So you want to know what men really gain from patriarchy?

PatriarchyPiece

Patriarchy is an unfashionable term. But it is also the only term that describes the oldest, most widespread and most enduring form of governance. It is much older than democracy, for example. It seems to me that patriarchy, which is the ‘system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are…

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Awra Amba, an Ethiopian village where gender equality is real

Gebeyehu & Mesghana from Awra Amba

If I were an alien visiting our planet this week I’d think, “Whoa, how’s that for a mess, one half of the species trying to annihilate the other half!” We on earth don’t see it that way ourselves; or we would be in revolution against misogynist warfare. Yet an eye that has not been conditioned to normalise the…

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What is conscientious feminism?

Head of Woman

In July 1992, an international conference on Women in Africa and in the African Diaspora (WAAD) was held in Nigeria. WAAD was a rare incident: an interdisciplinary and international conference about African women in Africa. The conference, which took place in the Eastern town of Nsukka during an unusually dry week in July (precipitation for this month…

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The difference between feminism and humanism

Wonder Woman

When it comes to labels, I like mine earnest but not intransigent. So there is something almost moving about someone (most often a man) asking a self-declared feminist like myself why I call myself a feminist and not a humanist. Almost. What prevents me from exultingly throwing my hands up in the air when a…

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The African Femme Fatale

femmefatale

As the year comes to an end, I thought that I would like my last post of the year to be about something exciting, a feminine energy we could do well channeling more of in 2014. Scrolling through old posts and comments, I recognised an energy brewing, one not yet defined but one which can…

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What I like about African men

Cyclist tan

Let me start by saying that there are desirable traits in men from all corners of the world. From the Ken-ish charm of a George Clooney type to the Jesus-like gentle features of many Arab and Asian men, our diverse world contains a smorgasbord of likeable men. Yet there is something about African men that evokes…

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We need to eroticise society

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I know what you’re thinking: What do I mean by “eroticise” society and why on earth should we do that? Surely we are obsessed with sex as it is! Well, yes, sex is everywhere but Eros, i.e. Erotic love, isn’t. Our sexual culture is either prudish or pornographic. On one end, we are surrounded by explicit…

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Guest blog: My mother and the marriage question

Back Camera

This is a guest blog by Stephanie Kimou (pictured) who blogs at A Black Girl in the World   **** Most of my American friends do not think about marriage until around 33. Particularly those who I went to graduate school with in DC, they would laugh at the crazy stories that I would share about my mother. Her…

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What role can women play in helping to shape their built environment?

Hallway, Milwaukee Art Museum

This post is an extract from a Q&A by sixty7 Architecture Road, a Canadian site devoted to the built environment, which asked four individuals, from various professional backgrounds, and from different parts of the globe, to give answers to the question What role can women play in helping to shape their built environment? Read my…

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Valentine’s Day Give-Away – My free poetry e-book

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  I don’t consider myself a poet but that’s an odd thing to announce given that I am next going to offer you to download cache, my poetry book. And for free too in the spirit of Valentine’s day and love! Poetry is a form of writing that I’m compelled to engage in when I’m…

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International Women’s Month event for your diary: FRIDA – Female Revolution In Dance & Art

FRIDA

“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”  ― Frida Kahlo To celebrate the forthcoming International Women’s Month 2013, join us (Pia Cabble, Bumi Thomas, CRE8 LIFESTLE CENTRE & MsAfropolitan) for a spectacular multidisciplinary art project inspired by the legacy of Frida…

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Can women have it all? On marriage, motherhood and work

The Weaver

  One of the most popular articles in 2012 was “Why women still can’t have it all“, by Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic. It received the most facebook likes any Atlantic article has ever received and everyone from Michelle Obama to Gloria Steinem weighed in on the matter. Whether or not women can have it…

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Huffington Post: Meditate Your Way Through Negative Articles About Black Women

I submitted the below post to the Huffington Post editors before the racist and sexist cover image of Michelle Obama as a nude slave appeared in one of Spain’s biggest newspapers, El Mundo’s, supplement. This morning an interview with Gabby Douglas went live revealing that her teammates called her a slave. Unfortunately, the constant tending…

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Discovering African feminism

two women in the park, 2010

  ‘Blackfeminism is not white feminism in blackface‘ – Audre Lorde As a young girl I could not get my head round the society I lived in, where Nigerian men seemed to have many more privileges than women just for being men, a reality I later discovered applied in different ways to other societies as…

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Beyonce, skin colour and carrots

Carrots anyone ??

