14 Nov RE: I Hope You Find This
To that Ugandan man who mistook me for a fellow nincompoop,
I detest having met you. Even though all I know is your name and your nationality; not that I care, I just needed to give you some sort of introduction here. I understand that to you, chivalry is dead, fossilized and showcased in some sort of museum, and in this I would not want to involve your entire clan because you are the only one that I met and you are probably just a sad representation of those wonderful human beings, I presume. Where was I…Ah yes. I understand that to you, respect is a value that only educated people talk about to show off their prowess in understanding a foreign culture. I understand that to you, feminism is nothing more than a long uncoordinated and poorly arranged chorus where music is not even the agenda of the performance.
But then again, you seemed like a middle aged man though I may be wrong since suits have this age-deceiving factor to them, blue ones for that matter. Nevertheless, you looked quite progressed in life. I would guess 33. My point in all this; I am not here to teach you what you failed or what you ignored to learn. They pay people for that. Good money in fact, but not really in Africa. And in the process of all these important lessons you missed, you lost a part of humanity, and gained a degree of animosity that I hope no woman ever has to ever endure for the rest of her life.
You see, when someone tells you that they do not want to do something, at the very least even shake your hand, here’s what you do, bandage that part of your bruised ego and walk away. If it ever be that it was too embarrassing, lock yourself up in your room for a fortnight, that’s enough for us (probably most) to forget. Or if it did hurt so much, better yet, save up for plastic surgery though I am not sure how much of yourself you will be able to change.
So I will not bother to tell that you should have respected me and not have attempted what you did because a slap from another stranger would suffice next time. You see, long gone are the days when men said jump and women said how high. We got empowered (debatable to a certain degree but you get my point) because finally a larger part of society was more willing to see us as human beings. That we could call the shots and the buildings would not come crumbling down because the one in-charge has a softer voice than everyone else on the team. That our opinions matter and that when I say “No”, it is just as loud as when a man says “No”. That I am not any less a being because I am on the other side of the demographic pyramid and as a matter of fact, I ooze with pride for who I am. I fight as hard and run as fast because I also can.
So stop making womanhood look like a curse or a sin that we have to run to church and cover ourselves in ash to be cleansed from. Stop making it seem like the moment we were born, we were that hamster on the wheel, that is always running but goes nowhere and all other people do is comment how cute it is but never bother to remove it from the cage. And even if that does not move you, do it for the women in your life that have made you who you are today (if you would be elegant enough to accept that), as I pray that you are entrusted with no more of them because even after a snake sheds its skin, it remains a snake.
I am not talking to your rash self that chose to do whatever it is that you did, but to your conscience, that still voice in you that consented to it that it was right to think and consequently act in such a lowly manner. You are lucky that my dramatic self did not suffice that day, and it probably should have so that it could knock some sense into that brain that is concreting your personality and supposed virtues in you as you grow older. I do not know what your values are, but I can tell you that they disgust me.
I hope we never meet again.
The stranger that ran away from you.