Don't put me in your box, don't assume that because I'm a 24 year old Kenyan woman of Indian origin, I must fit a certain stereotype. I'm ambitious, and I want a lot more out of my life than you think I'm aspiring to. No, I don't need to 'think about settling down' because 'women should start planning their family around the age of 28'. Marriage, a family, all that- they're not unimportant, but they're not all that a woman can have. Don't measure my success by where you/your daughter/your neighbour's daughter were/are at 24. That's their story. And I'm writing my own.
When you look at me, then find out what I studied/where I studied/where I've worked and say something like "Wow, I had no idea you were smart!", don't expect me to take that as a compliment. If you're willing to judge someone at face value, then I'm more than entitled to judge you for the person you just showed yourself to be. When you find out that I'm planning to undertake a workout programme and you say something like "Be careful or you'll get muscles!", don't be surprised when I look confused.
If you learn about my accomplishments and say something along the lines of "Wow, that's so awesome for a woman/girl!", be prepared for me to look at you like you just sprouted another head. Does being a woman exclude me from aspiring to success? Does being a woman mean that I'm automatically less intelligent than everyone else you know?
I remember being asked at a job interview "You have a really impressive background, but wouldn't you rather just work in the beauty industry? You know, being a woman and all?"
I won't apologise for not laughing at your racist, homophobic, and/or sexist jokes- no matter how uncomfortable that makes you. No, it's not funny when you say that someone is 'not a man' because they chose to stay home with their children instead of going out with you. If you're the most loving, kind and supportive spouse, and you both have an awesome relationship, but when you're out with your friends you make jokes about how women 'nag all the time' or how 'men never get anything done'- that's not funny either. It's not funny when you think that just because your skin colour happens to be lighter or darker than someone else's, that gives you automatic superiority- it doesn't. You know what makes someone 'better' or 'worse' than someone else? Who they are. NOT the colour of their skin.
If you laugh at people for being 'stupid and closed minded' but the last time you bothered to learn something new was when you were in formal education, and you dogmatically reject all that is unfamiliar to you... yes, I probably will say something.
Nobody's perfect- but I think that those with the ability to make change happen almost have a responsibility to do so. If we don't grow, if we never improve- how meaningful are our lives really?
This is my life, and my story, and I want you to realise we can be different without being at conflict. Don't put me in your box- allow me to forge my own path. I'll make mistakes, I'll fail, I'll do stupid things more than once in a while. But I'll learn. And I'll grow.
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Don't put me in your box, don't assume that I must fit a certain stereotype. #inspiration https://t.co/bT0CwuZPBk @FemaleBloggerRT— The Kenyan Nomad (@TheKenyanNomad) May 9, 2016