Digital Participation: #Mydressmychoice and Modern Feminist Movements in Kenya
I recently came across this article that reports on a growing protest in Kenya that began as a reaction to the brutal harassment of a woman who was accused of dressing immodestly.
In this class we read a lot about violence, poverty, opportunity, migration, homophobia and racism, but I felt like one thing really missing was an in-depth discussion of the modern feminist movement in Africa and the state of women’s rights. I wanted to know, what happened after Nervous Conditions? This article started to clear some of that history up for me.
Feminism in Africa is an interesting subject because feminism as a whole has a rather racist history and tends to fail to be intersectional and include women of color. Another fault of feminism is that it tends to treat third and first-world gender issues as different. Its expected that, in America, women have made great strides and now are dealing with lesser issues such as catcalling, while in Africa, women barely even have control over their bodies and often suffer great violence because of their gender. However, while things like female genital mutilation is most certainly an issue, it cannot be the single story of Africa’s gender issues. Africa is a large and diverse place, and this article is just one example of the raw social energy of Africa that can be harnessed in really positive, progressive ways.
I personally think we should definitely continue to track this movement and see if we can’t make it worldwide. The policing of women’s modesty through their clothing is a huge problem that is ingrained in so many cultures, including America’s.
So say it with me – “My Dress My Choice!”