Posted in Feminism, Women

The Pains of the African Woman.

african women

Being an African myself, born and bred in Africa, I can say that I have had the displeasure of witnessing/seeing firsthand what the African culture/society has done to its woman.

Sure, I happened to be lucky enough to have a mother who made sure I know that my place isn’t the kitchen, that I can do anything and be anything I set my heart to, but that is not the case for every girl. The average African girl is brought up with the mentality that she is inferior to her brothers both young and old.

She has to serve her brothers as her masters. She has to serve them food and water even if they walk in when she is in the middle of her meal, and when they need a refill, she has to ‘pause’ eating and refill their plates. She doesn’t have a ‘name’ until she gets married and gets her husband’s name thus making marriage her biggest dream and highest achievement. Therefore, she learns how to be a ‘good wife’ from as early as she can walk; she learns to cook, fetch firewood, balance a pot full of water on her head cause, these are the qualities the man’s family will look at when the time for marriage comes.

If she falls pregnant while still in school or before marriage, she gets ostracized by everybody around her, while the boy, who made the same mistake as her, is treated with some sort of reverence because he has proved that he is a ‘man’.

When she gets married, she becomes her husband’s property. She is expected to just be seen but not to be heard. She can’t make any decision regarding the children, the family or even herself except what they are going to have for breakfast, lunch and supper. If the husband turns out to be violent, she is expected to receive every beating graciously because, well, there is no better show of ‘affection’ than a beating from your husband.

If the husband starts cheating and going around with other women, she is expected to stay put since men are not meant to be monogamous and after all, it’s her job to keep ‘her house’ together. If she keeps on complaining then she is told that she is the problem; she must be doing something wrong, otherwise, the man wouldn’t be looking at other women.

In the cases where the husband abandons her and the children, raises her children but at the end of it all, it’s said that the children belong to the man. If one or a couple of them end up ‘not doing so well in life’, then those are hers cause its assumed that they must have got it from her or she simply didn’t raise them well.

Video clips of cats drowning while trying to rescue their kittens, or dogs getting hit by a car or pleading faces of street kids begging for food are as sad as hell, but there’s nothing as heartbreaking as watching an African woman going through all this and so much more with a brave smile on her face.

 

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