Taking Stock 005, for your eyes only

Let’s talk about women. My journey to being a ” bad feminist” because I only truly care about women. “

I don’t think I’m such a bad feminist like people in social insinuate. I like to think of myself as a pretty opiniated feminist who has women’s and girl’s interest at heart. My approach in feminism has evolved over the years. Let’s just say today’s article will focus on how I have evolved as a self proclaimed feminist,not just a 2017 thing. I will try to detail each turning point, how the women in my life gave me perspective and the hard lessons I had to learn and or unlearn.

Let’s start from the beginning as I remember it
I knew women needed every support they could get to survive at a pretty young age. I was 7 or 8 years old when I stood up to a male teacher for spanking girls on the ass every time he was punishing us. It just felt wrong. He had some weird look when he did it. Of course I was punished for defying a teacher, male to be precise, but at least he stopped. Though he used to punish me worse when he got a chance henceforth. Luckily, my parents moved and I was transferred.

When I was 12, there was a male teacher who sexually abused girls in my school, they were just stories we heard, we were twelve, he hadn’t come to me or anyone I knew so I figured may be they were just rumours. He was my math teacher and he had never disrespected anyone in class. When he came to one of my cliques, we knew we had to do something. We were scared because he was a senior teacher and no one had openly come out to speak of the abuse. So in our little clique we decided that every time he called her to his office we would go together. Well, we almost got suspended, we got banded “bad girls” but at least my friend finished school without incidence. We didn’t necessarily feel safe around him but at least we had the numbers.

I would like to lie to you and say I have had male mentors and role models. Sadly no, except family, may be. Like my big brother was “cool” back then. He still is, I mean, he is over six feet tall with a some laid back personality and he writes.  Then there was dearest daddy, because, we think the men in our lives are all that just to realize how heavily flawed they all are. Well, I did write that into my unending list of daddy’s issues. I’m still working on it. It disgusts me sometimes, mostly because after growing up you realize how flawed men are and you Wonder why you idolized them in the first place. But then agan, we were fed stories of warriors and Prince charming growing up. The women in most of these stories were in distress and or very submissive and devoted their lives to men.
My first mentor was a woman, Mrs. Otieno, she was also my English teacher. She did walk with the Grace of a goddess and had some type of poise that commanded attention yet she was supper successful( drove her own car, did her MBA bla bla bla) At some point, I wanted to grow up to be like her. She commanded respect without effort. Afterwards, there was a string of teachers and other women.

The most recent, as an adult, was my professor. She didn’t mentor me or anything but when she walks into a room and starts talking, she inspires you to want to be better. Daktari, is the kind of woman you want to be. Almost everyone in my class studied her subjects with a little more effort and did her assignments in time. You Just  don’t want to let her down. Then there is my mom, well,that woman is superhuman, her strength and zeal is out of this world. Then there was Jenny, she was both a mentor and role model, she did teach me most things about being a woman that I know now.

My first step on seeking freedom was the day I decided to filter all the BS the Church and patriarch in general fed us. All the things they kept insisting a girl should and should not do. So, I decided to do with my hair and nails whatever I felt like. It was librating. I decided to wear whatever I felt like. I was told things like; that dress is too short it ain’t ladylike. Or that Dress is too long it makes you look like a grandmother. You can’t dye your hair red because that’s what women at 40 do. I let them talk and at the end of the day, I just did me. I realized I could never do anything right, so I just did whatever I felt like. Deviant? Well, a girl had to grow and find her self. I let them adjust or leave me alone. Well, except their snide comments never really did stop. Good thing I never stopped exploring whatever I saw fit.
So, somehow, I started encouraging women around me to embrace lifestyles they felt fit. To free themselves from the chains of society. To spread their wings and fly. To stop putting all their hopes and dreams to men. To unlearn all we have been taught. Some caught on, some didn’t, but that’s okay. I ain’t stupid, I know that it ain’t just my path that’s true. If getting married, popping kids and massaging ego is your kind of thing, then by all means, embrace. As Long as you don’t feel oppressed or forced to live in a certain way, then just do you.
So, how did a girl from a small town went from being daddy’s girl to a woman actively seeking freedom? How did a girl from a small town decide to be her on person? How did a girl raised in fairytale stories of Prince charming and warriors saving the day and or women in distress decide to actively seek companionship from women instead? How did she become such her own person? Why did she get so deviant?

