A whole life subversively conditioned to the possibility of being violated, sexually assaulted or raped. Worse still is the likely possibility of your sisters, your mother, your loved ones being as violated and you being *powerless* to bring address to it. This is the life of women in Kenya.

‘Sit like this. Wear dark colours. Only loose women wear bold colours. Don’t stay out at night.. Your curfew is 9pm.. only loose women stay out at night! Don’t drink beer or alcohol. That sends out the wrong message and we did not bring up a prostitute in this home! Only rebellious loose women smoke!’ Come back straight from work.. no credible woman can say she was having meetings throughout the evening. And stay out of politics. Politics is for loose or divorced women.’

Photography by Leon Muli
Photography by Leon Muli

So you dress not to “call attention”  .. you talk ~either overly aggressive or lowly “not to call attention”

The places you hang out, the times you stay out, the people you chill with..so as ~ “not to call attention”

You are more cautious about your distance and body language while talking to men, your uncle, gardeners, Makanga, watchies, teachers, priests even.. lest you “Call attention” .. because they will say if otherwise..

“She deserved it.. She made me do it! She was asking for it”

“… the way she walked, talked..to me..in low tones..she was teasing me!!”

“… she danced with me at the gig.. Of Course she wanted it!!”

“..she would stay to practice her singing. But i knew that was just an excuse to be with me..”

And the whole country will agree. Your community will shake their heads, your church will shake their heads, Your family will shake their heads… and say..”maybe you shouldn’t go there next time, or talk to him alone next time. Now you know where not to go out to! Or what not to say.. in case it happens again..”

The Police will ask you…

“…Are you sure you did not want him? You did not tease him? Maybe you promised him and you changed your mind?

Are you sure, that is how it happened because everyone saw you dancing with him?

Why did you let him walk you home… if you did not want to sleep with him?

Why were you wearing lipstick ~maybe that’s what gave him that idea?

What were you doing out at that time of night? Why were you not walking with other women like yourself?

What were you doing in school at that time? Maybe if you were nice to them they would not have done that!

Why were you very close with your uncle..isn’t that a bit weird?

.. but you know you are a very pretty woman “hehehe heh!” … these things happen”

This is the state of women in Kenya. This is the environment which women in Kenya live in/under… and women in Kenya are under siege.

MumBi Mungai

Sept 2013

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9 thoughts on “Being a Woman in Kenya Part 1 #KenyaRapeCulture by @TheMumBi

  1. Reblogged this on The Metaphor of Morphosis and commented:
    And the whole country will agree. Your community will shake their heads, your church will shake their heads, Your family will shake their heads… and say..”maybe you shouldn’t go there next time, or talk to him alone next time. Now you know where not to go out to! Or what not to say.. in case it happens again..”

  2. this is too…. everything you do, say or act “literally shall and will be used against you” because you called attention to yourself and asked for it.. something that must stop if this country is going anywhere

  3. You basically summed up the challenges of being a woman and the challenges Kenya faces with rape culture. Thank you for writing such a powerful article. Please check out my blog as well, In my blog, I talk about human rights, how our rights are violated, controversial topics and how to prevent abuse of our rights.
    cinderellarightscampaign.blogspot.com

    I truly love this article and I ask you if I may share this article on my blog with your credit. Please reply.
    Cindy K

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