Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Weekly Sneak: Powered by Estrogen.

Due to an unexpected series of meetings and events, my feminist affront has just been shocked back to life again. I had been sitting on a piece about Voice for a long time, and I guess it was time for it to finish gestating and come out already. One of the reasons I tend to stay away from the F-word on the column is that it doesn't lend itself easily to humor. Feminists, like Ujamaa Socialists, are tediously serious about their causes and we just can't make the funny. And the column, it is supposed to bring the funny at least a little bit.

But it has been such a long time since I had a good rant, and I have been a little annoyed because I haven't emptied out the bin where I keep all the trash that casual chauvinism throws my way. In light of the fact that The East African edits my copy*, this week you are getting my two favorite paragraphs in the preview section:
"My President, Jakaya Kikwete, once said that it was his ambition to leave behind a parliament with a larger number of women in it than when he first came into office. Unfortunately we have tried parliamentary affirmative action, and the results are disappointing. Tanganyika turns fifty this year, yet all those decades of Special Seats Members of Parliament have failed to yield sufficient maternity wards in hospitals, prosecutions for rapists and child-molesters, equal pay for equal work... the list of grievances is long. Electricity rationing is tedious, yes, but let me tell you: giving birth on a concrete floor is an entirely different level of inconvenience."
And in conclusion, I have been looking for an excuse to sneak these James Brown lyrics into a 'serious' topic for a long time. What has 1960s Funk got to do with women in Tanzania?

"Feminism is an eight-letter word with a four-letter attitude. It is a cause that is familiar with extended guerrilla warfare in the rough wilderness of inflexible traditions. Social media is the AK47 of the present, at whose point many have demanded better treatment. To quote the King of Funk, James Brown (RIP) “I don't want nobody to give me nothing. Open up the door, and I'll get it myself.” Huh."

*Some writers like to be edited. I am not one of those blessed people. A couple of you regulars have told me that the style and tone of the EA articles is not quite in keeping with the style and tone of the blog. I appreciate the feedback, and I am working on the parts of that discrepancy that I can control.

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