How to be a Twitter feminist in Kenya

Saturday January 9 2016

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I like to think of Kenyan Twitter as a marketplace. There are the solid, level-headed sellers who come to do serious business.

There are the buyers who are there to be entertained by the sellers. And then, as the adage goes, there are the mad men who strip naked, eat from the dustbins and occasionally amuse us with their theatrics.
In Kenyan Twitter space, the so-called ‘Twitter-feminists’ are the mad women in this market.

We are all feminists. I mean, feminism is a simple phenomenon that simply advocates for equal rights of men and women.

Everyone in their right mind is a feminist by default. You don’t need a law degree or a career in political science to be a feminist.

That illiterate farmer who wants his little girls and boys to have equal opportunities at school and work is a feminist, and he doesn’t know what Twitter is.


But there is a bunch of deluded women who think they are better than all of us.

They think their opinions are golden and their minds are made of diamond. They think they are sharper, cleverer and more educated than the rest of us.

They are called the ‘Twitter feminists’, who, in my simple, un-minced words, are the scum of the Kenyan online society.

Oh, and it is not only their waists and pot bellies that are burgeoning at exhilarating rates. Their numbers are growing, too.


So, without further ado, I have volunteered to give you a starter pack on how to be the quintessential Twitter feminist.

1. Look the part: Are you serious about being a Twitter feminist? Then you must look the part. Take off that plastic weave and unbraid that hair, my dear.

Don’t bother to comb or wash it. You are your hair, in this case. Therefore, your hair must be the shabbiest, ugliest and most unkempt it has ever been.

The shabbier the better. Twitter feminists do not believe in beautiful, long flowing weaves the rest of you spend so much money on.

Now that you have your hair all shabby and unkempt, looking like a house girl who has just landed at the ‘Machakos’ Bus Station, take a photo, a selfie or whatever you call it.

Post the photo online and caption it #TeamNatural or #MyUnkemptHair.

If shabby, natural hair is not your thing, dreadlocks also fit the bill. Make sure your dreadlocks are long and shaggy. Don’t bother to style them. Who said shaggy is not a style?


2. Know your enemies: A Twitter feminist’s number one enemy is a man. All men are bad.

Men are to blame as to why qualified women are too scared to apply for jobs. All men are to blame for all the problems in this world.

Men are to blame for the bad weather. Men are to blame for the Nairobi traffic. Men are to blame for slow Internet.

Men are to blame for everything that goes wrong in this world. Therefore, if you are looking for a lustrous career as a Twitter feminist, it is mandatory that you loathe men.

Of course, I am not going to mention that you shouldn’t bother with marriage. And if a child is your problem, then you can get a kaguy to donate sperm and then hate him and teach your child to hate that man.

As the rest of your friends enjoy happy marriages and the warmth of their husbands’ embrace throughout the night, a Twitter feminist will be busy cuddling her battery operated gadgets… if you get the drift.


3. Mind your language: What is a feminist worth without the key buzzwords that keep the feminist fire burning? So, as standard procedure, you must learn a few NGO words. Words like ‘women empowerment’ and ‘emancipation of the girl child’ must never depart from your mouth.

You must also forget what true feminism is all about - you know, that feminism is simply about equal rights for not only women but also men.

Instead, you must peddle lies such as ‘what a man can do, a woman can do better’ and ‘girls are smarter and more mature than boys’. You must spread hogwash that goes against the very essence of feminism.

As you tweet, you must use words like ‘women’s rights’ and ‘girl power’ to show the rest of us what an educated woman you are and how the rest of us are just illiterate teenagers with Internet.


4. Court attention at all costs: A Twitter feminist cannot afford to be chini ya maji.

For you to be recognised as a Twitter feminist, you must be a loud mouth, both online and offline. You must be a trendsetter. Log on to your Twitter account and insult all the men who do not agree with you.

After that, tweet about columnists who tell women the bitter truth about their weight. As you wait for retweets and endorsements, pen a blog and point out the obvious.

Pick sensitive topics such as rape and regurgitate stuff that we all know about.

You see, as a Twitter feminist, you are essentially a scavenger. You are like a vulture. A bottom feeder.

You eat after others have eaten. You scrap the breadcrumbs from the high table as the rest of us eat.

You appear on TV and radio shows to react to what people (men, columnists, and politicians) have said. Without these people, you cannot survive.