PPK Tuesdays: 1, 2, Step – There’s the Stereotype

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Your weekly dose of PPK Tuesdays, a day late though! *hides*!

Okay, so maybe I was listening to Ciara’s 1, 2, Step when I started writing this. But truth is, stereotyping is so easy. As easy as 1, 2, 3… Especially when there’s facts to back it up.

So anyway, I had a conversation with my mum this morning. Something along the lines of a conversation she might or might not have had 30+ years when she might or might not have contemplated marrying a white boy. Only this time around, it was about a Kikuyu boy who might or might not have been buzzing around my sick bed.

“Ríu-rí, arúme agíkúyú ní-úí ní ta matakoragwo mena bata na mútumia wona ní-aingíra nyúmba?”(Something to the effect that Kikuyu men only really value and cherish a woman during the chase, but once she is a wife, and mother, the romance is gone.)

I laughed, and told her, “You know, even during the chase a Kikuyu, Embu or Meru man still does not value his woman. Otherwise, they’d keep promises, arrive at dates on time, and treat their women kind.”

“So why do you girls still marry men who treat you like that?” Mum demanded to know.

“Oh, I don’t know, mum.” I have definitely had my share of ‘not-so-good’ men. And true, the worst have been Kikuyu, Embu or Meru. But I really don’t think it’s all about the men. In the same breath I hope there’s a good man out there who just happens to be a Kikuyu, Embu or Meru man. And I think that there might be some men just as bad as the stereotype who are neither Kikuyu, nor Embu, nor Meru. God, I hope I am right to hope that that is the case!

My point is that as easy as it is to drop all the men into one basket, it’s also about how a girl views herself, how much value she tags herself with. A man will definitely treat you only as bad as you allow him to treat you.

If from the beginning you have shown him that you will let him break promises, keep you waiting, stand you up, talk to you abusively, push you, hit you… then that’s how he will treat you always. Don’t expect him to change.

On the other hand, if you hold yourself up with dignity (which does not at all mean that you should be stuck-up no fun bitch), then your man will treat you with dignity. If you demand that he keeps time, keeps promises, and you do so yourself, he’ll know the game plan. And if he deviates blatantly from the code of respect, you should value yourself enough to point it out and walk away sooner rather than later when there is already too much at stake.

So I guess the end of the conversation with my mum dropped the ball at the girl’s court. How do you want to be treated? Because he will live up to the Stereotype if you let him.

That said, here’s a recap of last week’s Ezine:

Every Word is still at Part One. We apologise for the delay.
Social Media Monitoring – Business & Internet with Marvin Tumbo
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen – Reading Room with Gideon Chumo
Sharon’s Story – Chronic City with Nyambura Kiarie
Smile – Poetry with @IvoryCherub

While we Live, Let us Live – Society & Identity with @Sheblossoms
The Miscarriage – Paper Mache with @Soul_fool

So, here’s to a great, creative, blessed week!

*Over & Out*

PPK Tuesdays: Stalker Alert!

I have a stalker. Yup, I do. I used to think stalkers were something that only the rich and famous could suffer from. And to be absolutely honest, I was not very sure why the rich and famous made such a big deal about it. Until I got my very own special stalker.

Mask2.jpg

This Internet. And the mobile telephony. I tell you, technology has brought a whole new level to trouble.

See my work for a publishing house places me at the forefront of all contact between the public online and the company. I deal with inquiry emails, submission emails, angry emails, happy emails, weird emails; and I have to respond to all with professional courtesy and polite patience. PR, you see.

I also handle said company’s social media content. So I am on FacebookTwitter, wherever else as a brand advocate. And this brings me in touch, well virtual online touch, with lots of people, some not so nice people, and a whole lot of crazy ‘should-be-locked-up-and-key-thrown-away’ people.

I am a writer, to be more precise a blogger. That separate from my job. This compounds the privacy issue. For a long while, I have tried to keep my personal life very very private. I don’t even let people know where I live. I know, crazy right? Dude, you are a blogger, writer, your job is to let people know what you think and where you’ve been. Still, I try really hard to separate my writing/blogging persona from the real me, so I can protect my privacy to a certain degree.

