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Opinions of Monday, 5 September 2016

Columnist: Lydia Forson

Why I write - Lydia Forson

Lydia Forson Lydia Forson

By Lydia Forson

I’ve never been one to explain myself or try to make people like me. When people have formed an opinion about you, it’s very hard to talk them into thinking otherwise. Perhaps the most popular assumption people have about me is that I write for attention.

I find this laughable, because I doubt any sane human being would like open herself up to the truck load of insults people throw my way. Perhaps my pieces get the attention they do because women in this country are expected to be seen and not heard; so anyone that steps out of the norm is treated as an abomination of some sort.

I’ve also been accused of making everything my business, something I’ve never really understood; but I’m guessing there’s a general misconception that entertainers aren’t “serious” and for that aren’t expected to be smart enough to know about issues let alone speak on them. Yet we’re supposed to care enough to give to charity, lend our voices to a cause when it benefits YOU and help people when we can.

The paradox of it all is a little amusing. So today I’m going to attempt to give you a little insight into the way I think and why I speak on the things I do; mostly for those so bothered by me.

Now I doubt I’ll be able to change the misconceptions some of you have about me, but for those willing to put your prejudice aside you may atleast understand where I go to when I write.

First of all, you need to get that more than anything I love to write; it’s the only way I know how to express myself and share my thoughts. ( Heck I even wrote a movie called A Letter From Adam ) Writing is not only therapeutic way for me to deal with life, it also helps me maintain some sanity in this otherwise crazy world.

Recently, however, when it comes to writing on certain issues I feel strongly about; I sometimes hesitate. Because whenever I attempt to share my thoughts on how women, especially are treated in this country, I’m painted as an arrogant, attention seeking,bitter, unmarried woman who hates all men.

I’ve come to realise, however, that it’s a delibratly ploy by some men to stereotype women who’re bold enough to have a voice of their own.So with all this prejudice against me I’ve sometimes wondered if it’s worth it speak up when I feel inclined to, especially if it won’t be received with an open mind.But I continue to write because I don’t know how to accept and survive in a world where women continue to be oppressed,degraded and abused on all fronts.

I write because I was brought up in a house where thanks to my Mother, my brothers and I were treated EQUALLY. We all learned how to cook, do the dishes, clean the house and wash our clothes. Even now when I visit my brothers, they do my laundry and cook for me and I do the same for them without thinking too much of it.

They bath their children and change their diapers without hesitation because they don’t think it makes them less of men. So forgive me if I find it hard to accept the chauvinistic ways of some men, or the patriachial society we live in, trust me there are days when I wish I was oblivious to some of these things. Imagine how much quieter my life would be, if I could have men disrespect me and not notice, or even if I did, ignore it. Wouldn’t I just be the perfect “actress” and woman by your standards?

But then I wonder why my life should be solely based on the happiness of others and not mine? And so I continue to write and speak out, in the hopes that this will change. And no, I’m not on a war path with men as they want to believe and I’m not sitting at home, praying for a man to mess up so I can attack him. More than anything I would prefer to write less about men and more about women and how we can empower ourselves.

But its impossible to focus on that when nearly every attempt at women empowerment is thwarted by men. And so I continue to write.. Because I enjoy the conversations my writings spark and the interesting comments and reactions that further expose some of the problems in this country. And there’s nothing I write about that others haven’t already thought of or discussed among themselves.

They just decide to limit their conversations to the Kitchen table, for fear of being attacked if they go public. For instance, when I read what Franklin wrote, I spoke to a few men and women to see if perhaps there was a tangible explanation for this behavior that I was missing; I needed to understand what right thinking person would have these thoughts let alone share it as a joke for all to see.

They gave varied opinions on it, and the majority agreed what he wrote was in poor taste. However, they were all comfortable with leaving their opinions at the “kitchen table”, if it meant avoiding the attacks they would receive for speaking publicly against his actions. And that’s the unfortunate society we live in today; where people would rather keep their opinions to themselves for fear of being publicly bashed for daring to have one different from what others believe.

Some of these same women and men will even add to the hurl of insults thrown at me for fear of being associated with me. Like a bunch of thieves screaming “thief, thief” when the mob is passing, they need to blend in to avoid the risk of being beaten to death. But unless we continue to speak out and have open dialogues about some of these issues, nothing will change. And so I continue to write… Because writing is the only way I know how to force people to look in the mirror and ask all the hard questions, it’s the only way I know how to make people see all that is wrong with us.

So if my writings,opinions and beliefs make you uncomfortable,I’m sorry. But; I’ll continue to write...