Thursday, January 29, 2009

Interview Thursday: " I fight with my head and not my fists or mouth" - Poeticallytinted

To me, she is young and successful, she is smart, intelligent, incredibly strong, full of experiences that have shaped her views, values and life positively. Our e-mail conversations left me in no doubt that I am dealing with an awesome individual and when I might her, I just love this lady! She is a balanced woman, a CAT-LOVER, she is here to rock her world positively and to make an invaluable impact. Poeticallytinted is in da HOUSE!

Is there anything to our cultural values in Nigeria?
Whoa! You choose to start with this JAMB question, na wa oh, and I thought you were my friend! (lol). Cultural values... honestly, sometimes I want to indentify with them, sometimes, I don't. I've lived abroad and I've lived in Nigeria and have witnessed firsthand, the difference in our cultural values/beliefs and thiers. My thoughts are these: The foundation of our cultural values are built on a very rigid model. This model encourages narrow-mindedness, we do things without asking questions just because that's how it's always been done. If you make the mistake of challenging any of these things, you are automatically persona-non-grata. Societal influence is stronger than ever because there is a major to be accepted and since there are very few types of people as opposed to more advanced countries where there are all sorts, you are either "good" or "bad", so chose one.

"Good" is boring and restricted, "good" never asks questions, "good" does not challenge anything, "good' desperately wants to be accepted, "good" takes you nowhere. "Good" gets married and has children because it's time to do so not because he/she really wants to. "Good" studies what his/her parents want hin/her to study in school, no questions asked... I am certain you get my drift now. So, I gues I am bad... I guess.

However, our cultural values are not that bad. In fact, the rigid structure brainwashes us into automatically reaching out to one another. We are designed to move in packs, no silos. I think because of this, there are less suicides and distrubingly-disturbed-but- looking-okay-people in our society. That is a good thing. We look out for each other. You will not go through a divorce alone. You will get good and bad advice from everyone like it or not! But most importantly, you will not be alone

Do you think there are things to be expunged from our culture in Nigeria?
Yes of course. A little broad mindedness and respect for people's individuality wil help. People are beginning to change things but the fundamentals are still there. For instacne, a policeman stopping me a few days ago and instead of simply asking to see my driver's lincense said to me with a knowing smile " I hope you didn't forget your license at home" because in his mind... women always forget thier license at home. Women also need to get out of the mould that have been created for them and begin to be true to themselves. Well, in a nutshell, mindless stereotpying and narrow - mindedness are two things we could start thinking about changing. You see, focusing on petty things keep us from achieving the great things. We, as a nation, have the potentials to achieve

What are your opinions about "gender inequality" that plague our existence in Nigeria and how can this be changed?
Gender inequality... you know how I feel about this now. Well, there is real and perceived gender inequlaity which stems from our deeply engraved cultural values/beliefs and our origin all voer the world. Like my mother stopping me from playing soccer with the guys because she wanted me to help her cook in the kitchen...etc. I did not have the freedom to choose to do what interested me at the time. So you grow up intrinsically knowing your place.

However. I think the primary responsibility for change lies with women. If you want something to give, you may have to nudge it a bit. If women keep acting like dumb people who will follow any course charted for them by men then they will never be taking seriously. Women in our society have been terribly brainwashed and behave like people under some form of lifetime hypnosis. I am impressed by women like you, Standtall, who are making a difference. I think women need to change from the inside before any impact can be made on the outside. You think it first and then you can become it. If you believe you are equal and are not afraid to act like it, then may be someone will treat you like his equal.

Feminism is often misinterpreted by some people, what is your interpretation of feminism?
For me, feminism is being pro-female. Recoginizing that women seem to have a battle on their hands, a battle they did not ask for but have to fight. I have fought this battle I know. Some women have decided to dedicate thier lives to battling stereotypes against women for themselves and for others. These are feminists. They are not man-hating; they are just on a cuse like the Mahatma Ghandi's and the Mandela's of this world. However, I never address myself as a feminist, people have various pre-conceived notions surrounding that word. I hate to be pre-judged. I am an individual before I am female or male or professional or anything and would like to be treated that way.

What changes would you like to make as a feminist?
Err..... Change the way we think. I know feminism means to you what it means to you (telling Standtall) so it's okay to say I am one of you oh. I want a world where people exercise all those rights that begin with the word "freedom" regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs etc. So I guess my cause is a bit wider than feminism.

What is your opinion about helping other women/girls grow?
I intend to set up an NGO really soon where young women are constructively set on the right path of life. I think knowledge is power and gives us options, I also believe people need to be shown the way to go because some of them may never find it on their own.The point is a person should be able to do what he/she loves to do and not what she/he is forced to do. A person's potentials are greatly utilized when the decision is hers.

Most women don't know this and are afraid to identify what makes them thick because they may be labeled as "bad". Anyway, the point is to create a forum where minds are set free and negative stereotypes are shattered to encourage thinking outside the box and ultimately making the most of God-giving capabilities.

