SOCIETY

I have a lot of beef with this thing called society. What is society?

The Collins dictionary describes society as
1. Those with whom one has companionship,
2. The totality of social relationships among organized groups of human beings.

In my own words I’d describe it as a group of people in some form of association with one another sharing a common collective mind-set. (way of thinking) Several aspects of this mind-set are acquired from the previous generation and many aspects will be passed on to later generations.

Society sets its own unwritten code or rules over time and its members are expected to conform to these rules, and anyone who decides to be kichwa ngumu and does his own thing sticks out like a sore thumb and soon becomes the subject of societal ridicule or criticism.

An example is when Wambui Otieno married that ka-young dude, think his name was Mbugua. Days later there were joke sms’es doing the rounds ati Man Mbuguss died during the honeymoon and autopsy reports confirmed that he died as a result of consuming expired breast milk! Before we dis them, we have to consider that maybe, just maybe, despite the big age difference, there was true love up in there after all. Si they’ve been married three years now? OK maybe Man Mbuguss iss kamuaring some fresh milk elsewhere else…but that’s beside the point!

Maybe the Wambui-Mbuguss union may not have been a fitting example, but I hope you at least get the basic idea that if someone does something that’s contrary to the expectations of “society”, they instantly become the target of criticism.

So, who does society consist of? The typical answer to that is me and you. WE make up society. Ok, acceptable.

Who defines society? Who gives society the right to dictate to me how I should dress, who I should or should not date, who I may or may not associate with? Who gives this society creature the right to judge and label me however it sees fit nipende nisipende?

Should I always conform to the expectations of society without question coz I know the consequences of non-conformity? Should I limit myself to the box that has been set by society?

I think society is too quick to judge and label people who do not fit the status quo without making an effort to understand why they do the things they do. If one decides to date a white perosn, he or she is labelled an opportunist and a sellout. (Ati you think black ain’t good enough for you?)

If one dresses differently (of course differently is quite relative!!) then he/she’s labeled a wannabe.

If someone has a twang, a real one, not those forced ones (read Caroline Mutiko & Laura Walubengo) then they’re labelled wannabe’s.

If someone acts kidogo strange then he’s labelled a psycho, a mwenda and very soon quickly contrived urban myths will sprout up all over the place.

If one associates with certain people “he normally wouldn’t associate with” it becomes “what’chu doing with those barbies, ama can’t you stick to people of your own economic status?

If a chic has had three failed relationships (which were intimate…yaani sexual) in rapid succession, then she’s labelled a ho.

Why can’t chics date younger guys without being labelled sugar mummies?

Is this right?

I don’t judge others. Well…actually I do, secretly, but hey! It’s just my opinion, I’m a keep it to myself, you go ahead and do your thing as long as it you’re doing it for you and it makes you happy! That’s the bottom line! In the end, if it works for you, good! I’m happy for you. Baas. Tuendelee na maisha.

I’ve had my fair share of unfair judgment and ostracism in the past and it’s got to a point where I think to myself “just shut the f*** up coz you know jack shit about me”! I live my life for me!

Opinions are like arseholes, everyone’s got one. Just keep yours to yourself.

So what does it take to change the mind-set of a given society? I mean changing an entire society’s view on a given issue? The judging and labelling part happens so quickly, shouldn’t the evolution of a society’s view of things happen equally as rapidly? Or just a bit faster than it does now?

An example in Kenya is mixed-race relationships. Everyone looks at you with those eyes that just scream Opportunist! Malaya! Sellout! Wannabe! Pretender! Few people care where you two met and what drew you guys together. What will it take for people to stop judging people in mixed-race relationships?

What will it take to make Kenyans change their view on gay guys? You and I both know that there are several gay peeps out there and they feel the need to be accepted and not ostracized. Kenyans are a generally homophobic people, I can understand this coz it’s a strange concept to us. But I have a couple of gay Kenyan pals who you’d never tell are gay! I didn’t even know one dude was gay for like a year until someone told me!! The knowledge that he’s gay didn’t change my opinion of him though. I’d still hang out with him over my straight pals.

So what do y’all out there think? Hit me back with them replies, and thank you for reading my first post!

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