African women who are like this should becareful or they will turn into men
”You are a man. Vickie everything you do is like a man.”
We were having coffee and he had just asked me what I did for fun on the weekends. He said that he would be going to a night club and I responded that I had passed that stage in my life. Nightclubs are no longer where I go on weekends. I only know one Nightclub in Freetown and I've only been there once in 3 years, and even then it was to accompany someone.
”When I was in my early 20s, I did a lot of clubbing. Now, I don't want to be in any space where the primary activities are drinking, smoking, and seduction, ” I said.
”I don't want to be where men will think I am there for them to come and talk to me, I don't want that kind of attention.”
He shook his head in disappointment. But what is wrong if men want to talk to you and be with you?
”Nothing, I'm just not interested in courtship. I am here for work. I'm trying to make money.”
That attracting the male gaze is not my focus was a shock to him. So he reminded me of my gender like many before him have done when they felt I wasn’t meeting their expectations.
”But you know you are a woman, you are not acting like one. You are acting like a man. This is not good at all.”
Although he recognized that many women in Sierra Leone rely on transactional sexual relationships and he commended my work ethic, he still felt uncomfortable that my focus was on work and not men and marriage.
”At least I'm not married because I am afraid of commitment but you, Vickie you're acting like men are not even important, ” he said.
Oh but men are important. They are very important. Any man I have ever been with can attest that “di lek man gene” is strong in me. Maybe even too strong. However, I belong to the school of thought led by the likes of Cher. Men are like dessert, they are a luxury but not a necessity.
”Men are for enjoyment, love and support but certainly I don't live for men nor am I expecting a man to be my financial plan. I'm trying to get rich.”
He shook his head in disbelief.
”You’re really a man, the more you talk the more I see it, ” as if all hope was lost for me.
He felt pity for me but I felt sad for him. That in his life he had not been exposed to more women like me because while we noh boku, we day. Yes our women are groomed to see wealth as something they can only access through men but we also have women who like me have been raised otherwise. I am unapologetic about my focus on work, or wealth creation. This is what I finally said that closed the conversation.
”No, I am not a man. I'm just working like I'm trying to build something from nothing in a country where everyone feels entitled.”
So no, when a man calls me a man, I don't take offense. It is a compliment to me. When a man calls me a man, what he is really saying is that I do not fit into his and society’s prescribed norms. What he is saying is you Vickie are just like me. You are human and full and whole and driven just like me. HA! Yes my brother we are equal! Anything you can do, me too I can do it and maybe even better so let us be going.
I am a woman. I can and I will. #AWomanCan