A few people have reached out to me, asking why things have been quiet on the blog. The truth is I’ve been taking a much-needed break from all things social media. While I really enjoy being active online and sharing stories, the past couple of weeks have been immensely triggering for me, from seeing videos and images of #policebrutality to reading #sexualassault and #rape stories of young girls and women in Nigeria.
Today’s post might seem all over the place, but I have things that need to be said. I’ve gone through a range of emotions – disappointment, worry, sadness, anger, fear, rage, disgust…
As a #blackwoman and a mother, I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of the #microagression. I am tired of being worried that my child might be discriminated against because of his skin colour. I am tired of black people being treated unjustly. I am tired of having to work twice as hard. I am tired of people downplaying our emotions and our rage. I am tired of not being able to speak up because it makes others uncomfortable.
As a woman, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am tired of rape apologists. I am tired of #victimblaming. I am tired of being afraid.
Black people matter. Black lives matter. Our girls and women deserve to be safe – whether in their own homes or outside. Our bodies are not for anyone’s pleasure.
A friend of mine, Tinuke wrote the fictional piece below a while back when I was thinking about adding prose and poetry to the blog to highlight issues young girls and women have to face in society.
Why won’t daddy touch me? I wonder as he sits down at the head of the table. Again he put Winona at his right hand and smiled at her, so I made a mental note to kick her later.
What was so special about her, why did he stop giving me the special hug, I had stopped whimpering when he hugged me, He hated it whenever I did that.
I remember the first time he touched, he came into my room with cookies and milk, and we cuddled in bed watching my favourite cartoon – The roadrunner. I can’t tell you anything about the episode that I saw because the pain was terrible, but daddy gave birth and made me pinky-swear that I wouldn’t tell anyone.
With time it became easier, the pain reduced, and I got used to daddy’s hugs. He told me I was his special sunshine and brought me sweets, I wouldn’t share with the rest of my siblings. I remember Winona begging me, Winona getting all the gifts and daddy’s love, all because of some stupid blood…
Yes, daddy stopped touching me after my first menstrual period, he refused to meet my eye when I asked him if he found me disgusting.
He’s been hugging Winona for a month now and to make matters worse, the stupid period has come back, but it’s alright, I know what to do. I went to our garden, picked up the hose and started washing all the blood away, but the more I hosed, the more blood came out, so I kept at it until Mrs Bankole looked over our fence and asked me what I was doing.
Excitedly I told her everything hoping she’d have a solution to my menstrual problem, but to my dismay, a look of horror spread across her face, and I thought she was disgusted with me too. She took me to her house and made me retell my story to herself and her husband. I slept there that night, and when I woke up the next morning, she told me daddy had been taken away for hugging Winona and me.
Poor daddy, I hope wherever he is, somebody is giving him lots of hugs.
One of the reasons I started this blog was to create an online space for women to share stories and for us to collectively use our voices to effect change. There are a number of charities you can make donations to right now to support survivors of gender-based violence:
Now more than ever, we need to stand together to end racism, sexism and violence. We need to have open and honest conversations with our children. Check yourself, check your privileges. Our children deserve to grow up in a world where they feel loved, safe and protected.