Who is Poeticallytinted and why do you change your blog name from Adorable to Poeticallytinted?
I am still on the way to fully discovering myself. Everyday, I discover new things. Strengths and weaknesses. I am strong. I mean I've got quite an astonishing amount of inner strength. I've been through hell and most forms of abuse but I am still standing. Still positive and still trying to make the most of my life, Standtall. This I know for sure, I am strong. I think I also care perhaps a tad too much. I want to change the world. I don't to die like I never lived or live like I'll never die. I changed my name from Adorable for three reasons. Sorry, I can't tell you this first, but the second is, it suited my writing better, i post poetry and prose. My prose are of the things that grip me enough to give some thought to but then, I think in poetry but not just a poet, I am a lot of things. So, Poeticallytinted sounded right. Third reason is, it sounded so lyrical - I couldn't resist

Have you ever exprienced any gender discrimination in your line of work as a successful career woman?
Yes, Standtall, I don't deceive myself with false humility, I am not only female but I am also too young for the position I occupy. As in, my peers are all older than me by an average of 4years. I have had to fight all forms of discrimination. I have had to fight with my head and not my fists or my mouth even. I've got smart and I am not afraid to use them. I've found that you must prove your mettle every time to be listened to and you can't change anything if no one isn't listening to you. I've learnt valuable lessons, every inch has been a battle but guess what, I LOVE IT

Thanks for taking time out to share with us, my industrious, smart, awesome
friend.
I am really humbled that you have chosen to interview me. I have always marveled at the responses you get to your really insightful questions. I'd always wondered how you know just what to ask everyone. Your brilliance can't be hidden you know. I hope I haven't thoroughly disgrace myself in front of blogsville.

A gifted person like you is a blessing and not a disgrace, so you have got nothing
to fear (lol)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cats on Tuesdays: Becoming my Cats


Standtall - The Activist thinks she is becoming her cats and not the other way round. I am fast becoming them in the following departments:
  1. Sensitivity
  2. Curiousity
  3. Observation
My new found sensitivity will soon land me in trouble as I cannot stand anyone touching me or placing thier hands at my back in a vehicle ( and this is done a lot since we are always packed tightly together in a bus). I am so annoyed about people that will bump into you without "excuse me or sorry". Where is our etiquette these days? If anyone makes screeching noise or play with thier keys, it just gets worse. You should see my feline cats twisting thier ears at any slight noise. Hmmm, I am done for.

Don Scofield curiously taking a nap (lol)

I am now so curious about something and everything. I won't be able to explain the level of my curiosity or what I am curious about. Thank God they are kinda positive stuffs and I don't go getting into people's affairs. I am just darn curious about developmental issues... but my feline kids are curious about the content of my bag, what goes on out the door etc.

Garfield there, observing where to bite on me-leg

What am I observing really? It's all entwined. There is no how you will be curious and not observe stuff. No how you will get sensitive and not observe. So, I am here... becoming my cats.
And now that I have observed a lot of development stuff in relation to Lagos State, I need to have an appointment with Fashola, the governor. No kidding

Read more on CATS TUESDAY on Gattina's blog

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Putting "the true-lie" to rest

I so much love the attempt made by a few of the bloggers that tried to figure out which is so untrue in my second true-lie request. Very interesting.

The so untrue one is ever dating a lecturer, No, I never did

But me being circumcised was so true though Baroque was of the opinion that if that were to be true, I would not mention it on blogsphere. I wonder why he thought so. Okay, the tip of my clitoris was cut when I was a baby. That was circumcision and it's so unfortunate that some poor babies or even female adults were made to experience the same ill treatment in the name of culture. Some girls weren't as lucky to have only their clitoris (which was the sensitive sexual part for a woman) cut, they get every bit of their vagina cut, shaved, mutilated!


Even though some of you wanted number three to be the lie ( I trully appreciate your concern my ladies) . This experience ended in given me a costly leverage to trully understand why we all have to say "NO to Female Genital Mutilation". I once worked with an NGO that did a documentary on how they went to Benin City to try and convince those carrying out the circumcisions to help get it eradicated. It was a lot of convincing and educating. They came up with different irrelevant reasons as to why they have to continue the culture... I was happy that some of them eventually embrace another occupation after they learnt that FGM:
  1. makes child birth very difficult and painful for women
  2. might lead to complications that might get her and/or her baby killed during childbirth
  3. might make a woman frigid
  4. makes sex painful and unenjoyable to women
  5. leads to the death of the victims of circumcision
  6. is a common place for infection to start
  7. is a violation of her fundamental human rights


The awareness is still going in some place in Africa because we still have people set in their ways of getting a girl-child circumcised. I read somewhere that a Nigerian couple had that performed on their girl-child abroad by inviting someone from Nigeria to do it (NDQ told the story). I wonder why we still struggle to get this practise eradicated by now. It boils down to the fact that there are people out there that aren't listening. They really have to, before they destroy a life or more lives...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Girl-Soldier and True-Lie Answer

The Girl-Soldier:
Injustice, corruption, discrimination she saw
Deeply entrenched in her society
Ruling all and sundry

Her youthful innocent heart bleeds
She shields blood and not tears
She was too disappointed to understand

Then she carried a gun to fight
A gun of truth
The gun of passion
The gun of selfless service

Her gun is her passion to make a difference
The courage to be the change
The determination to make a change

There goes the girl-soldier

True-Lie Answer:

If I had not worded my 3 true-lie puzzle the way I did, it wouldn't have being a puzzle anymore and would have being easy to figure out. Archiwiz, NDQ, Bumight and Marjoram got it right!
  1. I sure have a lunch date with Pat Utomi. I partook in a Facebook essay he originated "how hopeless youth can make change in Nigeria" (I reprhased it). The prize for the winners would be to have a lunch date with him. I won and the lunch will soon happen. 
  2. How can I not currently have cats? Even Aloted got it wrong! And Aloted kai! When I am not out of the country and with all my passion for cats, I will just get rid of my 4 precious feline kids like that? Haba!
  3. I have met Chari and Poetically Tinted. They are both my buddies now. I love them both. (I had mentioned meeting them on my blog before)
Woomie O, if I were to do the dirty linen thing, I doubt if blogville knows me enough to figure out the truth but I am giving this as a bonus, be the first to figure this out and others are welcome to do same:

Another Round:
  1. I had asked guy(s) out before.
  2. I dated a lecturer.
  3. I was circumcised.
So which one is so untrue?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

True -lie (My turn)

Interview Thursday series will continue next week. Sorry for the break in transmission...

