The Patriarchy Has Me Down

It is my 7th day in Kenya and today I am upset. I am once again surrounded by men, I feel like I am always either around small children or men.

We began our school visit by having a little meeting and one of the fellows I was with went on a long aside during a meeting about what he looks for in students he would sponsor. He talked about how he wants someone with big dreams that have already taken steps to achieving their dreams and have done all they can. Yet when he was talking instead of using the words like them or student he specifically said man every time and then said he “hopes I find one like that someday too”. In the moment I chuckled and I am mad at myself for that. I wish I had the words to say what I believe. After that we toured the school some and then had lunch. At lunch the head master made a comment on how Paul should not be helping with cooking lunch, and that it gives woman pride and joy to cook and take care of men. You cannot make statements like that. I do not want to deny that it does give some woman joy and may give them joy from time to time, but maybe not all the time. There should not be a cookie cutter mold for what a woman should do and be and feel. I have been hanging out with so many men I just need some woman. Most of the time we do not spend much time with the woman because they are cooking and cleaning and the men are the ones showing the visitors around.

In time I will be successful, bold, powerful, help girls dream big, help men be feminist to not conform to traditional masculinity. That men feel like they can be emotional that they value family and marriage, that they can follow what they want no matter what and for girls to be able to dream big and to do what they want as well. In the moment I will speak my mine more.

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