Monday, September 9, 2013

The Women Who Lay ME

Nairobi, July 21, 2013; 10.45 am.
Timothy Mwaura Wambugu's Photography; Fred Wambugu Maina's Writing

There is no need, and indeed there never is, to quantify thoughts about women. This is one opinion, a personal one. It is also the overriding frame with which the next few words are to be read, if not the very same they were written in.

To beat or strike down with force.

At this point, I will allow the first general quantification of women. We will attempt to call her Stoopy, this little feminine generalization; perhaps only she, ever so feminine, can explain my own physical – and beyond – relations with women. I might even get to the sub-atomic particulars of wrath, love and fire – all mine – for, about and from women.

Why? Because while I like the ‘care less’ attitudes women around me have developed in response to such outright stratification as is Stoopy, I also like being real. I can only be as real as my own experiences are. 

So perhaps it serves better logic to stalk off with these ‘imported airs’ women have been walking on. 


Enter the women who lay me.

Such docile creatures, women are. Women are drama queens, such little bundles of explosively combustible chemicals. Women are elementary; probable; possible. Women are not plausible. They are hardworking multi-taskers; women can take a hit and be silent while at it. They can take another hit.

Women are short, literally and figuratively; so portrayed in literature, so assumed in their ability to move furniture around. I kid you not. Women are lovers. Women are quiet in their suffering. Women are sufferers: mass sufferers in the subjugator systems of The World, et al.

Women are housewives. Women are mani-pedis and mothers; women are not career-led.

Women are to be submissive; the perfect woman is to be patient, kind, servant, willing, and savant to the man’s needs; strong under conventional duress… Thus Spake Stoopy.

“I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly; [or]
“I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet; [further]
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.”
2 To dispose or spread over or on a surface; to press down giving a smooth and even surface.

There are no accusations to be advanced; no duties or burdens, the lot of us is under punishment, should we be so willing to acquiesce to it. Many women have been laid to such faulty inspection, for all of time in her eternity; for most, the order barked at them, becomes them.
Man: Silence!
Nanny: Sit at your corner!
Women are dyslexia. Dyslexia is a woman.

Dyslexia is characterized by difficulty with learning to read fluently and with accurate comprehension despite normal intelligence; thus spake the world’s freest – most used, and sometime abused – encyclopedia. 

The world’s most womanly encyclopedia, that is.

Why are you still reading, woman? When, do you reckon, will I stop bullying? When, do I reckon, will you be bullied no more

A woman I know told me recently, that her mother told her – showed her really, in analogizing life  that she is to ‘wear your seat-belt when you sit in the front seat...’

Is this the front seat? Are you, dear feminist, driving it? Are you, perhaps more likely, riding shotgun? I wonder what the buckshot feels like; how much better the headlights are, coming right back at you, dear “doe, a deer, a female deer…”

A mother is the elixir of her child’s life. Her blood is as thick as it will be allowed to be. Like water, the more it is allowed to flow out of her cuts and bruises, the more her elixir extinguishes, long before she has the chance to be her child’s life. Yet unlike water, blood clots.

We have taken advantage of this ability of blood to clot, calling them strong, our underprivileged and underfed, overworked and overborne ‘weaker sex’. Blaming them for not being stronger, criticizing them when they become too strong. Telling them that they do not have all the answers; paradoxically blaming them when they ask "why?"

Never ever being, never ever being real; the lot of us. Being a woman is a criminal action, and being a man the ultimate disciplinary action; the ultimate violent reaction.

"Inside of you is a smart, powerful, dynamic, capable, self-confident, alive, alert, fabulous woman! Let her come out and play. The world is waiting for you."                                                                                                        - Louise L. Hay
To bring forth and deposit (and egg); to place for rest or sleep, especially: bury.

To give and to take away; such was my mother, the woman who first laid me. An egg was my self, an odd quarter century and a twenty-fifth of this next ago. 

“Why am I soft in the middle now?” Can you call me Al? Call me what you like; my mother gave what she took; and she got a lot of bad, disposed of it, left with the good and gave it to me.

Just like that, five years ago today, so too was she taken. Taken by men; by a manly system... by an unhealthy Hospitalized system of protocol resigned – not designed – to live and let leave. 

Living, you see, is for the fittest; for the blurred lines between price and bids, prize and greed.

The expression ‘pre-loved, not brand new’ perhaps attempts to sum me up; in my own estimation of my self, it is the lasting lesson from my mother: the self-supply of responsibility, a yearning for release from the shackles of commune. At the same time, tis the realization that our individuated response abilities are interconnected: and much as life goes on, when a loved one moves on to a ‘better place’, moving forward is that much harder. 

We are internally connected to them by choosing to love them.

To bring against or into contact with something: apply; to prepare or position for action or operation.

I have had bosses, in my time doing the corporate do-do. My immediate bosses, it turns out, have all been women. In all except one case. I have found many of them – within the confines of the office – to be headstrong misogynists masquerading in thinly-unveiled misandry.

One particular incident springs to mind. A bikini bash I went for, liked and was liked, particularly by this one woman’s drunken tongue. Four months later, she was seating across the table from me, next to the male CEO of the company and his female second in command, who turned out to be her friend. 

There I was, being interviewed for a job under the direct supervision of a woman I was not sure I wanted to be under.

Much more recently, I got back into employment in a Consultant capacity, under an open-minded trio of women. With more than enough experience in the sado-masochistic world of femdom that is many of this kind of scenario, I vetted them as hard as they vetted me, before deciding to work with them. I should actually be signing that contract by end of this month, fully 2 months after I agreed to start working with them.

On the other hand, one particular woman I got involved with recently – in a corporate, not corporeal way – is quite the epitome of what’s wrong with misguided feminism; the kind that ignores the very fundaments of itself, assumes that being manly equals being feminist. A Kenyan living in Diaspora, a South African tired of having to be Kenyan. 

Choices, it has been said, have consequences. Whether in the unions or communions, matrimony or testimony, beds or leads. The pervaded scent of ‘quotidian violence’ as one Keguro Macharia calls it, is fast becoming an epidemic.

My argument, if it ever was one, is not that women “submit for examination and judgement” by men. It is not that they “copulate with them; often vulgar.” It is not that they silently lay back as the fists are laid to their noses. It is that they prepare, personally, to be well-laid; to be contrived, not misconstrued.

It is, in fact, an argument that as a woman is, so is a man; human. If we are to continue to lay each other equitably, it will have to be under each other, laying our respective businesses before each other with our intentions clear, our attentions bare.

Before we can call ourselves ‘we’, let us first define the ‘I’ that makes ‘us’. This, however, is my truth.                                                         

Only mine...
1-4 Various definitions of the word ‘lay’

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