Woomie O tagged me to do True-Lie (my version). I am obliging...

here are the rules:

a. Tell three things about yourself, two should be true and one a lie.
b. Commenters should guess which two are true and which one is a lie and tell why they think so.
c. Tag 6 people to do the same.
d. Post the answers in your next blog, but only after you have a good number of comments

TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIE. (Go figure)
  1. I have a lunch date with Pat Utomi
  2. I don't currently have cats
  3. I have met blogger Chari and Poetically Tinted
I tagged blogger:
  1. Chari
  2. Poetically Tinted
  3. Robyn
  4. FineBoy Agbero
  5. Temite
  6. Free Flowing Florida (FFF)
For my tagged buddies, God help you if you are not reading this to know.... (lol)

What are the Children Listening to?

It's no doubt that music is important to our existence. So many souls cannot afford to ignore a song. Some will not even bother to know the message a song is passing, all that matters to them is the beat. Yes the beat.

Listening to the lyrics and having a good beat to go with it, is what some people will like in a song. On and on it goes and the bottom line is MUSIC is an integral part of our beings. I used to belong to the 2 groups. The ones that will dance to any good beat and the one that will appreciate a good music with sensible lyrics.

These days however, I am in the second group of those that will stick to a good music with very sensible lyrics. Thank God for Asa, Shasha, TY Bello, Face, Nice.... At least the last two artists try to limit stereotyping women if we don't mind some Yoruba Proverbs that Nice will use. Some of these proverbs are trully questionable.

I am not going there today (to the questionable proverbs) and I intend not to make this post long. I have being observing how children dedicate thier times to music especially the ones with bad lyrics but good beat! When I say children, I mean the ones between the age of 2 to 10. They are the ones I see when I go to have my hair cut, when I close from work and I am strolling home or when I am out visiting friends. They gather and start singing and dancing to some of these songs with bad lyrics. Songs that will emphasis
  1. that a woman is an ASHAWO "Prostitute"
  2. that will teach them how to curse others
  3. that will expose them to vulgar words
  4. that will teach them words that "touts" are using
  5. that are disrespecful to women and thier bodies
Just to mention a few. Just like Aloted said in her interview with mio "teach your child the way of the lord and she/he will never depart from it".

Who is teaching this kids the way of the lord? Who is teaching these kids great values that will better thier lives? Are the parents as carefree as not minding what kids are listening to? I know it might not be easy in this busy world to always know the moves our children make and it's understandable that they have the right to grow. I am just of the opinion that talking to the children and letting them know the danger in getting hooked to songs that are "not good for their souls" will really help in making them develop good mindsets.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Interview Thursday. "No Woman Should Lose her Identity" Says ALOTED

I called her Ms. Inspiration, Ms. Thorough, Ms. Purpose and Ms. Intelligent..... she is much more. She is blogsville powerful female member. She is ALOTED, the owner of PURPOSE DRIVEN Blog. I am honoured to be interacting with you, my-lady

Who is this Purposeful Woman?
My name is Aloted. I am in my late twenties but I feel younger every year, maybe that's why I look nothing like my age. Some of my hobbies include gisting, chatting online, reading, sleeping and travelling in no particular order. I like meeting new people but sometimes can be shy to make the first move. I also enjoy writing and as a result started blogging in May 2006. I wanted an avenue to express myslef, my purpose, some of my thoughts, my faith and to meet other people. My aim is to be an inspiration to people through my blog which I hope I am.
I am proudly Nigerian. I currently live with my hubby (Baale) in the UK. We were one year old this Monday, and we are looking forward to spending many more beautiful and prosperous years together.

What is Feminism to you?
Ah, StandTall, I am waiting for you to answer that question on your blog (smiles)

I don't think I will consider myself a feminist as such but I believe in the power I have as a woman. God created man and woman as equals, but we certainly have different roles to play. There is no need for a power struggle between women and men because if we look within, we would see that we have a kind of power that men do not have. It is high time we realised what it is. We can multi task, we can birth a vision and see it to its completion, we are intuitive, we are emotional being yet very strong. If there was no woman, the human rce would not exist. Becuase of woman, men and women of great talents have been born into the world. We are selffless; we are fighters- we fight for what belong to us. The list goes on and on

No Woman Should:
  • loose her identity (the core essence of who she is) in the name of love or anything else
  • think that any man is the solution to her problems. God alone can solve our problems
  • think that any man is perfect. Neither are you by the way
  • hate on other woman
Every Woman Should Know:
  • she is wonderfully and beautifully made and doesn't need the approval of any man to validate herself.
  • she can achieve her dreamsIf she can think it, then she can achieve it
  • how to manage her finances
  • how to experience living life by herself- married or single. If you are lonely before you get married, marriage isn't going to change that


Your blog is "Purpose Driven" as you are a purpose-driven woman, can you give us an insight into this purpose?
First, my purpose is simply to do what is right, be kind to others, and to walk humbly with my God

Second: to support my husband and be his help meet

Third: raise up my children (when they come) in the way of the Lord, so that when they are grown they will not depart from it. If I don't do any other thing right, I pray I succeed in this area

Fourth: to fufil my God's given dreams whcihc includes being a role model to younger women

I cannot say I am there yet as I don't get it right every time but I am on my way to achieving my purpose by His grace. I am learning to enjoy the journey. I am learning from my mistakes and taking each day as it comes

Do you have any female role model? Who is she and how has she in.spired you?
I admire a lot of women but my role model of all times is my mother. I hope to be half the woman my mother is. She has a gentle spirit and this is something I aspire to have, as I don't think Aloted can be termed as gentle as such. She is also wise and patient. I see how she relates with my father and sometimes I wonder why she doesn't argue with him but growing up I have realised that a wise woman knows when to talk and to keep quiet.

