African Woman, feminism, I am not a feminist but...., Learning to Live a Balanced Life, Life Lessons

Black history month is here! Feminists, independent or autonomous black women?

My black history number one is always Wangari Maathai and all the women who have led the way here. Do you guys remember the Fourth World Conference on Women that took place in 1995? I do. After the conference, my father and the men of my childhood started to deal with women’s insolence, opinions and expectations with the answer “this is NOT Beijing, woman! If you go on like this, you have to move to Wangari Maathai!” Wangari Maathai was in Beijing in 1995 and she was divorced. When people in my childhood spoke about her, they said “she left her husband.” However, when I read about Wangari in the teenage years of discovery and defiance, I read that her husband had divorced her with the verdict that: “Wangari was too educated, too strong, too successful, too stubborn and too hard to control.”

Well, that made my mind up right there. When a man left me, I wanted him to say exactly those words, and nothing else. By the time I was twenty years old, I was referring to myself as a feminist, a word treated with contemptuous sneers in the circles I grep up in. A woman’s commitment to self-sufficiency astounds and scares. In Sweden, I sometimes get the question or the affirmation regarding how neglecting African men were of their women and how independent African were as a consequent. In the same sentence was the well-meant concern for how exposed the African women were to the men’s whims. I have not experienced African women as more exposed to men’s whims than the women of any other continent. Women in Sweden were and still are, in my observation, as vulnerable and exposed as the women in Kenya. The main difference I can discern between Sweden and Kenya, is that in Sweden, the word feminism is thrown about proudly, together with equality, human rights and other powerful words of the 21st century.

D:DCIM100DICAMDSCI0416.JPGMy mother was brought up by strong women and she made sure to extend us the same courtesy to my sisters and I. Obviously, we, as in most other societies, were brought up to be men’s support systems and reproduce. Therefore, we were military trained to find mates as soon as we could reproduce. I was, among other things, taught how to be a wife, a mother and a daughter in-law – to soothe, distract, coach, massage egos and nurture. A contradiction of myself, submissive when it served the family and tough as nails when it served the family. I was advised to always have a secret stash of money for myself that he didn’t know about. It was recommended that I find ways to keep myself busy so I wasn’t spending my days waiting for him because, apparently, idleness makes a boring, uninspired and irritated companion. I was expected to be his whole support system when he had none. However, I was also expected to be able to raise the next generation on my own, dependent only on other women’s wisdom and support. Hence, we were explicitly, implicitly and repeatedly taught to actively and consciously separate our support systems from the men’s. We were challenged to make our own friends, independent of the men and incorruptible by the men. Although impregnation or fertilization is dependent on men’s presence and continued existence, motherhood was not. A healthy, self-sufficient, holistic, autonomous individual that could live with or without a man. A rock.

Kenyans moving towards feminismDid the men get the same training? I have no idea! But here we are.

Both in Kenya and Sweden, most women always worked and still work just as much or more than the men. There is no fancy word to describe their freedom or captivity. Historically, men were of course the official bread winners, in both societies. However, women have always contributed, only without the trumpets going off to announce and thank them every time new shoes, blankets, curtains, school books and pens, children’s underwear and other necessities appeared miraculously. Traditionally, at least in parts of Kenya, women could not inherit property from their parents. So, the options were either to marry or make money and buy their own property. Even when a woman succeeded to get married, if she failed at generating her own income, she would be keenly aware of her destitution if the marriage ever fell apart. Her only hope was that the children, if she had any, would inherit their father and take her in when she was too old to take care of herself. No woman in any continent thinks that is fair or sustainable, therefore women’s perseverance at work and marriage.

In a world of shit hole countries and inter-country walls, I am learning to become untriggered, but I can still get a little sore when I am asked how I could become such a feminist, coming from Africa where women are so oppressed, with suggestions that maybe, I am reacting to the oppression. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I was not taught anything else.

Is that feminism or autonomism? Does it matter what it is called?


