Do not tell me to shut up

Of all the insults in the world, one that gets me easily irritated is “shut up” or “keep quiet” especially in the middle of an argument or when I’m trying to proof a point. You just do not tell me to keep shut or keep quiet.

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You do not tell me that I’m taking things personal too! Of course, it’s personal to me; if it’s not, I’d have kept quiet and watch things unfold. Why would I form an opinion about something and even set up a defense of the said opinion if the subject matter wasn’t important to me?  I’m sorry but i don’t do half-hearted causes, I’m either in or out and  when I’m in, I’m in for real with boxing gloves, helmets and shield.  

‘Shut up’ ranks high on my insult list because I am opinionated.  I like to think that a lot of thought and careful considerations have gone into an opinion that I’ve formed on something, so like a mother hen i set out to fiercely defend my stand when such issues come up. I rarely argue about things I can’t elaborately defend. Being opinionated means I am rigid and it is difficult to change my opinion about something but certainly not impossible, change is the only constant thing after all.

One thing that will however not get you close to changing my mind is telling me to keep shut. I consider it an intellectual insult. I see it as though you’re implying that my carefully strung together words and catch phrases have zero intellectual depth, they make absolutely no difference and so, I can as well keep quiet because I’m making a meaningless or intellectually unappealing sound that might as well be coming from a goat or a cow.  Of course, I know I’m making sense (proud much uhn) and I will not allow you talk me down or use me to up your mediocre self-esteem, I’ll just be irritated and look the other way or call you out depending on who you are.

Now, this is not to say that I’m always right or I cannot be wrong. Anybody can be wrong and one thing I consider to be the greatest character trait for a millennial (isn’t that the cool term they call us now?) to have is the ability to admit that you can be wrong (obviously, I’m a work in progress). The truth however is that, when people tell you to shut up or keep quiet in the middle of an argument or when they annoyingly tell you it’s okay, relax or you’re taking it personal, they actually mean well and are trying to calm you down but this never works (at least not for me, maybe I love to rant too much). I’ll appreciate this kind of admonition later after the argument because then I can rationally listen to you and see clearly how and where a little calm could have changed things up. 

There is this thing about me when I’m arguing or should I say when I’m talking, I’m a passionate arguer/talker. A lot of passion and energy go into my arguments; my hands shoot up and they start making rhythmical movements, my eyes can either be fixed or look at you in a patronizing or fiercely adamant way. Communication, I’ve been told, goes beyond words, so my affectations, mannerisms and words all come together to pass my message of disagreement with you along.

For some time now, I have found myself in the midst of total strangers and like it’s always the case when you meet new people, especially when you have to spend five months with them, everyone is trying to figure out the person next to them. Now, one of the most difficult tasks in the world is trying to figure out or to put it more succinctly, trying to make a perfect diagnosis of someone’s character or personality (even married couples are often shocked by their spouses). The fact that the average human being is a fantastic actor makes this task even more difficult because then you can have people consciously projecting a preferred personality type. THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY A BAD THING! 

I am just as guilty of manipulating people’s impression of me by carefully choosing my actions and all but then I cannot consciously pick my words, actions and expressions every time, or can I? I probably need to take more acting classes. 

Leave the Husband Snatcher alone, she does not know you from Adam

DISCLAIMER: This is not entirely an original idea; it was sparked by tidbits from someone’s rants on a blog I read earlier today. What i have done is to turn the spark into flames (for my mind). Unfortunately, I cannot link to the blog because of some very personal issues

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Many of you probably saw the picture above when it made the rounds on social media a while ago. I presume the picture was shared on social media by a scorned wife. Cheating is one of the age-long challenges that marriages and relationships face but it is annoying to see how the narrative plays out when a spouse cheats and how the blames are apportioned.

If the cheating partner is a man, a woman promptly tagged a husband snatcher becomes the sacrificial lamb. The cheated wife takes her frustration out on the mistress because well, the mistress should have closed her legs. But in a case where the cheating partner is the wife, you would expect that a wife snatcher should rightly take the heat for the offence of a cheating wife, no? However, there is no such thing like a wife snatcher, when a woman cheats she gets blamed for it. It is quite simple enough, she is an ungrateful whore. Isn’t it quite unbelievable huh, women’s inhumanity to their fellow women. 

