Hi guys! Feels a lot more cool to be back and writing my second post at the same time. I did this post a while ago on my blog and I decided to share it with you here. This is one out of the many issues that I am passionate about. Some months back, I went to a pharmacy store to get some drugs. On getting there, I had to wait a little for the attendant that went to the inner part of the store to get my prescriptions and while I waited, a man approximately in his early fifties, came in which wasn’t the unusual part. still waiting, I watched the guy attending to him give him a gold circle *not the strange part too*. Having been attended to, he left. . . now I really feel like stalking this story a little more hehehehehehe. So, again, a young lady came in to buy the exact thing the elderly man came in to buy earlier and I was beginning to wonder what’s keeping the guy who went to the inner store waiting abi; anyways I was glad he was delaying, I would have missed what happened. Seriously, this might sound like is this all she wanted to share to some people but as minute as this might seem, it’s a big deal to me, and it should be a big deal to the society. . . I take issues like this really personal; lemme just go ahead with my story. . . The lady got the gold circle and I noticed two ladies giggling about it at a corner of the store. They could have been giggling about something else right? I wanted to believe that was it, but I just couldn’t. So, immediately she left, it was as if someone opened a laughing gas and immediately, the laughter went viral, silent talks, giggling; and I would have just thought it was about something else but not until a guy walked in. It wasn’t up to two seconds after the young lady left that he came in to get the same goody-bag and there was little or no fuss about it. So fortunately for me, my guy came in with my drugs but I couldn’t but wait a little bit to ponder on what had just happened. Earlier on after the lady had left, I had thought the girls didn’t laugh at the old man who came in to buy a condom because he was an old man. Really, it doesn’t matter why the three people in this story got the goods in the first place but what seemed weird to me is that there was something about an elderly man getting a condom which wasn’t laughable but there was something about a lady walking into a store to get a condom that was laughable; not forgetting the other guy though. I’d not be wrong to conclude that it’s the fact that they had the penis which makes it alright but she has the vjayjay and it makes her condemnable. Now, really, this post is not about advertising for gold circle or its uses; it’s about the obvious situation in this story. . . I might just postpone the talk about women bringing women down till another time cos obviously the people having fun about the incident in this story were ladies. . . So, two men walked into a store to get a condom and it’s alright and a lady walks into the same store to get the same thing and it’s funny and serious enough to be considered a satire or a sacrilege. This brings me back to those times back in secondary school when you are on your period as a lady and your uniform mistakenly got soiled and before you know it, you’ve already entertained shame as a tenant. The next thing you know is, if you’re lucky enough to have a pull-over/sweater/cardigan, you tie it around your waist to cover the soiled part so you can walk around, join your friends at the cafeteria and hoping there are no guys at your back guessing why you suddenly have a pull-over tied over your waist and then laughing about it and trust me, this is for the bold ones. If you are not bold, you just find yourself sitting on that same chair throughout the day until 2.00p.m. and then you’d have to wait till everyone in the classroom had left, making sure you are the last person to leave the classroom with no one having to make fun of you. Sometimes, you find some crazy girls in your class even laughing about it, pointing at your soiled skirts or even trying to remove the pull-over you tied to humiliate you so that the guys can see your coloured school skirt and if your school uniform colour is white, awwwww! You are doomed! The first time I watched and listened to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We should all be Feminist” talk at the Tedex event, it never really sounded strange. Even though I never had firsthand experience of some of the examples she gave, I’ve seen them, I’ve heard them and I have had experiences of my own. Being Female in Nigeria is kinda demanding than being a man most times. . . Seriously, I have asked myself times without number as to why You just can’t just be loud about getting a sanitary pad. Some girls have to say it silently or whisper it into their big brother’s, friends, or parents’ ears that they need a sanitary pad so you don’t sound uncouth or why you have to ask for a black nylon anytime you go to buy one? Do you know you don’t even have to ask; it’s a norm now, you can buy packaged food items and they don’t remember to put it into a nylon and then you buy a N200 sanitary pad and they package it immediately for you! Why? It would have been good if it’s just because it’s cute to, but it’s damn because it’s a sanitary pad! You shouldn’t be flaunting it you know! At least that’s what they are trying to say… It’s not feminine! Being female is like a culture of shame and it’s not limited to a particular age, whether you are young, old or intermediate, you’d experience the sting once a in a while and this brings me back to some weeks back, I was on one of the popular Nigerian gossip blogs when I saw a post about Will Smith’s wife’s banging body after having three kids I guess. So, I have this habit of scrolling through comments and all and while I was at that, a comment caught my attention. The dude was like “the vjayjay is so big!” and I was like ‘seriously’ in my mind. . . Must this dude really drop a comment? But seriously, you can’t appreciate the reason for the post and all he could do was comment on the bigness of a vjayjay that has produced three grown issues! And why won’t that vjayjay be big? It’s so hard being your female-self in a society that is so ready to make you a low-self-esteemed version of yourself. When a woman dresses, all the media tries to see at times is the bulging camel toe! It’s her camel toe for crying out loud! Should she cut it off? Must a woman be coerced into hiding everything? Yes, we can’t rule out the fact that we have raunchy dressers and all of that. . . But yea, God bless the media, we see the k-leg, the camel toe, the fat tummy, the bulging eyes, the skinny bitch, the apple body, the banana body, the rectangle body and all of that and yes, everyday, there are millions out there trying to be the typical societal woman even if it’s so uncomfortable! I have had to tie pull-overs round my waist when my period over flows, I have had to sit with one side of the buttock in a public bus when the temple of the Lord defies the 8hr law of always-ultra-heavy-flow-sanitary pad, it doesn’t mean I don’t know my body, it doesn’t make me less-careful. . . I have watched a father say to her daughter ‘how could you be careless enough to have your cloth stained?‘ Sometimes, the circumstance is beyond a girl. I’m not saying it’s okay for a lady to walk around and flaunt the blood-stained cloth, I’m not saying we should scream on top of our voices when we need a sanitary pad, I’m not saying we foreground the camel toe when we dress. These are just one of the petty examples of what happens in a society when you are a female but the petty things are what we really need to start with. Yes, we know when to change, we know how to be courteous, we know how to be cute, we know how to be feminine whatever that phrase even mean; all I’m saying is, being female shouldn’t be a thing of shame! I’ve seen what young girls go through especially with parents and the society and trust me, when you see some young girls; it is as if coming with the vjayjay instead of the penis is the universe’s way of putting a curse on them! Let’s teach our children to be proud of their femininity; let’s help those who have seen it as a curse; let’s teach them how to love, embrace, nurture and own it! I’m owning mine and I’m dedicated to helping other girls out there find it! It’s been a long writing but I hope someone gets the message. . . I’d be back here some times soon! Promise not to miss too much cos it's about to get better from here on. . . I love you guys! Xoxo. . . spread today’s good news! “Masculine and feminine roles are not biologically fixed but socially constructed” ~ Judith Butler

Published by Ebukun Gbemisola Ogunyemi