Pretty sample. It started with a lot of painful lessons. Unlearning and learning. Getting perspective from different people. Different cultures. I found most of my gems from books. Reading books of flawed characters, mostly of women who refused to conform. Poetry by Emily Dickson made me feel understood. I found support system from books of witches, stories my mother told me, stories from my Grandma before cancer. Stories of women who broke free from the patriarch gave me strength. It made me forge my own path. Stories of women running with the moon. As time passed by I met such women in real life. It was freeing. Women who became more, who strived to be more inspired me some more. It gave me perspective. It did open my eyes. I knew I had to be more.
I continued working on my unending daddy’s issues. I started using whatever opportunity I got to tell my story just in case it would inspire someone. I encouraged women I met to be more, strangers and acquittances alike. I became more. I wanted more from life.

One morning I woke up and decided I will never jeopardize or compromise what I wanted from life because of early childhood conditioning or because of “Prince charming”. I’m still forging my path. I’m still learning. I’m still unlearning. I’m still growing as a person and I don’t apologize.

Most importantly, I became pro choice. Let a woman do with her life, her body, her soul and all that is her life on her terms. I became a woman who lived on her own terms 



PS: I will write about the challenges I faced in my path to feminism may be Next time

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The Girl That Gave Me Pause 

Once upon a time in the land faraway I met a girl, the once in a lifetime kind of people. I can’t describe her even if I wanted, she was most things, diabolic comes to mind since complicated is cliché. This girl I speak of is nothing cliché, that much is clear. Today(a year ago to be precise), I thought about her, about something she once said. That was during my self destructive days. Well, usually I’m self destructing but those were worse times. I could say, darker times. She said something that gave me pause. 

In her own words;” BTW the only reason you are working hard to ruin your life is because the only person that you thought mattered decided to make you feel invisible. Well, ruining yourself won’t make you visible either. Get your head from the gutter and take charge of your life anyway. ”

 

It’s not the words that gave me pause, it’s the way she said it. Of course those words made sense and cut me deep in a wake up call kind of way, they make a lot of sense even right now. 
She is among those people who live in their heads, they don’t share their thoughts and rarely offer advice. So, when she said those words to me, it gave me pause. I knew she had thought about it for a while, and they weren’t meant for comfort or advice. More like facts.
Eventually, I reduced the rate of my self destructive ways, or so I told myself. There was no Happy ever after for me or anything dramatic of course. This is real life,lower your expectations. Today, when those words came rushing back to me, I realized my mistake. I went down that self destructive road because I had given someone(dearest daddy) so much power, trusted that they would always have my back and all. I was wrong, still am, the only person who got your back all the way is just you. The person who stares back at you when you look into the mirror.
If memory serves me right, I didn’t build walls around me from nothing. I think every brick was handed to me by somebody, either intentionally or not,it doesn’t really matter.  But the foundation, that was from those darker times or maybe before, we can’t really depend on memory. Well, I didn’t become not so a nice person from nowhere, after all. My friends call me selfish, I like to think of it as selfless love towards one self. I’m not narcistic, if I were, I think I would know. Maybe a little Self absorbent, but nothing chronic, it could be cured by everyone leaving me alone, mostly. 

What I Think Monogamy Is About 

Disclaimer 1: This is my opinion and not the absolute truth but the truth as I see it. It’s what most people call opinion.
Disclaimer 2: My truth was realized through personal experiences, stories i collected from friends and strangers. 

The entire concept of Monogamous relationships is based on; one man one woman or one woman one woman or one man one man ratio. It’s believed that parties involved have romantic relations with their partners and only their partners. It’s frowned upon if anyone involved gets involved romantically with someone else. That’s what they call cheating. People in Monogamous relationships are expected to go through life with one person for life. Crazy,right? People are crazy. 

