The Troubles of an African Woman

This is the story of a woman called Maame Yaa. Growing up, she thought she was one of the unluckiest people on earth; being black and female. Everywhere she went, she was reminded of her inferiority. She had no power at home. Her little brother had more say in family affairs than she did. Every day she was reminded that her only aspiration in life was to land herself a good husband and home and lovely children. She was unhappy with this because she wanted to have so much space and opportunities to be whoever she wanted to be. She was burdened with this yoke until she heard that other women had started voicing out their complaints against this inferiority in a patriarchal society.

She was so interested in what they had to say but alas! She was disappointed with what she found. These women who were mostly whites were talking about equality with men especially in terms of career opportunities. It seemed that most of them had a personal problem with men. Maame Yaa realized that even though these women were saying something that should concern her, she still faced another problem, racism and class. They did not want to recognize that she also deserved some equality she was denied because of her colour. These feminists were more interested in plights of the middle and upper class women. Maame Yaa was really saddened. This time around, she thought that she must be the most cursed person on earth, being black, being female and being lower-class.

Somehow, she decided to herself to take her studies seriously. Maybe she could help to change a thing or two in the status quo. It seemed that education made it better. She got to know an interesting group of women, mostly Africans who called themselves womanists. These women addressed issues of gender without forgetting race. These women saw men as part of their struggles. The feminists were not happy with this. They thought that these womanists were traitors who had a foot on either side of the struggle. They could not be trusted. Maame Yaa was happy being a womanist but then, she realized that a lot of people back at home treated her with suspicion.

“Ebei! What now? “She ventured to ask one day. A brave neighbor told her that her own people thought that she was another modern woman who was pretending to be traditional. Maame Yaa did not understand what was happening.

“They are saying that you are just another man-hater who pretends to want to uphold certain tradition values.” The neighbour added.

Maame Yaa now understood what was happening. Her western counterparts hated her because they thought she was not fully in favour of the rights for women and her own people hated her because they thought that she was another westernized woman pretending to be traditional.

“Ebei! “Maame Yaa Exclaimed.” Will the troubles of an African woman ever end?”



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