Is your latte too hot? Mine was this morning. I was at the bustling Oasis shopping center in Kampala, Uganda, and I took one sip and then spilt it all over me. You know who else has these problems? The local Ugandans that frequent this shop, and make up the majority of it’s clientele.
As Africa stabilizes across the continent, Westerners forget that average daily problems in Europe or North America are not that far off from that of the African middle class. Our smart phones sometimes freeze up. That’s annoying. The DJ is playing shit, so we leave the club.
Which is not to say that there aren’t problems. It’s not to pretend that all of Kampala or Nairobi or Kigali is a paradise of African wealth where the biggest problem is a warm beer. There is real, stark, damaging poverty here. But there is similar poverty in Clichy Sous Bois in Paris. There is similar poverty in Brooklyn. In Chicago. The outskirts of Amsterdam.
The idea that an African can’t have similar issues to those living in London is a mistake. It is a mistake rooted in the idea that Europe is somehow superior or has vast amounts of wealth. In reality, the East African GDP has been steadily on the rise for years, whereas the economic outlook in both North America and Europe have been steadily declining. Angola just gave a loan to their former colonialists, Portugal. Our cities now have thumping clubs, eclectic cuisine and most of these places are owned and invested in by locals.
Stop feeling bad for Africa. It doesn’t need your pity.
If you want to do something to help those who survive on very little, try investing in it. Instead of buying Tom’s shoes which give away free shoes (and therefore remove jobs from hardworking Africans making shoes) invest in Sole Rebels. A woman-owned Ethiopian based shoe company that pays their workers a livable wage.
Tonight I am going with Ugandan friends and some expats to watch the Poland vs. England match, live on DSTV at my local pub. I will eat grilled tilapia and drink some beer. This is not an extraordinary life here. This is the new Kampala average. This continent is far from perfect. Uganda is far from perfect. But it is getting there, and if you think for one minute Africans do not experience massages, cupcake shops, foam on our coffee, car trouble, banking woes and hangovers after too much fun, you are dead wrong.
It’s not all flies on babies. Welcome to the real Africa.
Carrie is, in many ways, a boogeyman; she is what professional women, and particularly ones in male-dominated professions, have been taught never to become - emotional, hysterical, crazy. Emotion is how women who want to be taken seriously are undermined and dismissed. Even if you’re perfectly sane, being emotional - and most especially, being angry - devalues you and your professional contribution. A woman can be called crazy simply for behaving like a normal human being rather than a robot (and of course, if she behaves robotically and unemotionally, she’s a cold bitch). But Carrie isn’t simply emotional (though she is that too, and worst of all, she allows her feelings for a man to cloud her judgment) - she actually is crazy and hysterical, in the proper clinical sense rather than the exaggerated one which attaches to any feminine display of emotion, and profoundly pathetic and unattractive in that state. And she’s completely right, she’s the only person who figures out Brody and Abu Nazir’s plans and motivations, and the person who saves the day by being hysterical, infecting Brody’s daughter with enough of that hysteria that she calls her father and convinces him not to blow himself up.
It’s certainly possible to read this arc as purely tragic, Carrie’s self-destruction being the cost of saving the world (though this is a character arc that is applied to men as often as women), but to my mind its effect is more complex. It makes a crazy, hysterical woman into a hero without in any way mitigating her craziness or hysteria, and thus defangs the argument that emotion in women is a weakness."
What the Girls spat on Twitter tells us about feminism by Bim Adewunmi at The Guardian (October 8th, 2012)
I have primary fandoms, secondary fandoms, and tertiary fandoms, and they cycle in and out like electrons orbits in an atom.
Men still have trouble recognizing that a woman can be complex, can have ambition, good looks, sexuality, erudition, and common sense. A woman can have all those facets, and yet men, in literature and in drama, seem to need to simplify women, to polarize us as either the whore or the angel. That sensibility is prevalent, even to this day.
I had to reconcile the real person and the character of Anne Boleyn as created in the text. For the actor, the text is your bible. You can try to put a spin on the nuances, but in the end our job is to be the vehicle of the text. But I got tired of flying the flag of Showtime in interviews, [justifying the show’s sexuality and inaccuracies] when in the pit of my stomach, I agreed wholly with what the interviewer was saying to me. I lost many hours of sleep, and actually shed tears during my portrayal of her, trying to inject historical truth into the script, trying to do right by this woman that I had read so much about. It was a constant struggle, because the original script had that tendency to polarize women into saint and whore. It wasn’t deliberate, but it was there.
I begged Michael Hirst to do it right in the second [season]. He listened to me because he knew I knew my history. And I remember saying to him: `Throw everything you’ve got at me. Promise me you’ll do that. I can do it. The politics, the religion, the personal stuff, throw everything you’ve got at me. I can take it.’ I wanted to show that she was a human being, a young woman placed in a really difficult and awful situation, manipulated by her father, the king, and circumstances, but that she was also feisty and interesting and had a point of view and tried to use her powers to advance what she believed in. And I wanted people to live with her, to live through her. To see her."