In fact I can say my mother "controls" my dad and he doesn't even realise it.
Also my mum is very meek. A lot of people confuse meekness with weakness but I have learnt that when you are meek, you will enjoy peace

What is money to you
?
It's funny you ask that question. Most of my friends say I m cautious when it comes to money. This I must say is a trait I picked from my mother. My mother made me realise early in life that you do not always buy something because you want it but because you need it. She taught me not to let money control me. but I should be in control of money.
Now to answer you question, money to me is a defense, a shelter. Having moeny, means a comfortable life and protection against the unexpected. The bible says money answers all things. Therefore money is agood thing and everyone must desire to attain financial freedom. Like the common saying goes-money talks and every thing walks (ok we've all heard all the naughty version of this saying)

The bible also says " the love of money is the root of all evil". A lot of people get it mixed up. It is the LOVE of the money that is bad not the money in itself. People set themselves up over money or have even killed and some are en-slaved to money. This shouldn't be. Being financially empowered means "our money is working for us" and not the other way around. That's where I want to be.

Also our money should be used to bless others around us. Givers never lack.

Does it matter who earn more money in a relationship?
If a man earns more than a woman in the relationship should it matter? I think not. If so, it should not matter if the woman earns more than the man. As long as respect, love, honesty and effective communication exist in a relatioship, they shoudl be good to go

Sadly though, it appears to matter in a lot of relationships. If many couples could adopt the "what's mine is yours" policy then lesser arguments on money would occur. Nevertheless, I think there is a lot of onus on both parties to make it work. For the man, if his partner earns more than him, he should not feel threatened subjected to the attributes I mentioned above. You know how men can be egocentric. And because of his ego palaver, women who ear more than thier partners should take care not to rub it in their men's face. It all boils down to the 4 attributes I have mentioned

In which ways can women contribute to the society?
Hmm, well, I think women an contribute to the society in different ways and I will mention three:
  1. Women should learn to be at peace with thier neighbours, not to be backbiters or busybodies. They should aspire to be role models to the younger females. They should be supportive of other women and thier dreams. They should stand up for what they believe and not be intimidated by men
  2. Women are mothers, both married and signle should endeavour to train up thier children and bring them up to have good morals and values. Good families make up a good society. Children are the future so when they are brought up right, they (both male and female) can impact thier commnities in positive ways
  3. In anything a woman finds her hands to do, be it science, politics, economic, medicine, running her home etc, she should do it wholeheartedly and not for eye service.
Do you believe in training up male children to do domestic chores and what impact do you think this will have in the world?
Yes! I most certainly believe in training up all children - both male and female- to do domestic chores. Another thing I learnt from my mum. She had a roaster and every week each if us (I have a brother) took turns to be responsible for putting water in the fridge, washing the dishes, wshing the car etc. Apart from that, everyone had their portion of seeping to do in the house

It saddens me when I hear that some parents take extra time to train up thier daughters but let thier sons off the hook. No wonder we have so many couch potatoes in the world. They get married and thier wives work all day without any help from them. And they are puzzled why thier wives are grouchy or age fast

Training up male children to help out in the house will definitely have a positive impact. I think males will be more considerate and respectufl to the women they meet. They will not see house work as a woman's job. If they are single, they will be able to clean up after themselves withouth waiting for a girlfriend, sister or their mother. If married, it will be second nature for them to assist thier wives at home, which means having a stress-free happy wife/mother and in turn a happy home. We all know if mummy is happy, everyone in the house is, and if mummy is not happy, God help you if you cross her path

Ghana just got thier first female speaker ever after 51 years of independence; do you think this is a break through for women in leadership?
Most certainly, I do not know how mcuh bout politics but I admire women like Dora Akunyili and the work they do. With stuff like these happening in Ghana and other parts of the world, more women will feel motivated to take up more leadership positions.

What more can women do to be in leadership positions?
Like I mentioned eariler, we women should be faithful in anything we find ourselves doing, that is how we can get to the top. We should work our unique gifts. We should stand up for what we believe. omen should begin/continue to read more books/articles on leadership especially on women that are leaders. They say if you want to hide something from a black man/woman, put it in a book. We can learn a thing or two when we read.
Women should develop and have leadership traits such as honesty, kindness, competency, inspirational, broad-mindednesss, fiar-mindedness, courage, intelligence to name a few

What change do you think will happen when more women are in leadership position in thier soceity?
More women in leadership position would mean that the world had undergone a paradigm shift. It will show that we have grown as a global community and ready for a change. Women will surley be empowered. Women and men can then claim fair share of the challenges and opportunities related to leadership

Are there female bloggers you admire? Can you mention 5 and why you admire them?
I think I am going to to copy Afrobabe on this and cheat. Why? Beacuse there are so many female bloggers I admire but alas I can't mention everyone's name. Please pardon me.