Riri 

Here is unedited opinion of what monogamy is about from a girl fro.a very small town and how she thinks it works:

  1.  If you don’t get caught then You didn’t do it. If you asked you can deny deny deny. You are allowed to do what may upset your partner as long as you don’t get caught.
  2. Cheating doesn’t necessarily involved an affair. Sometimes it’s watching”our show”  without your partner or going for an adventure you had planned together without them. Sometimes harmless flirting can be viewed as cheating. Having a minor attraction towards a stranger might be viewed as betrayal.Deleting personal emails and messages might cause suspicion. Just to mention a few forms of cheating. Sometimes it’s actually having an affair. Basically, it involves a lot of half truths. killing your truth so you don’t upset your partner and avoid conflict as much as possible.
  3. It’s about compromise. Like preparing both coffee and tea because your partner prefers tea with two spoons of sugar for breakfast and you can’t survive without your morning coffee. It’s about waking up for morning Glory when you would rather really sleep. Showing up with sweatpants and heels on your date night because you promised you will show up though you don’t feel like dressing up and it’s about them letting you because they understand that sometimes you feel not so human. It’s About”running for Mau marathon” because they scored free tickets and you can’t let them down because of the effort they input to get those tickets even though you would rather do TV  shows Marathon. 
  4. It is about pretending you like your anniversary gift. Even though you wish you could switch gifts and everyone to keep what they got the other.
  5. Staying on phone to have a conversation when one of you skips town and talk about stuff. Sometimes you have to set an alarm when you are in different time zones for that ten minutes phonecall. 
  6. Showering together not because it’s romantic or You have turned into some environment enthusiast where you both are saving water or something as cool but because no one likes showering in a used bathroom.
  7. It’s about sharing friends..ghaaa… That leaves a bad taste in my mouth though it happens. You get to hangout together so much that you start sharing friends. Which comes with a lot of;she said,he said scenarios mord often than you care to admit. you somehow find a way to work around that. When you break one of you will keep the friends,messy! I know.
  8. Sometimes your partner becomes the center of your world. They become your cheerleader. They play on your team. They play for keeps. They pick you up. They take care of you when you sick. Basically, they become your person and you even forget how your life used to be without them. 
  9. It’s about building a life together and planning a future together. Compromising and sacrificing even tailoring your dreams and plans to suit each other 
  10. It is about finding a way of respecting personal space. Being careful not to neglect their needs and not crowding them too much to suffocate them. It’s tough,i know. But a healthy relationship needs balance of energies .
  11. It’s about open communication. Communicating is key. Talking about stuff might help. I used to do bikini wax once I was home for holidays and I didn’t shave. When i got back I was panicking because i hadn’t taken care of my flower for a while. When we were at it he said he could feel my pubes. I was scared and insecure the entire time. The next day I shaved. Apparently he liked my pubes but I was so used to shaving. I would have saved my soul trouble of shaving with a simple communication. Dammit! 

PS. My journey on understanding human relationships continue. You can email, comment or share. Tell me your thoughts. I like hearing from you.

To The Girl Who Taught Me How To Love 


I met her in high school. She came to my school when we were in form three. Noel, the girl who wore glasses, smiled all the time,hated math, loved music, wrote poems and the girl could sing.Not entirely in that order. I didn’t even know we would be friends because I already had friends.I had a clique of girls to study with,girls I did hangout with and people for gossip. I even had a book club or cult where we met to talk about books, characters and or authors. My social life was active then you came along and taught me otherwise.You taught me love. I don’t remember how we became friends. One minute you were That newcomer with glasses that smiled too much And hated math and the next we were friends. I introduced you to the ‘family’ and you kept your distance anyway. You didn’t really blend in and I respected that. So we did hangout rarely and before we knew it we became inseparable.

To be honest, I have never been close with another human like I was close to you. I told you everything. I looked forward to hanging out together. when we fought I never fought to win or anything but I fought for our friendship. Two different women and one great friendship. I can honestly say we were great friends. I was never afraid as long as I had you by my side.