African Woman, Amateur Love Doctor, I am not a feminist but...., Learning to Live a Balanced Life, Life Lessons

World News: World’s most eligible bachelor is off the market!

Skin Thickener lotion

This morning, I showered, dressed and put on some make up.

Make up for me is a click of foundation and a little lipstick.

My skin doesn’t like make up that much. And I don’t give that much of a crap to make Makeup look good.

Before I left for work (today, work is a summit for Data BI Nerds), I browsed through the news. One day too late as usual, I find out about the attack at Westminster that took place yesterday.

I click on to read about this terrible news. Where is the world headed? How can we save ourselves? Where do we hide our fear? Where do we hide our courage? Who do we the civilized world have to attack to make this stop???

…huh?…mmm…huh? To the right of this important news item, there is even worse news!

The WORLD‘s most eligible bachelor has been taken!

I feel crushed: nooooo. not him! no. no. no. after all this trouble with lipstick that ends up on the cheek?

Then I wonder despairingly: who??!

And then I realize: oh. him! I don’t know him!

Why is he the world‘s most eligible? Why don’t my relatives know of him?

My very beautiful cousin is single and the aunts have been going nuts pictures & work titles about all the bachelors she could capture if she paid any attention.

Is he nice? is there any news of him doing nice things?

Is he kind? is there any news of him doing kind things?

Is he respectful? is there any news of him doing respectful things?

Is he sober not abusing anything?? is there any news of him doing sober things?

None of that crap.

Lots of information about how much money he is worth and where his properties are to be found.

Due to promegneture, pregonut, primegenite, primegerosorous, primogeniture?

I read that the one who has captured him is his high school sweetheart.

So was he ever The World’s most eligible in the first place? You know, being in love with someone can takes care of that.

Being the world’s most eligible; that means the whole world including China, Thailand, Guinea, Vietnam, US, Mexico and all the regular suspects?


That any girl woman, including my cousin in the world had a chance until he was snatched right under our sweaty pimply noses?

The spin in my head: So..

if she just pulled herself up by the bootstraps cheap broken zipper,

wore her best dress Polyester from Ellos,

took some time on her makeup from H&M,

Used her teeth whitener cheapest Colgate from ÖoB more often, and then went out to Debaser Medis as we did when we were younger;

She would have a chance to meet the world’s most eligible, take him home and make him hers?

Why doesn’t someone mail out a newsletter with this kind of data shit to unmarried women under 30 every month?

Given data in time, anyone, & I mean anyone, could have captured this bachelor!


African Woman, Borrowed, I am not a feminist but...., Learning to Live a Balanced Life, Life Lessons, Therapy Sessions

Too good to stay relationships?

I suppose we all have, ok.

maybe not all of us.

some of us maybe?

a few of us?

Never mind! For those of us who have read the book, Too good to leave, Too bad to stay, the knowledge that it could be time to leave, or time to commit, probably comes after Diagnostic question #20. Is there a clearly formulated, passionately held difference between you that has to do with the shape and texture and quality of your life as you actually experience it?

Well, my passionately held belief regarding marriage proposals is: “nothing shall be so extravagant to make me feel coerced, in debt or guilt-tripped”.

Imagine, then, my utter horror every time I read or hear of proposals where helicopters, expensive antique cars, serenades, videos on social media etc are involved.

If you are raised by an Nmom who cares lots about how things look outwards, they will enjoy the proposal so much they will say yes on your behalf. If you have a totally “balanced” mom NOTE: DOES. NOT. EXIST, they will see the nice guy you are turning down.

a-lady Being “a lady“, brought up by narcissists, I get my knickers in a twist, and see vividly imagine all the limitations that come with this kind of proposal.

