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WOMEN PUT UP OR SHUT UP by P OCHIENG

Clearly, “affirmative action” can contribute a morsel to a group’s liberation. But the group cannot rely solely on it. For to do so is to tie its fate to the “good will” of the hegemonic system. History teaches us that an oppressed group can liberate itself only by its own bootstraps. Nobody else can liberate women because nobody else has ever experienced a woman’s suffering. By “nobody else” here, I can only mean men. As an oppressor group, men just will never initiate the emancipation of their wives.

Yet Kenya’s women have not learnt a single lesson from it. They hope to secure their freedom solely by appealing to MPs, an institution of the very same patriarchy which has oppressed women worldwide for 3,500 years.

Our Parliament is composed of machismi (as the Italians call them), men with a grotesquely bloated sense of gender “superiority”, men dripping with male bigotry, men who — like Chinua Achebe’s Okonkwo — recognise women only when they lie prostrate in the bedroom.

But, although, like racism and other forms of chauvinism, male conceit has no intellectual substance whatsoever, it has occupied the very core of our upbringing ever since Semito-Aryan patriarchy overthrew Hamito-Negro Mother Right during the second millennium BC.

It is essentially an ideology of ignorance and fear. Yet it has been inculcated as a self-evident truth, imposed with ruthless vigour. Our children grow up with an extraordinarily strong sense of gender disparity in mental and bodily abilities.

And, because it is theoretically empty, male “superiorism” is merely asserted. In practice, the male regime is spectacularly inferior in human quality — dismaying intellectual vacuity, appalling lapses in logic, profound moral bankruptcy, acts of horrendous ignobility. 

The male regime excels only in brawn. Violence and cruelty have been its nub and core. War, slavery, religious slaughter, genocide, rape, child molestation, wife-beating, street crime, political tyranny — these have been the male chief’s only means of winning an argument.

In short, male rule is without rhyme or reason. The reason, clearly, is that there is little effort in the patriarch’s classroom and living room to nurture children through pedagogy, didactics and exemplary behaviour. 

Surely, then, the only point of invading any male redoubt — like Parliament or the Church — is to revolutionise it by injecting into it a dominant sense of responsibility to all the deprived social groups, especially children and their mothers.

All these institutions were created during the rise of the patriarchal religion of the Semito-Aryans. Their purpose was to bury Mother Right forever and perpetuate the Father as the most proximate image of the creator. Many men in hegemonic power are aware of the moral emptiness and logical shakiness of this teaching of theirs. 

They know that if women romped in significant numbers into all national decision-making institutions, men’s socio-economic privileges and profligacy would be seriously eroded even at the domestic level. 

But do women understand the nature of this opposition to their quest? Clearly not. Otherwise, they would not seek entry just by clamouring to be sponsored by the MPs, men who live in the most fetid pigsties. For anybody can see that — mainly because it is so androcentric — our parliament is incapable of any form of justice.

So why do women pander to it? Because there is more to it than gender. There is the class question. All the women vying for positions in institutions of governance belong to the same economic class as the men who dominate those institutions. 

Usually, they are their wives — and equally ravenous and callous. True, they seek power in women’s name. But will they use it to liberate Wanjiku? You cannot assert it if you are aware of one lesson from the Third World’s recent history.

The nationalists fought the colonial regime in the people’s name. And yet the nationalists (and their comprador or military successors) have used that power only to oppress and starve the people. 

If any class of women is genuinely interested in liberation, it must make its own effort. Women must stop pandering to the present political parties and form a party of their own.

It is totally nonsensical for women to keep whining that they are not represented, whereas, being the majority of electors, they are the ones who keep electing the males who tyrannise us. If, in December, women do not sponsor and elect their own candidates, they should shut up.

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

Discussion

One thought on “WOMEN PUT UP OR SHUT UP by P OCHIENG

  1. What is the ccm stand on this issue? As much as we may want to come out and support our own(women), we have gone through cases of women who are contesting for various seats in the forthcoming elections in December beaten up, raped and feed with stool. Meaning men are frustrating our efforts as women to get in the parliament. Are men doing this because were are a threat as women? How do you expect us to get into higher positions if the only thing men can is frustrating every effort that we make? And what part has CMM as a party taken to see to it that women get into parliament through the party which believe in gender equality?

    Posted by Irene | September 16, 2007, 1:17 pm

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