This morning, I was peacefully minding everybody’s business on Instagram when I mistakenly fell across someone’s response to the outfit that Toke Makinwa had worn to her book signing event. This gentle lady had decided to do some shaming because Toke’s outfit was not “politically correct” or appealing to her sense of “appropriate.” She said the dressing as well as the book had the tendency of inspiring young girls who look up to Toke to indulge in inappropriate activities like promiscuity. Somewhere in the middle of the post, she wrote “I AM A FEMINIST BUT KEEP THINGS REAL I HAVE TO SLUT SHAME YOU…” This statement has the same type of tone that you will use to say “Because I have black friends, I am not racist.” As if calling herself a feminist will magically soothe her insults or present her as a “good person on the other side of whatever shaming she did.”
Besides, from reading people’s comments, I am still very baffled that people will rather correlate an outfit that intended to celebrate a moment to promiscuity rather that correlate the more realistic issues like rape, sex trafficking, or sexual abuse which exists right under our noses in many countries. I am disgusted that most of the people who shamed the attire will most likely be guilty of listening and dancing to music (hip hop) or watching movies seasoned by an industry that freely thinks entertainment is only good when there some butt naked females in their videos. I find it seriously questionable that my gentle lady and the commentators will catwalk past the obvious to diminish a woman just because she dressed elegantly in a way that she could afford and carry herself.
About the book “On Becoming,” it also fascinates me how people peer, look, stalk and stare into these celebrities lives with intense curiosity but when the celebrities give in, to reveal their true selves, these same audience criticize. Like, what did you expect to see under the gold, fame, or glamor? More roses? They are human beings with real lives and problems as well! The book is about her life as it has been, it is not supposed to be all smooth, perfect, and politically correct like romance novels!
Once, I heard this folk story about a set of twins who lived with their drunk parents. When they grew, and were asked about their behavioral outcome, the first one said, “I became a drunkard because I saw my parents drinking.” The second one said “I vowed to never drink because I saw my parents drinking.” This gentle lady’s post said that Toke’s book and stories will affect young ladies who look up to her negatively. I bet Buhari’s comment about his wife belonging to the kitchen and other rooms has done more damage to the self-esteem of young women aspiring to be great. For one thing, I think that people will learn and gain perspective, depending on the training that they have been given or the virtues that they internalize. More so, there are millions of other factors that contribute to how young girls turn out and a book that reveals a grown woman’s life experiences will only be a pinch of those factors. It will be ridiculous to blame the book or Toke for every problem like promiscuity that existed even before the book was published or Toke was born.
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