Ibukun Keyamo
Ibukun Keyamo
October 20, 2020

Defining Misogyny Vol. I: Ibukun Keyamo

Illustration by Jules Keenan

Defining Misogyny is a series dedicated to sharing stories of how misogyny and gender-based discrimination have affected women and gender nonconforming people in our community. If you have a story you’d like to share, send it to arts@thebruns.ca. 

Coming into my own as a woman of the twenty-first century, I have yet to meet you in person. I have heard so much about you, and sadly none of it is good. So here I am, wondering why it is that I so utterly abhor a man that I have never even met.

For centuries, you have set a standard of behaviour that threatens me and my female ancestors. You have stunted our growth and stifled our potential. You have set the tone of norms that trim our wings and reduce us to caged birds.

Your influence has proven so great that members of my female clan have bought into your ideals and embraced your values. Talk of a house divided against itself.

In the workplace, you reign, supervising the glass ceiling which you built over the heads of people of my gender. For centuries, we have struggled to come to terms with the fact that we have to work two times as hard as our male counterparts, to earn half of what they earn.

I cannot stop questioning the unfortunate fact that it took Canada one hundred and twenty six years to get its first female Prime Minister – and even then she wasn’t elected. Thanks to you, Misogyny, and the seeds that you continue to sow.

Misogyny, as I come into full blown womanhood, I hear your snide remarks: “No, you cannot do that. No, you cannot wear that. No, you cannot be that.” What irks me the most is the fact that you permit menfolk to do all that I am forbidden to do. You set the tone for the discrimination, inequities, inequalities, and injustices that my female ancestors fought hard to overcome.

Why indeed was she blamed for events that you shaped and caused? Why was she blamed when she reported mental, physical, and sexual abuse by you? Why was she told that she must have brought it upon herself, through something she said, did, wore, permitted?

Just so you know, Misogyny, this is the twenty-first century. I have been raised to hold my own, to spread my wings and soar. This means that when I do meet you, there is likely to be war. Believe it or not, I know the truth that sets you on edge: I am stronger and smarter than you!

I know who I am, what I want, and where I am going. And this time, Misogyny, you cannot stop me.


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