Here’s to the Women…

Here’s to all our mothers who for 9 months (some more, others less), allowed us to grow in their bodies. Making them ill and tired. Messing with their hormones. Feeding off their bodies even after they painfully brought us into this world. Made them love, laugh and cry as they nurtured us into who we are today. Mothers who toiled day and night to ensure that we would live to see another day. Mothers who loved us every day even when we gave them every reason not to.

Here’s to all our sisters and aunts and cousins. Who have had to deal with constantly being considered last in anything major in the family because they did not happen to be born with penises. Who had to deal with the patriarchy that our cultures perpetuate in the name of keeping a balance in society. A false notion noting that it has always been our sisters and aunts and cousins who kept our societies moving. With strength unsurpassable, wit unmatchable and indefatigable resilience.

Here’s to the dykes. Fetishized by men all over and then raped to show them the “taste of a man”. Fetishized by men all over and then considered abominations. Fetishized by men all over and then put down for being different. Here’s to women who have shown a resolve to exist that no man will ever understand. Women who have defied all sorts of hate and discrimination and stigma and rape and murder yet still stand strong and declare their love and lust and shown their beauty in their non-comformity and their strength.

Here’s to the trans women. Misgendered and insulted. Forced into spaces they cannot possibly be comfortable in. Denied their right to exist. Their right to exist in the body they should exist in. Denied their right to be referred to by the names they should be referred to by. Denied their right to have their documents reflect the gender marker they should reflect. Yet they exist in spaces of beauty beyond anyone’s understanding. They show all of us that it is indeed possible to be who we are inside and out. They inspire us to be more than society expects of us.

Here’s to all the women in our lives. Gay, straight, lesbian, intersex, trans, tall, short, pregnant, new mother, mother, large, tiny…

This message is not written just because today happens to be the day it is. It is an acknowledgement of my thoughts about you every. Single. Day. I have seen you get cat called and molested. I have heard, from you, your encounters of rape and torture just because you are a woman. I have witnessed society treat you less than you should be treated and I am a beneficiary of the male privilege.

My promise to you is this: As long as my heart beats, I will stand by you in your struggle to end the violence. In your struggle for acceptance. In your fight towards non-discrimination. I will stand by you in your fight towards equality for all. I may be a penis-having cisgender man. I will never understand your struggles. I will however stand by you. Always.

Anthony Oluoch

I am a lawyer, a brother, a son, a friend, a neighbor, a confidant, a student of life and I am Kenyan. Became a human rights activist so suddenly sometimes I ask myself if this really is something I wanted. But I have come to embrace it. I have come to realize that I like what I do. That on some level, what I do makes life easier for someone and hopefully, eventually, for myself…Probably the best way to describe me is in the words of Winston Churchill, I am a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

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