Remember that time we were accused that we were lesbians. In retrospect, I finally understand why they thought that. We were inseparable. We ate,slept , showered, washed clothes and lived off each other pockets. We hated the same people. Shared private smiles in public. Had inside jokes. Had pet names for each other. We exchanged short notes during prep times. We were literally attached to the hip. I was famous, you were the new girl. How could they not get a good scandal from that? Maybe we should have admitted that we were just to see how far they would have gone with it. I mean, they already ruined our reputation. But we didn’t and that’s in the past. I wasn’t even ashamed apparently. I was pissed that they were raining on our parade. Good thing the rumour didn’t shake our friendship, we got closer more. Except we weren’t allowed to sleep together,it did affect the whole school.

Before you I didn’t know how to give or receive love. I still have issues with receiving love but am getting better at it. You showed me how love is patient. How it’s boring and long. That it’s not flashy and smiles. That it involves boring days,sad moments, picking up someone when they are down, cleaning up after them even when they don’t see the mess. It’s being patient with their flaws and strengthening their strengths. It’s growth. It’s leaving a better person behind. It’s sharing material, spiritual and emotional support. It’s showing up when you expected and when you needed. It’s being there for them.

I remember how you would get me gifts. It was always a surprise . You would have a shy smile on your face with words like,”It’s not much but I got you this and I think you will like it” I was always touched. TTY Thoughtful gifts I must point out from; beautiful diary books, to Notebooks, to well written poems and my favorite is the red bra you got me. It doesn’t fit me anymore but I still have it like a momento. Our friendship might not be active like it used to be but that bra represent something amazing that once happened to me a long time ago. Can you imagine it has been over ten years since we last met?

You made me confident in my writing. I did prose, always. You were the poet, you even did your diary entries in poetry. I wonder, are you still a compulsive writer? You wrote on literally everything. Your hands always had ink. You even wrote on my hands because you just couldn’t help it. Everything about you did fascinate me. 
You had a beautiful voice and you broke hearts with it. Every time you took the stage to do a poem or a song you did always melt hearts, mine included. Hahaha…i can’t believe you weren’t going to stay in my life forever. I thought I would always stretch my hand to reach you. If that wasn’t love in it’s purest I don’t know what is…….

I don’t know what changed and why our friendship died a natural death. Maybe because we finally grew up and life got busy. I don’t know. Maybe because we walked our separate ways. or because we all grew fat. I didn’t know a friendship no matter how solid it couldn’t stand distance or the test of time.
Despite everything else. You taught me how to love. You showed me that I didn’t need to be perfect or have my shit together. You showed me even hormonal teenagers were still loveable. That secrets ruin things. Fighting was allowed. That Love could move mountains. 
I miss you.

Special Thanks To My Brothers And Sisters From The Lake 

Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity. I can honestly say you people have proved to me over and over again that humans are not that far gone. That they can be saved. That humans still have some humanity left in them. It’s either i have been lucky so many times or they are just good people.
Today it kinda proved that you people are just nice. I misplaced my fare read too confused to find it. When the conductor started harassing me a girl, let’s call her Adhiambo offered to pay. When I was a little settled in and found the said money, I tried paying her back but she said I should help someone in future because things happen to everyone.
I walked home thinking how kind people from the Lake have been kind to me. My wife(or the girl I would move in with if we are forty and still single. I also don’t need to have kids because she will have enough for two). I’m talking about my soul sister or soulful as it gets…Vinerose. The only girl whom I know got my back more than anyone and she even defends my honour when am not around. she was my roommate in campus and no girl alive has got me out of the line of fire more times than I care to count. I know she can take a bullet for me but I would rather die than let the most beautiful soul die in my stead. And just so you know she is a Luo. 

