What’s in a name? (2)

Is it not strange that we impose on others rules that we have created and then discriminate against them based on these rules?

In many parts of the world the male child is revered while the girl child is a consolation prize; the dry bread you chew on absentmindedly while waiting for your main course to arrive.

I asked the elders: why is the boy child preferred to the girl child?
Well, they said, a girl cannot carry on the family name. She will marry and change her name. The boy is more valuable because the lineage lives through him.

Wait a minute. Aren’t we the ones who made it so that the female has to change her name? Her X chromosome does not dictate what name she bears. There is nothing in her makeup that says she must change her name; same way there is no reason the boy cannot change his. Aren’t we the ones who say children must take their father’s names and not their mother’s? We have painted the fish pink and then banned pink fish from the ocean.
The solution is simple. We must allow women to keep their names if they want. Let children bear their mother’s name. Let the lineage live through the one who births it.

Shut up. You women of now-a-days want too much.


What’s in a name?

A woman’s lifespan as chattel begins the day she is born.

Two babies are born: one male, one female.
They are christened Mr. X and Miss X in the names of their first owner.

He will remain Mr.X until the day he dies, barring this and that
He belongs to himself and himself alone. His name reflects that.

She belongs to whatever male owns her at the time; her names reflect this.

She will be Miss X until she marries Mr.Y, at which point she becomes Mrs Y. If things go well, this will be the only change she makes. She will forget about ever being Miss X and completely immerse herself in her new identity. All her children will be Y with no trace of her original identity.

But things do not always go right. Mr. and Mrs Y decide to split up. He remains Mr. Y.

The divorce is barely official and the whispers begin:
“Why is she still bearing his name”?
“My children are Y and I want to have the same name as my children.”
“Irrelevant!” the crowd yells. “You no longer belong to him and must must return to being Miss X until you find a new owner who will give you his name.”
“But this has been my name for 20 years. It is my identity.”
“It is his name! Move on!”

Little Miss Y sees this and says to herself: “I will never change my name. If my brother does not have to worry about this, then why should I?” She marries the thorn of her flesh and does the unthinkable: does not change her name to reflect new ownership.

The crowd goes mental. “What is this madness?” they rage! “Women of now-a-days are ruining everything!” The crowd tear out their hair and roll around in ashes, stricken with grief and insanity.  Men who die with the names they are born are the most confused. Men who do not even have to change their title-Mr. at birth and at death and everything in between- do not understand why this woman would want to keep her name.

The more rational people in the crowd say: “Okay, even if we permit you to keep your name, what title will you use? Will you be Miss or Mrs? You are married but you still have your old owner’s name so how will this work?” They smirk, pleased at having trapped her in this conundrum.  How shall she escape this dead end?

“Well I will be Ms. Y”
“Ms? Isn’t that for old unmarried spinsters?”
“No. It’s the female equivalent of Mr. It can be used by all women: single, married, divorced, widowed, old, young.”
“Have you at least considered hyphenating your surname and being Mrs Y-Z? It’s not ideal but it is still better than this nonsense.”
“I don’t want to.”
“Why don’t you want to take your husband’s name? Are you ashamed of him?”
“Why doesn’t he take my name? Is he ashamed of me?”
The crowd goes berserk, incandescent with rage.
“Arrrghhh women of now-a-days have ruined everything! Fuck you feminism!”

“That’s not all,”says Ms. Y. “Mr. Z and I are having a baby, and all our children will have both our names.”

The crowd spontaneously combusts.

Women of now-a-days

There once was a man and a woman who lived in a shoe.

The man had his role to play
Build, hunt, and protect.

and the woman did too
Cook clean and birth the young

There once was a man and a woman who lived in a shoe.
Women aren’t women anymore! The angry man grumbled
Our grandmothers always had food on the table
and the house was always spotless
Our grandfathers dared not enter the kitchen or pick up a broom

Women of now-a-days want to outsource the cooking,
he spits angrily and bangs his fist on the table
Crack! Oh crap. He will have to call the carpenter to fix that.

What is that sound?
Drip drop drip drop drip drop drip drop drip drip drip!
Ugh the bloody tap. Wasn’t the plumber just here a few days ago? By God, it is impossible to get reliable help these days.

Why just the other day, the mechanic tried to fleece him. And what about the builders who he hired to build the house. It took them almost a year over budgeted time to finish.

His stomach grumbles. He hopes she picked up some chicken at the store. He is craving a nice chicken stew.

What is taking her so long? She is going to come back from work claiming to be tired-like he doesn’t work as well– and then suggest he eats something she bought. Imagine that! Women of now-a-days. Our mothers wouldn’t have dared you know. They raised the children and cooked feasts without complaints!

He feels a cold coming on. He must remember to book a doctor’s appointment, lest it be fatal.

Ugh it’s time to pay school fees again. She really needs to start pulling her weight financially.  She works as well so there is no reason she shouldn’t pay half the bills.   After all isn’t that what feminists want?

Cook, clean, birth the young+provide
Pay someone to build, eat what another has hunted, provide part of it

Women of now-a-days.



What makes a woman?

I have oft wondered about the meeting of feminism and transgenderism on the issue of femininity and the female appearance.

Feminism says a woman is not defined by her clothes, and she can wear-and not wear-what she chooses. A woman can eschew dresses, skirts, makeup and do things that society says boys should do and still be a woman.

For transgenders, it does not seem to be this simple.

Transgenderism says people are not defined by their biological parts-a woman born with a penis, and without a uterus and vagina, and with high levels of testosterone is still a woman. It does however seem that in the transgender community, the dress is what ultimately makes the woman.

When a person comes out as Trans, the accepted step of action is to start dressing like the gender they identify with. Transwomen grow out their hair, put on makeup and start wearing dresses and heels. Transmen do the opposite.

So when it is said that having a vagina does not make one a woman, I wonder: “so is it makeup and dresses that make one a woman?”

What would the reaction be if a biological man came out as a woman but also wanted to continue dressing like a man, because we have said that women don’t have to wear dresses to be women? Most likely: “what’s the point of transitioning only to continue acting like a man? Can a transgender woman be a tomboy in the way biological women can be? Can a Transwoman decide to eschew dresses and wear suits, or is wanting to wear dresses and makeup a fundamental part of being a Transwoman?

Is being a woman in a Trans context therefore mostly about adopting the social beauty standards ascribed to women? Not all biological women like makeup and being feminine, so can a Transwoman also not want to be feminine or is this a moot point as the whole point of being a Transwoman is to be feminine?

If a person was born male in the biological sense, but identifies as female in the social sense, then does social appearance take prominence in what makes a woman? Is it a mistake to attempt to reconcile biological and transgender women?

Just random thoughts that swirl around aimlessly in my head.


They turn their faces to look at me
I know what is coming-my heart beats fast in anticipation
Their mouths form the familiar words
and I hear the question before it leaves their tongue

“Do you have any plans for the weekend?”

How many times will they ask this questions before it dawns on them that the answer is always the same?

No. Nope. Nein. Na. Non. Rara. Nehin. Mba. Nyet. Naw. Não. Naheen. Iie. Ochi. 

How long before they realise I have no tribe to share my days with
How long before it dawns on them that I am just wasting away my youth
doing nothing, creating no memories?

Why must they torture me so?
Do they keep asking in the hopes that one day it will be different
or is this just the dreaded small talk for which there is no cure?

A chirpy smile appears on my face
I inhale and infuse some joy into my voice

“Oh nothing much. I’m just hanging out with my friends.”
“That’s nice.”
“Yeah I’m so tired. I just need to relax”
“Yeah it’s nice to just relax sometimes.”

Rinse and repeat.