Stop telling black women what to do with their hair or skin!

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A woman’s body seems to be the one thing everyone wants to control. Country, religion or even gender is not a barrier, everyone wants to tell a woman what to do with her body and that include her fellow women.  No surprise there, even ‘gods’ seems obsessed with women, but really what is this growing trend amongst women who should know better, telling other women what to do with their hair and/or skin? Why are many black women focused on controlling other sisters’ bodies, hairs and skins? What is all this talk about black African women accusing other black sisters of not being African enough because of their choice of hair style or body cream?

Since the craze for Brazilian weaves, Chinese weaves and even human hair amongst black African women, with a large demand from Nigerian women, many African men and some women have come out to condemn this as a sign of inferiority complex. It is becoming mundane to come across yet another post from fellow women and some self-styled ‘Real Africans’, questioning the choice of black women who use chemicals on their hair or skin. [Read more...]

Rachel Jeantel is not on trial: Judging her accent is a show of your ignorance not hers.

What a sad society we live in with people valuing appearances more than content. Hypocrites who in their own actions and judgments are no less racist than Zimmerman who shot a black boy because he thought his black skin did not belong in his precious white neigbourhood. Now, those racists think Rachel Jeantel’s accent and mannerisms do not belong in their posh court.

Rachel Jeantel was herself in the courtroom when she bravely stood up to testify as a crucial witness in the court. Even though It was not a spotlight she wanted, it was not a scenario she hoped for, it was not even a publicity she embraced, yet she did her duty and stood up in that courtroom to ensure justice or at least the semblance of justice for a friend whose life was cut short by the bullet of someone who felt ‘threatened’ by his skin colour. Rachel Jeantel has every right to be herself in that courtroom. 171552081

And shame to all the self loathing blacks who says she gives a black woman a bad name. Her accent, her weight, her mannerisms, her skin or hair is not what is on trial; it is the murderer of her friend that is on trial.  You should be ashamed of yourself for being diverted by such trivial as her weight or accent which btw is none of your business.

Unfortunately some black people don’t get it too. The fact that she does not speak perfect English in a ‘polish’ accent does not make her a bad representation of Black American women. I have not watched her court testimony in full, but nothing, absolutely nothing justifies the terrible image many including some blacks are painting of her just because they think she exemplifies the stereotypical Black “hood rat”.

This 18 year old young woman should not be expected to suddenly transform into another person just because she is taking the witness stand to testify in the murder case of her 17 year old black friend Trayvon Martin, who was murdered by a racist. [Read more...]

I Am Reaching, Reaching For The Stars

reaching for the skiesI am reaching, reaching for the stars

Though I bear the brunt of the scars

I spread my wings for a flying spree

This cage I will break to set me free

Although the sky looks scary and vast

I will explore with bravery and a blast

So long my wings were clipped

Now I will fly even if I slipped

Bowed down by years of misery

Now tis time to show my mystery [Read more...]

SENATE PRESIDENT DAVID MARK IS OFFICIALLY AN IGNORAMUS AND A LEADER OF HYPOCRITES

It is said that followers get the leaders they deserve, so it is not surprising that Nigerians are led by hypocrites.

According to National Mirror: http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/no-going-back-on-anti-same-sex-bill-mark/

“No going back on anti-same sex bill –Mark”

“Senate President David Mark has said the decision of the National Assembly to ban same-sex marriage in the country was irreversible. Mark, according to a statement, said this at a dinner hosted in his honour by the Nigerian Community imark-612x300n Prague, Czech Republic, yesterday.”

‘The Senate president explained that the bill, which has been approved by both chambers of the National Assembly, would not in any way infringe on the rights of Nigerians.’

He said: “The law against same-sex marriage is an approval of the wishes of the generality of Nigerians who are desirous of living within our cultural bounds. “The law is not designed to infringe on the human rights of Nigerians in any way.

Hmm.. he probably does not consider Nigerian Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans as Nigerians or even Humans.

“Also, wherever you go in our country today, our people are completely in support of the National Assembly because the practice of same-sex, as you all know, is alien to us.”

