Published July 18, 2013 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

Feminity has undoubtedly been assailed by a myriad of societal cartridges, the onslaught of which has left womanhood in an effigal state…a state which, if extremities are exceeded, will create a nature short of enslavement! The divergent aspects of Feminity have consistently withstood numerous attacks from the opinionated public. One of such aspects is the world of FASHION. “Unique” is a word that elucidates in a thorough, most encompassing and absolute way, the nature of every woman’s sense of style. Almost extinct in its application, it aptly describes every lady’s choice in a host of subjects. This piece is centered on the “unique” ACCESSORY of every lady out there.
Some weeks ago, I decided to re-enact my stubborn streak by obstinately wearing an ankle chain on my left ankle to class. To my somewhat bemused horror, two close male colleagues of mine chose to do me a great “service” by lifting up the “obscene” foot and jointly wrenching the forbidden ornament from its ankle, all the while ignoring my protests. Bemusement however turned to stark ire when they based their ridiculous actions on the narrow chauvinistic view that conventionally such accessories were worn by women of easy virtue!
This pique of mine gradually escalated to a maddening inferno after I witnessed the wedding of a friend who was adorned in nothing but her “natural beauty” (which consisted of a noticeable lack of ornaments save her wedding ring) plus of course a plain inappropriate “gown” (or so it was called). However this wasn’t the reason for my anger, rather it was induced by my visual senses, as I couldn’t help but applaud the groom’s outfit. He was resplendently decked out in perfectly tailored slacks (and of course, had the smile of a man who cockily knew he looked good)!!! Thus this piece was birthed.
“You are addressed the way you are dressed” goes the famous cliché. Oftimes, I have been made to wonder though, if society isn’t exceeding the boundaries of this saying. There seems to be some ounce of bias regarding the standard of decency in female fashion, though this is of no surprise to me since at the helm of the jury is society itself that never hesitates to frown at the “littlest” action of the female folk. Society apparently gives no mind to most male eccentric fashion statements, sadly the “fillies” aren’t so fortunate as many of their fashion statements beginning from face make-up down to even the pants they wear has been overtly criticized in social and religious circles especially in Africa. Yes, the African woman is beautiful and thus needs not reveal so much skin to be appealing, she also certainly deserves additional adornments to enhance that gift that Mother Nature has been so kind to bestow. So why the restraint?
If our arms look beautiful with lovely well-bronzed amulets, why the restraint?
If our lips become tempting and succulent with DELICIOUS lipsticks, SOCIETY, why the scorn?
If our steps and movement become so fluid due to “Manish” pants and thus guarantee convenience and aid escape from lecherous men, why curtail this victory? If earrings and other jewelleries further enunciate our priceless value, why rob us?
The use of the word “if” is a condition which has been fulfilled, in the sense that, YES! Our arms do look more beautiful with the amulets on. Yes, our accessories aren’t merely aesthetic in nature, they may even be life –saving! However, society has failed to adequately reply our queries, therefore this jury lacks merit.
The conservative nature bestowed upon us by convention, seeks a leeway for escape, as women occasionally choose to call society’s bluff by adorning themselves with some ornaments of beauty which has been known to create unfavorable opinions in the minds of the faceless community of serfs. Women permit themselves the svelte pleasure of skinny ankles with the aid of “ankle chains”, whether dignifying or not! The AMAZONs amongst us permit ourselves to wear earrings or shiny stones that might obviate a tawdry appearance regardless of endless campaigns about such act being of the devil.
Jezebel hath betrayed us so much so that most religious sects have persistently frowned at the use of many of her ostracized accessories! But was that the origin of the overt hatred for many female adornments? I think not! Some sects uphold the belief that these ornaments were used in the ancient times to identify slaves, even if that were to be true, is it logical to be guided by past acts or do we seek to develop the future by trudging onwards?
Again, others opine that biblically, adorning a man’s apparel was considered risqué and thus sinful. Although this discourse isn’t aimed at creating a sectarian argument, one can’t help but ponder on what exactly was meant, when the holy book spoke of a “man’s apparel”. Research has proven that amongst the early users, trousers are believed to have been worn by both sexes , but even if this isn’t true, WHO…pray tell, sat in his mental alcove and decided to make this division of human clothing (which favours men) , if not society itself??? YES, a society dominated by chauvinists did!
At this point, there is a strong need to stress that THE AMAZON isn’t encouraging obscene dressing amongst our ladies, she is merely advocating for women’s rights to adorn societally forbidden accessories, since the same chauvinists who make up the voice of the public(that forbids these ornaments) ,do not have many of their ornaments scandalized!
So there you have it , the interesting homo-sapiens specie can be likened to a story painted on an artist’s easel… with the females being the story painted (as we have no say regarding the plot) , while you my dear reader can undeniably name the artist…
…and while you’re at it, I remain THE AMAZON and my amazing quill loves you *winks*



  • The world must listen to you. At this rate, your campaign for feminism would be heard soon. I find fault only with your extremism. Nice one anyway

    • Extremism my dear, is a subjective viewpoint. still, lets assume it is extreme, the feminist movement doesn’t deserve bats that sit on the fence . its wise to take a firm stand. thanks dear for reading and commenting. do follow our blog for instant notifications.

  • This is a great piece of writing, Ella. Your choice of words is simply superb! I can swear I didn’t blink till I finished reading it. It was that enthralling! LOL! And yes, you effectively conveyed the message but as expected, it is heavily laced with the usual feministic anti-male diatribe. In fact, I’m beginning to think that this was the sole purpose for which this blog was created. I love your feminist write ups and all but with each successive piece, you seem to inadvertently inch over that thin line separating feminism from extremism.
    I carefully went over every word in this piece and yes, I find the arguments you advanced very logical but I have one or two words to say. I acknowledge the fact that women (African women especially) have in times past been subject to the whims and caprices of the male folks and as a modernist who is very much in tune with the giant strides that have been made by women in recent times, I’d be a fool to frown on the feminist movement. And yes, if wearing trousers would reduce the incidences of rape, why not shed the cumbersome skirts and don the flexible trousers that will enhance mobility and more importantly, discourage a would be rapist (a not so determined one I might add). However, it will be a gargantuan mistake to cite feminism and freedom from male dominance as pretexts for adorning attires that are generally unacceptable. You will no doubt agree with me that culture is an indispensable element that binds the society. Its influence pervades almost every aspect of the man’s life from what he eats and thinks to how he acts and the way he dresses. Considering the fragility of most African societies, attempting to deviate from certain things (not all) that have been accepted as normal probably because we’ve been exposed to too many Hollywood movies, would incur sinister consequences. Even our parents would agree to this: You are a product of the African society which unlike the European and American society, frowns at radicalism. You are African and if what you wear does not reflect the deep values of the African society which is indubitably the epitome of decorum, politesse and self esteem, you will be rightly labeled a Rebel. Then it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to hop on the next flight leaving for New York or Berlin where it’s culturally acceptable for women to take to the streets in protests for rights to wear bikinis to the office, tattoo their pitchers or piss without squatting.
    In conclusion, after all the feminism battle has been fought and won (or lost), let’s not forget the verity that the man is above the woman and the latter is subject to the former in certain regards. And no, I didn’t make this seemingly inequitable rule. God in all his awe inspiring wisdom through his word, The Bible did. Now we don’t want to go about stirring a hornets’ nest by attacking the Bible, do we? As a Parthian shot, if you really did think that the word “Chauvinism” applies exclusive to male folks only, you really do need to have a rethink dear.

  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: