Random Thoughts

#16. Midweek Reflections

I’m thinking about everything that has happened on social media over the past 7 weeks or so. You know, when Pepper Dems Ministries came over and basically forced us all to put up or shut up when it comes to gender issues in Ghanaian society.

I’ve learnt so many lessons from what has occurred on Facebook to diverse personalities. Let me share some of them:

  1. If you have an agenda to push, pray (if you’re a Christian), plan, research, get your core squad, then DO IT. JUST DO IT. Don’t mind anyone, speak your truth, and keep on speaking it until you get your message across.
  2. You are not on this earth to be liked by everyone but to fulfill your purpose. On your way to fulfilling your purpose you will piss A LOT of people off; people you love and admire and people you don’t give a fuck about. It doesn’t matter; keep on speaking it.
  3. Social media keeps receipts. Facebook keeps receipts. This is a very important lesson I learnt by watching certain events unfold in slow motion before my eyes on my news feed. It was like watching a train wreck; horrifying to witness but too compelling to turn away from. If you think you can bully, denigrate, insult, engage in blatant discrimination and spout venomous diatribe and then, when you literally ‘meet your meter,’ you want to play victim, Facebook will remind you that IT HAS NOT FORGOTTEN. People you don’t know from countries you have not heard about will write about you and quote you back the shit you spewed on previous threads. If you want to maintain your peace of mind and some semblance of a brand beyond social media, keep your nose clean and pick your fights wisely. Let me repeat:  FACEBOOK DOES NOT FORGET. FACEBOOK KEEPS RECEIPTS. Ayoooo.
  4. If your driving purpose on this earth is to troll other people’s pages then claim subs/insults as your personal property then take snapshots to gain some sort of sympathy on your personal page…see point 4, pray for forgiveness and amend your ways. REPENT BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE LORD! Facebook judgement day ain’t a joke people! Facebook keeps ALL the receipts.
  5. If you see a movement growing and gaining traction and you don’t agree with it, Google what the issue is about first. For the love of God, Black Jesus and the Sweet Holy Spirit…Google it first.Engage on a level of intellect and decorum. Be original and creative; have goals, a vision, a mission and a unique hashtag that is not a rip-off.
  6. And whilst I’m at it, let me chip in that if you want to argue on ideological differences please, Grammarly App is still free. If you’re an unrepentant grammar snob (like yours truly) then it’s essential to respond to crisp English with crisp English. If you’re comfortable writing in pidgin, go and find another person’s wall to argue on. Unless of course you want your argument to be reduced to having your statements marked and edited. (You know what, forget this point. Stay on the page and argue with your pidgin English. The Petty La Belles will love to have you around so they can correct your grammar with one hand and argue with you on the other hand. Yes, I have seen this happen too. I was hollering after reading a thread like this. Picture me, in my office, hollering and crying. It wasn’t pretty but I didn’t care cos it was so darn funny.)
  7. If you’re on the wrong side of history, don’t be selfish and drag people into it. Really. Just be wrong all be yourself. You’re not Jesus and this is not the Great Commission. Okay? Just chill.

Of course it’s only Wednesday morning in the middle of October 2017 and I’m sure by the end of the week more issues will crop up with more lessons for me to learn. When that happens, trust me, I’ll update y’all 😉

But until then, more love, blessings, rich coffee…and fresh pepper.

 

P.S: The leadership of Pepper Dem Ministries were invited to a meeting with the Information Minister, a Muslim man who identifies as a bold, unapologetic gender activist. When a prominent member of government and a prolific Muslim endorses your movement, you know you must be doing something right. Let me buy a bigger blender; the pepper we grind must be done on a larger scale for a larger audience 😉

PDM MEETS THE MINISTER

 

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Random Thoughts

#10. Feminism does not mean defending the bad decisions women make

…….and other bubbles about feminism that need to be burst

 

Every time a powerful woman missteps this comment creeps out, “Well, it seems the feminists are doing a bad job.” Or “better not comment else the feminists will get you” or “Just wait, the Facebook feminists will jump on it and attack you right now.”

feminism

This is Ghana in the 21st century and folks still don’t know that feminism is defined as a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to such opportunities for men?? (Definition courtesy Mary E. Hawkesworth)

But how is that even possible? For such a contentious issue in Ghana’s media space, it’s confusing/annoying/amusing to me that many still don’t know this.

And my confusion/annoyance/amusement hits the roof when incidents like the following happen:

  • When the 2017 edition of the National Maths and Science Quiz ended with Prempeh College taking the trophy again, people asked “Why hasn’t a girls school won yet? I guess the feminists are not doing their job well.”
  • Or when MP for Dome Kwabenya stood before a cross section of her constituents and lied that she was responsible for the financing a senior high school in her constituency,  some people  “Some are saying the way she is being trolled on social media is above and beyond what male politicians go through. And some gender activists are saying this will discourage women from participating in politics. Hmm, it seems that I don’t know what feminism is about.”

 

And when it happens like that, I don’t know whether to scream or cuss or bang my head against a wall and keep banging until my brain is numb. Or maybe I should stop checking my Facebook; that way I won’t read these comments and get so heated up.

But all this theatrics goes on in my imagination. In reality, I take a deep breath and take every one of these instances as a learning opportunity and proceed to educate my friends.

I start with defining feminism and then explaining why their argument is so asinine ignorant.

Let’s start with the NMSQand the fact that a girls school is yet to win it : for years that trophy basically lived on Presec, Legon campus; the boys have a formula for winning that starts from form 1 and they have honed it over the years. The girls schools simply need to master the combination of book smarts, application under pressure and confidence to handle any question thrown at you before a crowd of several thousand (plus those who follow on social media)Performing at NMSQ is akin to public speaking – it takes skill and a warrior mindset and the ability to focus under pressure.

As for Adwoa Safo’s case…di33333….she did what all politicians do – she lied to her people to make herself look good because Congress is up soon and she needs to garner her support base. But then she got caught on someone’s smartphone; and he/she shared the information and now…..#Safolie is trending on social media with some of the most ridiculous and amusing quotes ever. My favourite is still this one:

ADWOA SAFO

 

Notice in both those situations my belief in women’s rights and gender equality didn’t factor in at all?

But somehow, with some learned people on Facebook, this was not the case. Somehow feminists and the feminism movement are somehow implicated in there…..somewhere.

Sigh.

So just to be clear – feminism is not about defending or supporting women who make irresponsible decisions; it’s about fighting disparities between the genders.

We good?