  1. will I ever be able to get pissed at this guy without feeling like the biggest A-hole of this city??! A guy who proposed with a helicopter; can I get really, really pissed at him? Scream/shout at him? slam the door behind me? throw an IKEA plate at the wall near him I am conscious enough to NOT throw an expensive plate? lock him out of the house when he promises to come home early and then “looses track of time” 2 weekends running?
  2. Can I say NO to sex with this guy? You know; I am tired. I have a headache. a backache. an ear ache. my hand hurts. my toe feels weird etc NO. TO. SEX.  with super nice guy without guilt?
  3. Can I dislike this guy’s morning breath? mother? feet? can I dislike anything of him without feeling like the worst person EVER? I mean, poor guy, he proposed with a helicopter. He has a bank loan since then.
  4. Can I question this guy? not too much, this ego apparently needs stroking just ask him “are you sure about that darling?” without feeling like the most disloyal lady in the world? I mean he is the best, isn’t he?
  5. Will anyone ever want or bear listening to me when I want/need to vent about the dysfunctional relationship I am living within? Most people I know may enjoy my dysfunctional relationship a little too much to want to loose it. Yes, I know, crazy world!
    • The frenemies were not impressed with the proposal in the first place. According to them: “OMG! you are soooo strong, I never thought anyone would want to marry you!! & now this??! Congratulations!!”?
    • Nmom is more worried for my welfare: “Is he hitting you? violent? drinking too much? unfaithful to you?” answer:”no mom”. He just treats me like maybe worse than he treats his car.
  6. My real friends are exhausted by all the attention I have been getting from my beau boo boo, babie, babe, darling, lovie boo boo, strawberry muffins, cheese cake, tea with honey, who “works less” in order to spend more time loving me.

You can see why I am not married, eh? I win the “Overthink everything!” contest.

African Woman, I am not a feminist but...., I am not a politician but..., Life Lessons

Bye Bye Michelle!!! Finally you are leaving President (Mr) Obama!

Delusional, I know. I am born Kenyan. So I feel a kind of pride in the name Obama, though according to his birth certificate, he is American. Most of the jury in my head is still out on that one.

I am a woman, so I feel my feathers flutter every time Mr Obama, the man, not the president smiles. More on that later.

Back to presidential matters, I will remember Obama’s commitment to reminding us all of our responsibility, to not only seek change but also, to foster the positive changes that have improved society. See his speech at the women’s rights conference held last summer:

“We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure, and our boys to be assertive; that criticizes our daughters for speaking out, and our sons for shedding a tear.

We need to change the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality but gives men a pat on the back for theirs. We need to change an Internet where women are routinely harassed and threatened when they go online.

We need to keep changing the attitude that congratulates men for changing a diaper, stigmatizes full-time dads, penalizes working moms. We need to keep changing the attitude that prioritizes being confident, competitive, and ambitious in the workplace — unless you’re a woman.

We need to keep changing a culture that shines a particularly unforgiving light on women and girls of color.

[…] We need all our young people to know that Clara Barton and Lucretia Mott and Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt and Dorothy Height, those aren’t just for Women’s History Month. They’re the authors of our history, women who shaped their destiny. They need to know that.

A woman did not magically appear on a space shuttle. It took Sally Ride’s relentless commitment, Mae Jemison’s boundless courage to shatter that glass ceiling…

Rosa Parks wasn’t simply a tired seamstress who sat down by accident. She was a civil rights leader with the eye of a strategist and the heart of a warrior. She had the confidence to board on that bus, the courage to risk her own life and liberty for the sake of ours.

That’s the story that’s still being written, today, by our modern-day heroes like Nancy Pelosi or Sonia Sotomayor or Billie Jean King or Laverne Cox or Sheryl Sandberg or Oprah Winfrey or Mikaila Ulmer or Michelle Obama — the countless ordinary people every day who are bringing us closer to our highest ideals.

That’s the story we’re going to keep on telling, so our girls see that they, too, are America — confident and courageous and, in the words of Audre Lord, ‘deliberate and afraid of nothing.'”

Back to non-presidential matters; when Mr. Obama finally swaggers away from me, away from us, I really really really want to crank call Michelle in the middle of the night and ask her “why you??!”. Of course we all know the answer to that question. The lady is gracious, stylish and classy!