I wonder if the famed orgies with his wives and mistresses are not alien to Africa. [Read more...]

My interview with SaharaTV on Nigeria’s ‘Jail the Gays’ bill and the hate comments

 My interview with SaharaTV on Nigeria’s ‘Jail The Gays’ bill.

Laughing and shaking my head at the homophobic, ignorant comments of Nigerians on this Sahara Reporters facebook post featuring my Interview with SaharaTV on the Nigeria’s Jail the Gays bill.

It is said that fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering and violence.

Already a few are calling for me to be stoned to death.

It really is easy to hate, it takes courage to Love. If only these ignoramuses conquer their fear by opening their mind to logic and love, Nigeria, nay, the world would be a better place for all.

Kindly sign the petition against the jail the gay bill

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How is it a democracy if you discriminate against your citizens because of their sexual orientation?

How is it a secular state if you quote your Skydaddy when enacting state laws and policies?

I did not fight for democracy to clear the way for a bunch of clueless ignoramuses to enact laws that violate my fundamental human rights.

Get educated, tame your ignorance, stop the hate.

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Chin Up And Weather The Storm!

You think you have it rough

Could it be as tough as the dough?

Beaten up and cuts into bits

Tossed into the oven heat

Yet comes out crispy and hot

Ready for the icing on top

With the paste we all have a favourite place

Cakes put a smile on many a bride’s face

Doughnuts and bread for everyone in plates

Path full of thorns but I wipe clean the slates

Like a rough diamond, now I come out trump

Chin up and weather the storm!

 

Yes I am a beautiful flower

But I have also been sour

For it is not always summer [Read more...]

Organising Sex Workers Within Mainstream Labour Movement

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The controversy of whether “sex work” can be defined and treated as real work or not is one that evokes a lot of emotion and sentiments. This is not surprising because the answer to this will determine whether or not this area of “Work” deserves to be acknowledged and given as much legal and social protection and recognition as any other type of work recognized under the auspice of labour laws.

It cannot be denied that “sex workers”, like them or hate them, provide a service. Since prostitution is commonly refersex-workers-rightsred to as the oldest profession, sex work is a service as old as humankind. With the advent of globalization, internet dating, chat rooms, cyber-sex etc, the world’s touted oldest profession has not been left behind in modernizing its trade and services to keep up with the ever changing technology; dynamism is indeed the name of the game. In today’s world, a sex worker is no longer just the woman in skimpy red dress and high heels, lurking at street corners in the middle of the night looking for a customer. Sex workers now include prostitutes, porn actors and actresses, chat room/telephone sex providers, escorts, gigolos etc.

However, like all work, especially in this era of neo–globalization and privatisation of anything that generate profits, prostitutes in many cases do not own their bodies anymore, many are not really in a position to negotiate the prices for their services. The big lords, hotel owners, club owners, chat room owners, internet warlords are now the real employer of sex workers’ labour. The money bags have the money to run the business, employ women and in a growing number of cases men too, to render sexual services, they act as the sub contractors, in fact, it is just another stage of pimping. [Read more...]

Free Amina Tyler NOW: It is her body, her choice, her right!

Few months ago, Amina Tyler, a Tunisian woman, posted two photos of herself topless on Facebook.Amina-Tyler

The first image showed Amina with the words “Fuck your morals” written across her chest.

The second image has the words “My body belongs to me and is not the source of anyone’s honor” written in Arabic.

Since that episode, she has been hounded by Islamist conservatives who felt she has violated their honour by posting nude pictures of herself.

Whose body, whose honour?

After months of reportedly going into hiding, the outspoken Tunisian feminist who sparked a trend of “topless jihad” has been found and arrested by Tunisian authorities earlier this week and may be charged for conducting “provocative acts.”

What part of “My body belongs to me” don’t these idiots understand? If a woman wants to post nude pictures of herself on the internet, it is her body, her choice, her right. It has nothing to do with your moronic honour. FREE AMINA TYLER NOW!

This is my body; I have the right to do whatever I want with it. If I am not harming you, the decisions have nothing to do with you.

I have the right to post nude pictures of myself online. I have the right to use my body as a canvass, tattoo it or pierce it.

