Growing up, my mother like any other mum would tell us that we could do anything if we put our minds and heart into it. So when I was fighting the boy next door over a piece of chocolate that by the way was two years older than me, I remembered my mum’s words and put my all into biting his arm. I was pretty much a tomboy up till my teenage life. Given I was born and raised in Uganda, I spent most of my holidays at my nana’s so I was surrounded with my cousins and the neighborhood kids. Most of my older cousins were boys so I had to try to fit in and act all macho; so when I’d fall down and bruise myself I was not allowed to cry cause all the other kids were watching, so I would get up dust the sand off and go about whatever I was doing. I and my sisters pretty much made a lesson out of this. I would like to believe I carried this trait into my adult life because let’s be honest, it’s STILL a man’s world. YES I SAID IT or in this case wrote it! With this being the 21st century and Beyonce’ proclaiming we women run the world, you would think that men of today are a bit more open with a friendly game of tug of war with a woman on the opposing end given they are stronger and everything but NO. The other day at work, I was having a banter with one of my Polish friend and he was telling me how hard it is to see a black person in Poland to which I playfully responded by saying I should go to Poland and run for President. His respond was shocking but had some truth to it. He said, and I quote, “That would be impossible not because of the colour of your skin but the fact that your female”. I was stumped by his accidental brutally honest response. The mere tone of his voice gave away the distrust in the female gender, like the norm of a country with a female president was beyond impossible and bizarre! Forgive me but there I was thinking that society had evolved.
I was watching Loose women on ITV about two months ago and the topic of conversation happened to be “Is it STILL a man’s world? “. They were basically talking about today’s society and asking whether there is still a gap between the female and male and if gender is still a big factor when hiring or promoting an individual. Anyone who watches loose women knows that the panelist is made up of well educated, intelligent and accomplished women and I was surprised to hear them talking about how hard it was for them to get where they are as working women. When watching this shows on tv we never do get to think about what these women go through and what they have to sacrifice just to get to where they are, all we see is a group of women in amazing power suits spitting words and debating day to day issues that some of us take in and others out the other ear. While watching this show I was reminded of how important it is to keep this with me when going into the real world. The ladies spoke about how important it is to empower younger women and how this should start from a young age. Not so long ago Beyoncé also known as “Miss Carter” released an album that went viral. She has this one song on the album that I personally love; it is called “Flawless” featuring one of my best writer and motivational speaker Chimamanda Ngozi. I remember the first time I ever really heard of her was on TED talk, she was talking about her views on what she came to believe was culture illiteracy; being born and raised in Nigeria and moving to America for college the Americans believed she should act and also write a certain way, thinking her stories SHOULD be about a village girl and not a “Carrie Broadshawn”. I started writing this article in September, way before this song came out (anyone who blogs or writes can relate, their those pieces you get stuck on) anyway back to the Beyoncé song, Chimamanda Ngozi had a small part in putting the song together but I personally feel like it was the most relevant. She had a dialogue were she was talking about what women are expected to look, talk, act, BREATH basically how we are meant to play our cards if they want a husband. She questioned why women are “MEANT” to shrink down to fit into a man’s shoe house but how men are never taught how to stretch themselves for a woman. My dad told me once that the three topics that should never be bought up over small talk are politics, religion and gender inequality. He says these three topics can cause the 4th world war if bought up around people especially if you don’t know them well enough. I know there are loads of people who have talked about this “same old topic” and how it is becoming such a cliché but I have had friends nearly fight over this topic, but why should it be a man’s world or a woman’s world? Why can’t we balance it out, each sex can’t work without the other. Just a few days ago Oprah made a statement on her show that threw me back, she went on to say she is happy she never had kids because if she did have kids they would be the ones on the show talking about their troubled childhood. She went on to admit that she would have been worst mother because she was not ready to sacrifice her talk show because to her that was her baby. I believe in the saying “to each their own” and maybe she is right but I can’t help but ask why can a man have a job and a lovely family and a woman can’t have the best of both worlds? I would love to have a world were both the male and female are considered equals in the work place. I am all for men being stronger than a woman physically but that shouldn’t mean they are stronger than the female in EVERYTHING else! We women are strong in all other aspects so it should only be fair we get the same treatment as men in a work place. I do believe that it’s still a man’s world, but it has always been a woman’s world too.