Interesting thoughts…on the male control of the female body. Maybe to simply reduce the argument to ‘men controlling the woman’s body’ is to pay scanty attention to the other rather pervasive and equally important power players in society. Because when you think about it, our bodies, yes both male and female, are subject to some sort of societal strictures. It might as well be that the inhibitions placed on the female body are indeed more pronounced but it doesn’t change the fact that Society would ‘flog’ me if I paraded in my village square naked. So maybe we need to interrogate the basis of societal order. Who stands to benefit more from a well ordered society with conventions on even mundane matters like dressing? Where do we place political and religious interests in all this? Do I hear someone say that it is even patriarchy which stands behind these systems? But what of systems where females have traditionally been very important power brokers? Can we not say that they are also in that regard beneficiaries of a well ordered society of which the ‘control of the body’ is but an aspect? I would love to hear your thoughts on where the ‘man’ stands in a matrilineal set-up…My point is, at the end of the day, we might as well find ourselves concluding that in some instances it is the woman who controls the male body! Quite outlandish, huh?
Of “us” and “others”…
On this I fully concur with you and I have nothing useful to add. I posted on my FB wall a couple of weeks ago that the “‘There is no chewa, tumbuka, sena but Malawian’ is a refrain of dubious accuracy.” There is nothing objectionable with racial/ethnic [and whatever] diversity. Heck! There is nothing we can do about being born Tumbuka, Chewa,, black, brown etc is there? The problem arises when we use these differences to disentitle others and to favour our own. I have always told ‘northerners’ who agitate for cessation on the basis of discrimination that “ah just dare do that and you will soon see what will happen. After the cessation Tumbukas will start discriminating against ngondes and Tongas against lambyas and so on and so forth. Before we know it, every village will be its own country if the solution to ethnic discrimination will be cessation.” I would love to see how much this othering has set us backwards as a people. We compromise on putting the right people in the right places because they do not belong. We would rather an inept homeboy occupied the office. Poor us…
“At what precise pace should a black man walk to avoid suspicion?”
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