By Lul Arawelo Kulmiye November 11, 2018
I'd like to give my readership my sincere sentiments regarding a certain detestable phenomenon extant among our people and had been preying on mind lately. This is a very delicate matter that needs to be handled with the most elaborate courtesy and demands an urgent attention towards a lasting solution since the swords of the Damocles seems to be hanging over our heads as a community hence prompting me to write about it after taking moments of introspection and endless debates with myself, i at times silently whispered to myself "O'Luul, you're becoming the fool who rushes where even the devil's won't dare" fearing the consequence of the rigid Somali patriarchal system which bars womenfolk from the process decision making but then again I felt duty-bound to cross the Rubicon and give my tuppence since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Points to Ponder
O thou living, what is left for you to ponder over? Nowadays, I’ve been overtaken by insults and expletives whose objectives dwelled on the theme: “Luul (Pearl) you’re going too fast; I was expecting you to have been someone endowed with enormous Somali patriotism”; these were messages that streamed from amalgamations of Somalis, young and old alike. Such cajolery instilled unease in my inner soul such that I became an enemy unto myself consequently giving me the chance to reflect on my ideological thoughts and reflections. I will share with you four episodes that occurred within a span of ten days that became part of the seeping descriptions from Somali male chauvinists. Undoubtedly, the shaming that I will expose will be weighty, however, regardless of the feelings that will permeate as you scroll through the lines, follow up to the end with patience and constancy. The affairs to be revealed hereafter are not exclusive to Somalis only, but are part of a wider scale of events experienced by nations recuperating from years of internecine wars.
It was on August 6, a day of astonishment and bafflement that left many males and females speak their minds in differing ways. In that episode, I wrote an article whose title was, “Marriageable Age and Adulthood are two Different Aspects”! It was that topic that I felt allowed many readers to speak up and give their views and as well it was the main progenitor that stroked commentators applying profound knowledge and researchable religious sources.
The discussion brought together a retinue of men and women–though majority were men–men whose religious debates claimed as long as a teenage girl gets the monthly menstrual cycle, has attained womanhood and that she is ready to be womanized. Men of such nature having convoluted religious verdicts are those who surreptitiously embark on sexual rampage after having lost the sense of humility, are insensitive and opportunistic, have lost all consciousness of shame and are devoid of sexual counseling, and that the only thing they cherish is semen discharge.
To me these men who have become obsessed with girl-child marriage, and who are obstinate and rebellious to womankind, and immorally and narrow-mindedly made a universal fatwa, remind me of the old Somali adage, “this she-male camel has overwhelmed my thinking; did it swallow an axe.”? To sum up, there exist combinations of sexes who continuously keep on talking illogical, irreligious, and unscientific balderdash without any significant proof of their exchange of views. To break the gauntlet, Hadraawi had this to say:
The one who can't discern the wisdom in speech,
The one who didn't learn the essence and value of words,
The one who is slow on the uptake,
The one who lacks coherence in speech, uttering disjointed words,
Like the mighty, meandering Ganana River,
The swirling misty clouds, blown in with the rains,
Did thus its swelling banks, burst in the night,
After convergence by many a tributary…
Apart from that, there exists illogically plain tongue-lashing techniques, where parties beating drums of war exchange reproachable imprecations using insurmountable amount of money with intent to dissuade certain individuals abandon their religious convictions.
The poem “Gardarro” or ‘insults ‘of Abdullahi Dhoodaan (1972), in his fourth page expounds using a short stretch that is worth mediating on:
Mats spread out for debates, to secure futile peace,
Each attendee displayeth agape mouth, and viciousness,
Selecteth ‘em boards, and committee members,
Every successful jury outcome, delivereth proceedings,
At the final verdict, the two parties get flummoxed,
When compromise faileth, each seeketh defense,
He, who loseth the verdict, hurleth expletives.
I will summarize Episode 1 with an article by Ms. Wilo Cabdulle (2018) on Facebook:
“Somali men who are searching for Somali women are on an all out war to retard Somali girls who are sprouting up like reproducing red roses. To speak in biological terms, these are human hens articulately sitting on eggs with precautionary measures then harvesting rotten eggs. The forceful marriage of underage girls who have not attained 18-years is unjustified and lacking merit. To safeguard our daughters from superficial harm and uphold the existence of Somali sovereignty, it is vital we abandon the unnecessary search for underage girls, avoid obstructing their development and repudiate the rotten eggs syndrome.”
When wrapped up together, it would appear as if the general population is only restricted to the application of “Visionary Focus” with other senses in absentia. Regardless of seeing and feeling the reality on the ground, the only criteria they apply to appease their opposite sex, and that is the old traditional epitome that states, “Islam has liberated women and completed their rights and responsibilities”, a strong, unobservable fact held by both men and women though men always hold the mantle due to the ancient patriarchal lineage system that give them leverage over family matters. To proof what we want for someone is worth grabbing, the following written correspondence is a testament to what a human covets.
