Monday, January 20, 2014

The War on Men Through the Degradation of Woman

Hello there! Hope your weekend was relaxing and peaceful? Mine was.

I had read this article by Jada Pinkett-Smith some time last year and it resonated deeply with me; I purposed to share it on here. She wrote a series of articles on her Facebook page in defense of her daughter Willow who chose to cut her hair low, a decision which was harshly criticized. She shared knowledge on how the degradation of women has resulted in problems for both sexes.I forgot about it till today when I read something similar from Temidayo, a dear sister and friend. It's a call to get back to our true selves, a call to attune to Mother Nature rather than destroying everyone and everything egotistically. It's a call to find balance and truly complement one another rather than look down on or look up to a particular gender. It's a call to find the woman and in turn the man, both lost in the world....

I do hope you find the articles inspiring enough to share with your male and female friends alike. May we as young mothers and fathers raise men and women who restore the much needed balance in the world.....

Guest Post

Jada Pinkett-Smith: “The War on Men Through the Degradation of Woman”
How is man to recognize his full self, his full power through the eyes of an incomplete woman?
The woman who has been stripped of Goddess recognition and diminished to a big ass and full breast for physical comfort only?

The woman who has been silenced so she may forget her spiritual essence because her words stir too much thought outside of the pleasure space. The woman who has been diminished to covering all that rots inside of her with weaves and red bottom shoes?
I am sure the men, who restructured our societies from cultures that honored woman, had no idea of the outcome. They had no idea that eventually, even men would render themselves empty and longing for meaning, depth and connection.

There is a deep sadness when I witness a man that can’t recognize the emptiness he feels when he objectifies himself as a bank and truly believes he can buy love with things and status. It is painful to witness the betrayal when a woman takes him up on that offer.
He doesn’t recognize that the [creation] of a half woman has contributed to his repressed anger and frustration of feeling he is not enough. He then may love no woman or keep many half women as his prize.

He doesn’t recognize that it’s his submersion in the imbalanced warrior culture, where violence is the means of getting respect and power, as the reason he can break the face of the woman who bore him four children.
When woman is lost, so is man. The truth is, woman is the window to a man’s heart and a man’s heart is the gateway to his soul.

Power and control will NEVER outweigh love.
May we all find our way.

Temidayo Ahanmisi: "A call to honour women, A call to raise men"
I have seen two aberrations to good sense under the sun...two statements to the Universe that wound the soul of womanhood...

- A mother who after bearing 4 daughters, 3 of whom are now teenagers...bears a son last and changes her name to "Mummy <the boy's name>.

I refuse to call her this, despite her subtle insistence. It is my personal protest on behalf of the silent daughters...and indeed of what our world has lost by degrading herself so.

- A female toddler in diapers, yet babbling without speech, born to Muslim parents...wearing a hijab (head and shoulder covering), the hapless child constantly tugging at the imposition to her human dignity.

To the one who pulls out a camera to snap a picture of the "cutie" I say: "Stop. This is a disgrace. An aberration to our African nature such as this can never be cute."

I don't care whether God or Man said otherwise. It is a damn shame.

Dear Nigerian Mother...we have come into a new age.
The power to change our world is in your hands. No one is standing by, waiting to lift our daughters up. They must stand abreast with the world to count.

The power to stop the rapes, the pillaging, the beatings and maltreatments from the men they will encounter as they journey starts in your homes.

The power to make men good lies with you. The power to get the Nigerian man away from the folds of the woman's thighs and send him out with courage to face the world with dignity, grace and confidence is with you.

If the Nigerian woman is not empowered, it is because the Nigerian woman refused to empower the Nigerian girl.

If the girl is weak, the boy is emasculated even before he is a man.

Look around you and see what the brothers of our daughters are turning into.

Wake up. It's morning.

About the authors

Temidayo Ahanmisi is a young, dynamic and passionate Nigerian. A liberated mind, she is an inspiration to the young generation who clamour for change within the black man's homeland. She lives in Nigeria.

Jada Koren Pinkett Smith is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and businesswoman.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Inconvenient Truths (Part 2)

It’s a puzzle and we must be able to piece the parts together by our own selves. The knowledge of self is the key to the box in which our development and evolution is trapped. This is the reason why every attempt is made to strip the slave of his IDENTITY – language, name, culture, spirituality, dressing, music, etc. And a new identity stamped on him/her against their will. Remember Kunta Kinte in the movie ‘Roots’? He was renamed ‘Toby Waller’ which he rejected. He made several attempts to run and when he was recaptured during the last of his four escape attempts, the slave catchers gave him a choice: he would be castrated or have his right foot cut off. He chose to have his foot cut off, and the men cut off the front half of his right foot. Kunta resigned himself to his fate eventually but never forgot who he was or where he came from [Wikipedia]. Have you heard of the term ‘drapetomania’ before? Ok, so now you can add a new word to your vocabulary.  Drapetomania is simply a mental illness that caused black slaves to flee captivity. It was described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851. I guess that was what Kunta and many other slaves who attempted to give their lives more dignity than be wretched subjugated beings of others suffered from. No, how on earth could they think they deserve to live free like their masters. It’s unthinkable for him to be self-determined even now!!!!