My English teachers through and through have been Luo’s. Sorry for embarrassing you with all the bogus blogging have been doing. You people did a good job. Thanks for making love books. Thanks for the free books. Thanks for all the unlimited opportunities of writings y’all all separately and independently gave me. Thanks for believing in me enough to give me a chance to create. None of you teachers ever asked me to change my style. You actually made me believe in myself. I might be embarrassing your efforts online but bare with me.
Then all the times a stranger or a friend came through for me,it has always been people from the Lake. Marya and Collins made my attachment bearable. My first day was horrible but you two made me feel at home or as at home as hospitals could feel and not just another outsider that showed up late for her attachment with some lame excuse. Not entirely lame because this is Kenya and exams are legit reasons to miss anything even open court. But what do I know? You two were the safety net that he got me through the hellish three months. you had no obligation to hold my hand but you did it so selflessly. Does it have anything to do with being a Luo? 
I have walked into offices looking for one thing or another and all the time it was a Luo in office I got instant assistance. I’m not Luo so there’s no way that it has anything to do with being one of their own. 
There was a girl from our class called Jenny. I was lucky to know her in a personal level. When she loved, she loves for real. When she hated, it was for real. She was never a pretender. Then you wonder why I respect Luo’s and admire them in equal measure?

Haven’t met anyone with I integrity more than a Luo. Their pride comes with integrity, hardwork and selflessness. They don’t even cheat in exams. They don’t steal. most are not corrupt. And they are loyal as fuck. You have found a real friend or real enemy if it’s someone from the Lake. They are not beggars. They are givers. They live by what they make. They might be good with their voice and throwing Stones but it is always for something they honestly believe in. Something they have earned. They don’t steal from anyone so they wonder why someone would short change them and when they retaliate then it’s never a pretty picture. 
Respect to all Luo’s out there!!

I Hope You Living It Up Without Me


I remember the first time we met. We were both obsessed with the same thing, or I was and you played along. Memory is a fickle thing, we all remember the same event differently. I loved books, I still do. If being a book lover was a ticket to fame, then I guess I would be Queen Bee. So we talked about books, and s’more about books. We talked about coffee and moviea. I told you about my obsession with coffee, and how coffee has been my one true love for years. I guesss my longest stable relationship is the one I had with those little black beans. You laughed so hard like I was trying to be funny but my god, I was for real. 

We had fun

Our friendship and whatever madness that followed was based on nothing solid. Not even infatuation or lust on the down side. You made me smoke Pot, something that I hadn’t done for a long While. I told you about my strong hate towards humans, I don’t know if you did too or you acted like you did. BC for a self proclaim introvert, you had so many friends. I couldn’t handle that many people in my life, so I had a constant urge to unplug I needed to recover from your friends. I killed all your dumb friends in my head. I enjoyed the company of those who had the decency to shut up, mostly. 
I didn’t know how to compromise or meet you half way. I have always been treated like an only child with my parents for along while. I was so special that I didn’t have to share in kindergarten. I don’t know how to change or make compromises, even on the best of intentions. I know you tried to make it work, I did too. But we couldn’t just work. Or we could have been Okay, with extra effort. I don’t put that much effort on my eyebrows, and they mean the world to me. Besides, we were both in our twenties, no time for trying to make some relationship work. 

I talked to my therapist about you. Well, all he does is help me sabotage whatever relationship I get my sexy ass into. He tried ruining mine relationship with coffee, well, all his methods backfired on him. Maybe it’s because coffee is always there, and it never talks back. And it doesn’t try to force me to be anything. Coffee accepts me all the damn time. But, my therapist is always right. He has helped me weed out a bunch of toxic relationship in my life. It’s ironic, I know he is bad for me. He knows he is bad for me.but we just can’t help but have the compulsory 40 minutes a week phone call, anyway. Besides, he makes sense, his school of thought and view of life are mostly flawless. So, when I was in one of my sessions with my therapist, I told him about you. He gave me reasons why I should walk away. According to him;” you are a manipulative excuse for a human being and I deserve better.”well, looks like all I will ever score, relationship wise, is coffee. 

