#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

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Don’t Make Me a Liar

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I was by the well, both hands wrapped around the rope tied to the container inside the pool of water below when the sound of Korede Bello’s Godwin started filtering into my ears. Then it grew louder and louder. I recognized the car at once, I have returned home to find it parked in front of our apartment more than a couple of times but I  never saw the owner, I just know he comes for Keji.

People said Keji’s big gal status is thanks to her car owner boyfriend, so I had a picture of him in my mind, one that screams money. I sized him up as he stepped out, he had very dark lips that seem too heavy for him to hold apart long enough for a greeting to escape them, I hissed. If you put together the effect of those bloodshot eyes, multicolored skin and the overly muscular upper body, it’s easier to see him as a hardworking laborer.

The heavens finally hearkened to our cries that day, by wiping the sky free of clouds. So it was with a smile, the fulfilled smile of someone who finally got the laundry out of the way that I approached the clothesline. My smile froze on my face as I neared the line, Keji’s boyfriend was right there packing her clothes from the line and folding them up neatly.

C’mon!” I screamed in my head. “You can’t possibly be that loved up, or is the garri finally getting to my eyes. I’m always right, please, don’t make me a liar!”

I met him by the line and while opening his mouth was a chore still, he did make a greeting gesture with his face. I returned the gesture in kind. I walked back to my room trying to replay that moment he stepped out of his car, could I have missed something? For consolation my mind brought up Dike. Very tall Dike with biceps that are bigger than my thighs and a chest that fills out every shirt he owns. Dike who hates rap music and whose favorite musician in spite of all his machismo is Adele.

Keji’s palaver had slipped to the very back of my mind as I settled down, right hand fingers buried in a plate of eba and okra soup. But then I began to hear her scream from the corridor.
“Give me my phone; you’re not the one that bought it for me. At least you have packed everything; you even went to the line to pack the clothes I washed….”

Beware

Please,
Love by giving and taking.
While you’re at it,
Be wary of folks
Who will not lend a hand
When you want to cross a gutter
But will expect you to go on all fours
So they can ride on your back
Over a ground covered with thorns.

Birthday Musings: I got Tired

Honestly, I find it hard to believe that a year has flown by. Whoever came up with that phrase about time flying and not ticking like a clock is absolutely a genius.

I don’t have a mirror in my house but the last time I looked in the side mirror of a vehicle I boarded, I realized that not much has changed about the physical me in the past years. Save for some hair that fell off here and a little that sprouted there, I look the same way I looked seven years ago.

So, when a secondary school mate messaged me a couple of weeks back that I appeared to have changed much and he doubts that he’ll recognize me again, I laughed. I replied that he will indeed have no difficulty singling me out in a room full of a thousand men. Like everyone else, I will not be able to wear my secondary school outfits again but in my case it’s not because I have outgrown them but rather because they will be too big. Slim fitted clothes weren’t as prevalent back then.

I got Tired

Even though not much change that the eye can see has happened with me, I’m not the same person, I’ve evolved.

As a teenager I got questioning stares and actual questions a lot. People made fun of the way I walk, the way my hands can’t seem to stay in one place when I’m talking and of course my high-pitched voice. I remember I was both shocked and embarrassed when a classmate decided to imitate me on the small field outside of my classroom one afternoon. I was like, is that really how I walk and talk? Like really? To my classmate and other people like that, it was just a harmless joke but it was a big deal to me.

All those years, academics was my consolation. I psyched myself up with the fact my teasers were no match for me in the classroom and were probably just envious. However, their teasing got to me and i became this teenager for which the simplest things of life, the things nobody thinks about and takes for granted became a chore.

Every action became deliberate for me. I had to think about how shrill my voice sounded while striking everyday conversations and more than a couple of times I tried to speak with the deepest voice I could achieve by holding down my chin to my chest. I became obsessed with monitoring my steps while walking, trying to avoid the somewhat strutting pattern that comes naturally to me. Trust me, you do not want to know how demanding this was for me, it was both physically and emotionally exhausting.

Brief relief came my way when I realized that those people who make a big deal about this my supposed inadequacies were those who didn’t really know me at all. People who are indeed close to me don’t have this single story about me, so they rarely make a fuss about it; most of them are even blind to it. But it will take me years to finally come to myself because like you know, it is the approval of those who barely know us that we are often trying to break our necks to gain.

Today, I walk proudly the way that comes naturally to me and I care less about the pitch of my voice. It’s simply not worth it, nobody should have to think about their walking style unless of course they are walking the red carpet. Besides there are lots of profitable things to expend energy upon, why get wasted over such triviality.

I still find myself in one of those awful situations where in an attempt to be real, I’m tempted to start acting fake but I catch myself more quickly these days. I got tired of acting out every move, every action and every word. I got tired of trying to disprove the single story that strangers have about me, it’s not complete anyway.

Back to that mirror issue, the fact that there’s no mirror in my house right now is a solid testament that i have changed. One of the strongest vanities I indulged in while in the University is a daily dose of talcum powder masterfully spread over my face with the help of a mirror. So, if you’re still looking for evidence to decide whether I’ve changed or not, you have it.

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.