First of all, I admire you StandTall, for the difference you are making on blogsville. You STAND up for what you believe and that is something I deeply admire

Thank you so very much

That;s just jara (extra) and not part of the 5 right? (Smiles)

So here goes:

AbujaMaiden: This is a girl who is walking the narrow path and is not scared to share her belief on abstaining before marriage. You rock girl. To me, you are a real woman and a role model.

Jaycees, Rita and Remi: Gosh, any time I visit their blogs, I either receive a confirmation of what god is telling me, or i leave inspired. Sometimes I am too speechless to comment and all I say is "thank you for the word"

Writefreak, Tyger and Nolimit: Writefreak is my very close friend outside blogsville and i admire her and thankful for our friendship. Tyger is also my person outside blogsville. Nolimit knows me through Baale (Check details on her blog) and we are yet to meet in perosn. Very soon girl! I admire how you both write

Good Nigerian Girl: I adimre how you are very Nigerian yet very Canadian. ( I was going to say English just now lol). I am proud of you for yearning to know more about Yoruba culture. May God provide you a good yoruba man after His heart according to His will for you

Vera Ezimora:
You are in a world/class of your own. You amaze and amuse me. You are too much...you rock blogsville!

Madam Standtall, I am grateful for this opportunity to be interviewed by you. In fact, I am flabberwhelmed and overgasted. Well done with the work you are doing. God bless you!

Thanks for murdering English (lol). The pleasure is completely mine. I am honoured to have you accept.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Examining Negative Quotations that affect women image/dignity/Fundamental Rights

Women have had to struggle to attain and claim what belong to them, due to the fact that the so many demented recoginsed scholars and leaders had deemed it fit to belittle women and make them feel like they don't count in the society. A look at the quotations by some of these demented philosophers below will give you an insights into why women struggle to claim their rightful place in the society is necessary.
  1. " Nature intended women to be our slaves. They are our property." -Napolean Bonaparte
  2. "Women are nothing but machines for producing children." - Napolean Bonaparte
  3. "Women are like elephants. Everyone likes to look at them but no-one likes to have to keep one." - WC Fields
  4. "Women should be obscene and not heard." -Groucho Marx
  5. "Women's intuition is the result of millions of years of not thinking."- Rupert Hughes
  6. "Women: Can't live with them, can't bury them in the back yard without the neighbours seeing." - Sean Williamson
  7. "Women should have labels on their foreheads saying, 'Government Health Warning: women can seriously damage your brains, genitals, current account, confidence, razor blades, and good standing among your friends'." Jeffrey Bernard
  8. "A woman is an occasional pleasure but a cigar is always a smoke." - Groucho Marx
  9. "The appropriate age for marriage is around eighteen for girls and thirty-seven for men." - Aristotle
  10. “So it is naturally with the male and the female; the one is superior, the other inferior; the one governs, the other is governed; and the same rule must necessarily hold good with respect to all mankind” - Aristotle
  11. “A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her”- Oscar Wilde
  12. “Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship”- Oscar Wilde
  13. “Women are made to be loved, not understood” - Oscar Wilde
  14. “No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating” - Oscar Wilde
  15. "All women become like their mothers, and that's their tragedy. All men don't, and that's theirs." -Oscar Wilde
"Aristotle, maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths"
From this error in judgement, how can anyone take what he wrote seriously?

Oscar Wilde with all his sayings on women lived on his beloved wife Constance money for a long time. And that afforded him a life of luxury. That was before he was imprisoned for his "gross indecency" with other men.
Here is what Socrates says "My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher."
This just nailed it. It made a lot of things clearer as the interpretation one can give to this is these philosophers that saw nothing good in women or that even believed women to be their slaves were unhappy. Why carrying out this on women?
 
Breaking News:
  1. Ghana produced its first female speaker after 51 years of independence. Welcome on board Madam Speaker (Ms. Joyce Bamford -Addo). This is adding to women's leadership achievement
  2. Rambhai.com is a blogging community that welcomes your postings and comments. Join today
  3. Care to join this group of change makers? If yes, join Youth Action Partners for Development today
  4. Remember Chioma of Celebrate Africa trips? She visited Nigeria during the Yelutide with her trip companion in the person of her own very sister Oluchi. She granted her interview to the Punch Newspaper. Read here

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Interview Thursday. Insight into Afrobabe's thinking

She is SMART, she is Liberal, She is a sexologist (lol) and she is down to Earth. Articulate AFROBABE is sharing with us this Thursday. Standing ovation everyone!

Your blog shows a lot of sex images but you do write about different issues. What I will like to know is if your blog is a SEX blog? If it's not, what exactly does Afrobabe intend her blog to be?
Hmmm tough one, I don't know if I can honestly answer this question because Afrobabe herself doesn't know.
I started the blog at a time when I was in between relationships and trying to get back into the dating stream. It was initially titled "The story of an African girl in search of love" and featured the men I went on dates with. Well, that didn't bode too well as a guy I seriously liked found the blog and stopped seeing me because he didn't want to be a story. He felt my story would be one sided and people wouldn't know what motivated any actions I wrote about…That hurt a lot because I actually liked him and I changed it to "The story of an African girl" and just talked about anything humorous. Funny enough he sent me an email recently after about a year of silence saying he was beginning to see blogging in a different light… No, I didn't reply him, couldn't give him the opportunity to hurt me that much again...
The pictures, I just like naughty pictures and felt my blog was a way to always have them where I could see them rather than search through them in my inbox and to my great surprise I found out I wasn't the only one with strange tastes out there… Loads of freaky people!!!
Did I answer the question??? Don't think so…errrmmm NO, I wouldn't say my blog is a sex blog. That said, I do seem to mention sex a lot. Maybe we can call it a shagged up blog!!!