You see, we live in a society where women are perceived to be inherently guilty. The narrative of infidelity in relationships is a clear proof of this because it does not matter who the cheating spouse is, a woman somewhere will always be blamed.

The portrayal of men like lambs being led to the slaughter of infidelity but cannot utter a word in the face of their oppressive and manipulative mistresses is a tad annoying because we all know quite well that men are generally the initiators of sexual relationships. So, unless you have proof that your husband was dragged, tied, and probably drugged to have sex with someone else, you should never call another woman a husband snatcher. Your husband’s two eyes were widely opened, he knew what he was doing and I bet you he enjoyed every bit of it. I know you have been socialized to always find a way of escape for men, to always try not to hurt their feelings, your whole life has been about making men feel good about themselves even if means you will ridicule yourself or another woman but stop it right now! Stop trying so hard to cater to the fragile egos of men, stop trying to find an excuse for him, stop trying to babysit him, didn’t he call himself a man?

It’s quite simple if you take time to go over it. You gave your trust to someone and pledged your allegiance to him, this person also promised to be your one and only till death do your part. This someone now violated your trust, dishonored his pledge to you and he decided that he was going to scatter abroad what is supposed to be exclusively yours. Yet here you are trying to exonerate him. He is the one you have a relationship and a commitment with; the husband snatcher does not know you from Adam, why do you expect so much from her while expecting very little from your beloved husband? Haba! Let’s talk where the real matter dey abeg. 

I know the morality of the mistress comes into question and we can say that a lady should not date a married man in the first place. But the thing is, these men ehn, they can be very deceitful, now add persuasive to that. They will say all manner of things just to get down with a lady. They can claim to be separated from their wife, divorced and some will even claim to be single and they can actually act for Africa. So, a lady may indeed start believing the tale and even be dreaming of getting married to an already hitched man.

And men, you no dey try o, most of you will just keep quiet and watch your mistress take all the heat for an action you both committed together, especially when it is you who have betrayed a trust. Turn a new leaf, abeg. Ermm, whats that’s phrase again sef, yes, manning up, I believe to man up is to take responsibility for your actions. Stop watching from the sidelines and allow your mistress, a woman you probably deceived, take all the blame and embarrassment. Have the guts to tell your wife to blame you more than your mistress. It might even be a sweet way of winning her trust back. Let’s man up abeg.

#MaleCodeViolation: A Man Should Never Laugh Like That

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How can you not like this gorgeous smile? The infectiousness is undeniable and it appears to be coming from a sincere heart.

But for reasons which I guess has something to do with some unwritten gender code of conduct that was agreed on several centuries before the birth of Jesus, the Gender Police have spoken and the verdict is crystal clear; a man should never smile like this.

No, haha, bros even if you happy pass happy, thou shall not smile in this way. There’s just way too much teeth, so it’s a no! no!!

The very first thing in that age-old code of conduct is that a man should be hesitant, be careful. A man shouldn’t give away too much of what is going on with him and it is clear that this smile has given way too much.

So, how do you achieve the perfect manly smile that won’t leave you being looked upon as an over-excited school girl? (yes, it’s girls and women that are allowed to be overly excited, a real man should have a firm grip on all things).

1. Try as much as possible to keep your teeth tucked in. Do not show a single tooth when you smile.

2. Stand firm, stay in one position, don’t be vibrating like someone overcome by a wave of orgasm.

If you can follow these two instructions, then you will be smiling like a real man who’s got everything under control.

But on another note you would have succeeded in keeping yourself under the control of the narrow minded Gender Police, who will not stop badgering you until you become this totally fake entity that even you cannot recognize.

Image credit :

Nairaland

Now That Good (Usain Bolt ) Has Defeated Evil (Justin Gatlin ), Can The Shaming Stop ?

Leave Justin gatlin alone

The men’s 100m race attracted so much attention in the buildup to the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Beijing.  It was dubbed the race between good and evil, the defining 10 seconds for a sport that is perceived to be in dire need of redemption. The integrity of the sport was laid on the shoulder of Usain Bolt, the immaculate athlete and as it turned out; his 6.5 feet frame handled the weight well. He got the win and everything is right again in the world of athletics or so it seems.

I’m a huge fan of Bolt and I’m very glad he won because of a truth, his victory is significant for the sport. Athletics needed Usain Bolt to come through. But be that as it may, I feel enormous pity for Justin Gatlin.