I don’t want to be attracted to the Obama the president, because that could lead to Lewinsky:sh problems. As we have learned, this could ruin one’s best years, especially if Michelle turned Hillary:sh.

African Woman, I am not a feminist but...., Life Lessons

Gentlemen alive and well in Scandinavia

In December, I read an interesting piece which challenged gentlemen to avoid Scandinavia because their services were really not needed. Or appreciated.

Today, on my way home from work on the commuter train, the presence of a gentleman made itself felt. And I immediately remembered the piece referred to above. So when I got home, I googled away and found it. So I could share it with you.

An old man stood beside me on the commuter train. He looked really tired & uncomfortable. He spoke softly to me or maybe to anyone who would listen about how crowded the train was. It really was the most crowded train and all seats were taken. So when we came close to the next stop, the old man started to look around in case something became available.

Things move fast in commuter trains in Stockholm at rush hour. Especially for an older gentleman. Chances were very slim that he would move fast enough to actually occupy a seat before anybody else.

There was a young gentleman standing behind us, not that we knew of him; until he came to the old man and asked “would you like to sit?” old man answered gratefully without hesitation “yes, please!”

We thought the gentleman had a seat to offer. He didn’t. He made it his business to find a seat. He walked off behind us, asked some young men who were sitting if they could get up for the older gentleman. The train had started moving. A seated young man stood up immediately. Our gentleman came back to the old man, held him and walked him to the vacated seat. Slowly, warmly, lovingly.

help-a-needy-manMy heart has melted. I have feels all over the place.

We young, strong, attractive feminists who can support ourselves on our own feet & backs may not need gentlemen anymore, but that doesn’t mean that a gentleman’s presence is not needed or appreciated.

If you feel gentlemanly and gallant, serve those who need it most! Only, when you are done helping the old man, or the old lady, or the sick, please lift your eyes and look around! We young, strong, attractive feminists are watching, appreciating, getting all those fuzzy feels and some of us are single and looking.



African Woman, I am not a feminist but...., Life Lessons, Therapy Sessions

To loose love

At 02:00 am, 5 children are standing outside the 3 bedroom house. The youngest boy is between 4-5 years old. He is shaking. Crying. The sister, 14 years old is holding his hand. She too is shaking, but silent. The man. Husband. Father. is beating his wife inside the house. Shouting obscenities.

She is a slut. A whore. He should never have married her. She is useless. a nobody. He should never have had children with her. He could have had better children with someone else. She is uneducated. Stupid. Dirty. Cannot cook. Even her sisters are whores. And her daughters, 2 of them standing outside, will be whores.

After about 15 minutes, the wife manages to run out, by the back door. She runs to the nearest neighbor. As she has done before. The neighbor lets the beaten wife in. Closes the door behind her. The neighbor stands outside waiting for him to come huffing and swearing. As he has done before. She advises him without pleasantries: “walk back and come tomorrow when you are sober”. He walks back as instructed. walks by his children without looking at them. gets into the house. locks himself in the house and starts throwing things around in the house. Alone.

The children walk to the neighbor. To their mother. As they have done before.  In the morning, the 14 year old daughter requests the mother to not go back.

daughter: “we can go start another life. We can go to your sister for a while, before we start over. we can start a vegetable kiosk and rent our own place. I can help out mom! please”

2nd born son: “I can also help out. We can do it!”

Mother: “I will not leave with 5 children! When he met me I had no children, if I leave him, I will leave without children. Where would I take 5 children?”

This has been said before.

When he comes for her in the course of the day, “sober”, sheepish and “sorry”; she smiles and goes back with him. Takes the children back with her.

Next morning while preparing breakfast:

Wife to a friend: “he always comes back for me. He doesn’t want me to leave him really, it is the alcohol. And when he is not drunk, he is the most wonderful man”

daughter; looking scornfully at her mother: ” wonderful?! when? we can’t even listen to the radio with him in the house. that hurts his head. We can’t laugh loud because only barmaids laugh out loud. You can’t visit your sister, because she left her husband and is therefore a bad influence”

Wife, ignoring the radio & the laugh aloud statements: “what has she achieved by leaving him? she lives in 2 rooms with 3 children and she is struggling to send them to school??! a woman should make her family work.”

daughter: “well, congratulations mom! you are making your family work!”