I take this excerpt from Wikipedia
“In Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race, Cartwright points out that the Bible calls for a slave to be submissive to his master, and by doing so, the slave will have no desire to run away.
If the white man attempts to oppose the Deity's will, by trying to make the negro anything else than "the submissive knee-bender" (which the Almighty declared he should be), by trying to raise him to a level with himself, or by putting himself on an equality with the negro; or if he abuses the power which God has given him over his fellow-man, by being cruel to him, or punishing him in anger, or by neglecting to protect him from the wanton abuses of his fellow-servants and all others, or by denying him the usual comforts and necessaries of life, the negro will run away; but if he keeps him in the position that we learn from the Scriptures he was intended to occupy, that is, the position of submission; and if his master or overseer be kind and gracious in his hearing towards him, without condescension, and at the same time ministers to his physical wants, and protects him from abuses, the negro is spell-bound, and cannot run away.

Cartwright described the disorder – which, he said, was "unknown to our medical authorities, although its diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is well known to our planters and overseers" – in a paper delivered before the Medical Association of Louisiana[2]:291 that was widely reprinted.

He stated that the malady was a consequence of masters who "made themselves too familiar with [slaves], treating them as equals".

If treated kindly, well fed and clothed, with fuel enough to keep a small fire burning all night--separated into families, each family having its own house--not permitted to run about at night to visit their neighbors, to receive visits or use intoxicating liquors, and not overworked or exposed too much to the weather, they are very easily governed--more so than any other people in the world. If any one or more of them, at any time, are inclined to raise their heads to a level with their master or overseer, humanity and their own good requires that they should be punished until they fall into that submissive state which was intended for them to occupy. They have only to be kept in that state, and treated like children to prevent and cure them from running away.”

The Inconvenient Truths (Part 1)

This is not about Al Gore’s campaign on global warming. This is about the truth that we as Africans are not comfortable bringing up or discussing. It’s the no-go are in our society. It’s the unquestionable, unspeakable aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, the truth is the truth. It never changes. It never dies. In order for us to liberate ourselves we must embrace the truth that we have been avoiding; the truth about what we really feel; the truth about who we really are; the truth about what we really think. The truth about who or what we really love. And only the truth is capable of setting a people/person free from the baggage and deceits carried over from generations to generations.

This is about how our enslavers and colonizers (and subsequently neocolonialists who have been taught the trade via the divide and conquer strategy) wants us to forget who we were so we will not know what we still can be. John Henrik Clarke says “When you want to lose a people from history, you first destroy their self-confidence and historical memory. This is the basis of our dilemma”. I know it will sound like a broken record to some ears but we must understand the place of these historical events in context of our lives.

Monday, January 6, 2014

How I worshipped on the first Sunday of the year (2014)

On Sunday, the first in the year 2014 (feeling hip with my Nigerian sense of cliché), I felt I needed to get some inspiration to kick start the year and to bolster enough strength for the academic term for the kids as well as for work and family. So, off to the beach I went. The vastness of the ocean and the carefree manner in which the waves rose and fell – they always repeat the pattern (I wonder how many eternities the energy of the water has done this for) – reminded me I was part of something much larger than myself. The sky and the water blended together in a whitish hue, there was no distinction between them save for the oscillation of the water body.

A few other folks were also there – families, horse riders, the business owners, sellers of artifacts and wooden jewelries, and a priestess who came to ‘wash’ the heads of people who made supplications with outstretched hands and fervent expressions to the one who inhabits the vast waters.

Yes, I love the time at the beach. I went alone this time, the children were away on holiday and the hubby wasn’t well enough to make the trip down. I needed nature to uplift my spirits and not feel trapped in thoughts simply because I am physically in a particular geographical location on planet earth. The waves reminded me I need no permission to think and the ocean of how immense my (our) mind(s) is. I took it all in letting the waters caress my legs and hands and the cool breeze my hair, face and body. The sand felt clean and pure, having being daily bathed by the salt water. I again affirmed that the best things in life are free – no chains, no bars. Nature is enough inspiration in herself!

Afterwards, I went to the Nike arts gallery just few metres from the beach and fed my eyes and spirit with a wide array of incredibly beautiful art works. I learnt (from an artist there) that she – Nike – is the largest collector of arts in Nigeria. I again connected to the boundless minds from which the arts emanated. Feeling free and uplifted, I headed straight home after buying a few items (a magazine and a CD on the art of gele-tying).

How’s that for worship on the first Sunday of the year? Mind sharing where and how you worshipped?


 “Every day look at a beautiful picture, read a beautiful poem, listen to some beautiful music, and if possible, say some reasonable thing.” ~ Goethe

"Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.”  ~ Vincent Van Gogh

" Waves are inspiring not just because they rise and fall, but because each time they fall, they never fail to rise again." ~ Unknown

As I Began to Love Myself

It's a new year and we are already settling into it after the excitement of the festivities. I am starting on the love note. I came across this poem by Charlie Chaplin on his 70th birthday. The message is uplifting and I thought I should share with my friends.

I quote him (Charlie) "You need Power, only when you want to do something harmful otherwise LOVE is enough to get everything done."

Let love flow from within you to your world...

As I Began to Love Myself by Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment, so I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since, I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILLMENT.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS LIFE!