When Your Opinion is Too Loud

So… I’m all about everyone having a right to their opinion but on occasion I come across some thoughts that make me want to strangle the liberal part of my brain and then flay it with a pregnant cactus. I came across the post below on Twitter and ignored it at the time because, you know, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Then I heard it being talked about on the radio and I thought, ‘that was the opinion of someone with influence?!? In that case opinion requires some defence.’ So I went off to read up about him to make sense of what he was trying to say. Note: I’m only addressing the merits of his arguements because I do not know about his personal situation and can’t intellectually engage that so…Here’s the post: Here were my main takeaway points from this ‘nugget of wisdom’ above. 1) Zambian men are focused on marrying only Zambian women. 2) Zambian women are (all) physically attractive but mentally unfit. 3) 95% of Zambian women have no drive, ambition, purpose or ‘grind’. 4) (All) Zambian men are fighting for the ‘sane 5%’. 5) In order for a Zambian man to get ‘bigger, better things’, he must leave behind Zambian women and marry ‘from outside’. You may have others but these 5 ‘statements’ are what I’d like to understand. 1) I’m going to tackle this with a horrible metaphor: If a blue fish lives in a green pond with black rocks, said fish will think all ponds are green and all rocks are blue (or they live in the only pond in the world). Now, let’s say this fish gets caught by an industrious little girl, who places this lucky fish in an aquarium perched on her bedroom window on the second storey of her house. From his view, he can see white rocks lining the driveway below him. He sadly cannot go outside and play with those rocks because well… He’s a fish. I told you it’d be terrible but hang in there. I have two issues with his first statement is 1) our physical boundaries define the world in which we live and 2) Even when we discover that other possibilities exist, this does not make them ‘available’ to us. If I go to a school with all Zambians, start working and continue to be surrounded by only other Zambians, that’s most likely my dating pool. Even when considering online dating, chances are I’ll start out with what’s familiar and broach out from there. I haven’t done any actual research to back this opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if more Americans are married to other Americans than non-Americans… And if this were true for just about every other nationality… In fact here’s an interesting article from Japan about trans national marriages and Japan has loads of ‘the internet’ to indulge in international relationships. That doesn’t mean that I’m not aware of international unions, we date where our pools are. If I have access to non-locals and a romantic opportunity presents itself I will rise to the occasion. If I don’t, then I won’t. Sometimes I’ll even have a preference with no actual basis I can agree with. 2) This one is the easiest to get riled up about because it sounds like a buried insult or a back handed slap thrown by a palm wrapped in silk. “You’re all idiots but you look good in all your idiotic finery, so here’s a pat on the back for that.” That’s what I ‘heard’ when I read that. It could be a phrasing problem but… Until he says otherwise. 3) My response to this stat (95%) is that he really must change his friends. Even the ‘unemployed’ women I know have at least one hustle going on. In fact, one woman is busier now as an unemployed person than she was as an employee! My question here is, what is the definition of your lack of drive/ambition/purpose/grind? If I’m posting pictures of the weaves or clothes I sell, that’s my grind. If I post about all the places I want to see, that’s my ambition. We shouldn’t mistake our own ignorance for someone else’s deficiencies. 4) Again, this guy really needs new friends. I really can’t think of anything else to say here, these stats are based on who this person chooses to surround himself by, this is a problem is that’s the world he has chosen to exist in. But for arguement’s sake… If all men wanted this 5% and this guy later claims there are lots of desperate women seeking marriage, why aren’t there more ‘pretender’ women ‘advertising’ themselves as what the market wants. Either 95% of these females are knowingly fanning themselves at uninterested parties or that 5% isn’t after what he’s claiming. 5) It’s great that he offers a solution but it makes me scratch my head in glorious ignorant wonder. If the problem is the ‘quality’ of women, why can’t this quality be upgraded instead of completely disregarded? I don’t know why the women in his test sample lack these ‘preferable’ qualities but he hasn’t tried to address why that is even a problem. If Zambian men can be ‘woke’ enough to know to aspire for more, why can’t the women? Why is the solution to take this ‘wokeness’ to merge and multiply elsewhere? Here’s my problem with a motivational speaker providing such a post and even using #TheLegendaryMan. We live in a world where men generally have more opportunities than women. Women still have to straddle the ‘bitch’/nice girl tightrope when climbing the corporate ladder while a man can be as ‘aggressive’ as he likes and get rewarded for it. You cannot be posting a motivational post that brings down half of tge population (your potential clientbase actually) by stating their limitation is their biological apparatus that (in our environment) they cannot do anything about. If the aim of this was simply to highlight that there are other types of women out there, it missed the mark because all I read was an article on why a certain type of woman isn’t ‘good enough’ and there is already way too much noise that screams this. This post did not motivate or challenge me to be a better version of myself and that’s what I believe a motivational speaker should do. How they do this differs, of course, but this… Isn’t the way. If you want Zambian men to know that foreign brides can stoke their ambitions better than local ones, show them how. Do not tell them simply that a local one isn’t good enough. Wouldn’t hurt if this rationale also applied to women but because this is assuming women aren’t capable due to their ‘mental limitations’ it’d be too much to ask. Be a part of the solution! O&O

