Posts tagged Women

The danger of the single story perspective of your life

The single story.
It was the holiday season. The sun had set and evening calm descended upon the neighbourhood. The campus boys in the compound behind weren’t playing obnoxiously loud music. There hadn’t been any football matches during the day either; football matches that often sent their ball flying into our compound which, depending on the mood of our dogs, were licked, deflated or ignored.
My mum and elder sister were the only ones in the house with me. We were at the dinning table, probably one of those days when mum had just gotten back and we were gisting while she ate her dinner. It was a slow evening so I hadn’t told Emil to switch on the generator yet.
The soft glow from the solar-powered lamp illuminated the white walls.
The subject of our conversation must’ve flowed around perspectives for I ran upstairs to fetch my mini-laptop.
I remember setting it down on the table and clicking on Chimamanda’s Ted talk – “The danger of the single story.” – for both of them to watch.
I remember the pride that soared in my heart as Chimamanda’s steady and knowing voice filled the silence in the house.
Chimamanda’s talk on the single story is acclaimed one of the most-widely watched ted talks on youtube with 3.7 million views.
What was she saying in that talk?
How do I summarise that brilliance into a few lines here? I’d rather quote excerpts and urge you to watch the video here:

“I come from a conventional middle-class Nigerian family, and so we had, as was the norm, live-in domestic help who would often come from nearby rural villages. So the year I turned eight, we got a new houseboy. His name was Fide. The only thing my mother told us about him was that his family was very poor. And when I didn’t finish my dinner, my mother would say, finish your food, don’t you know people like Fide’s family have nothing? So I felt enormous pity for Fide’s family.
But one Saturday, we went to his village to visit, and his mother showed us a beautifully patterned basket, made of dyed raffia, that his brother had made. I was startled. All I had heard about them was how poor they were, so that it had become impossible for me to see them as anything else but poor. Their poverty was my single story of them.”

She also tells of her previous single story opinion of Mexicans.
Also, her roommates disposition to her when she was 19 and new in the U.S.

If I had not grown up in Nigeria, and if all I knew about Africa were from popular images, then I too would think that Africa was a place of beautiful landscapes, beautiful animals and incomprehensible people fighting senseless wars, dying of poverty and AIDS, unable to speak for themselves, and waiting to be saved by a kind, white foreigner. I would see Africans in the same way that I as a child had seen Fide’s family

…all of these stories make me who I am but to insist on only these negative stories is to flatten my experience and overlook the many other stories that form me. The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but they are incomplete, they make one story become the only story”

Why am I bringing this up?
It’s easy for anyone on my campus fellowship who knows me as a spirit-filled sister to think all that there is to me is something fellowship-related once I’m through with classes. It’s easy for them to think I have no opinion on politics or assume I don’t read novels. assumptions.
It’s easy for someone to view the president of my fellowship as spiritkoko and not know that he likes football, a whole lot at that, or that the P.R.O of the fellowship has a sister who models in the U.S. I’m just painting a picture. We have lives, full lives. Those lives are often viewed through the lenses of sister and brother sososo, that’s okay once your lenses admit that generally, everyone is an human being and Jesus is happy about that.
Not the single story of ”I only see X in fellowship, and X is a student, therefore brother X is made up of classes and fellowship time”.
Single story. The danger of this single story is that brother X starts to live an insecure and people-conscious life.

“…The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but they are incomplete, they make one story become the only story”

Essentially, you must know everyone is a person and persons are subject to idiosyncrasies and a full world of ideas and passions. That your prayer secretary may be nursing the ambition to be the next governor of Oyo state(and it might not make him any less spiritual than if he’d been hoping to be the next missionary). Everyone is a person and Jesus loves them like that, Jesus planted a huge number of those passions in their hearts and Jesus is happy to see them bloom. Jesus doesn’t think they should only pray in fellowship. Jesus supports your vice-president going to the gym.
I believe when you accept it about yourself, you’re able to accept it about others too. Then you’ll stop feeling quite ashamed when someone you’ve mentored spiritually discovers you do something other than study and pray. I was self-conscious for a while until God helped me out of it.
Or worse still, you’ll stop feeling ashamed when someone knows a member of your family isn’t born again. I mean, what? Shame?
Dear friend, live, breathe, bloom, blossom. You’re more than one perspective. The single story is just that, – single.
Tell your own story. Be your own person. Own your story.

so that is how to create a single story, show a people as one thing, as only one thing over and over again, and that is what they become”.

What do you think? Care to share?

Freedom and light,
Debby

Ladies and Football; Analyzing the big deal (3)

While in secondary school, I had two close female friends who loved football and discussed it every chance they got.
I never knew a football match was scheduled to happen that day until they were discussing. Oh, well. It never did hurt me, so cool.
Except that my new roommate in a space of two weeks after meeting her asked asked me twice if I liked football. So the mind wheels got rolling on how and why women develop a liking for football. That is what this series is about + critiquing societal expectations.


Right now, I can name only a few football teams: Chelsea, Arsenal, Man U, Liverpool, Barcelona. Boy, am I brilliant or what?


I’m granting some female friends short interviews on this subject. I can’t fit them all into one post so its going to come in form of a series.
Happy reading.
The third in the series is here.


Odi
Odi is the reputable roommate who got this series started


1. When did you have your first football consciousness? Did you love it immediately?
I had my first football consciousness when I was 6 years while viewing the 2006 FIFA World Cup with my dad, uncles and my brother and I must say it was fascinating and I did love it immediately
2. Do you think having brothers or a father who loves football impacted your fancy?
I just personally seemed to love football and everything about it early on.
Having a brother made my interest in it grow as he made me play with him almost everyday during our childhood years because he usually had no one to play with. He happens to be the only male in four (4)children and the rest were not interested. We’d play different sports but majorly football. We even made it fun by holding tournaments and awarding each other medals.
3. How do you describe the reaction from both sexes when people discover you love football?
When I say I love football, the question that follows is “are you a tom boy? ” some even go as far as questioning me about my interest and football history so that they are able to ascertain if I’m joking or not. That is on a broad level though.
But individually, the girls are basically weirded out by it, some even disgusted, I remember the recent argument I had with some people and the reactions I got.
For the guys, it’s just expressions of shock that later turn to approving comments. Before now, I used to go to the male hostels just to watch a match I’m interested in. That is how much I appreciate the sport
4. I only watch it? Or I watch and play?
About four (4) years ago, the answer to both questions would have been affirmative but as of now I only watch and don’t play due to some circumstances. I have won various medals ranging from “man of the match” to even “the glove”. The most memorable moment for me was leading my house to clinche the gold medal during an interhouse sports event.
I play as a center forward which greats like Lionel Messi, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku also play. I hope to get back to it real soon.
5. On a wild trip(thought), do you mind marrying a guy who has no interest in football? Do you think it weird?
For me, I would marry a man that doesn’t watch football as long as he doesn’t despise it or even interferes with me watching it. Who knows, he might actually love it along the line.
Bonus question: what’s your football team?
I’m a Manchester United man for life.


I think I’ve mostly satisfied my curiosity with this third one. Wednesdays post is a twist to the concept.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Don’t forget to comment, and share with others.
As always,
Debby.

Ladies and football; Analyzing the big deal (2)

While in secondary school, I had two close female friends who loved football and discussed it every chance they got.
I never knew a football match was scheduled to happen that day until they were discussing. Oh, well. It never did hurt me, so cool.
Except that my new roommate in a space of two weeks after meeting her asked asked me twice if I liked football. So the mind wheels got rolling on how and why women develop a liking for football. That is what this series is about + critiquing societal expectations.


Right now, I can name only a few football teams: Chelsea, Arsenal, Man U, Liverpool, Barcelona. Boy, am I brilliant or what?


I’m granting some female friends short interviews on this subject. I can’t fit them all into one post so its going to come in form of a series.
Happy reading.
The second in the series is here.


Ife
Ife is the second of those friends from secondary school. Ife is one person I think would never get bored of watching football even as a grandmother.
She answers…



1. When did you have your first football consciousness? Did you love it immediately?


Well I had it in Jss1. I think the match I fully remember at first was against Barcelona for champions league final. I went to watch with my dad and my brother at Kwara hotel that day because there was no light at home. Well as you may guess, we lost. I was very pissed that day because we deserved that match and the winning goal was pure ojoro…but you know things just didn’t work our way. Yeah, I think that was my first footbal consciousness, and to answer you next aspect, yes, it was very exciting because we were voicing different opinions to the players eventhough they couldn’t hear us. lol.
2. Do you think having brothers or a father who loves football impacted your fancy?
Yes ooooo….it definetly did, because we were always discusing every pass, drible, foul, penalty kick, corner free kicks and so on. Every messed up game a player was playing and every attempt at a goal too, if it was a good shot…we would all yell and if it was a bad one, we would shout at the player.😂

3. How do you describe the reaction from both sexes when people discover you love football?
Its always a surprised look I get and an exciting smirk. The last champions league final that they played, when I was entering the viewing center gate.. those there were all looking at me like 😮😮😮😮 what is this girl looking for here? The guy who was beside me was just staring at me whenever I made some comments or I shouted at a player, he was like “…wow”. He said it always excites him when he meets a girl that loves ball.
Well, some girls get picked up from there😉 and the rest is history.

4. I only watch it? Or I watch and play?

I only watch now. I stopped playing when I was in primary 5. We were playing football in the quadrangle of the school. The ball went out for a throw in, the ball got to my feet and I played a shot. It hit the daughter of a teacher straight on the head and she fainted. I was terrified that day because I knew I was in trouble. She went to report me and I was scolded. I told myself that I won’t ever play again.
5. On a wild trip, do you mind marrying a guy who has no interest in football? Do you think it weird?
Ohhh hell no! What’s the fun in that? Imagine on a saturday as a woman, you sit down, tune the channel to a football station and your husband is like what are you doing? He wants to watch something else…as a football lover, certainly you would be pissed.
So to avoid all that drama…..don’t get involved with a guy who doesn’t love one of the things you’re passionate about because it can cause wahala!
Bonus Question: What’s your football team?
I was born into an Arsenal loving family, so I automatically bcame an Arsenal fan…but I still love some other clubs like Real madrid, Barcelona, Bayern munich, Psg . I just dabble around some English clubs if they play well. over all, I’m an Arsenal fan to the core!