But apparently, I have not been able to protect my privacy too well. So this dude decided to change our relationship from the professional editor and writer status, to god-knows-what. And to make things really bad, he has my phone number, email, facebook, twitter…

At first, he would just send me text messages at odd times. Then he went through the call-me-for-no-apparent-reason-at-really-bad-times-of-the-day. Then he’d send me weird emails, like we were absolute ‘best friends forever’.

I got to tell you there’s a whole wide chasm between friendly and stalking friendly. See, you meet someone, online or live-live, and you like them, you don’t get miffed if they call you.  But there’s common courtesy even then. You don’t call people after work hours unless they are friends. You don’t call people after 9pm unless they are family and family friendly. You don’t call people who are not your friends to find out where they are going for the weekend and with whom!

So I stopped taking the calls. He started texting me. Same same. After a while, I blocked his number.

He switched to Facebook & Twitter, and I blocked him there as well. So now, he has switched to using my job to get at me.

One of my weekly tasks is to write and send out the Writers’ Blog. As you may know the Writers’ Blog is fed by reader content. So guess what’s happening now. Dude is now writing stories that feature me as the protagonist, or antagonist.

A while back, he raped and killed a character named after me. Now, he is romancing a character named after me.

It occurs to me that this man is a likeable fellow, seeing that he has friends, some whom even I know. I don’t like him, and I have never met him!

It also occurs to me that this man is probably usually a decent rational man. So what the hell is he doing on crazy lane?! Does he even know that he crossed over?

So I decided to spend a few minutes looking up the different types of stalkers. Here’s what I came up with:

The Erotomaniac: This kind of stalker believes that he is in love with you. To show his keen interest, he keeps calling you, dropping by, writing e-mails, doing unsolicited errands “on your behalf”, talking to your friends, co-workers, and family, and, in general, making himself available at all times. The erotomaniac feels free to make for you legal, financial, and emotional decisions and to commit you without your express consent or even knowledge. The erotomaniac intrudes on your privacy, does not respect your express wishes and personal boundaries and ignores your emotions, needs, and preferences. To him – or her – “love” means enmeshment and clinging coupled with an overpowering separation anxiety (fear of being abandoned). He or she may even force himself (or herself) upon you sexually.

 

The Narcissist: Feels entitled to your time, attention, admiration, and resources. Interprets every rejection as an act of aggression which leads to a narcissistic injury.  Reacts with sustained rage and vindictiveness. Can turn violent because he feels omnipotent and immune to the consequences of his actions.

The Psychopath (Antisocial): Psychopaths regard other people as objects to be manipulated and instruments of gratification and utility. They have no discernible conscience, are devoid of empathy and find it difficult to perceive other people’s nonverbal cues, needs, emotions, and preferences. Consequently, the psychopath rejects other people’s rights and his commensurate obligations. He is impulsive, reckless, irresponsible and unable to postpone gratification. He often rationalises his behaviour showing an utter absence of remorse for hurting or defrauding others.

The psychopath fails to comply with social norms. Hence the criminal acts, the deceitfulness and identity theft, the use of aliases, the constant lying, and the conning of even his nearest and dearest for gain or pleasure. Many psychopaths are outright bullies.

There’s different ways to deal with stalkers. You can find a few on this site which I found to be very informative. But I think the important issue here is: Do your actions make you fall in any of the above categories?

Just so you know, stalking is a crime, stalkers are criminals.

In this New Age Media era, what is the acceptable code of conduct on the email, phone or social media?

And now to last week’s ezine:

Every Word Part One – Creekside Princess Episode 4

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – @Chiira in the Office

The Weave : Wonder or Worry – Beautiful Inside Out with Imani Opar

This is Where I am – Society & Identity With Brenda Angwenyi

20th March 1970 – The IvoryPunk’s Twilight Zone

Nothing to Write Home About – Paper Mache with @Soul_Fool

We hope that you will have a wonderful and creative week!

The Princess Project (K) Team.

