25.1.12

From the bedrooms of African women

"Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women."

No, this is not a tell-all article, but the title of a blog I came across just a few days ago.

The African Woman’s Bedroom site dedicates itself to sharing information on African women’s sexuality and makes interesting reading. After perusing the list of posts and discussions you quickly notice that many of the subjects discussed are universal – and why not?

The context and content are different as many topics are affected by religion and culture and I applaud this blog for emphasising that fact. Take for instance where one blogger says, “Who is this typical African woman? Of course any fair minded person knows that there is no typical woman of any sort, but there is this myth, this pervasive stereotype of what an African woman is or should be.”

In my opinion we always return to the concept of the “African woman.” As I have discussed earlier, African is a complex and contested identity. Though the blog is Ghanaian, upon skimming through there are many similarities to many issues discussed in Zambia and many other African countries, for example concepts of fidelity.

Take for example this quote, “African men are allowed to cheat to their hearts' content, and we have a culture continent-wide in which for whatever odd reason, many African women don't bat an eye when it comes to sleeping with somebody else's husband.

While I may appreciate the point that she the point she is trying to put across, I disagree with her generalisation “continent-wide, African men.” Africa, even if we limit ourselves to Black Africa, is a myriad of different cultures and traditions, new and old and I think it benefits no one if we generalise our own experiences to be the experience of all women.

Nonetheless, I congratulate the writers of this site for recognising the dearth of discussion on African women’s sexuality by women themselves and not by Experts in the name of social and economic development. I think a crucial goal should be the normalisation of such discourse, so that it’s not strange or usual, so that we are not longer seen as strange and unusual.

I’ll elaborate this article by linking it to my own current experience of emigration, otherness and difference – all of which, to me, are terms that ask “Who is normal or the norm? Who is the African woman? For whom is Glamour magazine?

Soon, but in the meantime the Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward comes recommended by a fellow blogger.

Image; Beautique Salon

No comments: