By – Amare Poeta

When I was young, a snake came to my house. I took a stick and killed it. My father at the peak of pride said I am now a like a son. A promotion, I concluded.

Some people came and said girls should also go to school. So I went. I studied hard and I was the first in the school. The chief said I should have been a boy. An accolade, presume.

On the day of my graduation I cooked a feast. I planned a party for my guests and entertained them very well. My uncle whispered, “We must be careful with this one and find her a husband before she becomes a man!” A threat I guess.

Later a law imposed something about gender percentages. I went for the interview and without looking at my papers, I got the job. Affirmative action I think.

Little or no make up said the office etiquette handbook. I must also watch the size of my handbag, the height of my heels and my trips to the very small ladies room. I must also be careful not to get pregnant. Time away from work is frowned upon. Office policy, I decided.

At a presentation I disagreed with my colleague. He did not like to be corrected. Or he did not like a woman correcting him. “She is too aggressive, not womanly at all!” “Office politics.” I said.

10 months later things were going well. My uncle had found me a husband. He was a business man. He did not like me earning more than him. He did not remember marrying a man. A miscommunication, I thought

My office suit started getting a little tight. The doctor said I am finally a real woman. My boss will not like it. My husband will drink and have parties. My father is old so I should have a son. Culture I am sure.

I paid for my bill and arranged for the baby things. I also organized a party. My husband was not happy. “These women have been given too much freedom. They now want to be men!” Marriage problems said that magazine.

After my son arrived, I went out and got another job. I was happy and bought my husband his favorite whiskey. He was not happy and slapped me. My older sister said it is shameful to leave or be left by a husband. Society. Yes that’s it!

I went to bed that night. After he rolled off me and into sleep. I crept into my son’s room. I sat down and prayed for my little boy and for me. Some consolation, probably.

“There is a great power in being made to feel small and insignificant. And that is the incalculable potential to be just the opposite”. A good quote for sure.