Aww, the primary 5 incidence.
Did you guys also notice Ife has turned to a marriage counsellor over football? She says to avoid wahala. 😀


You guys know the drill.
Tell me, what do you think? Ladies, do you fancy football or you have teams just for the sake of being able to make contributions?
Guys, are you indifferent to football? Or you’re saying “please please please!, what’s the meaning of indifference?
Final instalment in the series comes up on Saturday then something exciting the following Wednesday!
So if you aren’t already, subscribe by email below so you’re always notified of new posts.

Exposition: What is Impostor Syndrome? 


I’ve wanted to write this post since the inspiration first came. I once saw a person write “I am aware” in a space meant for complimenting yourself. I like that. I envy it; to be aware, informed, enlightened.
I learnt of the term Impostor Syndrome(IS) not so long ago.
It is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.
It’s common among high achievers. They believe their success isn’t well deserved.
I first got to learn of it when Mariam Olafuyi had an instalive session on Instagram sometime last year. Ever since then, I noticed it easily in books I read, I saw it on the internet. Simply put, I became conscious of it and discovered its been a long standing discovery.
It’s very easy to think of it as Low Self Esteem (LSE) but it isn’t. Someone asked a question on that instalive session on whether any difference existed between IS and LSE. She responded by saying they’re different. I’m paraphrasing her answer:

“It isn’t the same. I know I’m awesome. I think I’m pretty cool. I don’t doubt that. The issue is when opportunities come, I don’t think I’m best suited for them.”

Both concepts can rightly be said to be distant family relations, so far as you admit that they are different. IS doubts results produced, LSE doubts the worth of the person.
IS is also referred to as Impostor phenomenon or Fraud syndrome. One easy way to diagnose it is that while a part of you tells you that this explains that feeling you often have, another part tells you ‘No, you’re simply famzing the category, reading too much meaning into your inabilities, you probably just have poor output’.
The condition
The condition “Impostor syndrome” was first identified in the late 1970s by Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes. Their research showed that many high-achieving women tended to believe they were not intelligent and that they were over-evaluated by others.
IS is not rare, according to a study in the International Journal of Behavioral Science, it is estimated to occur to 70% of people from all walks of life, both men and women experience the impostor syndrome at some point in their careers.
Another study revealed almost 75% of surveyed students at Harvard Business School also felt like they were admitted due to some failure of the admission process.
Technology is growing so fast that most of us are learning something new on almost every project we work on. And that can make you feel like you don’t have the expertise you should have to rightfully be in that position.
I saw two Ted talks that I think shed more light on this concept. The speakers didn’t for once mention Impostor Syndrome but it was, in my opinion, close to their areas of concentration.
This by Sheryl Sandberg and This by Reshma Saujani.
Impostor syndrome is more common in women. Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In said:

“Men attribute their success to themselves while women attribute it to other external factors.
If you asked men why they did a good job, they’d say ‘I’m awesome, why do you bother asking?’ If you asked women, they’d say someone helped them; or they got lucky; or they did a good job…”

Another fact is that men are more likely to apply for a job in which they meet 60% of the requirements, while women will most likely not apply unless they meet 100% of the requirements.
This isn’t to fault the male folk in any sense, its simply to highlight the extent to which women lean back and why Impostor syndrome is consequently, more common in women.
Teaching women bravery instead of perfection, will go a long way in alienating IS because then you are taught to try.
My theory is that IS has gotten enough flesh to feast on because of our approach to a failed attempt. We all think ill of an attempt which didn’t turn out well. We should rather, think well of the courage that fuelled that attempt in the first place.
When that is accomplished, it goes to say when we do in fact succeed, it would not be sacrificed on the altar of “it just happened“, “I got help“, “ I was lucky“. It didn’t just happen. You did well. You succeeded. Believe it, own it.
Some of the tips to overcoming Impostor Syndrome include:

  • Keeping a file/folder of all the compliments you recieve on the work you do. You can always consult it to forge ahead on cloudy days.
  • Admitting that its impostor syndrome that’s preventing you from trying something new, from accepting your good work. Say it. Say it and it immediately becomes less of a threat.

“I own my own successes. I wear them as a badge. I have privileges but I’ve been able to leverage them. I’ve not done much but what I have done is substantial. I celebrate my work.”

There are a million other things you can learn about impostor syndrome and how to overcome it. A few helpful links: one and two. Research some more, the internet is (well, can be) your friend. Lol.

You may be immune to this, but you have a friend who isn’t. Share this post with them and stay enlightened.
I really hope this has been of help. If it has, do share. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comment box.
Peace and Light,
Debby.