Ramblings on Gender
A social media friend who is amongst one of those people I hadn’t met in real life but admire so much posted a picture of a document where a landlord in East Legon a suburb in Accra, Ghana stated in writing that he has a house for rent but he wanted no Nigerians to apply for the apartment. This post generated a lot of comments some sympathizers and others pointing out the blatant racism in such an exclusion. Both parties had very interesting stories to corroborate what they were saying, and I must say they were very interesting.
The first person that commented, let’s say her name is Emily. Emily said that she had a friend who had a house for rent, a Nigerian came to rent the house agreeing to the rent agreement as being the only tenant of the house, but upon complaints from other neighbors and tenants, the owner of the house, that is the friend, visited the house and met more than five occupants in a room that is meant for a single person. Other persons shared similar stories of thrashed homes and broken properties by some Nigerian tenants they rented their apartments and rooms.
Then someone pointed out right in the comment section that it is ok for people to have their reservations about other people from different countries renting their apartments and rooms, but such things shouldn’t be boldly written in a document like that for everyone to see. It should be said in person to save the whole racism discussion. But that comment was thrashed out by another person, stating that there are some apartments in London where they boldly write in their documents that they do not accept Asians and other Africans primarily because of the smell of their very spicy food.
Why I found the conversation interesting?
I do love to engage my boyfriend in conversations on gender because he gets all riled up and has a lot of opinions, that kick-start my writing juices. Our last conversation on gender was based on LGBTQ especially the “T” and the “Q” in the acronym. According to him, he well understands the concept of being a lesbian or gay or even being non-binary what he fails to understand, is the need for someone to decide to completely change their gender. This is where I came in and gave him one reason I know
- Security reasons: Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, a Ghanaian author in her book “The sex lives of African women”, interviewed several African women and gave detailed descriptions of their sex life, and one transgender who was interviewed according to the book, citing that he decided to fully transgender to a woman because it afforded him the security of finally being addressed as a woman wherever he goes, rather than a freak that people saw her to be when he cross-dressed as a woman in a man’s body.
After understanding that part he then proceeded to ask further questions (this is why I engage him in conversations) and try and create scenarios. One of the main scenarios he created was since transgender are being referred to by the gender they transferred to, then that means they should be entitled to all the privileges that come with that gender. This means every institution that says either boys or girls only will now be forced to accept trans genders since it’s now basically becoming law for them to be accepted as such, and any institution that refuses to do that, will be going against the law.
I thought hard on long on this one believe me, till I realized that institutions are permitted to have bye-laws. These laws are supposed to be in tandem with the laws of the country and not against them. So when an institution comes out and says that they do not accept transgenders in their bye-laws, does that make them homophobic? Mind you, these institutions are not saying that they are against Trans genders, just that they do not and will not accept them, does that still make the homophobic?
Then this brings up a whole lot of questions for me. Are individuals or institutions not allowed to decide who and what they want in their company or institutions? Are they to be overruled by the general consensus of a majority decision?
Well, this is a whole ball game I tell you. I can think as far back as Kimberele Crenshaw and the term intersectionality. And funnily enough, I am writing a term paper this semester on intersectionality, citing the court case, so guess who is all up to date on her intersectionality concepts? Me.
When I told my boyfriend about the social media post about rent issues and Nigerians, he suggested that these landlords will then have to resort to taking a standard fee mainly for damages, to be returned to you the person who rented the apartment when you move out, that is if everything is in order in the house and nothing has been damaged. So then my mind started churning, is this why Blacks in America are given smaller credits among others? But then this is only solving only one part of the problem, isn’t it?
Now before I go off course again or most importantly before my train gets to Berlin Hbf and I have to put my laptop back in my bag, I just want to point out how it seems the issue of gender is diverse in nature and involves a number of dimensional approach to it. Some people seem to have it all figured out, and some are still seeking answers. But this is interesting for me, my goal is to pick on thoughts and write them down, I want you to arrive at your conclusion.
Ps: This is where you come in.
© 2023 Akosua Ago Mansa