 

PPK Tuesdays: I Am A Mongrel

I am a Mongrel written by @Sheblossoms

I realized last week that there is a statute of limitation on honesty, open-mindedness, tolerance, justice and human dignity. Those qualities that should be the definition of humanity, in Kenyan society they are only valid as long as they are relevant to the one calling them out. Well, to be fair it is probably not a Kenyan thing, most likely a human thing. Oxymoron, no?

Honesty, is replaced with hypocritical deception as soon as one reaches one of those milestones that mark adulthood in Kenya. I had a baby, I’ll hide behind religion and perpetrate hateful schemes in the name of faith. Never mind that the tenets of the same religion stand by love, joy, peace, kindness…

When I say honesty, I don’t mean telling the truth whichever way I want without regard for other people’s dignity, feelings or the consequences that may result from telling it. When I say honesty, I mean a sincere understanding of one’s own shortcomings and the acceptance that everyone else in spite of their shortcomings does have a right to life and dignity.

Open-mindedness, has been replaced with evil, hateful, close minded phobia of anything that is new or different, even if it is beneficial to the general society. Sure, as long as one is young you will hear speak of the newest gadget, technology, way of doing things. But then hit a certain age and its ‘vijana wa siku hizi.’ I know you probably want me to stop and speak of the sexually different so you can lynch me. Go ahead, do so, but remember by our sincere kindness and honest love we teach the truth. Otherwise, why do think Jesus Christ let the ‘sex worker’ wash his feet?

By the way, by open mindedness, I do not refer to the unprincipled acceptance of everything that passes under the sun. Rather, I am speaking of the possibility for life to be lived in different ways, and of the possibility for each one to be a vessel of good and excellence in society with whatever it is that we have been blessed with.

Tolerance: I am a woman, who having been raised in a family where the majority was male sometimes tend to think like a man. No, I don’t like Soccer. Rugby fascinates me. All those big men.. ah! My mother is still not convinced that I am not gender confused. No, I’m a girl, although a lot has been said about Fujoshi. I love teddy bears and hate flowers. Hardly a butterfly, am I? I couldn’t care a bit what some celeb did or what gossip has been put up on some blog. I would be at a loss if you asked me what tribe I was. My maternal uncles say I should just identify myself by the language I speak, but they along with my mother speak Kikuyu and Maasai. My father speaks Embu, German, Pokomo and Italian. My step-dad whom I absolutely adore speaks Embu, Luo and French. I speak Swahili, Giriama, English, and really good Kikuyu. All I know for sure is that I am a citizen of Kenya.  I like English and Spanish films but abhore soap operas, Spanish, Mexican or English. I am a fob for American Police Dramas, and a hardcore Marvelite.  I am crazy about african urban fiction, if it is written by Mwangi Ichungwa and Ian Arunga. I love rock español[I have a huge crush on Juanes], bachata, some castillano ballados, indie rock, coffeehouse rock, country rock and I have a thing for Tchaikovsky.

A mongrel, that’s what I am. So I find it hard to be mean to someone just because they are something I am not. I have my own principles. I trust you to have yours. And I REFUSE to hold you to mine. I say this in the same breath I will call for your justice, and mine. I will fight for your dignity, even if you might not fight for mine. And in this, will you refuse to accept my difference?

God forbid, that I should grow older, get married, have a baby… and use that as an excuse to be something I am not. Heaven forbid, that I should ever uphold my well being by trampling on another’s soul.

And just a little reminder on last week’s ezine.

Episode 3 of the Creekside Princess is Coming up, so be sure to get done reading Episode 2:

Hey Soul Sister 1

Hey Soul Sister 2

Hey Soul Sister 3

Then on the Mag, there was:

1. Digitization of Art with Chiira Maina

2. A Review of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen with Gideon Chumo

3. Bye Bleach – Beautiful Inside Out with Imani Opar

4. February Diva – Sitawa Wafula an Interview with Njeri Athena

5. Roses are Red.. So is Blood on the Punk’s Twilight Zone

6. Susan’s Life – Society with Brenda Angwenyi

7. Of Words Written – Paper Mache with @sheblossoms

Keep an eye on this week’s articles, two a day, plus the third episode of Creekside Princess. Unless of course you don’t want to find out how Gabrielle gets out of the clutches of a Serial Killer.