 

This is my body, I have the right to birth control, to abortion, to have sex with consensual adults regardless of their gender. I do not have to put up with your sermonizing or attempts to legislate over my body. [Read more...]

Accents and the Tragedy of Self-Hate

I recently started Video blogging and with it came the barrage of opinionated comments on my looks, appearance and quite interestingly, my accent! YEMMY IN JAPAN

I have never been self conscious about my accent.  I started making guest appearances on National TV programs almost two decades ago as a young human rights activist and vocal feminist. I remember the first time I appeared on one of the ‘posh’ Women’s programs which at the time passed as a ‘feminist’ TV show, I was immediately approached after the show by the popular presenter who told me, “Yemisi, you were really brilliant on the show, it would be great if we could get you to lose the accent”. Well, it happened that the presenter also ran a ‘Finishing school’ for girls … hmm do not ask me why a “feminist’ TV show presenter had a “Finishing school for girls’’… well, this is Nigeria we are talking about, and feminism, like many assumed “imported” ideology comes with its colonial baggage!

Anyway, she was so impressed with myyemy ituc points but not so impressed with my accent that she offered me a free session in her ‘Finishing school’ to get rid of my accent. I remember asking her why I would want to be rid of my accent. I mean, I wasn’t self conscious about my accent, especially since Nigeria is a diverse country with many local dialects and accent is one of the ways you immediately identify where a person is from.  Well, the young me was told that getting rid of my accent would be great for my profile, I declined her ‘priceless’ offer and  insisted that  I’d rather keep my accent as it is an integral part of my identity.

That was almost two decades ago. I have since gone ahead to speak at many national and international events, sometimes with heads of states and diplomats present. I have made a few speeches at UN meetings, appeared on a live televised round table debate with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and some other world leaders, but I never for a minute felt self conscious about my accent, and well, my audience never really complained and they mostly seemed to appreciate what I had to say. Shows you should choose your audience well! [Read more...]

I AM A WOMAN AND I AM WEEPING!

I am a woman and I am weepingSDC11524

The tears won’t stop seeping

Like a river it keeps flowing

At my heart it tugs, nipping

My eyes are bleeding

My nose keeps running

They say I should slow it

But all they do is blow it

Teardrops just like crystals

Not mine alone but all sisters!

 

I am a woman and I am weeping

On my feet I keep thinking

The dreams I have to maintain

The tears I cannot curtail

From day to night I toil

In the fields I till the soil

Bent over with hands, this I can bear

Hoping my behind I won’t have to bare

For the children and the aged I have to care

The burdens sometimes leave me bare!

 

I am a woman and I am weeping

In the boardroom I am seething

They negotiate my seat

As I take in all the heat

It matters not that I have the brains

The body is what they want to drain

With my pen poised I stand on the stool

But they tell me brain is not the tool

As all they want is my body to drool

And for me to play the fool!

 

I am a woman and I am weeping

From the corners I am peeping

Paving the streets in my high heels

Hoping the deals I can now seal

My health and safety is at risk

But the children can’t eat sticks

In the boardroom, on the street

It matters not where I sit

My brain makes me an expert

But all they want is a Sexpert!

 Yemisi Ilesanmi speaking at the London 2010  July Pride

I am a woman and I am weeping

I fight the system but hope is fleeting

The streets I keep combing

While my heart keep sobbing

How long shall I be suppressed

Now they say I am depressed

I do not need a mental operation

What I hate is this oppression

You can keep your psychiatry

While I kick your patriarchy!

 BY © YEMISI ILESANMI

I am a Single Mother

In our patriarchal and pseudo-conservative societies, single mothers are often victims of moral judgments and societal pressures. We all must learn to respect the choice of the other and not seek to impose our lifestyle choice and doctrines on another, for only then can we truly be free!

This delightful poem is for all single mums out there! Happy Mothers’ Day!

 

I am a Single Motherfeline mum

I am a single mother

Proud like the other

I was a young mummy

Now wise and yummy

Yes I have a son

As bright as the sun

You say he needs a daddy

For him to be dandy

But I need no ring

To make me sing [Read more...]