Young man: “The right of Muslim women has been defined by the Holy Quran.”
Lady: That`s true, but if that`s not applied then what?
Me: You don’t need to tell us that as we are grown up people, however, could you tell us how to put into perspective or will you simply keep quiet?
Young man: Sister Luul, kindly limit your criticisms; we can see the difficulties faced by abandoned migrant underage married girls with children…while those teenage mothers left in Somalia venture into early market hustles cuddling out of school kids coupled with exposure to bombings.
Me: First and foremost, while knowing that, how comes you only stick to the Qur’anic injunctions, and secondly, why do you have to evade a general discussion of the overwhelmingly visible social problems that are affecting our old and young women, internally and externally, and don’t you want a deliberative scrutiny to circumvent the precarious conditions not only for the present but for posterity?
Young man: It is okay to debate; however, I like the criticisms to have effective solutions and a way forward to changing the prevailing conditions. Is this discussion not akin to one blatantly leaning towards “Visionary Focus” in the absence of psychological reflection? The fact that this attests to lack of responsibility, when another fellow citizen poses a question of such nature to you, make sure you come with a satisfactory answer. In a nutshell, it entails that it is up to the womenfolk and it doesn’t concern me (man) in anyway. The words above mean affection or perfectionism and the imprisoned consciousness should be discarded altogether.
It was on the 11th of August when the National Economy Board was formed. It was at that time that I became part of the vocal voices constituting men and women that challenged the selection criteria that was not inclusive of the general social makeup. In solidarity we profoundly decried the low qualifications of some of the board members, while other men jumped on the bandwagon in support of their male counterparts using unjustified language against the womenfolk. Their futile claims that women have been ineffective in social fabric became part of their solid discussions.
A combined group of men and women candidly gave their ideas, while at the same time mentioning the names of select number of women with advanced qualifications in economics. Since contempt of anything leads to self-destruction and that it is outrageously dehumanizing if you are used to misappropriations of funds, the end result leads to all eyes focusing on your misdeeds. Muhammad Ibrahim Warsame, while explaining the role required of men, especially what is expected of fathers in family and social solidification, poignantly reflected in a poem in the following lines:
Men have all turned to politics, cutting the fetters thereby,
Exclaiming to amend that, which doth not tally with thy interest,
Uttering baseless words, thus anointing the married woman,
Her keen watchfulness, turneth he to morbidity, her elbows dusty,
He kicketh her while he standeth, throwing dust upon her, while she lieth in his sanctuary, For the other she becometh a partner only in bed, and ye blemishless mom, Thy intercession, highly recommended.
Before concluding, what are the factors that attracted me to cite the poetic admonishments at this juncture? It’s my sincere believe and conviction that if society fails to advocate the application of equality and justice coupled with care and devotion, it will ultimately lead to the decline and collapse of existing general cohesion.
In the aftermath of the 14th August debate the grim reality of victimization that afflicts the young girls and some womenfolk among the Somali community got exposed following an interview that was prepared and conducted by a Somali reporter.
In the light of this disheartening reports, we witnessed the emergence a group of men who vehemently denied that young girls were being exploited due to their gender and had been forcibly assigned with the burden taking care of infants so beware lest you lose your child; rendered dead as a result of duty!!!
Wait, wait , listen to their point of argument first and at that point a few women joined in the discussion, they didn't repudiate that there was an intractable problem but they attacked the reporter who happened to a bete' noir among them, the fact that they didn't concur with him in principle notwithstanding.
They went a point further by saying his reports could be the cause of further problems for their relatives, residing in the Diaspora and hence their intervention in the matter to save the ones living abroad. I'm flabbergasted!!!
This reminded me of a Somali lullaby of yore that was sang by a mother who had just delivered a baby girl. We all know that the difficulties of childbirth and it was not lost on her that had she given birth to a baby boy that her husband could've sacrificed an expensive animal as a symbol of pride and could as well have sacrifice another one for her "recuperation", and thus the grieving mother sang the following lullaby in lamentation.
O yeah, O yeah, what brought ye my smart daughter?
In your stead, a smart boy who could tarry with men,
A ram could lie prone.
Meaning that if you were a boy, men could celebrate your birth with pomp and splendor and a goat could've been sacrificed for you.
Hadrawi had this to say:
Transgression of a father shall become a constant thorn upon his progeny, The man who violates the chastity of a girl unripe for marriage, upon him a high cliff shall be brought down, Thine provisions be straitened, A similar fate shall thine daughter experience,
Thine ignominious act and pain that thou inflicted, On one eventide wilt thou relate to others regarding thine despicable folly.