How do you get all the erotic pictures for your blog? Are they made specially for Afrobabe?
LMAO….No, the pictures are not made specially for me. I initially got them from emails that friends forwarded then when I started the blog I would search for them online and now I have about a million unused ones sent to me by people who read my blog.

From the comments have seen you posted on other people's blogs, you sound to me like a liberal and pratical person. Am I right? Who is Afrobabe?
Afrobabe at a glance is a casual smart person, the type you meet on braids and jeans and teeshirt or on corporate attire. Meeting me you would never guess I was Afrobabe….I am liberal minded, If you want to be a single mother it's all good to me, if you want to be gay it's a way of life. I believe people have the right to be who they want to be.
Practical and impulsive is what I would describe myself as. I don't sit around debating how good an idea is before doing something…Most often I do it then realise its not a good idea but at least I tried….

Can you let us into your future ambition and what you do at the moment?
At the moment I am a Business risk analyst and up to about a month ago I was the head of risk in the firm I worked with, went on an unplanned vacation and met a termination letter for breach of contract on my return…lol…At first I was confused but then confused doesn't pay the bills so I quickly started learning how to trade on forex, (Foreign exchange market) I have now doubled my initial capital in the space of 2 weeks. My future ambition is to sit back and travel the world while my money works for me. Hopefully forex is the way forward.

It was a general belief that Nigerians are the worst criminals in the word, what's your take? How can you describe Nigerian both home and in the diaspora?
Working in business risk has brought that fact home. My job involved dealing with money in and money out of accounts, I would check the source the money came from and where it was being withdrawn to. I.e. why is Mr Smith depositing his account with a credit card in Miss Jane's name and then trying to withdraw it immediately through a cheque. I would freeze the account and demand ID for both Mr Smith and Miss Jane before any other movement. Trust me, 50% of the fraud we were able to stop was perpetuated by Nigerians 30% by women with Nigerian boyfriends or husbands. It got so bad that I unconsciously flagged any account that had a Nigerian name on it. This included email address with names such as femo@something.com
My take on it is that we the innocent are paying for that view big time.

How do you see Nigeria as a country and its people?
Nigeria to me is and will always be home, I am still looking for the foreign man I intend to marry and take back home with me. Hope it works…Nigeria is a place where there is nothing like fake documents, all documents are legit. Nigeria in my mind is the bar beach, suya, Gordon spark, elegant native dresses, men who respect women, men with a vision and focus, A place where the community raises the children, it is sweet sensation and Mr Bigs. A place where one cannot be lonely and the people are nosy…in a good way, well until they tell your parents they saw you kissing some guy!!!
Nigeria is a lovely place ruled by a bunch of jackasses. The people are friendly and happy despite all obstacles placed in their way.

Women have being stereotyped in so many negative ways? Do you think these stereotypes are justified?
I believe we have brought this on our selves…me inclusive. You wouldn't exactly blame anyone for calling me a sex addict after reading my blog would you? On one hand I am saying take me serious and on the other hand all my blog seems to pass across is sex! Maybe we should try more to be who we are and show our convictions as forcefully as possible, as women of virtue. That is the one great thing I admire in Jaycee and Uzezi
Hmmm, I will sure not find it funny if you were called a sex addict because of your blog. That will be so judgemental. I don't believe women brought this stereotypes on themselves. This will be a discussion for another day

Gender discriminations have affected a lot of women from being the best they can be, how can we avert this situation?
I think we women have a big role to play in this. When we stop seeing ourselves as a weaker sex then and only then can we stand up and take our rightful places in the society. Let no one tell you that you can't buy that particular car or work as an engineer or some other silly thing just because you are a woman. I once saw a woman mechanic being interviewed on Newsline back in the days in Lagos and I remembered the immense pride I felt. I remember my dad laughing at her and me thinking…but she is very courageous to do what she actually loves doing.
I know her story Sandra Aguebor. She has trained a lot of lady-mechanics. MTN sponsored her at some point to train more women.

Can you name 5 female bloggers you admire and why?
This is a hard one as there are so many female bloggers that I absolutely love to death but I'll try.
1. Guerreiranigeriana and Parakeet :Their writings make you wonder at things we have come to take as the norm, they make you think, make you wish you could do something about a certain situation. I call them thinking bloggers.
2. Solomonsydelle: Any woman who can manage three active children and still worry about the state of the nation demands admiration.
3.Vera Ezimora and Shubby Doo:For the sheer fact that even though they try to cover how smart they are by writing about everyday humour they still manage to make you wish you had written that or at least though about it!
4. Badderchic, Shonavixen and Ibiluv: Because they have the courage to be bad without caring about being stereotyped.
5. Fantasyqueen, NigerianDramaQueen, Smaragd and bumight:They make me wish I was a girl and could start all over again.
Na 5 be that abi?
No, this is called 5 in 10 (lol)
Where in heaven's name do I put all the great women I have met here???
Standtall only asked for 5 na? Sorry o

What can we look forward to in blogsphere as far as Afrobabe is concerned?
Afrobabe will try her best to remain herself, I will continue to blog according to my mood. Who knows, I might one day start talking about the state of the economy and the way forward and I may one day know who they are talking about when they mention Ribadu or know the states and capitals of Nigeria, I might even become an activist like you and start doing good deeds!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cats on Tuesdays: The Neutered/Spayed Feminist Cats



Finally, Governor Garfield, Senator Molly and Councillor Smallville got spayed and neutered respectively. For Kitten Smaville, he didn't find it a big deal. He bounced back immediately ( his was but a simple procedure). Good for him as he had already started mating with Garfield before he was even 5 months! He became 5 months on Dec. 31st. He is too big for his age hence his misbehaviour (lol). He was in the picture below sleeping on moi peacefully



Molly threw up a lot when she got spayed. She defeacted as well. Her system really reacted badly. She started eating a day after. I was to take her back to the vet last week Friday for her stitch to be removed. Lo and behold, vet was still in new year mood. He wasn't there. So, I removed everything myself. Yeah, doctor StandTall did. Molly is fine. Her urge to run out of the house is reducing after 2 failed attempt that led me to the roof to pick her again. StandTall Husband is trying to be friendly with her, I pray it works. They need to stop this " I don't like you either" attitude of thiers. Both of them. Below is Molly's Stitched Tummy!



My Garfield, she got spayed and slept for 24 hours! I was worried. I woke her up several times during the night but no way. She didn't budge. The vet had to give her more sleeping dose because she had a little benign tumor by the side of her uterus that has to be taking care of. Poor baby, she did not eat for 2 days! Yay. That's Garfield tummy below!



Now they are all bouncing back for good. My happy happy feminist cats. And yeah, President Scofield says hi



Hope you enjoy the above video. That's Socfield and Smallville little brawl
Both Smallville and Scofield were bothering me for food and StandTall husband was there to capture the scene

Visit Gattina blog for more on CATS on Tuesday

Saturday, January 3, 2009

SELF-DEFENSE: How Important is it for Women.

On Christmas eve, I was visiting someone that brought a message from London for me, despite not liking visiting the Island especially on Christmas eve. Well, The Activist had to do what she had to do. I mad my trip, I was running late so I had to take a commercial motorcycle popularly called Okada in the Western part of Nigeria. We proceeded on our journey. I noticed the rider was trying to tell me something but if I tried to inquire, he would just look on. He, at a point shifted into my laps and I had to move back while wondering if he didn't have enough space to sit to begin with. Before I got to my stop, he looked back and asked me if I was crazy! What? I was still trying to digest that unbelievable utterance when he dropped another one. He said " I want to kiss you"!

Now imagine if I had not known what to do or how to handle a maniac like the rider, things could have got worse. He might be a rapist. The stereotype would let us believe that women are emotional meaning that in that situation, I should just give into crying and get confused. No, handled it right. I asked him to halt infront of a police officer and the rest was history...

Another incident that I would like to share happened in December 2007, a year before this rider's incident (not on Christmas eve though). I was on my way to see a doctor because I had taken ill. I had to get off at a busy place called Oshodi in Lagos to take another bus to my destination. As I was making my way through the crowd, a guy just grabbed my butt! Well, when I turned back with reflex action, I had given him 3 dirty slaps before I calmed down. I didn't bother waiting to see who would sympathise with me since my voice was too weak to alert the nearby police officers. If I didn't leave the scene on time, the Oshodi boys, would give justice to the " butt grabist" and embarrass me. I know how they operate so, I didn't wait but I defended my self before leaving the scene

The Oshodi incident happens to a lot of ladies in our big markets in Lagos. There are all sort of harrassment from the male marketers. They pull you and rough handle you while pretending they are marketing their goods and all. So many other incidents that I can't begin to name have being endured by women and girls. Rape cases that can be avoided, violence against our bodies by those we trust with no one to help. So, since we have got ourselves, what do we do?

This brings me to what I believe is a must for every woman and girls to learn Self defense skills.

"...If you see or sense problems on your way,
just change your route and - prepare to run or
defend yourself..." — Caroline Young

What does self defense mean to us as women? In my organisation, we had a summer camp in Technology for female secondary students last year. One of the acitivities at the camp was to bring expert in martial arts to teach the girls little but effective self defense they can use to get themselves out of any danger. Did they love it? Did we feel happy to have initiated this? Oh yes!

“Self-defence is what we do to make our lives safer
on a daily basis. ” It’s about taking control of
situations in which you’re to be made a victim -
this ranges from comments to physical attack.
It’s realising that if someone does not respect your
boundaries, you should stop them. There are
many different strategies for this - saying something,
yelling, leaving, fighting - the important thing is you

By learning some basic principles of self- defense, as a woman, you are already in control. There are articles you can read up if you click on the links I provided or better still look for a self-defense or martial art expert to put you through. Not only you but your daughters, your female friends, your sister, our mothers and your female colleagues

In this 2009, I will be happier to see a violence free year. I know this is possible. Let's us all make it difficult for hoodlums, assailants or whatever logo or names they bear to get to us. It's our responsiblities to be safe. Let's self-defense skills be one of our safety cateria for 2009.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Interview Thursday: 1st Person of the year - WAFFARIAN!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL. I believe in my heart that this year will be a glorious one in our lives. I present to you the first person of the year 2009 to feature in "Interview Thursday" series. She is no other than our own WAFFARIAN. A Nigeria gal in foreign land (lol). She is a true person that I have come to admire. She has no bone for insincerity. She tells it as it is. She gives her perspective on Nigeria and women in governance. And she believe in a greater Nigeria. Yes we CAN!