Beyonce was crowned most beautiful woman in the world by People Magazine this week and that resurfaced the skin colour topic with many debating whether the light skinned Beyonce is an accurate representation of “Black Beauty”. The skin colour conversation is important, crucial even, for similar reasons that I think we should upkeep the hair conversation….

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Bad leadership is NOT the problem in Africa

Tired Old Man

Last week, Joyce Banda became the second female head of state in Africa. This kind of development is significant for the continent. Not only is Banda female, which accounts for progress in more equally gendered leadership, but she’s also got a solid background which should help get Malawi out of the economic and political mess…

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White Women, Black Men & African Feminists

Occasionally I worry I’ll hurt my mum with some of the stuff that I write about white people, or that my dad will be offended by my criticism of African men. Then I visit them in Lagos and I’m reminded of how, and why, my concerns are completely unnecessary. They expected, and are pleased, with…

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Is it unAfrican to be gay? The Nigerian case

Since 1960 Nigeria has had no more than eleven years of unbroken civilian rule. Out of those, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) now led by Goodluck Jonathan has held a tight grip on power whilst barely contributing to any growth. Shell has just admitted that thousands of barrels of oil have spilt in the Bonga oil leak, the worst…

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Celebrating African Music – The MsAfropolitan Mixtapes vol. 1

MsAfropolitan Mixtapes 1

I’m pleased to share that the first edition of the MsAfropolitan Mixtapes is here. Courtesy of Broadcite Music, an esteemed independent label committed to creating unique sounds for the musically aware, we are going on an Afropolitan ride from Ghana to South Africa fusing highlife, juju, afrobeat and more with Detroit House and the edgy beats of underground London….

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Africa is not a brand

When a region has been subject to genocide, slavery or Maafa (holocaust), colonialism, apartheid and financial exploitation also known as neoliberal multilateral agreements, how do we legitimise its place in a globalized modernity without examining its bruised psyche? Through rebranding it as Bono suggests? MsAfropolitan does not intend to rebrand Africa, but aims to be…

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Running a workshop on race & identity at Mobilising young African women in the UK

I’m taking part in an event titled Mobilising Young African Women in the UK. It will be an afternoon of interactive workshops and panel discussions on December 3rd at the Africa Centre Why should you attend this event? Are you fed up with the negative images of Africa especially of women and want to promote…

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Learning to love white men

I’d hate for my experience on earth to be lived with a heart containing animosity towards fellow human beings. We may act like different races are different species due to the irrational inventions of some power hungry ancestors of the human race, but I don’t want that confusion to make me equally disillusioned about our…

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Why history is written in flesh

I believe in the sixth sense, not in a ‘seeing dead people’ way, but the sense of shift, that feels the brewing zeitgeist of future generations. The things that they will understand, that our generation can not. This is what activism and creativity alike ought to explore. Can one set of people understand what the previous…

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Why men love feminists

Contrary to popular belief many feminists have active, and even pleasant love lives. Before I continue let me clarify, and oversimplify (terribly) for purposes of this commentary, by saying that there are two types of feminists. It’s oversimplifying by the way, because we live in an age of individual feminisms rather than theory-centered doctrine. And…

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7 fucked up things

1. People that moan about the use of expletives. 2. The combination of capitalism and yoga. I can’t claim to know all there is to yoga but I can say for certain that apart from keeping you healthy, yoga philosophy aims to connect with something profound, some call it god, some peace, some essence. There…

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Dating while feminist

I prefer going out on a date with a guy who’s read my blog than one who hasn’t. When a man hasn’t visited this site, at some point during the date something like this happens: Guy: You mentioned that you’re doing an MA at SOAS. What’s your area of study? Me: (clears throat, prepares): Gender…

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A Diaspora canvas: Exploring the feminine heritage of African art

pia

If creativity isn’t about community in one-way or another it is dull at worst and provoking at best. Artists that manage to emphasize the spiritual, aesthetic and social elements of living are those that bring to us gifts of understanding. Artists that exemplify this idea are musicians like K’Naan, Baaba Maal, Nneka, Blitz the Ambassador, Fela,…

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We need to stop the lack of response to the horn of Africa crisis

When I was asked if I could publish the below guest post with regards to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Africa I was faced with a moral dilemma. Let me explain. The original post included images of malnourished African children and as much as I support Sarah Lenssen’s work I won’t post those types of…

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