When You Are No Longer An Immigrant

Credit: Paramount Digital Entertainment and LXD Ventures
Credit: Paramount Digital Entertainment and LXD Ventures

A while ago I came across this video (Coming Out of Your Shell) and my heart did weird things in my chest (like it could do them anywhere else) because I GET IT! You should check it out. If only I had talent with the rest of my limbs and REAL co-ordination, I could create such beautiful visual things… *sigh*.

For a lot of my childhood, I was an immigrant in various places. And language has always been a “problem” for me. Apparently I used to speak Portuguese before “proper” school (lived in Mozambique at the time) but my mum would pinch me (or atleast I think that happened… but it may have been something I made up to make my loss of something so beautiful mean something) because she wanted me to speak English so I lost that right quick. I have an ear for languages but my tongue sits in my mouth like gum at the bottom of a shoe when I try and make it obey other linguistic rules. I cant even do slang properly. I am terrible at trying to sound “street”. Terrible… but I am running off the rails again. Lets get back to topic.

I have generally always had a good “command of English” and it made my mother proud but it didn’t really make me fit in (and what child trying to be normal, doesn’t want that.. or rather, that was the norm at the time, attempting to stand out didn’t really make you special). Among my own countrymen I couldn’t be a part of their private jokes and stories because I could not speak my own mother tongue or any other language from my home country (technically, English is my mother tongue because that’s what my mother used “on me” but “biologically”, my father is Tonga and my mother is Lala, both from Zambia) . My mother didn’t want my siblings and I to be “polluted” by the local languages we were bombarded with because that affected the sound of our English so we were a purely English household except when my parents wanted to share something between the two of them.

“Why didn’t you just teach yourself?” Might be a logical question and to that I would respond “Have you met other children?” They are brutal. Trying to speak a local language when you “look like it should be easy” but sound like a well meaning although ill mannered tourist is torturous and if you do not have the self esteem to ride through the bullying, you give up. Which is what happened to me, I gave up trying to learn my own languages and tried to ace “exotic” sexy languages like French and make sure no one else could “out-English” me, this was of course ridiculous.

I love the sounds of different languages and while I don’t have the same kind of negativity towards my parents languages, there is still too much residual failure in there for me to seek out teaching my tongue to move in that way at this point in my life. If its something my children want to learn in the future, I will not block them and will do everything I can to provide the tools necessary.

The problem with being an immigrant for so long is that even when you return home, it doesn’t quite settle on the bones in a way that truly fits. It may be comfortable but its not entirely “made to measure”. I know I found it easier being an immigrant when it was obvious that I didn’t belong than justifying why I didn’t belong because I looked just like everyone else.

I hope you find your own tongues and come out of your shells. You can only be the best version of you, you choose whether that best version is a watered down version of someone else’s expectations.

O&O