The humiliation and unending evil shaming Justin had to endure in the buildup and even during the Championships is very distressing. Here’s a guy who all he did for the past two years was show up on the tracks winning race after race and setting records here and there. Gatlin practically saved the sport from the obscurity it was headed for in the wake of Bolt’s nagging injuries which rendered him a no show but see what he got in return.

Doping is very bad and unacceptable and we all know Justin was punished for it. A four-year ban at the time he was supposed to peak naturally is a just enough punishment I dare to say; if not he will be not allowed on the track by the Athletics Federation.

I condemn doping absolutely, but until the IAAF comes up with the strictest sanction and that would mean an outright life ban for any athlete caught doping, I think it will be unfair to continue treating one-time offenders like dung.

To err is human, we all commit errors and make mistakes on a daily basis but we move on, don’t we? Nobody should be defined forever by a single mistake they make. How would you feel if every time you show up in a gathering, everybody keeps bringing up your past failure and makes it a matter arising? Surely, you have committed at least a single error in the past, haven’t you?

I am not making a case for cheating here. All I’m saying is that nobody deserves to be ridiculed and disrespected because of their past, certainly not a repentant athlete who has raced clean for more than a couple years and is probably more tested than any of his counterparts out there.

Just for your information, aside Gatlin, two other sprinters in that 100m final lineup at the world Championships are one-time drug offenders too; Asafa Powell, Bolt’s countryman and Tyson Gay. But somehow, Gatlin has been singled out to bear the brunt for all one-time drug offenders perhaps because he was on a 28-race winning streak. I reckon him being unbelievably good raises both suspicion and outrage. 

I condemn the shaming of Justin Gatlin by the media, an error, a mistake; a misdeed should not become the single and absolutely not the definitive story of anybody.

We are humans, we are capable of change, we bounce back and that is also worthy of celebration. However, if you cannot celebrate positive change in an individual, don’t go ahead hating and shaming them at every opportunity you get, trust me, it is hard enough already for them as it is. 

To Snap or not to Snap: What has Self-esteem got to do with it?

I am one of those people who are not crazy about making memories in the form of gigabytes of pictures. In this age of selfie sticks and all, some folks can’t just understand why you don’t want to smile for the camera. They are like;

“Is your phone camera not good enough?”

By the way, the pixel capacity that a smartphone’s camera, both front and rear can boast of, is one of the key criteria for choosing a phone to buy around here. Why buy a phone you won’t be able to take those precious shower, kitchen, toilet, express-road selfies with. 

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      Credit: digitalinformationworld.com

I’m friends with one of such people and we met recently. When he went through my phone and found it somewhat deficient in quantities of pictures, and I told him I wasn’t just the snapping type, he had just one thing to say. “You have self-esteem issues”.

Why else would I be unwilling to document my everyday life and looks in hundreds of pictures if not that I’m insecure about myself, right?

I can easily make up cases for both sides of the argument.

If I’m to defend myself before my friend, I’ll say it’s the people who snap pictures at every opportunity they get that have esteem issues. Considering the fact that most of their pictures end up online, shared via their social media handles, my argument will fly. Yes, their obsession with seeking external validation will make it fly, isn’t that what everyone that post pictures upon pictures on the Internet seek?

That line of argument will mean that I and others who are ‘strong’ enough not to give a damn about what the world thinks of our looks and won’t be cut in the act of splashing our pictures all over your timeline till you have no choice but to click the like button or post the “awesome” remark should have the most solid self-esteem.

But then my selfie diva friend can counter by saying I am just afraid of the remarks that I might get. That I have the most fragile self-esteem and that I’m shying away from exposure to guard it from falling apart because it will actually take the mildest negative remark to break it in pieces. 

And then the argument can go on and on. 

Left to me, I don’t see why we should be trying so hard to link a simple act of snapping or not snapping pictures to seemingly serious stuffs like self-esteem. I’m not a Psychologist, so that means you will have to forgive me. I know a lot of things contribute to the esteem thingy and there can be different indicators but how about we just pass this off. 

Can we just see snapping or not snapping as a completely neutral indulgence that people can be allowed? 

One thing this type of argument does is to stereotype people, cram them all together in one tiny box and that’s not cool. 

Do you think self-esteem’s got a serious angle to why people Snap or not snap pictures? I’m eager to hear your thoughts in the comment box.