Hand me a Spanner

Feminist discussions with many friends often lead to “so why do you think you’re better than me?” And, no matter how many times I’m asked this I’m always surprised. There’s this idea that, because I’m speaking and thinking around patriarchy and about ways to dismantle a damaging societal structure, I consider myself better. As if…

Loud Man With An Opinion

This essay is taken from Brainstorm’s first e-book, #WhenWomenSpeak – (Re)Defining Kenyan Feminisms, which is available for free. DOWNLOAD IT HERE to read more such essays. by Muthoni Maingi Sometimes we can speak, and when and where we can we must. I went on a rant sometime back, and you can check out my words and…

The Presence of a Woman is Not Consent

by Aisha Ali A man asks a woman out on a dinner date. She says yes. They meet up and have a pleasant enough evening. The man is a foreigner, in Nairobi for work and they meet at their office building. The evening ends, and the man asks to drop the girl, but she came…

Jail? That’s a Feminist Issue Too

by Orem Ochiel In the fifty years following Kenya’s independence, successive governments have managed to entrench what is both a continuation and a perfection of the colonial penal system: The varieties of colonial incarceration – labour camps, torture camps, detention centres, prisons – seem to have been maintained, essentially, as they were. We might also…

Not Your Meat

by Marziya Mohammedali   In October 2006, Taj El-Din Hilaly, the Imam (spiritual leader) of the Lakemba Mosque in Sydney, made the following statement in his Ramadan sermon: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a…

In Wolves’ Clothing

Notes on Class and Gender Oppression by Nkatha Obungu Watching the Wolf of Wall Street was a chilling experience; not so much for its raunchy quality (or lack thereof) but because of the exultation of greed as something to aspire for. Jordan Belfort is first portrayed as a young Wall Street stock broker, working at…

Colour Me Light

by Mumbi Kanyogo I wonder if before the phrase “You’re pretty for a dark girl”, the words, “You’re pretty for a light girl” existed. There are so many “isms”. Racism, sexism, extremism, tribalism, nationalism vs activism, womanism, feminism, patriotism. A thousand different solutions to a hundred different problems. And so it would seem that we’re…

What Does Feminism Mean to Me?

by Kennedy Kanyali When I spoke to a friend of mine about Brainstorm’s decision to do an issue on “(Re)defining Kenyan Feminisms”, she raised the question (or I raised it, I don’t remember) of what exactly about Kenyan feminism needed to be redefined. Certainly, there is a lot about Kenya’s history of women’s activism –…