What part of Nigeria is Waffarian from?
Tamsk you very much for that question. (make I clear throat). There were two constants in my life when I was growing up. Saturday village trip and Catholic mass on Sunday. In 1978, a young man moved his wife, two year old son and new born daughter to the then booming oil town of Warri. His purpose was to live as close to his mother as possible and spend every possible free moment in the land of his ancestors. And that is how for the next ten years of my life, I spent every fucking Saturday in Illah, Oshimili North local government area, in Delta State. That is the land my father is buried and on that land shall I build the foundations of my village school. Hehehehehehehehe.

How do you come across your blog name?
Tamsk you again for that question. The name of my blog was originally “waffy girl in Europe”. I admit it was not so creative but at that time, all I saw in blogville was those kind of names, like “naijagal” or “Londonnaijagal”, you know, names like that. I wan feel among na, na im me too, I nak dem my own, “waffy girl”…haba! People trip na. Oh…ehen, then after a while, I decided to change it from “waffy girl” to “The Waffarian”. I felt I wanted to be more neutral and it worked. I have since met bloggers that thought I was male! Hehehehehehe.

What word best describe your personality?
Damnnnnnnnnnn. This is hardcore. I swear one word no fit describe me. I don think tire. Abeg, this question too hard. I don skip am. Wetin? Na exam?

I don't know how long you have left Nigeria for, but I will like to know if you belief as a voice from Diaspora in our leadership efficiency and sincerity of purpose?
The truth is that those leaders were not elected by the people and therefore cannot represent the people. Until Nigeria can conduct fair elections and people are free to vote for whoever they want, I do not think we will ever have the right leaders. Most of the governors were voted in a haze of violence and corruption. Some states had more votes than their population. Votes were counted in centers that were never opened. How in the world am I supposed to believe that such people would be sincere? It’s like a prostitute praying in church for more customers. It is not logical. It makes no sense.

What do you think we need to make Nigeria a better place?
I believe very much in the power of POSSIBILITY. People ask me all the time that with all the negative things I write about Nigeria, how can I still be positive? . It is because I see the possibility of what Nigeria can become. I see the things we can do, I see what we have. I see the brains, the manpower, the resources. We have great POTENTIAL to be so much more than we are. However, we need to acknowledge the truth of how things really are. You cannot change things if you pretend or ignore things around you. First of all, we have to see what is bad, then we can begin to think of how we can make things better. Without acknowledging the problem, how can we find a solution? To make Nigeria a better place, we must all be willing to do something, no matter how small. We have to start somewhere. Small goals that are possible. I think every single person has a role to play. If all you can do is not throw dirt out of the window, then do that part. If you can encourage others on your bus not to do that, that is also something. You might think it is a small thing but imagine hundreds of people all over Nigeria each telling passengers of a bus not to throw dirt on the road…that’s already a movement!

Could Nigeria development be achieved without women's involvement in leadership?
Never! Right now in Africa, we are the key to saving that continent. I strongly believe that in the next couple of years, more women will take on leadership positions and be successful at it. Forget about Madam Etteh and that other craise woman. That Senator woman. Those ones na mistake. I think men have had their shot, they have shown us what they can do. We thank them very much for their efforts. We might not know the right path yet, but we definitely have identified the WRONG path. They should give us space jare! Let us show them what we can do.

How do you think women can be more involved in Nigeria politics?
By the same word you just used. Getting involved! Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it seems. Most political parties are run by God fathers. I promise you that they already know who the next governor of your state is. That is why; I would like to see a political party formed only for women. Yes, I know, very ambitious. But please, tell me, why should we vote for a man when we can vote for our own? There are about 68 million women in Nigeria! We have a population of about 140 million, so let’s say we make up about 50% of the population. Do you realize how much power we have in our hands? I would love to see a party dedicated for the sole purpose of working towards helping women who believe they have a role to play in the Nigerian society. A party for Women by Women .Recently, I have been following the progress of this political party and I have been greatly inspired by it (Feminist Initiative). Also, the recent dream of Barack Obama has made me even more ambitious with this project. If anybody is interested or thinks this is something they would also like to work towards, please contact me.

What role will you like to play in Nigeria's development?
Hahahahaha! I think I just answered this question in the above question! That is a dream I have. I realize it will take a lot of hard work and years….fucking years….but…YES, WE CAN!

Can Waffarian tell us a few things about her life?
Hahahahahah! My life is dry at the moment. All I do is read, write and sleep…. I am fucking dry. I swear. Nothing exciting lately…my Vjayjay is on a lockdown so no more penis stories. But once things pick up, I‘ll get back to you!

What is bloghsphere to you?
I don’t know anymore….it used to be this safe place where I could write whatever I wanted. This place where my thoughts could flow and I could be myself. I remember when I first started blogging, I was so excited to read people that had the same thoughts like I did…that were going through life and seeing things like I did…it reassured me that I was not the only one having such thoughts. I always believed everybody was like I was. They just wanted a place to write. A place that was all theirs. That was my priority with my blog and still is. I jus wanna write! However internet like any other place that human beings dwell in, is full of shit as well. I still do my blog rounds and even though I do not leave as many comments as I used to, I never fail to visit my favorite blogs and I am always happy to see new blogs. However, it is not as “relaxing” a task as it used to be. Before, I just used to click away and land on any blog. It did not matter to me. I read whatever. I don’t do that anymore. Now I know the specific blogs I wanna read.

Thanks for your time and attention.
E don finish?
Lol. There will be part 2, I hope.
Click here, here, here and here for women/feminists achievements in 2008

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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