Dhoodaan also gave a description of transgression in the following lines in his 1st page of his poem:
O you transgression causeth pains, now and then,
Your inflictions have risen, your afflictions as well,
Thou are laden with crime, deserving punishment,
Destruction thou art mastered, your salvage unknown,
Expert thou are at destroying stable homes,
Whoever thou leadeth, seeth not progress,
Thou and death have plundered humankind.
Weren't the two parents who sired the girl rendered without posterity, regardless of whether she wrong, for to err is human and its only Allah who is infallible. Moreover, an adage of yore goes:
“Thou canst give up on anyone, be he resourceful or useless.
The one who parepareth the building of the house, thou kicked out.
The pretext being “She hath visited shame upon our family.”
My question to you is that do we worship Allah or we worship ordinary mortals like us? My major objective of saying the statement above is that before we embark on an action or make a counter-action it'll be prudent to restrain ourselves.
Let's first have a look and let's try to judiciously ascertain where the problem stems from. That's what will shed light upon the reality of the situation prevailing at that particular time regarding the individual, without inclining towards any group or wrongly putting the blame on any party.
It was followed by a reshuffle on the 16th of August when cadres holding positions in the security agencies were discharged only to be replaced by new faces. As was common, men dominated the scene even though only two ladies appeared in the list. My felicitations to the newly appointed ladies brought up a new breed of men who were pretending to be seekers of unity while they were claiming or debasing me with the theme, Luul abandon your pursuit of feminine elevation and never forget to deny men their inalienable rights, if not, you will dismantle the existing unity between women and overall society.
It seemed as if they were blinded and their audio faculties sealed. It is a question worth pondering what denied such ideologically retarded men to comprehend the significance of salvaging our womenfolk and also deter our promiscuous men from the teenage daughters we conceived together? Since time immemorial, it has been a common factor for both parents to partake in reconciliation efforts when their two teenage sexes engaged in unnecessary altercations. Undoubtedly, societies shoulder the responsibilities of parents. The 17th line of the poem “Gardaro” which translates to ‘insults’elucidates our general understanding, so please allow me to share it with you.
If vaunting and amour propre, is not relinquished,
Running helter-skelter and pride will help you not,
The Peace thou hast dissolved, remaineth in absurdity,
If remedy is beyond reach, thence it has burrowed itself,
Whoever it blameth, it giveth a stealth kick,
Then it cutteth barriers, and tumbles thereafter,
It scampers for safety, from the one who shocketh it,
Perturbeth and animadversion and, staggereth to be exact,
Sub-conscious complains, is impossible to decipher,
Thou seeketh eth adulteration, of one thou harmeth,
Mockery dost thou, supersede extermination unabated,
Mockery thou art unmatched in liquidations.
Dear reader, without adding insult to injury, after having read the four episodes, I hope you will give me credit after having fully understood the message relayed to you and on the other hand, I’m of the opinion that you will attest to the fact that I have not delivered something that is contrary to my previous way of literary approach that is commensurate with my fight for justice and social responsibility. I do believe you have understood that the current spate of shameful events have been far more lethal in the past. I find it mindboggling seeing conglomeration of men who perceive what I fought in the past and dubbed “Ladies Jokes”, has been transformed into a coercive implement of skullduggery if thoroughly scrutinized. If all avenues of peaceful resolution are exhausted, other available ways and means will be theorized. You wouldn’t be amazed to see yourself bringing your work to a grinding halt when unstoppable seduction permeates your consciousness.
Regardless of your gender, get prepared and comprehend the techniques that can be methodologically put into force knowingly and unknowingly until such a time you are left disoriented or you are denied the formality of what female seeking entails.
“However, I will share with you an advice that clearly defines the insignificant cautiousness that you are being pushed into by the one lacking wisdom and the one you ought to share social responsibility”! These are internally ingrained philosophical thoughts that nurture my humanness that as well supplement my broadly concealed clairvoyance. I wish to notify you that men and women who are on the onslaught against factors such as repression and oppression, bodily, mental, economic, honor, and other rapacious acts against women, that have been recorded in the four episodes are not new to us. In this essay I will conclude with the philosophical expressions of Lady Hawa Jibril (RIP):
Let alone great men, they've passed on to eternity, women have been slain,
Am grieving for a she-camel, fallen prey to a hyena,
The similitude of our country is that,
Understand the root of mine words and back it up dutifully, think not it’s an amusement.
Lul Arawelo Kulmiye
NB: This article previously appeared on WardheerNews in Somali version: https://wardheernews.com/afar-maanka-gaddey-meerinteed-bal-hoo/ The English translation was made possible by. Adan Makina who is a member of WDN Editorial Board and Abdi Ismail Dalal, a Poet, a prolific writer, and a former employee of Garissa County Government.
See pictures below that are part of the article. 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