Have a grand week!

PPK Tuesdays: Creekside Princess Season Finale

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Here is Today’s dose of “Creekside Princess” by The Princess Project K.

I got to spend some time last week with someone that I think I do not appreciate as much as I should. He is the kind of man who understands me, perhaps better than I give him credit for. He knows when I need to be on my own and when I need him standing right beside me. He gives room for my fierce independence, but the times that I have crumbled, I look up to see him right there, even during the times when I would rather he was not.

The problem is, the kind of person I am right now, hasn’t been able to give as much as I have taken.

I didn’t realise this. I think that I have allowed the culture I live in to influence my way of thinking. We have become quite the commercial culture, haven’t we? Wealth, finances, and money – they have become a very large factor in the lives we live. It’s only understandable when more than 50% of a population lives below the poverty line. But how much should that factor in the relationships we have?

When you equate the value of life and love to the value of money or wealth available or exchanged; you dismiss the value of a phone call from a loved one checking on how you are doing because he did not Mpesa the value of his love, you dismiss the time your mother spent on that bad road to come and visit you because maybe she didn’t bring a basket full of stuff from home, you ignore that kind and tender touch, you don’t value that long hug, you forget how to love back.

We made a deal, my friend and I, long ago when we were just soccer buddies. If we went out for Icecream at Yul’s, he’d pay, or I’d pay, or we’d both pay whatever worked at the time. But I’d never ask him for his money, and he’d never ask me for my money. Weird deal, but it worked. I recognise my responsibility to support myself, and he respects my wish to do so.

In that respect, I grew up. Well, sort of. I run to mummy and daddy when I am in trouble. Mummy never complains. Daddy indulges me a little too much.

The problem I think is that that definition of our relationship my friend and I made, might have sort of warped the rest of my thinking. My independence and his respect for it seem to justify it when he gives his love and time, and I don’t feel obligated to give back as much time and love.

This morning my mother said, “When you only take, you forget to give. The problem is not that you hurt the other person. The problem is that when you don’t give, you forget who you are.”

It’s one of those saying that I take weeks thinking over before I can understand it. But I have a feeling that she is right. Don’t you?

So, back to The Princess Project (K). We moved houses this week. You can now find us at www.princessprojectkenya.com.

This week we brought you the last part of Reunion, which by the way is also the last part of the Creekside Princess Season 2 Finale – Reunion 2

“Your boyfriend?”

What the hell?! You meet a guy in a supermarket the next day he is at your apartment!

“What? No. He’s just my roommate.”

“Ah.” That obviously made perfect sense to him, but it sure did not explain why in the world he was here. “Your T-shirt is inside out.”

Gaby blinked, glanced down. Her I am my own Bitch T-shirt was indeed inside out. She shrugged, “It’s fine.”

Read The Season Finale

We also brought you the last part of Poetry Book Camp. Girl! Did the Ivory Punk get tough on us! See her ‘so long’ note.

We will be taking a very short break, but we will be here to keep you company through December.

The next season of the Creekside Princess will be about growing beyond challenges and giving back to society by being the best of what you are. It’s time for Gabrielle to take charge of her life and stop drifting from trouble to tragedy. We should give her a chance to do that, don’t you think?

Are you intrigued by Sam, the Blackberry Princess, and Kombo, the Bourbon King? They are going to become regular features in Season 3. But please do write in and tell us which character you would like to see more of. Just post the name of your favorite Character on our Facebook Fan Page.

We are also looking for book reviews, so if there is a book that has entertained you, enlightened you or been a source of motivation and courage for you, please tell us all about it. Send your book review tojmaruru@princessprojectkenya.com.

You can also send in poetry, nominate a queen in your life for a Diva Interview with the Ivory Punk, or send us your personal trial and strength story.

If you work in organisations aimed at empowering and educating young women, or have opportunities for young women, please let us know and will spread the word about your project, business or organisation.

For now, kwaheri ya kuonana!

 

 

*Over & Out*

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