Society has always discouraged women to say no to requests and demands by men. From a tender age African traditions teach women as they grow as young girls to adapt to family pressure and to society patriarchal rules (a girl is second to a boy). They are taught four cardinal virtues a lady is supposed to have which include: piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity. This put together just spell women, daughter, sister and wife.
The women end up facing plenty of distortion and mistaken beliefs about how women are supposed to behave and act. They end up believing that they must be forbearing, perfect, beautiful and ready to serve others no matter the cost. If they don’t measure up, they feel worthless.
The inevitability of their fate as women in a male dominated society make some women timid and subjected to lives of relentless drudgery and despair .They quietly suffer in abusive relationships, which leads to depression and consequently, other health complications. But the problem doesn’t lie with the men, but the societies in which they are embedded in.
Some women have however refused to buy into the false societal view of women that devalues their worth, holds them back and limits their power .They are doing everything they can to reclaim their power and full breadth of their feminine nature.
Undoubtedly social media has played a huge role in enabling women to communicate and spread ideas of empowerment that would otherwise be confined to research papers in libraries. Feminism is being thrust into the public eye and women are being more outspoken on their views and opinions and people are taking note. Social media movements like, ‘Kilimani mums’ and ‘Mydressmychoice’ are examples of how women are utilizing social media to express their outrage and opinions on the injustice leveled at women.
The internet is corpulent with stories of how women are nowadays boldly saying no .The most noticeable of them is the case of one Dr. Mugo wa Wairimu a pervert gynecologist in Nairobi’s Zimmerman and Githurai areas. The doctor came under heavy criticism when a disturbing video was posted on social media that showed him allegedly sedating and sexually assaulting his female clients.
For many women, a visit to the gynecologist is a rather gauche but necessary experience where they are forced to bare all their womanhood to strangers. Some consider the whole experience as personal and never discuss the details of such visits .It was however very bold of a lady who felt her privacy blatantly violated by the perverted doctor and had gone ahead to record a video that showed Dr. Mugo with a seemingly unconscious lady. She did not care what society would think of her but she knew she had to expose the Doctor in a bid to shame his practice and get justice by having him investigated for forgoing against all medical doctrines .This just goes to prove women don’t have to be timid and can stand up to injustices from the society.
Another example witnessed of women standing up to injustice was in the public transport sector .For some reason women have always found themselves at loggerheads with the matatu touts. The Touts always seem to take advantage of the skittish nature of women. I remember the social movement dubbed ‘Mydressmychoice’ which was started due to a confrontation between Male Touts and a female passenger. Women are however more vigilant around these touts and standing up to them in ways that sometime leave people with their mouths wide agape. I once met a lady who chose to stand up to a tout who had shortchanged her balance by ksh50. She had quietly snuck up to the unsuspecting tout and grabbed the folded notes between his fingers, grabbed a ksh1000note and tore it in half, stashing one half in her pocket. She then demanded for her balance or else she wouldn’t return the half making it useless .The other passengers could only stare on in disbelief at the boldness of the young lady and prompted the tout to give back her balance. The act may have cost her prosecution in a court of law but the tout got the point loud and clear. Women shall not just sit but rather stand up for any injustice.
This just goes to prove Kenyan women are tired and can talk, demand and investigate ill treatment by the society .They are ready to subjugate their position within the society and reclaim their inner femininity which in itself is naturally glorious, loving, bold, compassionate, spontaneous, joyous, caring, playful and powerful beyond measure.