Wife to youngest boy who just woke up whimpering: “did you wet your bed again??! No one else of my children has wet their bed this late! What is wrong with you?!

The boy continues to whimper. He hides behind his 14 year old sister. The sister hugs him and gets up to go help him out of the wet clothes. The mother. wife. woman continues to speak to her friend about the wonderful “sober” husband. And about the abnormal boy. child. son. who still wets his bed at the mature age of 5.

African Woman, I am not a feminist but...., Life Lessons, Therapy Sessions

Office party Shenanigans – It finally happened to me!

From this day forward, (there is a before it happened and an after) I will say “I know! disgusting! And it was not even the hotty I wanted grabbing at me!! Hahaha… and trail off”. We all have our eye on the hottest colleague with his Mexican mustache on and a hot poncho hanging on his almost bare wide shoulders and he is dancing to Mexican music and he looks your way every now and then.

I will want to make light of the fact that even all covered up, I looked like an object to someone. Even being educated and competent doesn’t help. Not even staying quite sober is a redeemer when we become objects. To a drunk eye, I let loose for minute, relaxed, smiled, danced, laughed out loud; and pang! I looked like fun doll a man can grab at and play with. Own for a minute. Take home/ to a hotel for a night.

I will tell the story from the beginning. We have two office parties every year. I haven’t missed one in the three years I have worked in our BI (business intelligence); the parantes is for the IT muggles. I haven’t missed a party because they are so fun! People drink just enough. Most of the fun people dance tills close down. My colleagues and my two bosses are fun people and take this as their training pass. Very seriously!

We have themes every time, last year it was sailing for the summer and fairy tales for the winter. You should have seen Cruella and her tortured little dogs. And the witches were from heaven! Or not. Yesterday was theme Mexico. I asked, “any particular time period of Mexico?” Organizer said “oh no! We didn’t think of that! Just go with whatever you like”

Those are words you can’t say to me. What I like and what is OK are two totally different things. But I am brought up by nuns and I am a decent over 30 woman. So I do keep it together, with a pinch of chili. The good, the bad and the ugly came flushing to mind. My creative head said “goooo even further back! Mwahahaha…” So I went to Beyond retro and found an antik dress that is falling apart. What’s Mexican about my dress? Well, it flowery isn’t it? And the shoulders are off aren’t they! I also found the most fantastic poncho! Fits me nicely and can pass for Mexican.

We had Salsa dancers teaching us Salsa in the beginning of the evening. Just to spice the night.


We also had a freshman in our midst. I will describe him properly so you don’t mistake him. He is over 35yrs old, so he has definitely been to some office parties before. He is a manager so he should have some sense. He is married and a father of two. But he still drunk too much! He just stood there at 10:30pm swaying, grabbing colleagues who walked or danced by him. There was more dancing than walking. He smiled like a moron when he succeeded to grab properly.

And he tried to grab me! Nobody, and I mean nobody has tried to grab my ass at office parties before. Was it the Salsa? Seeing the Salsa dancers grab each other? Was I hotter than ever before? That could be it! I get hotter with age. I was in total chock when he did. I just stood there and told my twitching right hand “don’t slap him, don’t slap him, don’t slap him….”. One of my managers, a woman saw my debating with myself, hugged me from the back, I felt it was a woman and relaxed, pulled me back to dancing and went off to get a glass of water for drunk, ass/tits grabbing moron.

We danced till late after that. I will always have that. I feel that I passed a womanhood rite of passage. It’s right up there with growing tits, getting the monthlies, getting sex for the first time (Screw loosing virginity!) etc When others said “men grab at you when they drink too much at office parties!” I always said  (in the past)” never happened to me!” With disappointment that something is wrong with me. Not pretty enough or something.