one for playing cupid, if I may put it that way. Why anyone would go on national radio to look for a spouse is beyond my comprehension.

Anyway, I digress, back to the story. The presenter asks the lady to give background about her and the kind of man she’s looking for. The lady says she’s 24, unemployed and is currently helping her mother out in her business.  When asked about her education, she said she was a class 8 dropout. Her father died back then and they were unable to raise fees to take her to school (I sympathize). What has she been up to in the past lets say 10 years? She joined an acting group, did some acts with them, dropped out, joined again, and dropped out than finally she decided to join her mum in the business venture. Oookay

The guy she’s looking for? He has to be 30-35 years of age, driving a car, employed. What if he has a child, will you mind? No, as long as the child is a girl. Why??!!? Boys are not easy to handle. Long pause (mainly for me, followed by chants to calm me down). And the presenter went on to ask if there was anyone out there interested, that they should call in or was it email and they’d be hooked up!!! Yay! Cupid strikes again!!

Totally unrelated

After that I think I switched to the other station cuz I could not believe what I had just heard. Was that girl for real? Or was I being too quick to judge? Either way, it got me thinking, what was she putting on the table? I mean, many years, women have been known to make lists of their dream men/Mr. right/ the one etc. Articles have been written, books have been published, and shows broadcasted discouraging these lists, all because those lists can get a bit unrealistic. But I won’t discourage it. I say, write on, if you won’t get the perfect one, at least it will serve as a guide to getting someone similar.

Mr. Right

But the question is what are we (ladies) putting on the table? Fine, we want them rich and famous, lean and handsome, focused and disciplined, loyal and loving….ta da da da da da. What are you offering in exchange for all this?

We need to up our game too. Partners complement each other, not complete each other (however romantic it sounded in Jerry Maguire!!). When making the lists, I think we should also consider what we are going to give too. Let’s not wait and sit pretty hoping someone will pick us. You want that phenomenal man? Be phenomenal too. You might not make more money than him, or more educated than him (or the opposite of all this) etc, but you can match up in your own way.

So, that said, I’d like to be very clear that I’m not a therapist nor am I famous for my flourishing relationship with a man. But I felt I should spread the word as this is what I was told by someone who has been there and done that, happily married with children, living life (can I justify this any more). As for me and my list, at my age, the only thing that’s there is, let him be alive and breathing .

Totally related!!!

Other posts by the  author can be found at http://pre7amer.wordpress.com where she pretends to blog.

Walabataji Express

First things first, definitions:

Walabataji- athletes: it is a combination kalenjin and swahili, broken down as follows

“wa” the Swahili prefix for first person plural
“labat” – run in kalenjin
“ji” – the Swahili suffix to indicate a doer of something, in this case a doer of the running (a runner)

Express after the famous Eldoret Express

We coined this word back in high school to refer to the student athletes who used to go for training daily, except on Sundays. They were our express mail, just like the postal services but unlike the Post office, we could get our replies either on the same day or the next day..

I studied in one secondary school, which we liked calling “High” just because we were the best performers in the district. Close to us was our brother school, a real high school, not like us. One thing that we had in common is the ability to produce the best athletes that make news in the dailies and the international media.

Half the girls in our school had boyfriends in the brother school and that’s when the use of the Walambataji Express started. I can’t exactly say how it started but one thing for sure, it picked up pretty fast until the teachers we wondering what were happening to our mails. The advantages of the Walambataji Express included

• It was free- there was no need for stamps
• It was reliable- You are sure that the letter got to the recipient
• You get the replies as soon as possible

What you needed to do is to ensure that you have given out the letter, usually called the missive to the athlete just before they depart for their morning run, at 6 am or a quarter to six or you should give it to them just in the evening at six or half past six.

It was an interesting way of communicating to and fro, because the athletes from our school would meet those from the brother school, since most of them were trained by the same coach.

I got to hear about this service in a funny way. One morning we collided with my bedmate as she was literarilly storming out of the room to hand out the missive, for her most recent crush. I asked her later when she told me about the Walambataji express. I said I would use it one day, but never did. I don’t know if those I left behind are using it or not, whichever way, it served us well.

Why 2100 Will Not Be A Leap Year

The ancient Chinese and Greeks discovered that the Earth takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 minutes to revolve around the sun. Since the extra hours and minutes make an awkward fraction, complicated calendars which had extra months included in every 19-year cycle were produced. In 45AD, Julius Ceasar’s astronomer, Sosigenes discovered that all Roman festivals had got out of line with the seasons of the year, and to rectify the situation, he recommended that the year 45AD be prolonged to 445 days. A recommendation that Ceasar followed. Thereafter, Sosigenes developed the Julian (named after Ceasar) Calender by approximating a year to be 365 and a quarter days. In the calender, a year was defined as having 365 days and a leap day added every four years to compensate for the lost quarter day.

In 730AD, the Venerable Bede, a mathematically skilled Anglo-Saxon monk, pointed out that the 365 1/4-day Julian year was 11 minutes, 14 seconds too long. But since the error added up so slowly (the calendar fell out of sync with the sun by only a day every 128 years) no one did anything about it. In 1582. Pope Gregory XIII noticed that the spring equinox – when day and night are of equal length – fell upon March 11 instead of March 21. The pope fixed the problem by erasing 10 days, declaring that the day following Oct. 4, 1582 would be known as Oct. 15, 1583. To make the calendar more sun-accurate than Caesar’s, Pope Gregory XIII pulled out his abacus and came up with the following criteria to determine leap years:

  1. Every year that is evenly divisible by four is a leap year;
  2. of those years, if it can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless
  3. the year is evenly divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.

Pope Gregory XIII’s calender was called the Gregorian Calender. It was not so popular at first though. The Roman Catholic nations such as Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain adopted it with ease, but protestant nations were reluctant. When it was finally adopted in Britain (and America) in September 1752 by the loss of 11 days, there were wide protests around the country. Sweden (and Finland) adopted it in 1712 by adding two “double” leap year in 1712. Two days were added to February–creating a date of February 30, 1712. (This was done because the leap year in 1700 was dropped and Sweden’s calendar was not synchronized with any other calendar. By adding an extra day in 1712, they were back on the Julian calendar. Russia didn’t accept the Gregorian calendar until 1918, which means that when the U.S. purchased Alaska in 1867, 11 days were lost in the transition from the Julian calendar. Leap years are also significant for Alaskans because summer solstice (when the Earth’s axial tilt is inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′.) occurs about 18 hours earlier in a leap year.

Even this system is not entirely correct. Every 10,000 years the Gregorian calendar becomes two days, 14 hours and 24 minutes in error. If we last long enough, adjustments will be necessary. One suggestion has been to make a further leap year refinement – excluding leap days from years divisible by 4000. Another suggestion, particularly popular between the two world wars, was for a new world calendar. At the moment Muslims have their own calender in which a year ends after every 12 lunar months. There are also at least 17 different calendars in India and Africa. But the problem is always to agree upon a new system which is acceptable to everybody.