I hope you are happy now

According to my therapist and sometimes best friend slash drinking buddy slash whatever. According to him, other than the fact that you are a manipulative bla bla bla… He thinks I’m more in love with the idea of love than love itself. So, it’s fair to say, I never loved you. It could be worse, he thinks have never loved a soul in my life. Well, story for another day. 

Even though we didn’t become solid, I hope you happy. 

I hope you still read and watch reruns

I hope you find love. I hope you find someone you deserve. I hope you read books that blow your mind. I hope you find someone who doesn’t literally cringe every time you try to have an intimate moment. I hope you find someone who doesn’t literally wipe her hands every time you hold hands and your palms become sweaty. I hope you find someone willing to kiss you under the sun, not just under the moon when the whole world is asleep. I hope you find someone Who loves you, not the idea of you. I hope you find someone who meets you up halfway. I hope you find someone who calls you every night. I hope you find someone who doesn’t switch towns just because she can. I hope you get to live it up without me. 

To His Next Girlfriend

I don’t know if I should start with hello or just get to the point? We are not friends and we haven’t had the pleasure to be acquainted.  I just know yoexist like you know I exist. You started following me on Instagram. I don’t know what you thought you would find, or were you trying to see if you are prettier?  Bummer! I’m just a girl and who ain’t your competition. Just a girl from a small town, sometimes she plays with words. A self proclaim poetess who has more words than rhymes. 

Anyway, I just want you to know a few things. I will call him once in a While. It’s not because I want him back. He is the Superman to my Lois, we might not be together but we need each to survive. Sometimes I will be calling him everyday, sometimes months apart or even years apart. It’s because when things get rough he is my Knight. And he will call me too, and I hope my next gets to know this too. We broke up because we were toxic for each other. Broken glasses, careless words thrown around and my god, we loved fighting because we did enjoy making up. 

Your role as his girlfriend is to clean up the mess I left behind. Pick up the pieces and put them right back where they belong. There’s broken glass in the corners of his bedroom, evidence of our love, please start by sweeping the floor. The stains of lipstick in all his shirts, I lived for marking territory. You will find lots of lipstick stains around the house; his clothes, towels, and a bunch of things that I don’t remember staining, clean that up too. You deserve a fresh start. I also left a few personal things here and there, don’t be afraid to get rid of them. You deserve a fresh start. There’s a file in his computer with my name on it, you should delete that too. It’s too much work I know, but you can’t live with the ghost of me. So girl, clean up. You already got to live with my popping in and out of his life whenever I choose. 

It’s unfortunate I left him so broken, he did a number on me too. You won’t understand the depth of our scars and love was and is more twisted. When things get hard, when he stops trusting you or whatever. Feel free to put the blame on me. I’m the reason he became so hardened, he was whole when I met him, I swear. I was broken and he started fixing me, you can’t do that without a little bleeding. He bled more than little though. Our relationship wasn’t like other relationships, it was something else. Where was I? Ooh I was telling you to blame me if things don’t work out. Blame it on the self proclaimed poetess you followed on Instagram. 

He badly wants babies, a family and such. I hope you will be the woman who gives him all that. He will make a great dad. I have watched him with kids and he is great. He will probably spoil them a little. Don’t be afraid to mother his children. In other words, don’t pull a Riri. I was scared and afraid of children, marriage and all that. No assurance under the sun made me want to walk down the isle for him. He wanted to make a honourable woman out of me and what did I do? I ran away.

And he is not all awesome though. He ain’t a perfect, the wrapping is pretty though. He goes mute when angry. He walks away when pissed. He hates confrontations, especially that. He hates being questioned, in whatever you do, don’t question his choices. He hates that, but he will tell you about those that matter, especially the ones that affect you both. He is a very private person, I hope you have the patience only vultures were endowed. You will need a lot of that. He has other weaknesses too but there’s only one way to find out, go all the way girl.

Take care of him for me. If I can’t love him, I want him to be loved. If I can’t have him, at least someone else should. Take care of him. Love him to the moon and back. Everyone deserves love, even the most broken. Love him tenderly and fiercely. He deserves that.